A buddy of mine and I used to love to come back from the bars and search through Netflix for the stupidest horror movies we could find. From the Wrong Turns to Shrooms, there are plenty of comical scary films out there. It seemed like each movie we found followed the same formula as the ones we had watched previously and each one was pretty funny (except Amusement, hate clowns). The Horror genre has had some great films of recent (Paranormal Activity, Let the Right One In, The Descent) but the genre has been sort of plagued by the ridiculous. Those films that are trying to beat their sub genre (Disfigured hillbillies, creepy ghost child, ridiculously big reptile, etc….) to death. I mean once you’ve seen a disfigured hillbilly sexual assault a teenager; do you really want to see it again (I never wanted to see it the first place)? But the horror genre seems to revel in its constituency and what we have gotten over the years are movies that are regurgitated versions of another movie which was also a regur…. you get the point. The Cabin in the Woods at first seemed like it was just more of the same, but once the movie begins, you realize that all is not what it seems.
The Cabin in the Woods is what Scary movie should have been. It is an intelligent and creative spoof of all the things we love/hate about the horror film. Written by Joss Whedon (The Avengers, Serenity) and Drew Goddard (writer of Cloverfield), The Cabin in the Woods is an excellent dorm room created critique of horror films everywhere. I would love to talk about the plot and all of the great moments but to do that would be a crime against the movie. You need to go in, know nothing about the plot except for the fact that the movie “looks” like almost every horror film you have ever seen. If you do that, then you are in for a treat. A movie that reveals its cards slowly and when the dealer finally calls, all hell breaks lose. It is what the Horror genre has been waiting for, a game changer.
There isn’t much to write about Cabin in the Woods other than that there is no reason not to respect it. It is a movie of immense creativity as it deconstructs what it is to be a horror film. But also beneath the surface, the film also asks questions about the audience who came expecting to see more of the same. Why in the world do we love horror films? Why do we pay money to see young people die in horrible ways at the hands of monsters? And why on earth does the virgin always have to be the only one who lives? Do we seek punishment for those that are young and restless or does the horror genre live because lust for violence is inherently in all of us? Cabin at eye level is a witty look at all things scary but between the lines Cabin never stops at just shining a light on Horror films, it shines it on all of us who have never stopped watching.