The Cabin in the Woods Explains Why We Have Horror

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*Warning!! This review will contain spoilers or information that will hint at the ending!! Stop reading if you don’t want to know how the movie ends!

Five friends go for a break at a remote cabin in the woods, where they get more than they bargained for. Together, they must discover the truth behind the cabin in the woods. (synopsis from www.imdb.com)

How does a typical horror/slasher movies start? You usually have some teens doing drugs or having premarital sex which are the epitome of slasher bait. This has been the formula for approximately the last 20 to 30 years of horror, and almost all horror movies follow this trend to different degrees.

The Cabin in the Woods did not follow this trend. I loved that this movie broke away from the typical “kids go camping and meet horrendous death” cliches and struck out in a different, whimsical direction. The movie starts out following two lab techs driving a little cart in some scientific complex, and we are just following their inane conversation. It was the funniest way to start out a horror movie.

Introducing our protagonists: We have the woman of questionable virtue, the jock (it’s very fitting that they cast Chris Hemsworth – Thor as the jock), the brain, the stoner, and the virgin (kind of, it’s explained later in the movie). Once again, it looks like we are going to be forced to the same tired old trend. Two couples plus the fifth wheel who also is carrying a brown grocery bag full of weed.  Here come the cliches…but wait, the scientists in the lab are controlling this and are actually explaining things. They explain that they have added chemicals to the one girl’s hair dye to make her less thoughtfull. They are releasing gases that cause increased sex drive, fear, and questionable decisions.

The friends eventually find their way into the basement of the creepy old cabin that they are partying in and find a treasure trove of strange objects. One of which is a almost a knock-off of Pinhead’s Lemarchand Box, but it looked more like an egg. All of the the friends find themselves drawn to certain pieces. These items actually dictate how the rest of the movie continues and what kind of horrors will confront our 5 friends.

Redneck pain loving zombies.

 Horror and all of the creatures that make us shiver in fear are part of the sacrifice to the elder gods who will destroy all humanity if this ritual is not completed. It is not enough for people to be killed; there is a set formula that must be followed to appease these dark gods’ desires.

I don’t want to really get into much more of the plot or story than what I have already given away. Why? I really think that anyone who enjoys horror should give this movie a chance. Joss Whedon gives the viewers a violently fun, entertaining movie that explains the why and how to the stupid decisions people always make in horror movies.

Add to that the monster references that are contained towards the end of the film. You see monsters that are inspired by such movies as The Evil Dead, Night of the Living Dead, The Wolf Man, It, The Strangers, The Graveyard Shift, Hellraiser, Army of the Dead, Creature of the Black Lagoon, and so many more. These creatures add to the fun and violence of the movie.

While some scenes of the movie were a little too dark, overall the filming was great. Amazing kill shots and great focus during jump scare scenes. The special effects for the zombies and redneck pain loving zombies was done very well. The zombies looked gross and mushy, like somethings that really were buried in the soil to rot.

Give this movie a shot.  It’s fun, it’s gory, and (I’m ashamed to admit this) it made me  jump more than a couple of times.  If you are looking for a fun, gory, and entertaining film that is off the beaten path when it comes to horror, you really need to see The Cabin in the Woods.

See the trailer here:

 

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