We all have those movies that we wish we would have made time for during their theatrical run. Especially if the time spent while in theaters was brief. Those films that all your film geek acquaintances and buddies have seen and ball you out for not having done so, met with a lot of shrugs and eye rolls.
I’m the kind of guy that loves to catch the smaller, noteworthy films while I can in the theater, even more so, the horror films. So I hear all this fanfare about this movie that was held back for two years by the studio, it’s being toted as a revelation in horror, and if you love horror – this movie’s for you, it’s a love letter to the genre… yada yada yada. Naturally my interest is piqued.
I tried a couple of times to go and see the damn thing, but something always came up. I don’t know, maybe it was during the period I was getting my backiotomy, maybe I just didn’t really care too much. Time goes by, the movie leaves theaters and I’m left with regret. Listening to people rabble, rabble on about it.
Last October my buddy comes by, Cabin In The Woods has been released, he has the blu-ray. Okay, let’s watch this fucker…
Honestly, hand to god – I wanted to like this movie. Really, I gave it all I had. Granted, the premise starts off interesting enough. I’m not going to do a play by play of the plot, alright? I’m positive that enough of you have seen it. My main beef with this film, is this : it’s not a horror movie! It’s a self serving, “totes ironic”, overly self aware, jumbled mess that plays at being clever.
I found more of an honest homage to horror in Wes Craven’s Scream, and most of his films are crap. The whole idea of dissecting the tropes and trappings of horror is a nice concept. In Cabin, it felt pandering and crude. I don’t think it was handled with respect or care; I think it exploited the concept but not in the good “blood and tits” kind of way. It was lost in it’s own self serving doctrine. The atmosphere felt flashy and slick, playing almost like a science fiction video game for the XBOX, not at all appropriate for a horror film.
Speaking of self serving, Let’s address Joss Whedon. I’ve never been a fan of his. His writing is contrived, emasculating, and phony. I felt nothing for the characters of Cabin, except contempt. Hell, at times I felt like I was watching an episode of Buffy or Angel. See, that’s the thing, Cabin had too much of that “Joss Whedon” stamp. Every time one of the actors delivered a line of dialogue I half expected them to look at the camera dead-on and give a sarcastic, all knowing smirk. I swear, all his dialogue sounds like it was written for a prime time high school TV drama. I feel more of a rapport with any given cast member from a Friday The 13th movie. I wonder If Joss Whedon sits down while he pees?
I don’t know, maybe I’m behind the times. There are plenty of good films that executed a lot better what Cabin In The Woods attempted to do. I want my horror films to be horror films, you know? Give me the decrepit cemetery, the abandoned farm house, give me the Cabin, give me the woods, buts what’s wrong with just keeping it there? A lot of great horror stories were told with that one setting. I don’t need a hackneyed explanation about entertaining angry gods with sacrifices on pay-per-view and robbing horror films of their mystique. ya, dig?
If you really want to watch a film about the modus operandi of horror movies, and an honest and faithful love letter to the genre, while still being a horror movie- watch Behind The Mask : The Rise Of Leslie Vernon. I’ll do ya one even better, watch 1991’s There’s Nothing Out There. The director Rolfe Kanefsky, was only Twenty years old when he made it. The film is low rent, the acting is hilarious, and the special effects are pretty atrocious. What the film has going for it though is a lot of heart and it’s pretty goddamn entertaining. It did first what Cabin tried to do with a fraction of the budget, no name actors, and little to no production value.
In closing horror fans, are we so starved by the slender pickings of quality horror films as of late, that we will suck the proverbial cock of any film bearing a slight resemblance to what we have committed to our memories and misconstrue that as being good? Do me a favor and ponder that question, please.