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THE CABIN IN THE WOODS 
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Post Re: THE CABIN IN THE WOODS
Machiara wrote:
I am also not sure what all the secrecy is about. You figure out the "big reveal" about five minutes into the movie (if you pay attention to the credits and the initial interactions between the government employees). It's not like the enjoyment of the movie is in any way spoiled if you know why the government employees are doing what they do.

And if the trailers didn't make it look like a straight-forward horror flick, maybe they would have avoided a C Cinemascore. You know, I think it would have made more sense to just market the engineer part of the movie and leave the fact that of the mock-thriller-in-the-woods as the surprise. The marketing / buzz for this movie is like if Inception had been marketed without revealing that it was a thriller set in the mind. If you're worried that your movie will be robbed of something if you reveal in ads the premise established in the first 2 scenes, you might want to reconsider the remaining 70 minutes.


Mon Apr 16, 2012 2:58 pm
Post Re: THE CABIN IN THE WOODS
It's predictable a movie like this will draw criticisms; don't let that persuade you not to see it. For what it's worth, I think this is a solid 3/4 star movie, same as Real Steel was for me, it's entertaining and it gives a certain amount of satisfaction but there are a lot of things standing in its way to being an actually great movie. That said, it's a solid movie while you’re watching it and there's nothing wrong with that. My own problems with it:

[Reveal] Spoiler:
"Zombie redneck torture family" didn't torture...held back on the splatter a little too much, which became noticeable toward the last half. I think the full horror of all the nightmares being released was never completely realized. Maybe they were trying to avoid NC-17, I don't know how far the MPAA lets them push things like this.

Second, and more importantly, internally there were many problems; I doubted a system with such an impeccable record of destruction that was apparently monitoring anything would not notice Martie no.1 surviving, no.2 entering the hatch. And you'd expect there to be a launch key along with some kind of deeply encrypted software requiring a password given to the top of the top before allowing EVERYTHING BEING RELEASED INSIDE YOUR OWN FUCKING BUILDING. There could have been a scene where the executives call upstairs to disable the security in order to allow them to bring the survivors out of the cage. It would have set the movie up better for the finale. And there also should have been more than one guard at the door. I understand there was only one guy watching the elevators, but he could have waited and called for backup. Maybe the zombie could have regenerated slowly once inside the cage, and comes out from the corner to take out the guards or something.
The internal logic works if you see the whole movie as a nightmare slowly coming to life, but not really as an actual story.


That said, I didn't have many other problems with it.


Ken wrote:
How to make a clever horror movie in six easy steps:

[Reveal] Spoiler:
1. Recycle the worn-out plot structure of popular horror movies. It doesn't matter if they're bad. In fact, the worse, the better. Knowingly choosing bad material makes you smarter, hipper, and more ironic than the dumb bastards who sincerely pour their blood and sweat into crap like this.

2. Is your story rife with cliches? No problem! Simply nest it within another story about an organization that manipulates the circumstances of the story. Now that your movie is a conspiracy thriller, the same unappealing characters and unlikely coincidences that would normally disengage the viewer from the material have become signposts for how clever your movie is.

3. Is your conspiracy poorly explored and not leading in any clear direction? No problem! Just throw in some more cliches--maybe something about ancient legends and blood sacrifices--that are unrelated to either teen horror movies or conspiracy movies. It's the third act. Nobody thinks during the third act.

4. Are there just 10 minutes left in the running time and your movie still doesn't make any fucking sense? Shoehorn in a brand new character that nobody's ever seen prior to this scene and have him/her explain everything in a long-winded monologue that pays no attention to the time-sensitivity of the impending doom, nor the fact that said character could simply shoot the listeners since they're supposed to die anyway.

5. Are there just 5 minutes left in the running time and you just now remembered that characters are supposed to have developed personalities? It's not too late for a quick, fleeting moment of bonding between unlikely friends. Even better: a slow, excruciatingly boring moment of bonding that has absolutely no consequence to the ending and is far too late for anybody to care about anyway.

6. Did your movie turn out to be thoroughly silly, and not in the way that you intended? End on titles with a heavy metal song. This is your absolute last chance to convince people that your movie was badass, visceral, mean, and scary.


