The Cabin in the Woods

You’ve probably heard by now that Cabin in the Woods isn’t your typical horror movie. Sure it’s got all the elements of one of horror’s most graphic subgenres (the slasher–teens on a weekend getaway, an isolated location, booze o’plenty and a crazy local), it also throws a heavy dose of what you don’t normally expect to see in a movie of this ilk: a good story.

The movie opens with two middle-aged normal looking fellas working inside some sort of bunker. People are all around going about what appears to be business as usual. Nothing seems out of the ordinary or untoward. The two men are exchanging witty banter with one another and playfully poking fun at a female colleague with quips about how the chemistry department always seems to muck things up. Their nonchalant behaviour and talk piques your curiosity. What are they doing? Where are they? Lurking suspicion that something’s not quite right is confirmed as the title pops onto the screen with a blast of ominous music.

The Cabin in the Woods centres on a group of five college friends heading out of town for the weekend. Although, each member of the group doesn’t start out as such, they soon come to represent an archetype of sorts: the jock, the brain, the slut, the stoner and the virgin. The depiction of how they become like this adds an interesting twist on why people always do the dumbest things in horror movies.

While I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s genre defying, it sure is clever. Humour figures predominantly into the movie, but at no time is it ham handed. It all fits in some weird sort of unconventional way. And most intriguing is the idea at the heart of the movie that all of what’s going on is part of a much larger conspiracy. “I almost found myself rooting for her, ” said one character as another is being bludgeoned to death. The movie depicts callous inhumanity juxtaposed with a greater purpose, but I can’t give that away. Suffice to say, in the age-old tradition of many cultures across this big blue planet, the end justifies the means.

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