The Cabin in the Woods

Let’s be honest with each other for a moment.

I am an incredible pansy.

In fourth grade, for Halloween, my class watched a goosebumps movie (yes it was the creepy mask one) and I had nightmares for a month afterward.  I refused to even touch masks for a long time because I was just worried enough that they would suction themselves to my face and I would turn into a scary demon thing FOREVER.

The summer after I finished fifth grade I went to the Minnesota State Fair with my friend and her family.  Their family always went to the haunted house there, so they asked if I wanted to join.  I was scared, but I went in anyways because I didn’t want to be chicken.  I was a growed up fifth grader, goshdarnit.   Of course, my bravery lasted for mere moments upon entering.  After a minute of frozen, stone cold terror I broke into tears and sobbed my way through the rest of it.  Growed up fifth grader, indeed.

There are a couple exceptions to my otherwise pathetic horror tolerance.  I loved the first Hellraiser movie, liked the Exorcism of Emily Rose, did not suffer too badly when I watched Paranormal Activities and thought that the Orphan was effing stupid.  And I read horror frequently.

And now there we have found yet another exception to my “Zomg, horror!  Somebody save meee!” mentality.

The Cabin in the Woods:

Which isn’t entirely surprising because Joss Whedon is one of the writers and Fran Kranz and Amy Acker are both in it.


The Cabin in the Woods is a parody of horror movies in a critical and salutary way.  Even while mocking the redundant, cookie cutter format that has overtaken the horror movie genre, The Cabin in the Woods tips its metaphorical hat to underground and mainstream horror.  (Yes, that paragraph was weirdly pretentious sounding.  I’m reading House of Leaves right now…leave me alone.)

The Cabin in the Woods is the perfect balance of everything I love about Joss Whedon and everything that my uninformed self assumes a horror movies are.  Also, it gives explains the stereotyped plot and character points of modern horror movies.

Even better, it’s just straight up funny.  From the moment the title card hits the screen to the last second before the credits start to roll there is always something to laugh about.  And, typical to Whedon style (I’m sorry Drew Goddard, I know you are the director and other half of the writing team, but I haven’t seen your other stuff.  You seemed really cool at the advance screening.  :D), the jokes are mixed perfectly into a story that is just as scary as it should be, just as self-aware as is still fun, and a whole new level of supernatural.

Aaaand I don’t know what else to say.  I have deleted at least four starts to paragraphs because everything that I want to say contains a tiny, nestling piece of a spoiler that probably you wouldn’t catch until after seeing the movie…and even though I don’t think spoilers actually spoil movies… this one is the kind that you want to go in without knowing anything the first time.

That said, even though I got to see an advance screening a week ago, I will be there on opening night.


Edit (4/15/12, 9:30 am)

Quite a few people have found their way to my blog in the last few days with the search terms “house of leaves” combined with “cabin in the woods”.  Although I definitely mentioned the two of them together in this entry I was not comparing them, which I realize can be frustrating for the desperate web-searcher who just wants to know if one of their favorite things is like something new and exciting.

It’s not.  (But both are awesome!)

The following may contain a couple spoilers.  They’ll be vague but still spoily.

The house in House of Leaves has all of those strange morphing qualities.  The house itself is supernatural and it is essentially a self-sustained living thing, even if it is also reflective of the mental state of the people who inhabit it.

The cabin in The Cabin in the Woods is completely different.  The cabin is old and creepy, but definitely always stays the same size.  Everything about the cabin and the horror that rules it is fully and marvelously explainable.  And it explains more than just itself.

Aaaand for you, person who searched Cabin in the Woods with Hellraiser, The Cabin in the Woods winks at Hellraiser, but otherwise they have nothing in common.



9 Responses to The Cabin in the Woods

  1. Vividhunter says:

    Sounds cool. But then you can trust something Joss Whedon has made to be funny. I’m a weird one with horror too. I watched the Excorcist and Scream (I know, kind of different ends of the horrorific spectrum…) from under a blanket, but somehow survived watching House of a Thousand Corpses without permanent scarring. I heard Cabin in the Woods was a bit of a homage to the Evil Dead movies?

    • tertiaryhep says:

      Yeah. I haven’t actually seen the Evil Dead movies, but the friend I went with told me that it is right in that same genre.

      Maybe I’ll have to watch those, too, based on how much I adored Cabin in the Woods. 😀

  2. lyricsninja says:

    house of leaves you say? mind-eff of a book.

      • lyricsninja says:

        i think i need to reread it. but its on the shelf waiting with another 100ish books. blehhhhh

        • tertiaryhep says:

          meh. not necessarily. it’s interesting, but so loooong. it might be one of those that i only read once. 😀

          • lyricsninja says:

            whe you are done and search a bit on the boards on the HoL site… its going to make you want to read it again since there is a metric ton of things youll miss.

          • tertiaryhep says:

            haha. we’ll see. right now i’m kind of tired of it. it drags a little bit at times, which other people have told me is the point? that you’re supposed to know what parts to skim? mlegh. maybe i’ll feel differently when i’m finished. it’s also probably not a good idea to try reading it at the end of my school’s semester when everything is stressful. 😛

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