[Reveal] Spoiler:
1. I’m not sure why you would hold this against the movie; the point is that they are deconstructing the bad material, and I’m not sure how you could say they are recycling the plot structure since this movie’s plot (the actual plot) and execution are complete unlike any other horror movie, or even most movies period for that matter. Are there loads of other movies that share this movie's premise? Your final comments make it sound like you feel there’s some great recently made splatter movie you wish they had decided to deconstruct instead are doing a disservice to the people who made it by ignoring it. If there is, let me know, because I’d love to watch it.
2. The characters weren’t complicated, but again it’s a deconstruction of badly made material, and not character driven at all. One difference here is that the poor development is intentional and a result of manipulation. Their actual characteristics are knowingly obscured as they devolve into caricatures. I get the impression they were people but under the circumstances, I’m only seeing what the personalities emerge that the people behind the desk need to get the job done. And that’s all the movie needs to show to get its point across. I wouldn’t say the general lack of characterization was a result of negligence or even made them uninteresting. I also wouldn’t say I was detached from the material, and since it was not a character driven movie it did not hurt the movie or impede the enjoyment for me.
3. They’re not unrelated. The base premise behind the movie is that there are evil Gods which require a cultural related sacrifice to appease. Everything else was working backwards to this premise. This makes sense with many aspects of the genre in general. I remember reading an article about the social appeal of horror movies, and how one aspect of society that has vanished over time (the rites of passage and masochistic endeavors) has manifested itself through horror movies when young people subject themselves to fear or graphic material to impress friends and prove their maturity. Horror movies make sense as a modern take on fear and sacrifice based on cultural and social changes. And not to sound confrontational, but if it took you until the third act to realize Gods and sacrifices played some kind of crucial role in the overarching plot, frankly you must not have been paying attention.
4. She was clearly a representative from upstairs, probably the same person he was talking to on the phone all that time. It would have been better to have the second director/executive, whatever they are, come down with a gun to stop them instead of introducing a new character, but whatever. I think they wanted to give a face to the “upstairs” which I think was unnecessary but whatever. Also she was unarmed when she confronted them, 99% sure.
5. Disagree, I thought this moment was fine. I think you misinterpreted this part based on how you felt about the characters.
6. Heavy metal was fine. It was either referencing or plagiarizing “Funny Games” with its surprising opening and closing of heavy metal. As for the movie: badass: yes, visceral: yes, mean: not enough, scary: no (silly: yes, funny: yes, entertaining: hell yes.) Definitely didn't need any heavy metal for that.


I’ll agree with you on 4, but the rest of your criticisms seem completely out of place and more personal than objective. I think that based on many of the things you seem to be hung up on, this kind of movie just isn't your thing.


Last edited by Frogster on Tue Apr 17, 2012 3:11 am, edited 1 time in total.



Tue Apr 17, 2012 3:04 am
Post Re: THE CABIN IN THE WOODS
@ Machiara

We seem to be on the same page. But I seem to have enjoyed it slightly more than you have. What would you give it out of four?


Bones wrote:
Machiara wrote:
I am also not sure what all the secrecy is about. You figure out the "big reveal" about five minutes into the movie (if you pay attention to the credits and the initial interactions between the government employees). It's not like the enjoyment of the movie is in any way spoiled if you know why the government employees are doing what they do.

And if the trailers didn't make it look like a straight-forward horror flick, maybe they would have avoided a C Cinemascore. You know, I think it would have made more sense to just market the engineer part of the movie and leave the fact that of the mock-thriller-in-the-woods as the surprise. The marketing / buzz for this movie is like if Inception had been marketed without revealing that it was a thriller set in the mind. If you're worried that your movie will be robbed of something if you reveal in ads the premise established in the first 2 scenes, you might want to reconsider the remaining 70 minutes.


That's a good point. It was probably unnecessary to hide that aspect of the movie.


Tue Apr 17, 2012 3:10 am
Assistant Second Unit Director

Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 4:46 pm
Posts: 68
Post Re: THE CABIN IN THE WOODS
Frogster: For myself I would probably give it two-and-a-half stars because I enjoyed the first part of the movie and a lot of the ideas, interactions, and lines were either interesting, clever, or VERY funny (for example, I couldn't stop laughing at them putting Mordechai on the speakerphone). I think I would probably semi-recommend it to people who enjoy this sort of self-referential tweaking of established tropes while warning off those who don't. That said, I couldn't fully recommend the movie to anyone (three stars) because of the huge issues I have with the ending.

I think I probably enjoyed it a little less than I otherwise would have because I had my expectations built up by all the positive reviews saying "go see this movie, but don't read this review before you do because we don't want to spoil the awesomeness!!!"


Tue Apr 17, 2012 3:30 am
Profile
Post Re: THE CABIN IN THE WOODS
[Reveal] Spoiler:
Frogster wrote:
1. I’m not sure why you would hold this against the movie; the point is that they are deconstructing the bad material, and I’m not sure how you could say they are recycling the plot structure since this movie’s plot (the actual plot) and execution are complete unlike any other horror movie, or even most movies period for that matter.
I understand that it is a deconstruction. I don't think anybody here doesn't. That doesn't mean that it's a good deconstruction, or that it isn't still obligated to fulfill the same duties that a story would be expected to fulfill under any other circumstances--interesting characters, real sense of suspense and menace, etc.

