Saturday, October 31, 2015

The Cabin in the Woods Review

I have encountered a fair amount of discussion regarding what genre The Cabin in the Woods files under. Is it a horror film for obvious reasons? Is it a comedy, as the scares and the gore are framed inside a comical deconstruction of the cliches of horror, so the self-awareness of the picture is meant to elicit more laughs than jumps? Do the science fiction elements outweigh them all?

When I come across these discussions and/or debate, I always wonder the same thing: who gives a shit?

It isn't that I don't care about the film. Quite the opposite actually. The Cabin in the Woods resides comfortably in my Blu-ray collection and I knew I had to bust it out when the clock flipped the calendar from October 30th to 31st. It's such a god damn great film, and that's why I can't comprehend the genre debate and using such information as a means to slight the picture. "It isn't really a horror film, it's comedy." is said in a tone meant to degrade the achievements of Drew Goddard and Joss Whendon. The ironic thing is, the fact that such a conversation can happen in the first place is the biggest compliment you could give the filmmakers. 

See, for me it is a truly terrifying horror film and a laugh out loud ultra clever comedy with a delicious twist of science fiction, and when this concoction is blended together the end result is fucking delicious. The most challenging thing isn't merely including all of these elements, it's finding such a wonderful balance that makes me want to buy everything the film is trying to sell me. I shouldn't get freaked out because the goal of The Cabin in the Woods is to mock the predictability and staleness of the horror genre, and yet it happens, even during a revisit. I shouldn't laugh so much during a movie that is so horrifying and gruesome and yet here I am, chuckling away at the reactions of two men (Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford) as the pretty blond girl Jules (Anna Hutchison) removes her shirt, or the scenes when they flat out discuss the tired tropes that are so obviously about to happen, and we know they will because we have seen horror films before. Yet when they do happen, the smile washes away and there I am again, invested in the fates of these young people trying to survive everything that is thrown at them. 

Horror? Comedy? Sci-fi? 

Yes please. I will have them all.

I wouldn't have it any other way.


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