Escape to the Movies: Cabin In The Woods

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I just got back from seeing this movie.

I hated it so much, I'll probably never see another movie in a theater ever again. It is probably the worst movie I've ever seen in a theater and I've seen Battlefield earth in a theater. I understand this movie is written by the guy who will be directing the Avengers movie. Based on this, I believe that movie will suck.

That is all.

Therumancer:

Actually, I thought what happened made sense considering:

The happier version of this movie would probably be Tucker and Dale vs. Evil, which you might want to check out if you haven't seen it already. Has the same deconstructionist attitude towards horror Cabin in the Woods does, and both make it a point to actually be deconstructionism with a purpose, rather than Scream and its billion knockoffs that were all "Look, we're pointing out cliches, aren't we clever? Har har" which got old fifteen minutes after the first movie ended (possibly earlier than that).

Speaking of which: I'm surprised Bob didn't mention or hint at any of that, given his hatred of the Scream movies and love for sci-fi/horror movies that aim for some kind of social relevance. It's kind of hard to talk about without spoiling this movie, but I think it would have been worth it, since Whedon gets unfairly roped into the so-called "meta" crowd, when usually (usually) his "meta" jokes have more purpose beyond showing off his nerd cred.

This movie was good right up until the last 20-30 minutes. The twist flat out sucks.

Daria.Morgendorffer:

RJ Dalton:
I'm just going to say it: I don't like Joss Whedon.

[snip]

It's the same problem with the "You're a dick" line from X-Men. He substitutes a marginally clever (at best) witticism where actions would work much, much better.

What I hate about Whedon is that I never really feel suspension of disbelief in his writing because there's self-referential, and then there's being self-referential while at the same time pointing out "oh, look at how CLEVER this is". That's how I feel constantly when I watch anything that Whedon has anything to do with, that people who find it amusing, entertaining, whatever "get it" and the rest of us, well, it's like getting told "you had to be there" as if referring to something that happened at a party the "cool" kids said you weren't "cool" enough to be invited to anyway.

(Not that I think there's anything particularly wrong with you if you like it...I know really cool Buffy fans, and I know really douchey Buffy fans. More power to you for liking what you like. Just don't be down on me for not liking what you like. It's just a turn-off to me when writers do that sort of thing and don't find it "mind-blowing" that Whedon thinks he's making soup just because he puts a bunch of stuff in a pot and starts stirring.)

As for this movie? I've read the spoilers, and frankly it strikes me as a

**SPOILER**
Rube Goldberg plot device. It's an awfully complicated setup to do an awfully simple thing. I have a word for that. And that word is "contrived".
**END SPOILER**

wouldnt convuluted be a better word than contrived?

Abandon4093:
My guess from the trailers was that it's gonna break the fourth wall or something and 'turns out, it was you'. Or something like that.

Also yea, how exactly did Chriss look so much younger in this, that's the first thing I thought when you were showing clips, he looks about 5-10 years younger than he did in Thor.

*Facepalm* I'm pretty sure at the beginning of the review Bob says that the movie was finished 3 years ago and was finally just released.

Srkkl:

Abandon4093:
My guess from the trailers was that it's gonna break the fourth wall or something and 'turns out, it was you'. Or something like that.

Also yea, how exactly did Chriss look so much younger in this, that's the first thing I thought when you were showing clips, he looks about 5-10 years younger than he did in Thor.

*Facepalm* I'm pretty sure at the beginning of the review Bob says that the movie was finished 3 years ago and was finally just released.

Because being an ass for no reason just feels good no?

Yes he did say that, and someone already pointed that out about 2 pages back. A slight oversight, no need to be an ass about it really.

He also looks considerably younger than just 3 years. But that's neither here nor there.

I spoiled the "twists" for myself by reading the Wiki article. Decided I HAD to see it when I saw that there would be Lovecraftian elements in it. Sorely disappointed in that aspect though, I mean what the hell was that? That was not a Great Old One, that was the god damn lava titan from Disney's Hercules.