As for the plot, there are two threads. One is the Standard Splatter Movie thread, and the other is the People Voyeuristically Manipulating Oblivious Other People thread. I suppose putting those two things into one movie, a la the A and B plot in a sitcom, is itself an original idea.


Quote:
Are there loads of other movies that share this movie's premise? Your final comments make it sound like you feel there’s some great recently made splatter movie you wish they had decided to deconstruct instead are doing a disservice to the people who made it by ignoring it. If there is, let me know, because I’d love to watch it.
No. The comments were directed at the creators of this film, who are obviously coming from an ironic viewpoint but otherwise aren't drastically changing the way that Standard Splatter Movie material is presented. What I'm saying is at least the people who are usually responsible for that stuff probably believe in what they're doing and aren't just trying to be clever, ironic, look-down-their-noses-ey, etc.


Quote:
2. The characters weren’t complicated, but again it’s a deconstruction of badly made material, and not character driven at all. One difference here is that the poor development is intentional and a result of manipulation. Their actual characteristics are knowingly obscured as they devolve into caricatures. I get the impression they were people but under the circumstances, I’m only seeing what the personalities emerge that the people behind the desk need to get the job done. And that’s all the movie needs to show to get its point across. I wouldn’t say the general lack of characterization was a result of negligence or even made them uninteresting.
I didn't accuse it of being the result of negligence. An intentional bad idea is still a bad idea. And, again, why should a deconstruction be freed of the standard things we usually require from a movie? Why should I have to stomach boring heroes and villains that I can't bring myself to care about? If anything, wouldn't the real deconstructionist approach for such poorly made movies be to make them well? To give them real characters and a situation actually worth investing in?

Think of other comparatively recent genre deconstructions, like Watchmen and Unforgiven. Did they take bland, unappealing story material and make it even more bland and unappealing? Hell naw.

Quote:
I also wouldn’t say I was detached from the material, and since it was not a character driven movie it did not hurt the movie or impede the enjoyment for me.
Fair enough. I was detached almost the entire time. Characters would have helped. A lot.

Quote:
3. They’re not unrelated. The base premise behind the movie is that there are evil Gods which require a cultural related sacrifice to appease. Everything else was working backwards to this premise.
I doubt this very much. There are obligatory call-forwards to the blood sacrifice material, but the movie otherwise has nothing to do with this until probably the last half hour. The movie literally could have ended a completely different way if you clipped about 15 cumulative seconds of footage from the earlier portions.

Quote:
And not to sound confrontational, but if it took you until the third act to realize Gods and sacrifices played some kind of crucial role in the overarching plot, frankly you must not have been paying attention.
If you're asking if I noticed the call-forwards, of course I did. I'm not a moron. That said, it doesn't make the change in direction any less divorced from the story proper by plopping in a few call-forwards. As I said, you could contrive a completely different reason for this conspiracy to be happening, plop in a different third act, and it would have just as much relation to the stuff we spend the majority of the movie on.

Quote:
she was unarmed when she confronted them, 99% sure.
Stupid character does stupid thing, x2.

Quote:
5. Disagree, I thought this moment was fine. I think you misinterpreted this part based on how you felt about the characters.
My problem isn't based on me misinterpreting the material, so much as that it requires me to give a crap.

I singled this moment out in particular because it's the moment of the movie when I went from being somewhat clinically bored to actively wishing for it to just friggin' end.

Quote:
6. Heavy metal was fine. It was either referencing or plagiarizing “Funny Games” with its surprising opening and closing of heavy metal. As for the movie: badass: yes, visceral: yes, mean: not enough, scary: no (silly: yes, funny: yes, entertaining: hell yes.) Definitely didn't need any heavy metal for that.
Or Snyder's Dawn of the Dead, or the Resident Evil movies.


Quote:
I’ll agree with you on 4, but the rest of your criticisms seem completely out of place and more personal than objective.
This is ludicrous. Nobody has an objective opinion of movies. Everybody's experience is personal to themselves. Honest criticism starts with a personal, subjective experience and proceeds into an effort to discern why that experience happened the way it did. That's all I can do. If you have a better way, I'd like to hear it.

Quote:
I think that based on many of the things you seem to be hung up on, this kind of movie just isn't your thing.
I have two responses to this.

The snarky response: No, this kind of movie--the bad kind--is not my thing.

The thoughtful response: You may deduce that I am not a big horror fan. I like horror movies in the traditional sense--ones that are built on suspense, heroes that earn my sympathy, and interesting villains that pose a legitimate threat to them.

