Horror Film 2: Cabin in the Woods of Doom

Cabin in the Woods is a great film which draws its charm from the traditional formula of Modern Horror films, specifically those featuring teenagers. We have the formula which thrives on the actions of the teens that are under the influence of bad vices such as sex, drugs, etc, while we have a hero that is pure and innocent. The horror begins as the group is stalked by and slain by a menacing figure which seems to strategically target those who are of ill repute whilst our hero being of chastise nature thwart the efforts and solves the mystery behind the identity or being of the monster. This film plays on this formula which tickles our nostalgia while submerging us in a fantastical horror.
The film opens with an industry setting that seems to be preparing for the execution of a really big project and shows three characters that seem to have done this operation many times over. Then the title appears in a cheap scare manner after which brings us to a group of teens preparing for a big weekend getaway for some fun and excitement in a cabin in the woods. While they were leaving on their van, the movie pans to a guy with earphones and a microphone standing on a roof telling the industry guys that the targets have left. These first scenes of the movie had me set up for some serious government conspiracy stuff since I initially thought it would be some experimental monster operation to be tested on some hapless teenagers in some unknown location. And as every horror movie goes, crazy stuff will be bound to happen on the trip or the destination. We get our initial scares as the group stops for gas at some shady looking gas station that looks run down. One of the guys poke around the shack and spots some cloth hanging dry that looks similar to skin which prompts him to run out of the shack. In the spur of the moment, pop goes the redneck owner of the shack. The redneck then proceeds to scare the nuts out of the cast by verbally abusing them. By this time, I thought, “this guy’s gonna gut them real good”(which then turns out that he’s not gonna lay a finger on them). Then we have our gang arriving on the cabin and unloading there luggage inside. Some are spooked, while the others are thrilled by its rustic atmosphere. As night falls and they start to party like there’s not tommorrow(how sad), our industry guys get their own party started as they literally open the movie’s plot device, the cellar door. Inside the cellar are pretty mundane items which could be quite spooky if you don’t own the house. Our heroine picks up a diary which pulls everyone’s attention. She reads some latin writings and we are treated to a scene of rising corpses and rejoicing maintenance people. This is where the movie gets really interesting. As the industry men manipulate the environment, the rambling corpses slowly gang up on our cast. Cutting off their numbers little by little. We then treated with every formula for a classic teen killing spree. Things go from bad to worst as the remaining discover that there are greater horrors than the monsters roaming the cabin. They descend down to the industry men’s labs and see a variety of other monsters that can be unleashed depending on what they have done in the cabin cellar. Events escalate as the teens avoid apprehension and unleash the monsters on the industry men creating chaos and havoc in the labs. Seeing the monsters gave me a sense of thrill as I recognized some of them being references to other films or straight out from the different films. As things go haywire, the two remaining teens discover that they are part of a ritual that uses five teens as a sacrifice to prevent greater evils from rising. They then decide to keep each other alive rather than kill the other off for the sake of the world. They justified their actions believing if the price for the world to be kept from the greater evils is the continous sacrifice of lives than it might be better off to end the world for a change.
In my opinion, the movie picked up its strengths from the familiarity of its audience to previous horror films. The teen horror formula concept really works well if people have watched enough horror films and notice it being used as a plot element. The film made ample amounts of references to other films which i found very charming and interesting. Its use of wit and comedy is used as a very deadly weapon, as it works it ways disarming the viewer. The mix of comedy and horror works very well in this film because of moments that tend to give us a slight feeling of refuge then horror bursts through the gates and hits you in the guts. Overall, the did great by playfully making use of the traditional horror formula featuring teens and gives a reason why it keeps recurring in almost all movies in the past. The only downside for me in the movie is the ending because I rooted for an ending in which things go back where the cabin in the woods, still is, that sacrificial grounds for more teens to haplessly get mutilated.


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