Friday, August 24, 2012

The Cabin in the Woods (2012)

Ever noticed how the characters in horror movies never seem to escape the place of terror, be it a haunted house or an entire town? Don't you go mad when this one guy in the group suggests they split up? Don't you hate it when they enter a dark cellar? How there is always a secluded shack to the north of nowhere? Cabin in the Woods has all the answers. It single-handedly puts every single horror movie into context! It affirms its authority over them all. It is that kind of movie which makes you question everything you believed in. I will go ahead and say it positions itself just two notches below The Matrix and Inception in terms originality and brain-fucking. 

"If you hear a strange sound outside... have sex."
"If an old man warns you not to go there... make fun of him."
"Quaint abandoned property... sold."
"If something is chasing you... split up."

The movie keeps quashing all the genre cliches and even redeems most horror movies which came before it. Horror films have grown so textbook in the years. It is almost expected out of a slasher film to have certain types of characters to qualify into the genre. The most commonly seen types are these: the hot slutty dumb blonde, her beefcake boyfriend, a nerd, a stoner-head and the quintessential good girl. The intelligent part of Cabin is that its characters have more to them than these textbook traits. For example, the hot one is actually a brunette who colors her hair blonde for the trip and is a medical student, the gym-body boyfriend is a very brainy sociology major, and the athlete is surprisingly not a dick. Cabin offers all these cliches a new meaning; it was not for them to decide. 

Okay, now how do I write more without spoiling essential plot points? I haven't seen the trailer and I don't know how much of it is already out there. I will discuss developments which happen fairly early and speak nothing about the mind-blowing last 30 minutes. I was hooked trying to figure out what was happening so I would rather you stop reading now to keep the fun intact.

The world of Cabin is like the house of Big Boss; only the players don't know they are being watched. It's their own little Truman show. It reminded me of The Hunger Games as the people who control this setting rig the system just to an extent enough to get things going and then sit back and let shit happen. The controllers have the responsibility to constantly make this cat and mouse game more interesting. They must also make sure things go according to plan amid the chaos. They run the nightmare machine which bottles everything you have ever feared and lets them loose on you. Yes, even clowns. It doesn't mock the horror film template, but pays an homage to it. 

I am not a big horror fan and I have seen very little. But I know this genre has become stagnant with each new release. Cabin goes all out meta and offers a fantastic story which keeps you guessing. It's funny, it's scary, it is totally awesome. Also, smoke weed; it just might save your life.