Re-Take The Cabin

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Re-Take The Cabin

A spoiler filled look into Cabin in the Woods and its take on our culture.

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Great article Bob, I think more people need to see Cabin in the Woods, I came back from watching it and I really wanted to discuss the film, but none of my friends had seen it, and none plan to D:.

I think the ending is particularly relevant to the recent Mass Effect fiasco too.

EDIT: I'm sure Whedon is well aware of this in his own creative career, with Dollhouse not being such a huge hit even with his own fans.

Again with the shots to the Retake: Mass Effect group. Jeez, enough already. The metaphors in Cabin in the Woods are fine on the whole Audience/Filmakers dynamic... or at least it would be if there was a cevat that the ways they made sacrifices in the first place worked so they did it ad neaseum until the Elder Gods couldn't tolerate anything different, so they dug their own hole with the formula.

Cabin of the Woods is still good though. Just, some comparisons don't work as well as first thought out.

MovieBob:
Re-Take The Cabin

A spoiler filled look into Cabin in the Woods and its take on our culture.

Read Full Article

I haven't seen so many people miss the point of a movie since Moulin Rouge. But it also appeals to my inner sense of Smug to watch it play out. There are basically three groups of people here:

Group A: The people who, in the process of their complaining, are inadvertently demonstrating the criticisms this movie levies at them.

Group B: The people who enjoy the movie at face value, unaware of the subtext. It's making fun of you, laughing at not with you, and you're laughing right along without realizing it.

Group C: The people who watch groups A and B with a certain sense of smug (or maybe sadistic) satisfaction, the way a young boy might watch ants roast under a magnifying lens... only superficially realizing that they're enjoying the same "guilty pleasures" they accuse the "lesser" groups of being slave to.

No one is safe, and that's what makes the whole thing great!

Did this article really need jabs at Mass Effect? It seemed almost secondary to the point, especially since the point was almost backwards from what's actually happening with the Mass Effect movement.

...again you miss the point of Retake. I like you bob i really do. I watched GOT, i read your blog, watch big picture, american bob, escape, and obviously i read this article. So i'm lost as to how you can be this ignorant. In this case Cabin's dynamic of elder god/office worker's doesn't apply here. The audience didn't demand bland formula. And the creators didn't deliver bland formula. Hell bland formula would be an improvement. no that ending has failed at basic coherence. It is entirely disconnected from the rest of the game, which everyone agrees is awesome.

It'd be like watching Cabin in The Woods and then having the last ten minutes of New Years Eve tacked on. It wouldn't be a dig at horror, audience/creator interaction, or creator/publisher interaction*. it just be weird, out of place and ruin the rest of the movie.

*which incidently is how i see cabin, instead of the genius creator's vision, the literal overlords force bland formula and it blows up in their face.

Glad you can't make an article without actively insulting fanbases Bob. It's really getting old.

*sigh* making these jabs once again at fanbases?

so unnecessary, especially when you act high and mightily smug up there upon your perch. not to mention you entirely missing the point of the retake movement, especially after all this time.

OT: the movie was quite a treat, i was expecting much different but i did enjoy it, on both the face value and what they were sneaking in with a deeper meaning. I couldn't care less about acting "smug" about it though, as some have mentioned, if you care that much to be "smug" about understanding a movie, then...well it's quite sad.

wouldn't recommend it for a date movie or such, but definitely if you have some free time.

Have you met Virgillio Armarndio yet? I think you two would get along swell.

Fox242:
Glad you can't make an article without actively insulting fanbases Bob. It's really getting old.

If only the fanbase wasn't so insulting.

Cabin in the woods was strange and unsettled for a point, infact a whole host of meta-points. Mass Effect 3's ending was just bad. Why all the tenuious digs Bob? Is the entire gaming press still out to shove the idea down out throats that there is something morally wrong with really hating the lazy ending to mass effect 3 or the outright lies that proceeded it?

You took a perfctly good artice about people 'not getting' an ending and runied it. You imply that Mass Effect 3 fans didn't 'get' the ending. I got the ending. I also got that it was shit.