Still it was a highly enjoyable movie from beginning to end, and the sheer spectacle of what happens before the movie ends was the highlight of it for me.

SoulChaserJ:
This movie was good right up until the last 20-30 minutes. The twist flat out sucks.

The movie's been "hyped" up for the twists but the only real twist is that it looks like a generic horror movie but it's actually not. I mean, it's hinted at constantly throughout the movie what the purpose of the whole setup was, so the revelation at the end isn't really a "twist" just a more detailed explanation of what happened.

Also personally I was expecting the girl to turn out to NOT be a virgin, and that the geeky stoner actually was, but alas.

Don't listen to people bitching about Joss Whedon being a bad writer. THIS film is well written, which is good enough for me.

Saw it last night, and liked it a lot. It's a whole lot better than Stay Tuned (which I saw a few months ago on the tele). Damn that film was mediocre in what it tried to do, and definitely has NOT aged well. Really, Cabin in the woods may be a bit of a rip-off of Stay Tuned in that respect, but I don't care since it's actually a better film.

I'd recommend it to anyone with a love (or mild hate) for the horror genre. It's not very scary, so don't let that get in your way of seeing it.

Ok, I took your advice and will see it when it comes out in a few weeks. I'll watch this then. Thanks for the heads up.

Gxas:
Caught the midnight showing of this last night.

Absolutely loved it and went in completely blind, save for the first trailer.

Was upset when the rest of the theater thought that the ending was bad, because I don't think that you could have ended the movie any other way without veering from the commentary that the movie is giving right from the start.

Excellent film. Will see again.

Really? The movie got a standing ovation in the theater I was in

warprincenataku:
Ok, I took your advice and will see it when it comes out in a few weeks. I'll watch this then. Thanks for the heads up.

You're wasting your time, then. Just saying. The final twist is pretty stupid and rather obvious if you think about it. Based on that alone, you can probably guess what the final twist is. Except you're likely to guess a version of that final twist that is better than what is in the movie. But that's not your fault. It is inevitable.

I found this to be a rather predictable, boring movie filled with cliches and unlikeable characters :/

Dastardly:

MovieBob:
Cabin In The Woods

The Cabin in the Woods may not be what it seems.

Watch Video

I'm an awful person for already being excited about this movie because it had Joss Whedon's name on it. I'm not trying to be a fanboy, but goddamnit, does he make bad things? I'm trying to find them, honest!

Dollhouse was pretty bad.

Moeez:

Dastardly:

MovieBob:
Cabin In The Woods

The Cabin in the Woods may not be what it seems.

Watch Video

I'm an awful person for already being excited about this movie because it had Joss Whedon's name on it. I'm not trying to be a fanboy, but goddamnit, does he make bad things? I'm trying to find them, honest!

Dollhouse was pretty bad.

Nah, I really enjoyed it. Good characters, a farfetched-but-interesting premise, and plenty of snappy dialogue (without feeling like an episode of the freakin' Gilmore Girls). Toward the end, it may have suffered a bit from the "Great, here comes the Cancel Hammer, let's try to resolve the story a bit faster," but I blame FOX for that.

Aureliano:

AgentNein:

Aureliano:
Man, that movie sure was original. Not at all a rip-off of a freaking John Ritter movie made literally 20 years ago called Stay Tuned (1992)...

Alright, I'm not going to touch the rest of your post but that...that's a bit of a stretch.

Um, really? Let's do a checklist if you don't mind.

1) Broad archetypes used to deconstruct the genre and commenting on movie culture as a whole.
2) The major antagonist in the film is a middle management type whose job it is to construct reality TV shows that murder the protagonists using horror movie cliches for the sake of the target demographic 'downstairs' who turns out to be an ancient evil being.
3) The protagonists run through these horror movie scenes and cliches to bring down the evil organization in spite of or perhaps because of the evil organization's attempts to kill them.
4) The protagonists, of whom the main player is the stoner/fool archetype, must set the plot in motion themselves.
5) The bulk of the time spent with the evil organization is in a TV control room with the major antagonist who does it by the book and a more minor black character whose main job is to be reasonable and wonder whether or not they were doing their jobs the best they could up to and including the part in which they realized everything had gone to hell.
6) Stoner wins.

