I can’t help but look at horror movies and laugh. It might have something to do with my favorite contribution to horror with the Evil Dead series. It might also be that the genre is so stale with the same old tales or torture porn that I’m just not that interested in it. When I first heard that Joss Whedon was working on “a kids in a cabin in the woods horror film,” I rolled my eyes. The man has given us some great television shows and films, but this is just a cliché done to hell and back. After watching the trailer though, I have to say there is a small glimmer of hope.
As with seemingly all horror movies, Cabin in the Woods starts off with a group of friends going on a trip to places unknown. We know they rented an RV, for some reason they need a dirt bike, and eventually they’ll need to stop for gas. Once they start going, the location is said to be a location that is so far off the grid that, “[…] it doesn’t even show up on the GPS. It is unworthy of global positioning.” Seriously, I cannot make this up. That is an actually like that is spoken while driving to their destination.
When the group does stop for gas, they try to pump at a place that looks like it was half torn down by a bulldozer and been forgotten by time. The group tries to find someone to help them pump gas, but no one seems to be around. That is until an old creepy guy tells them that they are closed. GPS can’t find the location they are headed to, so they ask the creepy attendant if he knows they route to some random road in the mountains. He was more than happy to oblige in telling them that he could get them there, but they’d be on their own getting back. It was no big problem for him to send this honest looking group of kids to their death…I mean destination.
Eventually they arrive safe and sound to a cabin- in the woods. I think I’ve seen this movie before. Let’s see, I recall a book. It was called necktie. Nectar. Nickel. Noodle. It’s an ‘N’ word, definitely an ‘N’ word. Oh yeah, Necronomicon. This isn’t that terrible planned remake, so I know it can’t be Evil Dead. I don’t have a sudden craving for flesh and pancakes, so this can’t be Eli Roth’s Cabin Fever either. I can’t shake the familiar feeling to it though. Strange.
Odd, what’s this bird doing? Oh sh…
From here the group parties like it is the last day on Earth. Everyone goes swimming. Music and dancing are going on in the middle of the night. Thor taps the keg and proclaims its party time. A blonde chick dances on the fireplace and tries to make out with a stuffed wolf. You know, the normal things college students do when they go out into the woods. It is like they didn’t have a care in the world. Not even the ones that go out into the creepy woods for sex.
Below the surface sits something more sinister than this drunken group knows. A control center of torture and hell sits off site to subject Thor and his buddies to a new experience of horror. Maybe they are on an island and everything is recording from Station 5? No? Isn’t that where the smoke monster came from?
What’s this? They’ve been filming you the entire time? Don’t look into the camera, they might send someone to…
All because someone went and had sex in the woods everything turns to hell afterwards. The blood, monsters, traps and eerie science fiction elements come into play. The world around them begins to change as the unknown group starts to show their presence by throwing creatures at the unsuspecting youth. A switch is flipped and an almost reality show element turns on. What should they do? Should they run? Should they hide? Should they fight back? Nah, they’ll just stand around in the center of a room and panic.
Wrapping it all up this seems to be heading in the direction more of a thriller than a horror movie. I think it works for it though. With the same tired horror ideas washing up, I think that thrillers have really filled the gap with intelligent, yet gruesome films. That way they make you think about how terrible it was after you watched it. Do I think this will end up being another cult classic like Evil Dead? No, but with the twist it presents, the trap scenario, and even the gadgetry makes me think it is worth a shot. For all the crap I’ve given it, there still seems to be a glimmer of promise to Cabin in the Woods.
Still not interested? Check out the trailer below.