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Monday, March 2, 2020

Cabin in the Woods (2011)



Have you ever wondered why the characters in horror movies all seem to do the dumbest things? Why do they go off in the scary woods to make with the romance? Are they really stupid enough to play with the creepy stuff in the basement? Well Cabin in the Woods gives answers to all of these questions and more.

Things start off in an office building where we see some workers discussing how the Swedes have failed and it is up to them or the Japanese to get the job done. Um okay… Then we see college kids hop into an RV and head off for a weekend trip at an isolated cabin. Along the way they meet up with a creepy gas station attendant that is sort of a harbinger of doom. They get to the cabin, act stupid, and generally give you what you would expect from a horror film. Then we are back to the workers taking bets. There is a pool on which monster the kids will choose to bring about their doom. What the Hell movie?

Okay so here is the skinny on what is happening. There are elder gods locked deep within the Earth that require a sacrifice. But the key to this is that those sacrifices have to be young and have to of ended up dead by their own choices. So, the governments of the world setup young people in situations that can and will go horribly wrong. Apparently, it isn’t against the rules to nudge or help the sacrifice along thru the use of chemicals and gas. Want people to get frisky in the woods? Pump some pheromones into the environment. Need a smart person to make bad decisions? They have a gas for that. Hell, they even sneak some chemicals into hair dye to make the fake blonde girl act like a real blonde!

Weed saves lives!
I enjoy it when filmmakers take a genre and turn it on its head. This is exactly what Cabin in the Woods does. They take all the expectations of an eighties horror movie, dumb kids, drug use, sex in the woods, etc. and explain it all in the most clever of ways. I was amused the first time that I watched Cabin in the Woods and I still enjoy it after several viewings. Cabin works both as a horror movie and as a parody of one. That is a rare thing. But where it gets really nifty is how the system breaks down on them. One of the sacrifices is a stoner whose chronic weed smoking has immunized him to the drugs they use to influence their behavior. He is the only one that questions everyone else’s behavior. Why are normally smart people acting dumb? Why is the friendly guy suddenly turning into the “alpha male” and the nice girl getting slutty? It is a fun flip of how these sorts of burnout characters are normally handled in horror flicks. He sort of becomes the hero in the end.

Damn they even do a decent Werewolf!
In addition to being clever and well written the movie does deliver the creatures. While they choose a family of zombie hillbillies to be their killers, they had other choices. When they escape into the facility underneath the woods, they let the rest of their potential monsters loose on the facility and the workers. We get to see a werewolf, a pinhead want to be, creepy ballerina, ghosts, killer clowns, and my personal favorite a unicorn. Don’t laugh those horns are sharp! I almost forgot the merman… don’t want to do that.

The final thing that I wanted to mention is the ending. While the rest of the movie has a tongue in cheek feel to it the ending is awesomely horrible. Spoiler alert. A couple of the kids survive, and the movie ends with the old gods rising and destroying the world. How is that for an ending? This movie is funny, twisted, and depressing all at the same time. I love it and recommend checking out Cabin in the Woods.


© Copyright 2020 John Shatzer

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