Sarcasm aside, I don't think it's at all a stretch to see the connections.

I'm not denying (some of these) connections, but utilizing similar ideas and themes doesn't mean the movie's ripping off the earlier one, does it? Do we really think anyone had the bright idea to rip of a shitty twenty year old John Ritter vehicle?

And to delve into it a little, Stay Tuned didn't really mess with horror movie cliches as it did parody television of the time, with 'hellish' versions of them. I also don't remember a stoner in Stay Tuned. And despite the few superficial similarities (the idea of Cabin in The Woods being akin to reality television for the evil powers-that-be was sort of a downplayed element of the movie) the two movies were actually about very different things, saying very different things.

artanis_neravar:

Gxas:
Caught the midnight showing of this last night.

Absolutely loved it and went in completely blind, save for the first trailer.

Was upset when the rest of the theater thought that the ending was bad, because I don't think that you could have ended the movie any other way without veering from the commentary that the movie is giving right from the start.

Excellent film. Will see again.

Really? The movie got a standing ovation in the theater I was in

Gah, you're so lucky.

I wanted to give a standing-O, but as soon as the credits hit, every single person around me apart from my sister were like, "Man, I knew it was going to have a shitty ending."

Never wanted to harm a group of people more.

Gxas:

artanis_neravar:

Gxas:
Caught the midnight showing of this last night.

Absolutely loved it and went in completely blind, save for the first trailer.

Was upset when the rest of the theater thought that the ending was bad, because I don't think that you could have ended the movie any other way without veering from the commentary that the movie is giving right from the start.

Excellent film. Will see again.

Really? The movie got a standing ovation in the theater I was in

Gah, you're so lucky.

I wanted to give a standing-O, but as soon as the credits hit, every single person around me apart from my sister were like, "Man, I knew it was going to have a shitty ending."

Never wanted to harm a group of people more.

We did have 2 teenage girls show up 10 mins into the movie and then leave 10 mins later because "the acting was horrible and it was stupid"

Dastardly:

Nah, I really enjoyed it. Good characters, a farfetched-but-interesting premise, and plenty of snappy dialogue (without feeling like an episode of the freakin' Gilmore Girls). Toward the end, it may have suffered a bit from the "Great, here comes the Cancel Hammer, let's try to resolve the story a bit faster," but I blame FOX for that.

No, it was pretty bad. It had poor ratings even when being put into a good time slot and the STUPID premise that was played way too seriously made the show come off as intriguing as a bowl of stale porridge. Eliza Dushku's "acting" also didn't help. Not that Whedon would ever admit that, thin-skinned man-baby that he is.

Gatx:
Also personally I was expecting the girl to turn out to NOT be a virgin, and that the geeky stoner actually was, but alas.

Holy shit, me too. It's kind of sad when you can think of better things to happen than was in the actual movie, right?

That is a problem with the movie. It all turning out to be a human sacrifice ritual to appease the old god things was the big twist the whole thing is hanging on but they did absolutely nothing with it. How the movie should have gone is the first act was the traditional horror movie with the gimmick of chumps at NASA controlling everything from behind the scenes. In the second act, the remaining characters find their way into the complex. Then the third act, after they learn the whiole purpose for this whole thing, they figure out an alternative and permanent means to deal with the old gods once and for all. It didn't need to work, but the idea was not taken to its fullest, which leaves it flaccid and limp and ultimately dissatisfying. Even the stoner turning out to be the real virgin would have been enough of a twist to make me not hate the movie. But they pussied out and that's the most unforgivable sin in a movie like this.

