A Horror Movie A Day: Day 2 – “The Cabin In The Woods” (2012)

Sorry about the 2 day delay in this. I’ve been having trouble uploading content for whatever reason, which has put me way behind schedule. But I’m back now, so you can all rest easy.

Suggestmemovie determined that my movie of the day was “The Cabin in The Woods” starring Chris Hemsworth (Thor) and Kristen Connolly (The Happening). Funnily enough I’ve had this in my DVD collection for a couple of years now but it’s only had one outing and I didn’t really pay attention to it, so it’s good that I have to watch it.

It must be said, I didn’t really have much interest after watching the trailer (as usual, I’ll embed it at the end), the storyline did seem a bit lame, but as the old idiom goes “don’t judge a book by its cover”. So here we go.

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Quite frankly, that was one of the strangest, twisted and just seriously bizarre horror films I’ve ever seen, and I loved every second of it. What you need to know before going into the film is that it’s basically a satire of the slasher genre and with it being produced by Joss Whedon (Marvels Avengers Assemble) it’s almost expected to be darkly humorous in some way.

The Cabin In The Woods follows a stereotypical structure of a classic slasher movie. A group of young adults go to an ambiguous location (the creepy cabin in the title) and one by one fall victim to a terrible evil. One of the most beautiful things about it is the way that at the same time as following the genre to a T, it also simultaneously bastardizes it in a satirical, subtle and fun way.

With slasher films, there’s also a traditional stereotype of characters, which this film rigidly follows. There’s an uptight virgin girl, a scholarly ethnically ambiguous man, a stoner, a jock and his slutty girlfriend. One of my favourite things about this choice of characters is there is absolutely NO attempt to hide what they are, revealing every single characters purpose early on in the film and their stereotypes are so heavily amplified it’s almost a joke in itself.

The primary antagonist is the ominously named religious conglomerate “The Facility” a group of people, who throughout the film, manage to control each action of the group. Richard Jenkins (Stepbrothers) and Bradley Whitford (Billy Madison) both put in excellent performances as the technicians running the whole operation as they provide a darkly humorous edge to the film. They are by far the most likeable characters and weirdly, you find yourself supporting their cause, even though you have no idea what they’re doing.

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An amazing trait this film exhibits is that as we watch the movie, whenever we feel that we’re getting a grip on what’s going on, Whedon manages to throw us a curveball. Things do not end at all how you expect them to end. Don’t think you’re going to guess the end either, because you’ll be proven wrong the very next second. It’s just such a mindf*ck. All in all it reminds me of those old Goosebumps books, you know the ones where you chose your own ending? I don’t want to spoil the movie, but when you see it (which I highly suggest you do), you’ll understand what I mean.

I saw this movie as Whedons way of expressing his own reasoning behind slasher films and why they follow such a specific formula. He also chose to emphasise that the genre can be completely unpredictable at the same time as following said formula. He also uses it as a way of showing how much variation there could be in the slasher/”torture porn”  genre, which indicates that it may have been an attempt to revive a once well loved genre that many appeared to lose patience with a long time ago.

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The only issue I take with the movie as a whole is that if you take it as a straight up, “scare you silly” horror film, you may be disappointed, because really it isn’t that scary. If you take it as a satire and a psychological trip, it’s one of the better films of its type out there.

Trailer:

RATING: 7/10

CATEGORY:

Slasher/Psychological/Satire- Gory, a few shock scares but you really need to be on the ball to follow it.

 

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