Horror movies have some strange logic; black characters dying first, youths fornicating, and most importantly, characters doing stupid things. The list of stereotypes and cliches in this genre is long and storied. What if there was a way to tie it all together, give it a purpose, a reason for all this inane logic. Enter – Cabin in the Woods.
Shelved for 2 years, Cabin in the Woods was finally released in March 2012. MGM held the film indefinitely due to on going financial difficulties. Lionsgate picked up and saved it from it’s fate. Cabin stars the gorgeous Anna Hutchison and Thor’s Chris Hemsworth. With his star rising and Avengers on the horizon, it was wise to release the movie then.
The film started off like any other horror movie; a group of friends going to their relatives cabin in the mountains for the weekend. At first the five didn’t quite fit the typical mold of jock, nerd, or virgin. As they went about their travels, strange things could be spied in the background. For starters, the film opened up with technicians preparing for a nameless operation, one of many taking place concurrently around the world. Once at the cabin, the five are given mood altering drugs, administered through the air, raising their libidos and lowering their intelligence. The cabin itself reeked for Evil Dead.
A cellar door is triggered to open, and the group go to investigate. All manner of devices, tools, and things are collected down their. As they investigate, a larger group is shown to have gathered, observing them. They have a pool of different monsters going; zombies, killer mermaids, nightmare creatures, mummies, and all manner of picked were picked, with odds favoring each.
Most of what I’m describing is shown in the trailers for the movie, so I promise I’m not giving anything away. Act 1 and 2 play out as expected for a horror movie, until act 3. The movie takes a hard, but earned, swerve that completely turned the concept of horror movies on it’s head. This movie explained every horror movie with a wonderfully self aware sense of wit.
Cabin wasn’t on my radar until I saw the names behind it. Written by Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard. The former needs no introduction, while the latter has worked with Whedon for years on Buffy and Angel, while turning in some amazing work on Lost (he had nothing to do with seasons 5 or 6). The performances in the movie are wonderfully kitchy, reminding you of the similar archetypes they’re parodying. I really enjoyed this movie and hope now with Whedon’s Avenger fame he and his crew get more freedom to make projects like this.
What did you think of Cabin in the Woods? Did the explanation work for you? Comment below, on Facebook, or Twitter! You can now see my Saturday Morning Cartoon posts, along with other great writings at The Two-Headed Nerd!
“He had the conch in his hand!”