What I tend to observe among dedicated horror fans is a more fetishistic appreciation of the tropes of the genre. They don't hold horror movies to normal story standards. They're mainly interested in whether or not all the required cliches are present and accounted for--creative kills, blondes who take their tops off, the virgin survivor, etc. Such fans don't require an emotional investment in the material or the lives of the characters. They're like the Bond fans who don't care about the fundamentals of good spy fiction as long as he says all the catch phrases, pays a visit to Q, gets his vodka martini shaken (not stirred), and so on.

That stuff, the checklist stuff, I have no interest in. I simply don't understand the appeal, though I will readily say that everybody has a right to his own tastes, baffling as they might be.


Tue Apr 17, 2012 4:00 am
Second Unit Director

Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2011 10:11 pm
Posts: 419
Post Re: THE CABIN IN THE WOODS
Quote:
Keen to get some insight into the thinking behind it, we asked Whedon about the inspiration behind Cabin.

“It’s basically a very loving hate letter,” he told us.

“On some level it was completely a lark, me and Drew [Goddard, director] trying to figure out what the most fun we could have would be. On another level it’s a serious critique of what we love and what we don’t about horror movies.”

On his own genre passion, he added, “I love being scared. I love that mixture of thrill, of horror, that objectification/identification thing of wanting definitely for the people to be alright but at the same time hoping they’ll go somewhere dark and face something awful.”

And on the things he hates about lame horror, Whedon said: “The things that I don’t like are kids acting like idiots, the devolution of the horror movie into torture porn and into a long series of sadistic comeuppances. Drew and I both felt that the pendulum had sung a little too far in that direction.”


I think that Joss Whedon gets the limitations of the genre and fetishness of the fans which he seems to be making fun of throughout the whole film.I usually avoid these kind of movies as they tend to be derivative and boring but this one was so fun to watch as the writer and director are just cutting loose taking you in new directions.Most of the story and especially the end seems to be an extended directed criticism of the fickle and unforgiving horror fanboys who want their formula.

Quote:
They're like the Bond fans who don't care about the fundamentals of good spy fiction as long as he says all the catch phrases, pays a visit to Q, gets his vodka martini shaken (not stirred), and so on.


I think Casino Royale seemed to avoid most of the obvious cliches and delivered on character and slightly new storyline.


Tue Apr 17, 2012 7:07 am
Profile
Post Re: THE CABIN IN THE WOODS
Ken wrote:
This is ludicrous. Nobody has an objective opinion of movies. Everybody's experience is personal to themselves. Honest criticism starts with a personal, subjective experience and proceeds into an effort to discern why that experience happened the way it did. That's all I can do. If you have a better way, I'd like to hear it.
It's true nobody ever has a completely objective opinion of movies, but there can be objectivity in it. For example, I hate a romantic comedy type movie but I can still appreciate the acting and the accomplishment of the sentiment it's trying to achieve even if it's not what I'm looking for. I might not be particularly entertained but I can still say "if you're looking for a romantic comedy this is a well-mad movie." And when Avatar came out, I gave it a 0 star review and said it was one of the worst movies I'd ever seen. If I were to look at it objectively, it wasn't the worst movie I'd ever seen, and more of a one star or one and a half star movie. But given the strong positive reaction of others compared with my negative reaction I felt emotionally inclined to bash it even more than necessary. So when you're evaluating a movie, the way you feel immediately after viewing and in light of your environment will be influenced by personal factors, but you can still look at a movie objectively and determine how/why you feel differently about the movie compared to others.

What I'm saying here is that I think your lack of interest in the movie because of the characters and the initial set up will not be indicative of the experience of most others. I think you're judging it based on traditional horror movie standards or some kind of movie it wasn't trying to be. That's what I meant when I said your reaction was more personal than objective. Of course I have nothing at all against your opinion, and I understand why you disliked the movie, I just did not share that experience at all.

Quote:
I think that based on many of the things you seem to be hung up on, this kind of movie just isn't your thing.
Ken wrote:
I have two responses to this.

The snarky response: No, this kind of movie--the bad kind--is not my thing.

The thoughtful response: You may deduce that I am not a big horror fan. I like horror movies in the traditional sense--ones that are built on suspense, heroes that earn my sympathy, and interesting villains that pose a legitimate threat to them.

What I tend to observe among dedicated horror fans is a more fetishistic appreciation of the tropes of the genre. They don't hold horror movies to normal story standards. They're mainly interested in whether or not all the required cliches are present and accounted for--creative kills, blondes who take their tops off, the virgin survivor, etc. Such fans don't require an emotional investment in the material or the lives of the characters. They're like the Bond fans who don't care about the fundamentals of good spy fiction as long as he says all the catch phrases, pays a visit to Q, gets his vodka martini shaken (not stirred), and so on.

