The golden age of horror: The Cabin in the Woods (2012)

Title The golden age of horror: The Cabin in the Woods (2012)
Author Chris Hornbostel and Barac Wiley
Posted in Features
When October 23, 2014

Chris: One of my favorite little throwaway scenes in Cabin in the Woods is one where a disembodied zombie appendage distracts a hired gunman long enough to allow our protagonists to render him senseless. No, that's not the part I'm talking about, not yet..

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"That's not a moose, Marty."

The opening credit scream over.


The white board list.

God, this movie requires at least 4 viewings.

The Mer-man payoff is one of the greatest bits ever.

I actually missed Whitford's brilliant line here at the theater due to the combination of laughing and screaming all around me.

I love this movie. My favorite whiteboard item is simply "Kevin."

I agree Jenkins was good, but Whitford stole the movie for me. The man's comic timing was impeccable in this film. I really hope he and Whedon work together again in some capacity.

Is it weird that I was disappointed that the end of the world wasn't from a Lovecraftian Elder God?

Who's to say that wasn't the hand of one? I definitely think it was Lovecraft influenced overall though.

Yea don't they call it an elder or "great old one"? I thought the nod to Lovecraft Mythos was pretty clear. Maybe I just look for that stuff everywhere.

I think I was disappointed because I was expecting a bunch of tentacles or the like.

"Ancient ones" ... that's what they said. Not all of them are tentacled.

Okay, I was on board for all the other horror movie choices, but not this one. It was only 2012 but it might be the most overrated horror movie of the decade. It's a satire of cliche horror tropes where 75% of it is cliche horror tropes.

Now you can say the same thing with Airplane!, but that movie constantly mixed the silly comedy into every scene. Cabin in the Woods kept the comedy entirely separate from the cliches. Here's the first two-thirds of the movie: totally straight cliche horror movie scene, quick cut to control room with the engineers cracking a joke. Take out the control room and you have a totally straight crappy horror movie. The whole thing was the just the laziest possible parody effort, like something that would come out of a community college writer's workshop assignment.

It got fun for the last 20 minutes, but too little too late.

Here's an odd sidenote: The engineer control room scenes were almost 100% ripped straight from the 2010 indie comedy Operation Endgame (Adam Scott, Zach Galifianakis, Jeffrey Tambor). It's such an exact copy, that I was certain that it must have been the same writers, but as far as I can tell there's no official connection between the two.

Did Operation Endgame's control room engineers party to REO Speedwagon? No? Point to Cabin in the Woods.

It was much closer to satire than it was a parody. It sounds like you went in hoping for Scary Movie V. I can see why that might disappoint you. Personally, I was glad it wasn't even close to such a thing.

I grant you there are a few scenes that are basically just stock horror movie. But the movie doesn't actually spend much time in those scenes (the most stock scene - after the camper hits the lake - is mostly background to control room stuff), and even if you pulled out the control room (which is, y'know, kind of integral to the premise and not so easily extracted), the characters are not stock horror movie characters, and the scenes mostly nod at those horror movie cliches without directly copying them. Furthermore, at least half the comedy comes from Marty, probably more so, and it's present pretty steadily through the majority of the movie. So, yeah, I don't agree.

"Tequila is my lady!"
That whole scene encapsulates why this movie is brilliant, and seemingly gets better each time you watch it.