The Cabin in the Woods (2012)

There’s a first for everything, right? Right. So, here goes, my first SPOILER ALERT! The following blog post about The Cabin in the Woods openly discusses things about the movie that might “ruin” the experience for some of you plot-lovers out there. Unfortunately, there’s just no way to go about discussing the movie without revealing some of its more interesting bits.

As I mentioned in my previous post, Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil, sometimes it seems like horror movies are dying a slow, boring death right before our very eyes. Being a fan of the genre, there’s nothing more disappointing than having your high expectations squashed by a shitty, formulaic sleep-a-thon. The flip-side of that coin, of course, is the thrill and excitement you feel when you see something that actually addresses all the crappy crap you’ve watched before and throws you a curveball. Tucker & Dale and The Cabin in the Woods both offer a refreshing, new take on the genre, but they do it in very different ways.

Typical bunch o' kids.

Typical bunch o’ kids.

This one starts off as so many horror movies do: the college kids have some sort of break from school and they’re amped for a weekend in the country. On the way, they’re warned not to go where they’re going, but they go anyway. When they get there, unspeakable horrors await them! But here, it’s not exactly the horror you’d expect. Or, wait, it actually is exactly the horror you’d expect: werewolves, demons from hell, ghosts – take your pick. So, just like Raymond Stantz chose the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man, our heroine Dana (I don’t think that name’s a coincidence) chooses the form of her and her pals’ destruction – hungry zombies. She just didn’t realize she made that decision until it was too late.

What I haven’t mentioned yet are the guys running the show. I mean, the whole show. The guys that planted the bible-thumping hick who warns the kids to stay away, the guys that put chemicals in the blonde’s hair dye to make her dumber, the guys that laced the stoner’s pot with more chemicals to make him susceptible to their influence. These are the guys who run our lives; dudes in suits working top-secret for an unnamed boss. They make your decisions for you. They’re the artists behind all your worst nightmares, and they need you to die to feed the ancient gods. Literally. Whoa, right? Unfortunately for these guys, their script has gone haywire, and two of our characters have ended up at nightmare’s headquarters prepared to fight The Man for their freedom. Despite the news from the top (or the bottom, depending on how you look at it) that they must sacrifice themselves to save the world, they don’t. Is a world without freedom worth saving?

Atypical taxidermy make-out sesh.

Atypical taxidermy make-out sesh.

There’s a lot I like about this movie, namely the idea that we are ruled by a conspiracy so enormously and unfathomably prevalent it’s virtually inescapable; only a kook would even begin to believe in its existence. All the ghosts, monsters and nightmares of horror movies are merely tools “They” use to oppress the masses and force them into subservience. What I didn’t like is the idea that everything must be destroyed in order to dethrone the rulers of the status quo. There is no freedom for us; humans have squandered their chance and it’s either go on living a hollow life or die in a blaze of glory.

When I saw this the first time in theaters, I was convinced it was meant as an allegory for Occupy Wall Street. Then, I found out it was written before that even happened. Now, amidst a post-Edward Snowden USA, this movie seems fitting once again. I guess it could serve as an allegory for any real-life horror beset upon The People by those in power, but in my world, I’d like the ending to be a little better than “fuck it, we had a good run.” What’s so bad about the people of today surviving through revolution to enjoy a positive change? In the end I feel like this movie suffers from the same distrust of the everyman as The Dark Knight Rises, and it bothers the hell out of me. Even so, I don’t think it’s as politically dangerous as that; at least it acknowledges change is needed.

Typical bugging device.

Typical bugging device.

Or, at least, that’s how I read it. One could very easily just watch this and be thrilled at the gift we’ve been given: a new horror movie that’s actually good and legitimately scary! No matter how you read it, if you have an interest in horror as a genre and haven’t watched this one, do – you will have opinions, that much I can guarantee you.


2 Responses to “The Cabin in the Woods (2012)”

  1. 2 ladyfaceladyface
    July 21, 2013 at 5:46 pm

    Fran Kranz! ❤

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