That stuff, the checklist stuff, I have no interest in. I simply don't understand the appeal, though I will readily say that everybody has a right to his own tastes, baffling as they might be.


I think you're describing the dedicated torture porn fans as opposed to dedicated horror fans. I doubt there's any significant correlation between dedicated horror fans who enjoy torture porn and the general movie going public who enjoy torture porn. They're different kinds of movies with different goals and standards. I would consider myself a major horror fan, but I have no interest in torture porn (though the franchises usually begin with solid movies themselves, such as the great Halloween, the good Saw or the mediocre Friday the 13th.) My friends who are into horror also steer clear of the Saw/Hostel type stuff. I would agree that there is a demographic who go for the creative kill T&A type, but I would not consider that demographic composed of serious horror film buffs. What I do enjoy is watching movies who use that checklist material but go in different directions with it, like Scream, Leslie Vernon or Cabin in the Woods.

All that said, I don't consider Cabin in the Woods a serious "horror" movie, it's hard to classify in a specific genre, nor does it need to be classified, but it's more of a black comedy or dark fantasy in my opinion. I definitely wasn't ever scared or feeling any suspense, but I was quite entertained. It's more interested in commenting on the horror genre rather than being a horror entry.


Last edited by Frogster on Tue Apr 17, 2012 2:24 pm, edited 2 times in total.



Tue Apr 17, 2012 1:43 pm
Post Re: THE CABIN IN THE WOODS
Ken wrote:
[Reveal] Spoiler:
Frogster wrote:
1. I’m not sure why you would hold this against the movie; the point is that they are deconstructing the bad material, and I’m not sure how you could say they are recycling the plot structure since this movie’s plot (the actual plot) and execution are complete unlike any other horror movie, or even most movies period for that matter.
I understand that it is a deconstruction. I don't think anybody here doesn't. That doesn't mean that it's a good deconstruction, or that it isn't still obligated to fulfill the same duties that a story would be expected to fulfill under any other circumstances--interesting characters, real sense of suspense and menace, etc.

As for the plot, there are two threads. One is the Standard Splatter Movie thread, and the other is the People Voyeuristically Manipulating Oblivious Other People thread. I suppose putting those two things into one movie, a la the A and B plot in a sitcom, is itself an original idea.


Quote:
Are there loads of other movies that share this movie's premise? Your final comments make it sound like you feel there’s some great recently made splatter movie you wish they had decided to deconstruct instead are doing a disservice to the people who made it by ignoring it. If there is, let me know, because I’d love to watch it.
No. The comments were directed at the creators of this film, who are obviously coming from an ironic viewpoint but otherwise aren't drastically changing the way that Standard Splatter Movie material is presented. What I'm saying is at least the people who are usually responsible for that stuff probably believe in what they're doing and aren't just trying to be clever, ironic, look-down-their-noses-ey, etc.


Quote:
2. The characters weren’t complicated, but again it’s a deconstruction of badly made material, and not character driven at all. One difference here is that the poor development is intentional and a result of manipulation. Their actual characteristics are knowingly obscured as they devolve into caricatures. I get the impression they were people but under the circumstances, I’m only seeing what the personalities emerge that the people behind the desk need to get the job done. And that’s all the movie needs to show to get its point across. I wouldn’t say the general lack of characterization was a result of negligence or even made them uninteresting.
I didn't accuse it of being the result of negligence. An intentional bad idea is still a bad idea. And, again, why should a deconstruction be freed of the standard things we usually require from a movie? Why should I have to stomach boring heroes and villains that I can't bring myself to care about? If anything, wouldn't the real deconstructionist approach for such poorly made movies be to make them well? To give them real characters and a situation actually worth investing in?

Think of other comparatively recent genre deconstructions, like Watchmen and Unforgiven. Did they take bland, unappealing story material and make it even more bland and unappealing? Hell naw.

Quote:
I also wouldn’t say I was detached from the material, and since it was not a character driven movie it did not hurt the movie or impede the enjoyment for me.
Fair enough. I was detached almost the entire time. Characters would have helped. A lot.

Quote:
3. They’re not unrelated. The base premise behind the movie is that there are evil Gods which require a cultural related sacrifice to appease. Everything else was working backwards to this premise.
I doubt this very much. There are obligatory call-forwards to the blood sacrifice material, but the movie otherwise has nothing to do with this until probably the last half hour. The movie literally could have ended a completely different way if you clipped about 15 cumulative seconds of footage from the earlier portions.