What about all those poor people in Lucas-films Movie Bob? Or do you only have sympathy for people who work on projects that you didn't give a shit about to begin with?

Walter Byers:

Fox242:
Glad you can't make an article without actively insulting fanbases Bob. It's really getting old.

If only the fanbase wasn't so insulting.

If only the ENDING wasn't so insulting

DVS BSTrD:
If only the ENDING wasn't so insulting

Which doesn't even come close to justifying the behavior I've seen. Shit endings are everywhere. The retakes deserve ridicule for being ridiculous.

Without dragging Mass Effect into the issue... Which seems, in this case, a bit like picking a fight and then demanding your big brother step in and take on the bullies for you because you've bitten off more than you can chew...

No, I really didn't find the office staff sympathetic. And honestly, I don't think the film did, either. They're a bunch of Adolf Eichmanns, hiding behind the rote and banal aspects of their job to shield themselves from how despicable the acts they're perpetuating really are. The film never exactly works the angle, and perhaps it's ridiculous to read so far outside the lines, but I had to wonder that agencies capable of capturing hundreds of supernatural abominations and possessing a level of technological power far, far in excess of the civilizations shown performing sacrifices in the credits apparently never seriously considered the idea of trying to subdue the "Elder Gods" rather than appease them. It's easier to maintain a despicable ritual than dare to consider going outside what worked before to get to something better.

Beyond the ever-popular pastime of torturing metaphors to serve our own purposes, I somewhat got the impression that someone or something might have been interfering with or sabotaging the ritual- the business with the tunnel and a mention of a power reroute alludes to this, but it never entirely gets resolved. I wonder if there was some plot thread that got dropped but never fully removed from the script.

Thank you Bob for this article as I'm not particularly interested in seeing the film (don't like Horror and only reason I'd see it is Bradley Whitford is just awesome), but really interested in why everyone was making a fuss about it. I admit, going from your article, it probably would have gone over my head.

Walter Byers:

Fox242:
Glad you can't make an article without actively insulting fanbases Bob. It's really getting old.

If only the fanbase wasn't so insulting.

So the entire fanbase is insulting? How? I'm not a Mass Effect fan myself, but most of what I've seen out of the fan base is a demand to have the product they were supposed to get, something that didn't piss away all their countless hours of devotion. It's been pretty mature for the most part.

Bob hasn't even played the game and hasn't even bothered to full understand their grievenaces related to the ending of the game.

This whole article is pointless. It's based upon one instance of people not getting the point of Cabin in the Woods, an instance that I'm not quite sure even happened. Even if it did, it's one instance out of many. The public and the critics in general love this movie from everything that I've seen across the web. This just seemed like another excuse for the overly educated and smug jackass to sit on his high horse and mock people some more. Cabin in the Woods and Mass Effect 3 are nowhere close to being relatable. The endings for both of these media are not the same. One was clever and unexpected, the other was a "fuckk you" to those who paid for it. I'm sure you can guess which is which.

Okay, Bob, I get the desire to do away with narrative formula and cliche and blow the minds of the audience with something truly out of left field. I also get how some of the behavior displayed by disappointed fans could have been done in a much more cordial fashion. I get that.

Now what you seem to need to get, is that fans are bitching for a much bigger reason than 'we didn't get the ending we expected so wahh!' The ending to Mass Effect 3 is not (certainly in its current state) a work of genre redefining genius full of deep and profound symbolism. What it is is a lazy palette swap that leaves its audience asking more questions than the freaking Riddler, and that is completely devoid of any sense of accomplishment.

No, it doesn't have to be an ending we expect, but it does have to not completely shit all over 5 years of narrative consistency.

rayen020:
...again you miss the point of Retake. I like you bob i really do. I watched GOT, i read your blog, watch big picture, american bob, escape, and obviously i read this article. So i'm lost as to how you can be this ignorant. In this case Cabin's dynamic of elder god/office worker's doesn't apply here. The audience didn't demand bland formula. And the creators didn't deliver bland formula. Hell bland formula would be an improvement. no that ending has failed at basic coherence. It is entirely disconnected from the rest of the game, which everyone agrees is awesome.

