Cabin In The Woods

My headspace has been awful this week, and today in particular. So today I decided to head to the old multiplex and immerse myself in someone else’s story for a bit. Movies are good for that for me. It doesn’t last, but for 90 to 150 minutes I am totally not thinking about my own problems.

Anywho, Cabin In The Woods has been called in various places a meta-horror movie. The Slut, The Jock, The Scholar, The Idiot and The Virgin all head to a cabin in the woods for a weekend of shenanigans. They all have names, but so much do they fit the cliche that I’ve totally forgotten them already. But, as in all horror movies, things start trying to kill them one by one. The twist in this case (and it happens really early on, so I’m gonna spoil it) is that there is a control room of people orchestrating the horrors that befall the young coeds. Cameras. Remote controls. Etc. Like a reality show gone really wrong.

Does it succeed as a horror movie? I’m not really one to judge as I don’t watch a lot of them, but it wasn’t all that scary. I’m glad for that, as I don’t like to be scared. Because it follows the horror movie script for much of the time, you really know what’s going to happen. It certainly does something different in terms of plot after the first two thirds. So it gets some points for originality.

Does it succeed as meta-horror? I don’t think so. It sure points out how much horror falls into script. It seems rhetorically similar to if it had a character break the fourth wall and tell the audience that we’re gonna follow the horror movie script. It’s really not spoofing, as it’s done not so much to make fun of the horror script so much as to give everyone in the audience a knowing wink.

It most certainly doesn’t subvert the tropes at all. There’s one scene where typically the Slut bares her breasts. The control room people (male) hope for it, and then stare slack-jawed as if they never get the opportunity to see bare breasts. They are trying to orchestrate her death. I’m all for showing boobs in movies (even gratuitously), but that was uncomfortably creepy.

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