Quote:
And not to sound confrontational, but if it took you until the third act to realize Gods and sacrifices played some kind of crucial role in the overarching plot, frankly you must not have been paying attention.
If you're asking if I noticed the call-forwards, of course I did. I'm not a moron. That said, it doesn't make the change in direction any less divorced from the story proper by plopping in a few call-forwards. As I said, you could contrive a completely different reason for this conspiracy to be happening, plop in a different third act, and it would have just as much relation to the stuff we spend the majority of the movie on.

Quote:
she was unarmed when she confronted them, 99% sure.
Stupid character does stupid thing, x2.

Quote:
5. Disagree, I thought this moment was fine. I think you misinterpreted this part based on how you felt about the characters.
My problem isn't based on me misinterpreting the material, so much as that it requires me to give a crap.

I singled this moment out in particular because it's the moment of the movie when I went from being somewhat clinically bored to actively wishing for it to just friggin' end.

Quote:
6. Heavy metal was fine. It was either referencing or plagiarizing “Funny Games” with its surprising opening and closing of heavy metal. As for the movie: badass: yes, visceral: yes, mean: not enough, scary: no (silly: yes, funny: yes, entertaining: hell yes.) Definitely didn't need any heavy metal for that.
Or Snyder's Dawn of the Dead, or the Resident Evil movies.



[Reveal] Spoiler:
1. I disagree it needed strong characters, suspense and menace to succeed. I agree that's what a normal horror movie needs to succeed, but this was far from a normal horror movie, it doesn't even constitute horror at all; it's more amusing and interesting and over the top than scary. For something like Scream that is a parody of the slasher genre while also being a slasher entry, it would need those elements to succeed. But in this movie, which was not self-referential horror but more like a black comedy or something, I didn't feel the lack of suspense or deep characterization was needed or missed (the movie did generate a sense of menace though in my opinion.) I was never scared but that wasn't the highest priority of the movie and the movie didn't need to be scary to work.

4. Did she have access to a weapon? Did she have time to get one? Did she think she would need one? Did she lose it along the way? Who knows. I agree regardless that this was a weaker scene of the movie.

The rest of your points I'm just going to respectfully disagree with. I didn't find the lack of complex characteristics important to a very meta, event-driven movie and I was certainly never bored. Like I said in my last post, horror movies representing a new form of cultural sacrifice and rite of passage made sense to me on a sociological level. It's true the movie could be rewritten and the government motivated by some other threat, but I liked what they had and I don't think that's declarative of some great flaw in the movie.


Last edited by Frogster on Tue Apr 17, 2012 2:25 pm, edited 4 times in total.



Tue Apr 17, 2012 2:10 pm
Post Re: THE CABIN IN THE WOODS
oakenshield32 wrote:
Quote:
Keen to get some insight into the thinking behind it, we asked Whedon about the inspiration behind Cabin.

“It’s basically a very loving hate letter,” he told us.

“On some level it was completely a lark, me and Drew [Goddard, director] trying to figure out what the most fun we could have would be. On another level it’s a serious critique of what we love and what we don’t about horror movies.”

On his own genre passion, he added, “I love being scared. I love that mixture of thrill, of horror, that objectification/identification thing of wanting definitely for the people to be alright but at the same time hoping they’ll go somewhere dark and face something awful.”

And on the things he hates about lame horror, Whedon said: “The things that I don’t like are kids acting like idiots, the devolution of the horror movie into torture porn and into a long series of sadistic comeuppances. Drew and I both felt that the pendulum had sung a little too far in that direction.”


I think that Joss Whedon gets the limitations of the genre and fetishness of the fans which he seems to be making fun of throughout the whole film.I usually avoid these kind of movies as they tend to be derivative and boring but this one was so fun to watch as the writer and director are just cutting loose taking you in new directions.Most of the story and especially the end seems to be an extended directed criticism of the fickle and unforgiving horror fanboys who want their formula.

Quote:
They're like the Bond fans who don't care about the fundamentals of good spy fiction as long as he says all the catch phrases, pays a visit to Q, gets his vodka martini shaken (not stirred), and so on.


I think Casino Royale seemed to avoid most of the obvious cliches and delivered on character and slightly new storyline.


Agreed on both accounts


Tue Apr 17, 2012 2:10 pm
Assistant Second Unit Director

Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 4:46 pm
Posts: 68
Post Re: THE CABIN IN THE WOODS
See, I think it would have been a lot cooler, given how they were trying to tweak everything, for them to have a different ending. Like, one where they miss the deadline, and absolutely nothing happens ("wow, guess we were wrong, and this is just a semi-active volcano!"). Or a happy ending, where Marty voluntarily sacrifices himself and that ends the Elder One thread once and for all, or something like that. But EVERY SINGLE horror film I can recall (and, full disclosure, I don't see that many) has some sort of coda indicating that the bad guy(s) is(are) still around, or that everything our heroes did during the film was pointless, or something along those lines. It's tiresome.