It'd be like watching Cabin in The Woods and then having the last ten minutes of New Years Eve tacked on. It wouldn't be a dig at horror, audience/creator interaction, or creator/publisher interaction*. it just be weird, out of place and ruin the rest of the movie.

*which incidently is how i see cabin, instead of the genius creator's vision, the literal overlords force bland formula and it blows up in their face.

It wasn't about bland formula, it was about delivering what fans wanted and exactly what they wanted, which is why I think it fits really well actually.

I refuse to believe there is anyone out there who did not get the point of Cabin in the Woods.

Fox242:
So the entire fanbase is insulting? How? I'm not a Mass Effect fan myself, but most of what I've seen out of the fan base is a demand to have the product they were supposed to get, something that didn't piss away all their countless hours of devotion. It's been pretty mature for the most part.

I've tried to have meaningful conversations about Mass Effect 3 that didn't involve the ending (here and on other sites) and every single time it's been derailed by retakers. Yes, very mature. Do you just close your eyes to this behavior? Bury your head in the sand? It reminds me of a child who isn't having fun and doing their damnedest to make sure no one else does either.

NinjaDeathSlap:
Okay, Bob, I get the desire to do away with narrative formula and cliche and blow the minds of the audience with something truly out of left field. I also get how some of the behavior displayed by disappointed fans could have been done in a much more cordial fashion. I get that.

Now what you seem to need to get, is that fans are bitching for a much bigger reason than 'we didn't get the ending we expected so wahh!' The ending to Mass Effect 3 is not (certainly in its current state) a work of genre redefining genius full of deep and profound symbolism. What it is is a lazy palette swap that leaves its audience asking more questions than the freaking Riddler, and that is completely devoid of any sense of accomplishment.

No, it doesn't have to be an ending we expect, but it does have to not completely shit all over 5 years of narrative consistency.

He doesn't need to get it. He's smarter than you, end of story. He doesn't need to do any research as to why the fans are angry. He's the elite geek. He's right, you're wrong.

I was going to drop in here and say, "Bob, you missed the point.", but it looks like other people already called him out on it.

I'll just add this: I am a writer, and I appreciate a wide variety of media and genres. There is a difference between a bad ending and a broken ending. ME3 was a BROKEN ending. It did not fit, it did not function.

To compare it to Cabin, which had a brilliant, meta ending, is insulting to the move, the filmakers, and both audiences.

I'm not going to be pedantic and spell out why Cabin's ending worked. You're a smart guy, this is what you do for a living, there's no need. Nor will I rehash the (very tired) debates on ME3's ending. There are entire articles and videos done by people far more invested than I ever was into "why this fails at a basic level".

Yes, there are people who miss the ending of why Cabin existed, and who, in raging at the ticket counter (I saw this, it was hilarious) manage to BECOME the elder god's rising for blood.

Yes, there are people who were pissed at the end of ME3 because they didn't get formula happy-rainbows.

But the bulk of the objection to ME3's ending wasn't "this was bad", it was "this was broken", and there is a difference. One you don't like subjectively. One does not function on a basic level. The fact that the creators never offered up any cohesive defense of their ending, but only hid behind the blanket statement of "it is art" to ward criticism, should clearly show that many of the writers realize that it is not functioning at the level they'd wanted.

They're doing an Extended Cut. This may still leave the ending as a "bad" ending, which will piss a lot of people off, but it should HOPEFULLY resolve the problems of a "broken" ending, which created the Re-Take backlash.

EDIT: EXAMPLE INCOMING... There is a definite difference between, "I didn't like that ending", and "Jesus Christ, that ending just took a poop on every scene before it, and I feel guilty by proxy for witnessing it." I hated the ending of No Country for Old Men. It was grim, it was pointless, it was depressing... and that was the point of it, so I respected it immensely, even as I thought to myself, "that really sucks, I was hoping he'd make it out". I never had the urge to go online and complain about it, because it WORKED. Hell, I chuckle about how deep it cut me, because I was that invested. It made a point, it made a statement.

