Before watching the movie in class, I have already seen the trailer on youtube so I knew something interesting was going to happen. It showed college teens (including Thor) getting chased by killers and I was intrigued by the seemingly sci-fi elements that were present (an eagle hitting the invisible force-field, the secret lab facility with white-collar employees, etc.) This had me wondering what this film would really be about. Sadly, I never had the chance to watch it in the theaters. So when I learned that we were going to watch this film in class, it got me quite excited.
One of the film’s primary strengths was that it had deconstructed the whole idea of the teen slasher horror genre. A lot of times when we watch these types of movies, the audience can find themselves shaking their heads and questioning why certain characters do this or act in such a stupid manner that would only put them in greater danger. (i.e. Why would they split up, only to be killed one by one? and Why are they so horny?). In Cabin in the woods, the premise is that whole ordeal experienced by the college kids is merely part of an annual event controlled and facilitated by a specific group of people. These people are tasked with appeasing the ”Gods” along with several others from around the world to prevent the end of the world. Through an underground facility, they have access to various nightmarish creatures and monsters, high referencing them from different horror films. The teens are manipulated into choosing the monster. An atmosphere is created using hormone-inducing chemicals is spread into the air, and bam! There we have it, horny college teens fueled with weak-decision making.
It is both satirical and referential, to past films and tropes used all throughout the years by horror filmmakers. I especially appreciated the elevator sceneIt even pokes fun at the often pointlessness of the convention. I remember the girl’s make-out scene with the stuffed wolf where everyone in class was cringing at the thought of the wolf coming to life and biting her lip off. Whedon knows when to toy with us; he slowly builds up tension and lingers but only fooling the audience when nothing really happens. That’s when we realize the pointlessness of it all.
The film through its approach to horror and self-satire incorporated notable elements of horror and comedy in the process. Although it was a bit downplayed as compared to “Tucker and Dale vs. Evil”. The two white-collar guys provided quality comedic minutes on the screen. (“Tequila is my LADYEEHH!!” and F-bomb on the Japanese girls for beating a Sadako-like creature).
All in all, it is a very enjoyable movie. Though some horror fans would criticize the lack of scares especially approaching the climax of the movie, the film’s own attempt at poking fun at itself and horror genre while offering us a question ourselves as horror fans: With the sacrifice and murders of the scantily –clad college kids, are we the same Gods to be appeased?