Cabin In The Woods was a great film— cliche aside. I don’t think I’ve ever seen any other horror film like it, which is really what separates it from all the others I have been able to watch. At first it reminded me of Friday The 13th with the group of friends roadtripping to a cabin in the woods (hehe) which is deemed to be dangerous, according the odd man they bump into at the abandoned gas station. The story also has a classic set of characters: the horny couple, the shy girl, the shy boy, and the random free-spirited fool. What was interesting was that the first half of the movie seemed all too predictable, which made a horror fan like myself wonder why our professor would choose to show it to us– the sudden scary noise just as the party was getting wild and the eerie sounds as they were in the basement. The switch of scenes between the cabin setting and the office was what gave the twist during the whole duration of the movie at first when we didn’t understand what was going on. During the big reveal, it wasn’t anymore about the zombies that were controlling the horror aspect of the film, but rather the unnerving panic that the characters are filled with as they try to think and act fast in order to survive. No one in this world enjoys the stress that comes form panicking. From the film, we ourselves are moved to panic with the characters as they run, jump, scream and fight the monsters. As our physical bodies get tired from our hearts racing, our minds are also being tired out as we figure out all the nooks and crannies of the story. It’s a good twist, for this horror fan. What also makes it interesting is the ethical dilemma that comes about in the end as Dana points the gun at Marty in order to save humanity. Such a decision gets the audience thinking as the walk out the dark room— “what would i have done in that situation?” It’s a scary thought because it may be easy to give a straight-out answer now, but it’s different when caught in the actual situation. People comment saying they don’t approve of the comedic sections in the film because it takes away the horrifying atmosphere, which is something I beg to differ. In my opinion, it is the perfect move to take when inserting scenes that will make people laugh and relax because it is in that relaxed moment when they can be caught in their most vulnerable state. They think they can take a breather from all the screaming but it is simply a tactic to immediately surprise them with something that will make them jump of their seats like as if ice were dropped at the back of their shirts.
So what is the lesson we take from this film, aside from the underlying message of Marijuana being the savior in all things horror? From this film, like most horror films, it is to know how to think and rationalize fast. It’s not just about running away from what scares you the most because of the ethical decisions you might just have to make.
If horror is an emotion, then what I experienced here was one whirlwind of that, which I enjoyed very much.