How do I even begin to explain why I loved Cabin in the Woods?
After watching Triangle in class, which pretty much shook up my whole notion of the horror film and the genre, suddenly I came face to face with a film that did not take the genre too seriously. As a matter of fact, it played around with the most recognized elements of the horror genre and made fun of them by coming up with wild explanations as to why they have been existing. It was a funny and very interesting approach to dissecting contemporary popular horror films.
Cabin in the Woods, as the name suggests, takes off when a group of teenagers (how typical) go on a trip to, where else, a cabin in the middle of the woods. Two of the most overused elements of today’s teenage slasher/ghost/zombie flicks – a place totally cut off from the rest of the world, and a group of teenagers, each with their own specific, cookie cutter personality make up this film. And when the characters moved away from those personalities, even for a second, the film found ways to reel them back in and peg them as something that they should be in order for the whole thing to work and come together. It’s sort of meta in a way, because the sinister plot that lies underneath the character’s feet is that there is a group of people taking control of their fate because every so often a ritual has to be performed as a means of appeasing gods that are apparently in control of the fate of humanity. But at the same time, in order for the film to work, these characters had to be turned into the typical horror movie character.
They comprised of the jock, the blonde, the scholar, the stoner or the joker, and the virgin. Of course, the virgin dies last, or doesn’t even have to die.It is an homage to the “final girl” trope commonly found in many horror films – the final girl is usually the last man standing from the group of people the monster is terrorizing, and for some reason this girl is more often than not the kind of girl who starts off as the goody-two-shoes, the one who isn’t as sexual as the others. I think it’s important to note that the final girl trope is able to set up the whole notion of sex as something punishable, therefore killing off the more sexual characters and leaving the least sexual one alive.
Aside from this, Cabin in the Woods also plays with a lot of other common horror movie tropes and cliches. It also showed how big the horror genre is, and how many different kinds of horror films there are. However, most of them still all have a commonality.
Lastly, one thing i would like to point out in Cabin in the Woods is how it showed that despite being chock-full of evil creatures and monsters, the humans also had a hand in everything. We can even say that at one point, the humans were the monsters, agreeing to perform the ritual of sacrificing other people in order to keep balance. Although it was a matter of saving a number of people, or saving the entire human population, I believe that it was still rather evil, or at least a little messed up for the humans to agree to keep this up. I guess it’s a reflection of what humans can become, when driven o the point of helplessness.