Aiddon:

Dastardly:

Nah, I really enjoyed it. Good characters, a farfetched-but-interesting premise, and plenty of snappy dialogue (without feeling like an episode of the freakin' Gilmore Girls). Toward the end, it may have suffered a bit from the "Great, here comes the Cancel Hammer, let's try to resolve the story a bit faster," but I blame FOX for that.

No, it was pretty bad. It had poor ratings even when being put into a good time slot and the STUPID premise that was played way too seriously made the show come off as intriguing as a bowl of stale porridge. Eliza Dushku's "acting" also didn't help. Not that Whedon would ever admit that, thin-skinned man-baby that he is.

He actually comes off in interviews and commentaries as a fairly self-critical (and frequently self deprecating) person. He frequently points things out that he realizes could've been done better, or differently. I don't get where you get this whole thin skinned idea.

Is it because he doesn't take credit for the trash that was Alien Resurrection? You do realize how much scripts can be fucked with once they leave the hands of the original writer don't you? I personally would make no bones about making sure people realized when something bad wasn't my doing.

artanis_neravar:

Gxas:

artanis_neravar:
Really? The movie got a standing ovation in the theater I was in

Gah, you're so lucky.

I wanted to give a standing-O, but as soon as the credits hit, every single person around me apart from my sister were like, "Man, I knew it was going to have a shitty ending."

Never wanted to harm a group of people more.

We did have 2 teenage girls show up 10 mins into the movie and then leave 10 mins later because "the acting was horrible and it was stupid"

Seriously!? That is hilarious. Shows how artistic society is nowadays.

Just got back from seeing it, instantly clicked with me as a supernatural horror version of Operation: Endgame. Loved every minute of it.

Brilliant film, just watched it and I loved it.

"The Cabin in the Woods" is the most BORING film I've ever seen.

When I wasn't laughing at the pitiful jokes, I was scratching my head and wondering "What did I just watch?!"

This movie is over-hyped and underwhelming.

SAVE YOUR MONEY!

***DO NOT WATCH THIS FILM***

misterprickly:
"The Cabin in the Woods" is the most BORING film I've ever seen.

When I wasn't laughing at the pitiful jokes, I was scratching my head and wondering "What did I just watch?!"

This movie is over-hyped and underwhelming.

SAVE YOUR MONEY!

***DO NOT WATCH THIS FILM***

Yep. You didn't get it, did you?

Duffeknol:

misterprickly:
"The Cabin in the Woods" is the most BORING film I've ever seen.

When I wasn't laughing at the pitiful jokes, I was scratching my head and wondering "What did I just watch?!"

This movie is over-hyped and underwhelming.

SAVE YOUR MONEY!

***DO NOT WATCH THIS FILM***

Yep. You didn't get it, did you?

That's just it... I DID get it and it still SUCKED!

misterprickly:

Duffeknol:

misterprickly:
"The Cabin in the Woods" is the most BORING film I've ever seen.

When I wasn't laughing at the pitiful jokes, I was scratching my head and wondering "What did I just watch?!"

This movie is over-hyped and underwhelming.

SAVE YOUR MONEY!

***DO NOT WATCH THIS FILM***

Yep. You didn't get it, did you?

That's just it... I DID get it and it still SUCKED!

Nah. Even the guys from Redlettermedia enjoyed this movie, making it objectively speaking not suck.

Duffeknol:

misterprickly:

Duffeknol:

Yep. You didn't get it, did you?

That's just it... I DID get it and it still SUCKED!

Nah. Even the guys from Redlettermedia enjoyed this movie, making it objectively speaking not suck.

Unlike you I make my own based on what I saw; And what I saw was total crap.
The only "good parts" were the control room scenes in the early to mid-film.
The rest was nothing that I haven't seen, done better, in other films.

It was like Scooby doo, Evil dead, Halloween 3, any number of Stephen king flicks, House on Haunted hill and the Truman show mixed together; with Sigourney Weaver thrown in for flavoring.

