Film (with rating): Cabin in the Woods (R)
Summary: Five friends embark on a road trip to a remote
cabin in the woods, but they get more than they bargained for.
Review: Happy Horror Month, everyone! Better known as
October, this month is all about frights. So why not kick things off with a
monster movie like “Cabin in the Woods?” I admit, at first, I did not
like this movie. I went in blind, not really sure what it was about. Horror, a
spooky cabin, lots of monsters. Okay, I’m game. But the opening scene,
featuring Bradley Whitford as a tie-wearing desk jockey, threw me for a loop.
Throughout the film, I found myself falling out of the horror mindset and
instead pondering the deeper meaning of what was on the screen–or even laughing
at what I saw.
But then it hit me. This is not a horror movie. It’s not
really a parody of horror, either. Think “Scream,” but deeper. I
watched “Cabin” thinking it was one of those amazingly scary monster
movies with a huge twist at the end. Not so much. “Cabin” is almost a
horror comedy, expertly written by horror professionals Joss Whedon and Drew
Goddard. The duo not so much poke fun of the genre as they do draw attention to
the clichs, the way today’s horror films are more like gore films instead of true
spine-tingling terrors. It also looks at why society likes horror in the first
place. It praises the films of horror market, but it also picks them apart and
snickers at them.
I’m not going to go so far as to say “Cabin” is
some morality-preaching vehicle. It’s simply a new take on a classic genre.
You’ll enjoy the film more if you know little of it to begin with. But just
take this to the couch with you: It’s not a traditional scary movie, so don’t
make the mistake I did and expect that. Go in with an open mind, and be
prepared to laugh, and be grossed out. Don’t take it all literally.
And never look at unicorns in the same way again.
Extra highlight: “The Secret Secret Stash”
What to serve for dinner: Pretend you’re a college kid like
one of the main characters and just order pizza.
What to talk about over dinner: What did you think about the
movie? Did it work? Were you disappointed? Who was your favorite character?
Favorite death scene? Did you buy the ending? Were you surprised by the
“boss?” Why do you think our society likes scary movies? What if
organizations like the one in the movie really existed? Which monster would you
have rather battled? Anyone else feel violated by the unicorn? Which monster
creeped you out the most? What’s your favorite scary movie? And for bonus
points…what scary movie did that line come from?