The Cabin in The Woods is one of those movies that people just didn’t seem to get. It’s either a comedy for Horror fans or a Horror for comedy fans, depending who you talk to. It’s subversive, plays with genre conventions and gives NO FUCKS AT ALL.
Marketed as a sort of slasher film with a difference, Drew Goddard’s movie is something else entirely. Left on the shelf for two years along with the Red Dawn remake (which also starred Chris Hemsworth) after MGM’s financial issues, The Cabin in the Woods is a crazy ride that needs to be experienced.
A group of clichéd archetype college students head to a Cabin for a weekend of partying. When they get there I suppose you’d expect a serial killer or a monster or maybe even a demon. What waits for them is something so different to any other horror film, it’s kind of hard to explain.
A group of secretive people have been conspiring to sacrifice teens for years, using horror movie tropes to do it. Written by Goddard and his former Buffy boss Joss Whedon, Cabin is both a satire and a kick up the arse for the horror genre. It’s both loving tribute and a playful nudge. It was very much ahead of it’s time, but also sort of borrowed the Scream meta vibe too.
I liked this film a lot. Its funny, gory, shocking and meaningful in all the right ways and as a life-long horror fan, I really enjoyed the whole point of the film.
In fact, let’s talk about that. The company sacrificing these people are trying to satiate the Old Gods. The beings that had the world before us. Bradley Whitford and Richard Jenkins have to make sure they die, so that the world doesn’t end. The Ancient Ones need to be appeased. They have to follow a set system, transgress and be punished. The whore must die first and the Virgin last. Typical slasher movie order.
But as serious as this all is, the company staff take bets on what methods the kids will end up summoning to kill themselves. Zombie families, ghosts, Werewolves, demons. The Mer-man. The humour in Cabin is consistently hilarious too.
In my opinion, we, the audience, are the Ancient Ones. Demanding more and more from our movies. The company are the creative staff setting it in motion. Cabin ends with the Ancient Ones rising up and potentially destroying the world. Either a comment on audiences demanding too much or that Goddard and Whedon are saying its time for a new generation to take over. Which they have. Since The Cabin in the Woods came out, a new wave of Horror has swept the world. Blumhouse have risen as a major force, Netflix has made horror more accessible. Evil Dead a got a TV show. IT made £700 million at the box office.
I could be totally wrong in my interpretation, but that’s what’s great about this film. It’s open to your interpretation. If you haven’t seen it for a while, it’s well worth another look.
For Fans Of:
Buffy The Vampire Slayer
Ash vs Evil Dead
The Final Girls
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