Cabin in the Woods
I like to review movies. I like to critique them after I see them. but it sort of feels like Joss Whedon and crew looked at me and said “So you like to review movies huh? Yeah? Well good luck with this one!”
Cabin in the Woods really is a tough film to review. It racked my mind, and afterwards I was left not really sure what to make of it. After much mulling, this is where I believe I was left. On a pure entertainment level, I enjoyed it but didn’t find it completely satisfying. However, on an appreciation level, I have to admire what this film set out to do and how well it accomplished this goal.
To sum it up, this movie is basically one big metaphor. Its not really a horror film, its an analogy for how horror films are made in a way that Scream can only have dreamed of doing. And as such, it really is great. It brilliantly encompasses the character archetypes, their irrational decisions, and the insatiable hunger of the mainstream audience for the same old crap. In this sense it is a very solid construction.
As straight-up entertainment however,its hit and miss. The “horror” sequences where the young adults visit the titular cabin are juxtaposed with some laboratory scenes which star Bradley Whitford (from my favourite TV series The West Wing) and Richard Jenkins. These scenes are downright hilarious and a great sense of fun.
The cabin stuff on the other hand is sort of a victim of the movie’s own goals. For one, the characters are hard to latch onto, since they are so stereotypical. However, they’re supposed to be stereotypical, but its still tough to reconcile. As well, once the “big bad” turns out to be zombies, I groaned since there really is nothing more unoriginal than zombies in horror films. But again, that’s the point. Its speaking to mainstream audience’s inexplicable desire for more things zombie, no matter how bland and overdone they are.
I’m not going to declare this one of the best films of the year. I can’t, since I just never completely went for the ride. But I certainly won’t be admonishing anyone else for declaring one of the best, since I did find it to be a very interesting meta-study of both the horror genre and the film industry in general.