I am still trying to make my massive nerd erection go down after seeing Cabin in the Woods over the weekend (should I go to the doctors for that?). The film, which is presented as a typical slasher-horror, is actually a lot different than audiences may have expected, resulting in one of the best horror satire’s since Scream. Die-hard horror fans definitely will not be disappointed while others who aren’t uber fans of the genre may have left the film scratching their heads.
The film follows the typical slasher-in-the-woods horror formula, including the generic set of usual characters and cheesy horror storyline. However, the film is far from your mom’s campy horror movie because there’s a twist: the group of kids is being “controlled” by a corporation who is watching their every move.
Cabin in the Woods takes us along the ride of five college buddies who are taking a trip into the woods for the weekend. The group of friends is made up of the usual suspects: the jock (Chris Hemsworth–looking mighty fine), the slut (Anna Huchison), the nerd (Jesse Williams), the good girl (Kristen Connolly), and of course, what would a campy horror be without the stoner (Fran Kranz)?
As the kids venture toward their destination the audience simultaneously gets to see the big bad corporation working behind the scenario, helping the friends make certain decisions along the way. At this point, we are still unaware of what’s going on exactly, but we know that whatever is happening–it’s going to be bad.
Eventually, after all of the partying and fun, the cellar door whips open and the kids make their way down into the darkness. Once they are beneath the cabin, there are several different things for them to play with, and unbeknownst to them, whatever object they choose will inevitably be the thing that brings them to their end. Once their fate is sealed, the film really picks up and doesn’t stop until the very last frame.
On the outside, the film looks like a regular horror film that we’ve seen a million times–because it is. Writers, Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard, used all of the elements that genre fans can’t seem to escape and pretty much made fun of them. The corporation behind the entire situation are essentially making a horror film, following recycled scenarios that have been done countless times before. Every move that the characters make, including the stupid decisions that endanger their lives, is meticulously calculated by the corporation, who basically represent the filmmakers who produce the horror we are so used to seeing.
The film is smart and brilliant in the sense that it’s totally self-aware and self-deprecating, without being too disrespectful to the genre. Although the film does keep you on the edge of your seat with tension, it simultaneously makes you laugh at the message behind the movie.
The last half of the film seriously had me in awe, my jaw dropped to the floor and my eyes were bulging from my head. It’s hard to review the film without giving too much away but all I can say is this: you will totally get a nerd boner, just like I did, when your eyes feast upon the massive amounts of awesomeness that overwhelmingly fills the screen.
As a horror fan, I completely understood everything that the movie represented and I could fathom the message that Whedon and Goddard were trying to get across. However, I don’t think viewers who don’t live and breath horror will really grasp the film fully or like the overall product. Because they are stupid. Just kidding…sort of.
Cabin is getting a lot of comparisons to Scream but in my opinion, I think that it is far smarter and better executed than its predecessor. Yes, both films are satire’s on the genre, but Cabin goes a little bit further than Scream and gets a whole lot more creative. Merman, anyone?!
If you haven’t seen the film yet, don’t read or listen to what anyone else says about it because it will completely spoil it for you. I went into the movie not knowing too much, because I didn’t want to know, and it was an unbelievably refreshing experience. I had no idea what was going on at first but when it started to come to me, I was pleasantly surprised. Go see the movie and decide for yourself but I can guarantee that you will not be disappointed.
Now, if you will excuse me, I must go take care of my husband’s bulge.