Tue Apr 17, 2012 2:28 pm
Profile
Post Re: THE CABIN IN THE WOODS
Frogster wrote:
All that said, I don't consider Cabin in the Woods a serious "horror" movie, it's hard to classify in a specific genre, nor does it need to be classified, but it's more of a black comedy or dark fantasy in my opinion. I definitely wasn't ever scared or feeling any suspense, but I was quite entertained. It's more interested in commenting on the horror genre rather than being a horror entry.


I think you hit the nail right on the head here. Unless you're paralyzed with fear at the possibility of jump scares, there's not much in this film that could be called genuinely frightening or horrifying. Like the recent Tucker And Dale Vs. Evil, The Cabin In The Woods is first and foremost a comedy about horror genre conventions, not a horror film that just happens to be clever.

I don't want to be one of those people who makes excuses for every flaw of the film because it's "postmodern", but I do think that nitpicking some of the logic flaws in a movie like this is kind of silly. With that said, I do agree that the final 5 minutes are somewhat of a letdown. It spoils a nice cameo and a terrific final shot with some questionable character motivations and a villain with serious Talking Killer syndrome. Some might say that there was a point to this, but for me it didn't quite work as well as everything that came before it. Other than that though, I was completely satisfied with the film as a whole. I like that the filmmakers didn't go the easy route and make a regular horror film, like Scream, populated with characters who are in on the joke. Instead, they create an elaborate mythology as a way to lovingly critique horror conventions. Pretentious? Maybe. For me it was an audacious and exciting attempt to do something intelligent and unique with familiar material, and I think the filmmakers succeeded tremendously.


Tue Apr 17, 2012 2:52 pm
Post Re: THE CABIN IN THE WOODS
Frogster wrote:
It's true nobody ever has a completely objective opinion of movies, but there can be objectivity in it. For example, I hate a romantic comedy type movie but I can still appreciate the acting and the accomplishment of the sentiment it's trying to achieve even if it's not what I'm looking for. I might not be particularly entertained but I can still say "if you're looking for a romantic comedy this is a well-mad movie."
This isn't objective. This is subjectively liking some things about the movie and subjectively disliking other things.

Saying that you don't like something (i.e. according to what you value, it is not well-made) but that it was well-made (i.e. according to what you believe other people might value) is second-guessing.

Quote:
And when Avatar came out, I gave it a 0 star review and said it was one of the worst movies I'd ever seen. If I were to look at it objectively, it wasn't the worst movie I'd ever seen, and more of a one star or one and a half star movie. But given the strong positive reaction of others compared with my negative reaction I felt emotionally inclined to bash it even more than necessary.
But that has little to do with your experience of the movie, and more to do with your social situation. How did you feel when you were actually in the theater?

Quote:
So when you're evaluating a movie, the way you feel immediately after viewing and in light of your environment will be influenced by personal factors, but you can still look at a movie objectively and determine how/why you feel differently about the movie compared to others.
It's all personal factors. There's nothing wrong with it. You bring as much to the movie as it brings to you. Nobody brings a blank slate, and if they did, the movie would be trying to push buttons that don't exist.

Now, the second part--analyzing the movie in an effort to figure out why it affected you so--is part and parcel of the critical process, but it is still a subjective process, because step #1 is first being honest with yourself about what you appreciate and don't appreciate in your entertainment. Anything that depends that much on the viewer's individual viewpoint is necessarily subjective.


Quote:
What I'm saying here is that I think your lack of interest in the movie because of the characters and the initial set up will not be indicative of the experience of most others.
Fair enough, but I'm not trying to speak for anybody but myself. And I think I'm being fairly transparent about my tastes, so people can't accuse me of doing anything other than stating, "This is my position. This is my background. If your background is similar to mine, you might have a similar position. If it isn't, you might not." Once again, I think this is all that any critic (including armchair critics) can honestly hope for.

Quote:
I think you're judging it based on traditional horror movie standards or some kind of movie it wasn't trying to be. That's what I meant when I said your reaction was more personal than objective. Of course I have nothing at all against your opinion, and I understand why you disliked the movie, I just did not share that experience at all.
I am judging it on my experience of it. I don't think I required the movie to do anything that I wouldn't require any movie to do. I bring up other horror movies just for purposes of demonstration: here's where the movie might have gone right, here's what other movies did with similar subject matter, etc.


Tue Apr 17, 2012 3:02 pm
Post Re: THE CABIN IN THE WOODS
Machiara wrote:
See, I think it would have been a lot cooler, given how they were trying to tweak everything, for them to have a different ending. Like, one where they miss the deadline, and absolutely nothing happens ("wow, guess we were wrong, and this is just a semi-active volcano!"). Or a happy ending, where Marty voluntarily sacrifices himself and that ends the Elder One thread once and for all, or something like that. But EVERY SINGLE horror film I can recall (and, full disclosure, I don't see that many) has some sort of coda indicating that the bad guy(s) is(are) still around, or that everything our heroes did during the film was pointless, or something along those lines. It's tiresome.

