I don’t think I’ve mentioned my love for all things Joss Whedon before. I blame my sister who made me watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer one Thanksgiving weekend. Or my husband and best friend Kim, for making me watch Firefly (which is, in my family’s opinion, Joss’s magnum opus). However it came about, I have now absorbed all that is Joss: Buffy, Angel, Firefly, Dollhouse and now, Cabin in the Woods.
Fair warning: While I’m going to try very hard NOT to spoil the movie, this is probably best read after you’ve seen it.
I don’t typically do horror movies. I love thrillers, but I’m not a huge fan of blood and guts. 28 Days Later and Final Destination are about as gory as I can handle. However, when Cabin in the Woods came out and my sister encouraged me to watch it, I dragged a friend along and went to see it. After all, can I really call myself a Joss fan if I don’t?
On first glance it was your typical scary movie with a bunch of young adult idiots who think it’s a good idea to go off in the woods for a weekend away from everyone, including cell phone service. There’s something different about this one, though. In addition to meeting the 5 young characters, you also meet a couple of middle-aged men in what appears to be a government-type operation. The two aren’t connected, however, so when the attention is turned back to the group of 5, you don’t think much about it.
So there they are, on their way to the isolated cabin. They stop for gas at the creepy place that’s closed and abandoned, the last gas station for miles. They run into a creepy man who freaks them out, before continuing on their way. The cabin in furnished like a typical old cabin, and they all take a swim in the pond. Nothing out of the ordinary from your usual slasher of this genre. Night falls, they’re all drinking, you know. One girl reads some creepy Latin from a journal, and zombies rise from the dead. The usual. Then things get weird.
You realize that the men from the beginning are part of a large…company? Corporation? I’m not even sure what to call it, that are controlling elements of the cabin and their experiences.
As the death toll rises, more information comes out as to why these people are controlling things, and I’ll give you a hint. It’s not for their own amusement.
I have to say, my favorite scene wasn’t until the end, when you realize exactly what’s up. When your mind is blown, because Joss has turned everything you know about horror movies and slashers upside down.
As for the blood and gore that I was so worried about? It’s gross, yeah. There’s some parts that make you jump, but mostly it’s the whole premise that is scariest. Scary, and mind blowing. It’s both satyrical and sophisticated. It’s a movie that you won’t appreciate if you like hollow slashers like House of Wax. But if you can see beyond that, if you want something more, this is the movie for you.
Joss Whedon has done it again, and the man is just under appreciated in his own time.