Day 22 of 31
Director: Drew Goddard.
Starring: Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Anna Hutchinson, Fran Kranz, Jesse Williams, Richard Jenkins . USA. 1h 35m.
This might be the tamest horror on the list! But I can’t not include this comedic gorefest as it’s just literally so much fun, It’s a bit overkill calling it a comedy, yes it does have a few laughs but retains a sense of fascination as it’s a pretty new storyline!
After a very bizarre introduction of a couple of shirts acting out a scene from the Office in an underground secret bunker that strangly mimics the intro to Funny Games (1997). The film then lays on a heavy layer of stereotypical American horror, a group of teens are about to pack up and head off to a Cabin in the woods (yes there is actually a cabin in the woods in Cabin in the woods!? go figure), we have the sensitive girl, the popular girl, the jock/stud and a dope fiend. At this point I was about to write the film off but the magic is just about to work. While switching between the hectic underground clinical base and the teen antics in the cabin the narrative slowly becomes clear.. this is no normal horror movie and these teens are in more danger than they ever could imagine. and so is the rest of mankind.
The brilliance of the film is to parody horror films in general without falling into the comedy traps of such nonsense as Scary Movie (2000), the teens are slowly manipulated to become a sacrifice to the Old Gods which is definitely something different than your average cabin horror film and probably the reason why this film was such a success oh and THAT scene.. but I’ll come to that in a minute. Basically in the cabin things start to get a little weird, people start acting strange, suddenly through the use of chemicals that are released by the controllers (in the bunker) the moods are altered, the group head down to the basement where they find a curiosity shop of items, unknown to them, the item they “choose” will determine what nightmarish creature(s) will come after them!! They chose and old diary and the monsters are despatched, but these kids fight back and uncover an ancient conspiracy and manage to unleash a host of awesome monsters.
One of the principal elements of this comedy laced horror is that it laughs at itself, it rips the horror genre apart and offers something new and refreshing. We all know that people have to make bad decisions for a horror plot to work but we get to see a bunch of “normal” kids who would have made the same choices as us until they are gassed into behaving in goofy Scooby Do ways.
Around the time that they start working out they are being used as live bait they also managed to break loose from the cabin and into the bunker while they battle a pantheon of monsters and the secret society that are sacrificing them which leads up an amazing scene where all the monsters get set free.. I don’t wanna give it away but gifs/clips of this litter the internet. Sigourney Weaver turns up and things become even more complicated if weren’t already.
It’s interesting to see a horror movie depict all the errors in horror movie plots, after all you generally only get a decent film is people keep making terrible choices. Once it’s been realised that this films narrative is about something other than a slasher in the woods, we soon discover two realistic characters who are superbly portrayed but Connolly and Franz. At time they reminds me of Jack Lemmon and Sandy Dennis from the Out of Towners (1970), they have such a strong bond while going through some really unbelievable harsh shit but they soldier on.
Filled with brilliant ideas and a solid freethinking plot this fun filled terror doesn’t give up but does change flavours throughout, this is a stunning film for horror geeks, who can really understand and appreciate the mechanics of the genre and cliches, and on the whole it’s just so much fun.
R – Evil Dead (1981), Cabin Fever (2002), Catch Hell (2014), Honeymoon (2014).
L – Cabin Films. a-z of modern horror films.
A – Why do cabins freak us out so much?
5S – Chris Hemsworth