The best statement that ME3's ending managed to make was "herr derr" as it bungled its own continuity, its own themes, its own characters, its own... well, just about everything. Seriously, go watch the videos with an open mind. Better yet, Bob, go play the damn games, then comment on it, since you seem to lack the ability to change perspective on this type of issue without personally investing.

Walter Byers:

Fox242:
So the entire fanbase is insulting? How? I'm not a Mass Effect fan myself, but most of what I've seen out of the fan base is a demand to have the product they were supposed to get, something that didn't piss away all their countless hours of devotion. It's been pretty mature for the most part.

I've tried to have meaningful conversations about Mass Effect 3 that didn't involve the ending (here and on other sites) and every single time it's been derailed by retakers. Yes, very mature. Do you just close your eyes to this behavior? Bury your head in the sand? It reminds me of a child who isn't having fun and doing their damnedest to make sure no one else does either.

How did they dreail it? Is writing a comment about how bad the ending was and how it made the entire saga pointless "derailing" it? Elaborate.

Cabin in the woods was a full-length in-joke at the audience's expense. It's another case of Whedon spending millions to metaphorically lean in and stage whisper to the audience "You see what I did there?"

Agreed, it was a GOOD full length in-joke, but you're giving too much credit to the hipsters who use films like Cabin and Sucker punch to try and prove that they're smarter than the 'mainstream' by treating the subject like it's some complex subtlety, when the only way they could have spooned it on any thicker is with industrial equipment.

And there is really only one way of saying this. Shut up about Mass Effect. Your continued diatribes are neither funny, clever, or particularly accurate or relevant. I've gone from going 'I wonder what Bob's got to say on this?' to 'How much of the article is going to be dedicated to anti-retake asspain?'

The Bandit:
I refuse to believe there is anyone out there who did not get the point of Cabin in the Woods.

Same here. I'm skeptical about Bob's version of events here.

Ah, so the writers are tired of writing formula plots?

Fuck 'em.

I have no sympathy for them. I understand the problem, but I am totally unsympathetic. Understand: the writers aren't writing formula parts for free. They're writing drek, handing that drek to awful audiences, and then being handed More Money Than Humans Should Have in return.

So: fuck 'em.

They think that their job is to make art. They're wrong. They're artists, to be sure. I don't always like the art they make, but they're artists.

The trick is, they are ALSO movie-creators. And movie-creators aren't always employed to make art. But, and this is key, when they don't make art, they make ungodly sums of money.

So harden the fuck up. If you don't want to deal with mouthbreathing twats panning your film because they are literally too self-indulgent to confront their own vices being mocked in a completely impersonal fashion, then, guess what? No eleventy-zillion dollars for you. That's the gig.

This doesn't mean Cabin In the Woods is bad, and I'm certainly not criticizing Sucker Punch. But celebrities of all stripes have no cause to claim Poor Little Me when their official job description is "Shit into my own hands, spin half of the aforementioned shit into gold, and hand the rest, still dripping, to the audience."

So, of course, the longer it plays out and the more gloriously strange things get, the more the subterranean Elder Gods shake the earth with their fury and disappointment. "I didn't know it was gonna be all weird like that!" raged one theatergoer to her partners at one of my (four, so far) viewings of the film. "That was stupid! Go get our money back!" grumbled another, evidently unaware of how perfectly they were making the film's point for it.

This is almost too perfect to have happened, but I'm going to take Bob at his word here -- it was his fourth showing, he says. And I agree that those people were terrible. But again, and here's the thing: the only way to get money from those people is to feed them shit. If you don't like it, stop with the film industry and join the rest of us in gutting our education system until we have something openly hostile to Madison Avenue and most U.S. cultural touchstones. But if you want to sit on millions of dollars, do what you gotta do, but don't use your medium to be a whiny titty-baby about it. The rest of us have to not only avoid the drek you produce, we have to live with the twats that MovieBob overheard above.

