I’m pretty sure I heard of Cabin in the Woods before, but it never appealed to me. The title made it sound like a typical, lame horror film. Many films nowadays simply follow a standard plot with typecast characters and the typical shock moments, but don’t offer anything really new to think about, but once the movie gets going, though, you realize that it is far from normal. I felt that in the same way Puella Magi Madoka Magica rethinks and makes you re-evaluate the Shoujo genre of anime, the Cabin in the Woods does the same with the horror genre. More than the action, the plot, or even the array of monsters, I find that the most interesting part of the movie is that it plays around with the stereotypical horror movie.
Cabin in the Woods has many aspects of the typical horror movie – a group of young people in an isolated area, a creepy location, a basement of creepy stuff, and a monster (or a group of monsters) intent on murdering the helpless group, who are forced to flee in terror, in the most painful and brutal way possible. Yet the story isn’t quite so mindless or the attack so random. Cabin in the Woods twisted the story in a way that the murders were only part of a bigger more insidious picture. This made the movie a lot more interesting and fun. Actually, the way the movie played out poked fun at how horror movies are nowadays.
Triangle and Cabin in the Woods have a completely different tone and vibes, but one striking similarity is that the actions of the characters were so severely limited that you could hardly call them free. In the Cabin in the Woods, the group of vacationing college students were manipulated, mainly through drugs it seemed, into playing their needed roles for the ritual. It felt completely unfair because (1) none of them were anything really like stereotypes the ritual sought to punish and (2) it’s such a cruel thing to want to kill and sacrifice people just because of their youth or anyone for that matter. I find that the freedom of even the staff controlling the scenarios was curtailed. They seem to make a game of the whole affair, but they are just trying to save themselves and the world. So, while to some degree I can agree with Marty that a society that sacrifices people isn’t right and should be changed, I couldn’t have made the decision that he made. True, a society that thrives on violence and killing needs to be changed completely, but I find that destroying everything and everyone isn’t quite the proper solution. I don’t know what he was thinking (maybe the weed got to him), but it was like he didn’t feel the actual gravity of the situation; he pretty much sacrificed everyone he knew and loved at that moment. I definitely couldn’t do that if that were me.
The last few moments of the film, where Marty and Dana sit and ponder the destruction of the world, really bothered me. They surrendered to fate and had calmly accepted their deaths, even though they struggled tooth and nail several minutes ago. Somehow, it felt like the destruction of the world was meant to feel inevitable. After all, it was not just the American ritual that failed but the two others as well. Although at first it seemed like fate seemed to be on the side of Marty and Dana as they found a way out of the lakeside cabin, in the end fate led them to their end.
Though it did not leave a heavy feeling, the ending was still very depressing in its own way.