Sunday, April 22, 2012

Cabin In The Woods

I cannot get this film out of my head! I watched it again this weekend to get a better look at the infamous white board. All I can say is that CABIN is an orgasmic delight for any horror fan. Just when I condemned American Horror to the pits of Uwe Boll hell, here comes one of the most refreshing game changing films I've seen in a long time. I will be the first to admit that I was skeptical in the beginning. I followed the progress of this film because Joss Whedon wrote the script and Drew Goodard was directing. Everyone knows Joss as the Patron Saint of Sci-Fi, soon to be golden boy of the comic world. Goodard got his start writing episodes for the greatest show on Earth, Buffy The Vampire Slayer. I decided to put my trust and faith in Joss and give this film a shot. He hasn't let us down yet.
This film was shot in 2009, but sat on the shelf due to conflicts between the studio and Joss Whedon. The studio initially wanted the film to be in 3D and Joss would not have it. The film is perfect without 3D. When will people learn that 3D does not make things better!? Flash forward to Friday the 13th of April 2012: I went in to the theater with no clue what to expect. I refused to read spoilers and I had only seen one trailer. I even missed the Alamo pre-show upon first screening so I couldn't even draw conclusions from that. The first introductory scene of the five young people was nothing out of the ordinary. As soon as I heard Jules & Curt joking about the famous 80s drug PSA, I immediately remembered I was in Whedon's World and all would be right. Aw yes, there's that classic Whedon-speak that we have all grown to love. Seriously, not since John Hughes has one man come to understand young people and vernacular so well. Another special treat was seeing old favorites Amy Acker (Fred from Angel) and Tom Lenk (Andrew from Buffy).
Joss and Goodard obviously have a lot of love and respect for the horror genre. This film is sort of a homage to horror of the past. I think it also does a great job of calling out the current sad state of American Horror. CABIN is a testament to the banal formula of horror films that have come from the US in the last twenty years. It definitely pokes fun of the unoriginality that has become a steady flow in Hollywood. Here's what Joss had to say about it:
"On another level it's a serious critique of what we love and what we don't about horror movies. I love being scared. I love that mixture of thrill, of horror, that objectification/identification thing of wanting definitely for the people to be alright but at the same time hoping they’ll go somewhere dark and face something awful. The things that I don't like are kids acting like idiots, the devolution of the horror movie into torture porn and into a long series of sadistic comeuppances. Drew and I both felt that the pendulum had swung a little too far in that direction."
Ok, on to the monsters! There's a scene where Amy Acker explains that the monsters are something our nightmares are from. I read one message board post about how it felt like when we were kids and we made GI Joe, He-Man, Ninja Turtles, Batman, and Thundercats action figures battle it out all at once. I love that instead of re-creating THE EVIL DEAD, they wrote a love letter to it and all the other slasher films we grew up with. Did you notice the Deadites on the white board? How about the rape tree? All the references really warmed my heart. I love the HELLRAISER hints, the FRIDAY THE 13TH nods, and especially the Ripley cameo. And what can I say about the unicorn or merman other than BRAVO! I like to think that the giant snake is a nod to Mayor Wilkins from season 3 of Buffy. I also believe the Cabin signifies the ultimate Hellmouth containing the biggest bad we ever saw since The First. There were so many wonderful innuendos that I thought my head would explode from excitement.
I just wanna thank Joss Whedon for restoring my hope in my all time favorite film genre. I would expect no less from such an extraordinary filmmaker. He's one of the few people who create, as a fan for other fans. CABIN truly is a beautiful puzzle for horror fans to study and critique. Take notes Zack Snyder and James Wan! Don't be surprised to see CABIN IN THE WOODS on my Best of 2012 List. PS- I actually might watch THE AVENGERS now.

1 comment:

  1. Yes this movie was awesome! I never thought of the giant snake as being a reference to Mayor Wilkins, even though he's my favorite Big Bad in BtVS if you don't count The Trio as being a Big Bad- I thought it was a nod to Anaconda. But please tell me you're not insulting James Wan, because then I'd have to kill you :) Also Zack Synder made probably the best remake ever made.