Saturday, May 12, 2012

135) Cabin in the Woods (2012)

135) Cabin in the Woods (2012) Dir: Drew Goddard Date Released: April 13, 2012 Date Seen: May 1, 2012 Rating: 3.25/5

I maintain that this slight but fun movie is not a serious critique of the horror genre and should not be treated as such. As I've argued arduously with a number of friends, the film soft-shoes its commentary on the generic tropes we've come to associate with horror movies. The Great White Board that everyone and their mother's seen by now mashes up all sorts of monsters for the sake of conflating a number of subtlely different subgenres into one great big formula-based narrative. Once the story goes off the rails and the characters start to buck against what we know is an unnatural form of meta-Body Snatching (ie: characters go against their character as we understand it for the sake of becoming more like token, stock types), the film really reveals its real raison d'etre: GIANT MONSTER MASH, RRR. We can blamelessly cheer on the death of all these monsters and the faceless soldiers that try to restore order at the end of Cabin in the Woods. It's only the protagonists' deaths that matter. Riiiiight.

Cabin in the Woods' blackly comic ending says a lot about how serious Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon are about implicating their film's viewers (I strongly disagree with the interpretation that the Gods are the viewers' surrogates; sorry, kids, but that's just a Lovecraft homage, nothing Haneke-y about it). A giant Monty Python-style demon hand squashes the world as we know it and all because a couple of survivors (Final People?). And it's a big relief when it finally happens. It's not a tragic ending, it's a bleakly funny one, as is evinced by how goofy-looking the hand that stomps the world out of existence looks. Don't cry for these cyphers, they were never that important anyway...

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