Don't pile on.

P.S. -- We'll make you a deal. Turn Michael Bay's innards into Christmas decorations and you get to do another pity-party movie where evil spirits are forcing everyone to act out romantic comedy troupes. That seems fair. But Bay has to be awake the whole damn time.

The whole time.

Fox242:

The Bandit:
I refuse to believe there is anyone out there who did not get the point of Cabin in the Woods.

Same here. I'm skeptical about Bob's version of events here.

No, I actually saw something very similar. Mind you, the guys involved had trucker caps on backwards, profane t-shirts, and couldn't speak correctly to save their lives, so it's certainly not your average person that missed the point of Cabin.

Guys, guys! Don't even mention his preposterously hypocritical comments on ME3; He's doing it for the traffic.

And btw, this has fuck-all to do with Mass Effect 3. Once again, Bob has become a little over-obsessed with a bit of media. What you have to get is that Mass Effect 3 was pretty terrible. I don't play Mass Effect, but I saw that ending and I've played many bad rpgs before. Did customers protest other bad rpgs? Yes, but most of them didn't make much money and so there's no real outrcry besides "that game sucks."

The problem is that the people unhappy with Mass Effects ending range over every demographic imaginable. Some are irritating twats. Some are respectible human beings. Some are amazing human beings. ME3's ending is simply objectively terrible. It's a tedious formula ending in a genre already saturated with the stuff that defies the earlier-established narrative and game structure. It fills the screen with the minimum amount of flashy lights needed to reach the credits, undermining the "epic" scale of the plot ("the galaxy is burning, so let's show these five guys!"). For a rpg, the ending is an element of the game mechanics, and ME3's ending was an example of bad mechanics. Without plot-wrap-up blurbs, the entire "choice" mechanic fails, in the same way that bad camera schemes ruin many 3d games.

So the ending pisses off a lot of different people. No matter where on earth you go, nobody likes being poked with a sharp stick. Similarly, nobody likes a bad story. To make ME3 work with Cabin In the Woods, the dev-team stand-ins in the movie would have to be complaining about making a quality product that pleases discerning customers.

I'm not necessarily down with the shenanigans associated with the fan backlash, though I think EA deserves the customers it gets or worse. But the mere fact that the customers are upset is totally legit, and anyone becoming angry at someone who is unhappy that they bought a bad product is being more than a little dickish.

I love the way this thread is evolving. "interesting thread. But you insulted me!" Next paragraph "Mass Effect 3 I HAS FURY!"

Bob didn't insult you. This movie was not aimed specifically to spoof the ME3 debate - the game didn't exist when the movie was created. But the narrative fit the debate like a glove. So it was just an odd coincidence that the movie was released on the heels of this big fan protest when a company decided to step away from established formula. The point is completely lost on some people I guess.

animehermit:

rayen020:
...again you miss the point of Retake. I like you bob i really do. I watched GOT, i read your blog, watch big picture, american bob, escape, and obviously i read this article. So i'm lost as to how you can be this ignorant. In this case Cabin's dynamic of elder god/office worker's doesn't apply here. The audience didn't demand bland formula. And the creators didn't deliver bland formula. Hell bland formula would be an improvement. no that ending has failed at basic coherence. It is entirely disconnected from the rest of the game, which everyone agrees is awesome.

It'd be like watching Cabin in The Woods and then having the last ten minutes of New Years Eve tacked on. It wouldn't be a dig at horror, audience/creator interaction, or creator/publisher interaction*. it just be weird, out of place and ruin the rest of the movie.

*which incidently is how i see cabin, instead of the genius creator's vision, the literal overlords force bland formula and it blows up in their face.

It wasn't about bland formula, it was about delivering what fans wanted and exactly what they wanted, which is why I think it fits really well actually.