I just watched this film, and i can say that this IS a black comedy and not a horror. Any moments that begin to resemble a horror scene are immediately parodied and mocked.

This is one of the best films ive seen in ages. Go watch this movie

Not too worried about reading some spoilers, so when I see the talk of how the ending kind of works and other things in the movie, I find myself more interested. I'm not a huge fan of pure horror, but horror/comedy dark comedy is something I really enjoy watching. I might check this one out, as I haven't seen a movie in a while.

Not my favorite movie of the year and Tucker and Dale is better, but still quite fun!

I only had three issues:

1) Too much generic slasher movie. I get what they were doing. I do. But it's kind of like when Seth McFarlane tries to be funny by making his characters act out a scene from something else line for line and point for point.

*MASSIVE Spoilers Below*
2) Lack of explanations. Energy shields? Ghosts? Supernatural crap? Where did all that come from? From the "Ancient Ones"? What kind of sense does THAT make? They send up monsters so that they can be kept chained in the abyss? And even if they DID do it, where did the stuff like the killer robot come from?
And why was Sigourney Weaver just sitting around down in the pit waiting for some asshole to stumble down there?
In a virgin sacrifice the virgin can live? Since when?
A button that released every horror in the building? WHY WOULD YOU INSTALL THAT???

3) Of all the awesome and terrifying monsters they could have sent..... We wound up with Redneck Zombies.

*MASSIVE Spoilers Below*

MrDeckard:

*MASSIVE Spoilers Below*

In a virgin sacrifice the virgin can live? Since when?

3) Of all the awesome and terrifying monsters they could have sent..... We wound up with Redneck Zombies.

The "Virgin" can live cause in all generic horror movies the last survivor, usually the innocent good nature one is the one to kill/lock away the monster. In some movies they die.

And the dumb kids choose their death via... random item. Though that mermaid would of been interesting. I wonder what item they would of picked to summon the robot or the scarecrows or the eyeless doctors or whatever?

The big question is "If you really DON'T like slasher movies can you still enjoy 'Cabin in the Woods?'"

I definitely don't like slasher movies. Make no mistake, for all its wit and cleverness and fantastical framing device a formula horror movie DOES play out more or less in full. Not to beat around the bush, I don't get why someone would want to see a screaming young woman being bloodily murdered. I'm going to quote Yahtzee wildly out of context here: "It's the same feeling I get from watching midget on giraffe porn, a sense of 'I'm certainly not getting off on this but I know someone in the world is and THAT'S what makes me uncomfortable."
I don't want to make too big a deal out of this, but for what it's worth I think slasher and torture porn can fuck right off.

That being said, the third act makes Cabin in the Woods worthwhile. It's a clever premise, well executed and even a little thought provoking. I'm not about to go around calling it the greatest thing ever, but if overall even I can have a positive experience with Cabin in the Woods, I think that counts as a recommendation.

Slight Spoiler:

*I'm curious, which one of the little Japanese girls was "The Whore"?*

SkullKing84:
*MASSIVE Spoilers Below*

MrDeckard:

*MASSIVE Spoilers Below*

In a virgin sacrifice the virgin can live? Since when?

3) Of all the awesome and terrifying monsters they could have sent..... We wound up with Redneck Zombies.

The "Virgin" can live cause in all generic horror movies the last survivor, usually the innocent good nature one is the one to kill/lock away the monster. In some movies they die.

And the dumb kids choose their death via... random item. Though that mermaid would of been interesting. I wonder what item they would of picked to summon the robot or the scarecrows or the eyeless doctors or whatever?

After the lottery scene, I was hoping to see some of the other options, either as bonus content on dvd release, or alternate versions of the movie. (Dragon Bat caught my eye; wonder what would summon it) The final act made me happy in that sense.

On a side note, did anyone else get the feeling that the puzzlebox/gearman was a nod to Pinhead?

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