Wednesday, May 30, 2012

3 Short Paragraphs: The Cabin in the Woods

2011, Drew Goddard (mostly TV writing including Buffy, Angel and Lost) -- cinema

Full disclosure -- I am a Whedon fan.  Goddard is one of those of the stable of Joss Whedon's collaborators, friends and like minded brilliant people.  Yeah, no bias on my part.  Whedon and Goddard wrote this movie.  Recognizable Whedon faces are in the movie.  And considering all of you have already seen Avengers, also done by Joss, you should go check the listings and see this one too.  OK?  Good kids.  You don't have to be sacrificed to the Old Ones.

As hinted at in the last movie "reviewed", I am rather fun of people playing with the tropes of the conventional horror movie.  Strangely enough, back then, I was never that fond of the sources that developed those tropes.  I definitely have seen most of them having grown up in the emergence and decline of the neighbourhood video store and the ritual of renting 4-5 movies for a weekend.  But the older I get, I look back on these "kids getting picked off one by one" movies with affection and a lot more lenience for the stupidity, the sexploitation and badly done gore.  For me, it's now about movie making than it is seeing the great plot revealed.  Cabin comes from that same affection.  Whedon and Goddard obviously loved these movies and decided to do somewhat of an explanation of just why so many people get killed in obviously ritualistic ways when all they wanted to do was go skinny dipping in the lake where several murders took place years past.

I won't hint at the true reveals in this movie but by now you have seen the trailers.  You have seen the references to the "behind the curtain" elements to this movie.  In Cabin we are given a bevy of college kids going to a cabin to spend a weekend winding down.  But we quickly realize these aren't the stupid kids of the usual ilk, they are actually well educated college kids -- even the stoner seems a bit brilliant.  They start their weekend meeting The Harbinger at the "last gas stop" and then are walled into the last weekend of their lives.  We get to see why all the kids act the way they do, why these kids always die in ones and twos, why they have to die in the first place.  And just after we settle into the reveal, we have the curtains pulled aside and we see even MORE. To say this is a monster movie, a slasher movie, a scifi movie and a fantasy is not saying enough.  This time we should be actually rooting for the kids but... really, the guilty pleasure has always been waiting to see who dies next, and how.