O_o either you misunderstood what i said or i'm misunderstanding what you said.

in cabin the creators gave the elder gods exactly what they wanted and it blew up in thier (the creators) faces. Whether the elder gods intended that is a whole other discussions.

in mass effect the creators failed at basic coherence and caused the ending to be disconnected from the rest of the game, story and gameplay wise. it wasn't that the fans are whining becasue they didn't get exactly what they wanted, it was because bioware advertised one thing and didn't deliver in the end.

the comparison doesn't work because Cabin is well crafted and drenched in symbolism, while ME (the end at least) is confusing lazy and devoid of any meaning. There was absolutely no way every ME fan was going to get exactly what they wanted, but not having a coherent ending or even one that provided any closure is unacceptable.

Sorry Bob, but you're just like all the other film critics out there. Making a good film out to be a great film.

I get the symbolisms but this film is neither the groundbreaker or the game changer so many tout it as. It's just another horror parody. A very fun one to watch, and one that works because it takes itself more seriously than others, but a parody all the same.

Even when act two appears, and things are supposed to go to the next level, all we get is an unintentionally cliched bloody finale instead of an intentional one in the first act.

The film is written, shot, acted, edited, and sold just like any other hollywood horror.

What's most remarkable, however, is how Bob lauds this film despite being not too different from Scream, that one film he's gone on record to say he despises the most. Both describe the rules in cliched horror films in a literal sense, with the puppeteers orchastrating exactly who dies in what order. The only difference with Cabin is that we don't get a movie buff to represent dear Bob here.

On that subject, disliking a film just because there's a character that represents you is a pretty lame reason at any rate. Serious question Bob, is it because you think you were above the other cliched members of high school? That you were somehow so unique and sophisticated that you shouldn't be represented in such a film?

I honestly thought Cabin was a very good movie. The most enjoyable film I've seen in the cinema for some time. But this film isn't going to have a profound influence on horror films of the future, nor is it going to set the film industry in a new direction in the same way that, say, The Blair Witch or The Ring did.

Perhaps I expected too much. I didn't watch any trailers, or read any reviews for this film prior to watching it. I only saw the bus advert with the distorted Cabin and the 'Ground Breaking, Game Changing' quotations. I was expecting something revolutionary, or experimental. Our generation's 'The Shining'.

What we got was just another concept movie. Maybe our generation's 'Scream'. Or the new 'in thing' for horror movies, like Paranormal Activity before it, and Saw before that. Not a bad thing, but not what it's being sold to be.

I like how people defend the ME3 ending as something original, when I got the same exact thing years ago in Deus Ex, and more recently in its Prequel/Sequel thing.

If anything its hardly Original.

keserak:

Fuck 'em.

You got it man, it's called 'paying your dues.' Anybody who's done anything artistic can attest to it.

You want to be known for your fantastic tattoos? You spend a million fucking hours scrawling the same flash on the lower backs of buck-a-dozen slatterns.

You want to be a lauded theatrical actor? You've got to spend years doing childrens pantomimes, or suck an OBSCENE amount of dick.

You want to be a respected director? Enjoy holding the spit-bucket for the overweight lighting technician for pennies.

I don't think the directors of these movies are being serious with the message, regardless of the intent of the author. I think there's more tongue in cheek present than Bob is really acknowledging in his article. Because lets face it, when you're Joss Whedon and you have more money than God, you don't get to complain that your art movies only earn you enough to do one pound of blow off a 16 year old's pert ass.

algalon:
I love the way this thread is evolving. "interesting thread. But you insulted me!" Next paragraph "Mass Effect 3 I HAS FURY!"

Bob didn't insult you. This movie was not aimed specifically to spoof the ME3 debate - the game didn't exist when the movie was created. But the narrative fit the debate like a glove. So it was just an odd coincidence that the movie was released on the heels of this big fan protest when a company decided to step away from established formula. The point is completely lost on some people I guess.

Someone in this thread is definitely failing to understand, I'll grant you that. Please go up the thread and read my post about "bad versus broken" to get where most (civilized) people stand on the ending. Yes, there are twats. There always are. Keserak addresses that point in the post directly above yours.

Anyway, once you've read those points, then come back. There is a massive difference here, and it's not based around "like/don't like".

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