Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Cabin In The Woods: 4 Macs

The Cabin in the Woods is a thrill ride for audiences and a puzzle to keep trying to out guess for true horror fans. We realise before we step into the theatre that this is not going to be the run of this mill teen horror flick, we already know that there are bigger things developing outside the cabin, but my guess is that the main assumption of all was that it was an experiment on these horny kids, either malicious or medical. However, we learn that this is not an experiment, but an extremely necessary sacrifice.

We are completely in Joss Whedon territory here. The creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (one of the top 5 television shows of all time) co writes and produces, and his influence is so evident with the blending of supernatural horror and sci-fi. Whedon also has a huge interest in the supernatural within a military format. This enhanced more as the Buffy series continued, army bases with confined demons, some released with chips in their heads. He has definitely created his own cult movement within popular culture, and could possibly be seen as more of an auteur if he made more movies.

We meet five college students in Cabin in the Woods: the slut, the jock, the intellectual stud, the joker, and the virgin (maybe not) a.k.a. final girl. So not only are we dealing with a supernatural sci-fi, but also the set up for a slasher flick. Whedon and director Drew Goddard tangle up all these elements to create yet another homage to horror, but with an original premise. These kids aren't as hip or savvy as the Scream characters, they are not as cool or uncool as them either. They don't list off killers or gory death scenes from past films. These are the kind of losers the "scream team" would mock. They are genuinely in the moment and it is the strings that are been pulled from behind the screen where true horror fanatics belong, joking and placing bets.

And this movie does have its comedy, which is very funny. It is delivered by Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford, who have the nasty business of offing these innocents, or place them in hairy situations and let them choose their own destiny. They both have become so numb to the process that they make jokes and bet just so they can cope with their harrowing job. And this is where the unsuspected comes into play. It is their job, not a sadistic hobby, but a duty that is so intrinsic to our very existence that I am not going to reveal it in this review.

Another great factor about this film is the enhanced gore that would not be allowed on Buffy. Whedon has the freedom to unleash his Tom Savini side. The last 15 to 20 minutes is a blood drenched action movie, with an image similar to Stanley Kubrick's bloody elevator scene in The Shining. What occurs between then and when the horror begins lays the film's true originality.

It has been argued if this is a homage or criticism of horror movies and their conventions. It very may well be, but we must remember that Joss Whedon does not fall into the same category as Craven, Carpenter, Landis or Hooper. He is not a slasher icon, and has never followed the conventions that are so great about those directors movies. It is an unwritten rule and exercise that slasher directors must follow. Punish the whores, let the virgin survive, must have this camera angle here or I want this to make the audience to jump there. There is a certain respected process among that community. Whedon is not a slasher director, he is a supernatural visionary, so he can criticise the conventions if he wants. He is wrong, but he is in an entirely different genre and generation to me. Great filmmakers have gone against the grain before; Stanley Kubrick, William Friedkin. Brian De Palma criticised both of these men because they broke conventions. They did, but they still made great movies and so has Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard.

No comments:

Post a Comment