I've seen a few horror films which have endings like the one you described, one example that comes to mind right now is Bats In the final scene, after the cave of killer bats is blown up, we one last bat rise up from the ground and it looks like it's going to a typical "monster survives" ending, and then the bat gets run over by a car :lol:

Anyways, I couldn't resist reading the spoilers for this film, and i'm kinda glad I did, cause I could imagine being dissapointed at seeing this in theaters, the ending sounds rather weak, I heard that the third act was Goddard and Whedon's way of flipping the bird to the "torture porn" genre(a term which I HATE BTW). I think i'll wait until DVD to see this film.


Tue Apr 17, 2012 3:38 pm
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Post Re: THE CABIN IN THE WOODS
My review of the movie in a nutshell: nice idea, but rather lacking in it's execution. As clever as the movie is, I just found the 3rd act of the movie to be a little too silly at times. Alas, it's a movie that is more fun to talk about and dissect, than it is to actually watch.

6/10 or ** 1/2 out of ****


Wed Apr 18, 2012 6:57 am
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Post Re: THE CABIN IN THE WOODS
Machiara wrote:
See, I think it would have been a lot cooler, given how they were trying to tweak everything, for them to have a different ending. Like, one where they miss the deadline, and absolutely nothing happens ("wow, guess we were wrong, and this is just a semi-active volcano!"). Or a happy ending, where Marty voluntarily sacrifices himself and that ends the Elder One thread once and for all, or something like that. But EVERY SINGLE horror film I can recall (and, full disclosure, I don't see that many) has some sort of coda indicating that the bad guy(s) is(are) still around, or that everything our heroes did during the film was pointless, or something along those lines. It's tiresome.


[Reveal] Spoiler:
I have some problems with the ending; I think the whole "elder god(s)" thing is poorly handled. But I like the fact that they go ahead and destroy the world. You're right that horror films often end on a downer, but it's rarely that big of a downer.


Wed Apr 18, 2012 11:57 am
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Post Re: THE CABIN IN THE WOODS
[Reveal] Spoiler:
We don't really know if the world ends since the movie fades to black and ends after the "virgin" and "fool's" death with the giant hand.


Wed Apr 18, 2012 2:49 pm
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Post Re: THE CABIN IN THE WOODS
I knew certain people on here would not like this. It's gotten to a point I'm not surprised by anyone on here anymore.

Whatever. I thought it was hip, cool, and inventive. I actually like the ending because like James,

[Reveal] Spoiler:
I'm glad they had the balls to go ahead and destroy the world. Also, I know a lot of people say they could, but how many could kill themselves to save someone else? You don't know until you are in that situation.


Wed Apr 18, 2012 7:57 pm
Post Re: THE CABIN IN THE WOODS
ilovemovies wrote:
[Reveal] Spoiler:
We don't really know if the world ends since the movie fades to black and ends after the "virgin" and "fool's" death with the giant hand.


Great point


Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:09 pm
Post Re: THE CABIN IN THE WOODS
Frogster wrote:
" And when Avatar came out, I gave it a 0 star review and said it was one of the worst movies I'd ever seen. If I were to look at it objectively, it wasn't the worst movie I'd ever seen, and more of a one star or one and a half star movie. But given the strong positive reaction of others compared with my negative reaction I felt emotionally inclined to bash it even more than necessary.


You don't deserve to use the word objective ever again


Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:11 pm
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Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 4:46 pm
Posts: 68
Post Re: THE CABIN IN THE WOODS
roastbeef_ajus wrote:
I knew certain people on here would not like this. It's gotten to a point I'm not surprised by anyone on here anymore.

Whatever. I thought it was hip, cool, and inventive. I actually like the ending because like James,

[Reveal] Spoiler:
I'm glad they had the balls to go ahead and destroy the world. Also, I know a lot of people say they could, but how many could kill themselves to save someone else? You don't know until you are in that situation.


[Reveal] Spoiler:
It's one thing to kill yourself to save someone else. It's quite another to prolong your life by mere minutes at the cost of EVERY SINGLE OTHER HUMAN BEING ON THE FACE OF THE EARTH. You're not really sacrificing anything; you die either way! If anything, you're doing yourself a favor by dying the old-fashioned way instead of having your soul consumed by an Elder One.


Last edited by Machiara on Thu Apr 19, 2012 1:55 am, edited 1 time in total.



Thu Apr 19, 2012 1:42 am
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