The Ghoulish Plot: Movie tropes are so, like, played out, maaaaan. In this movie, they’re, like, doing the classic horror movie, but it’s like, waaaaay different, bro.
2012′s Cabin In The Woods carries with it the baggage of several years of being told it’s a really smart play on horror movies by some people and others telling me it’s a really silly version of a horror movie. Turns out, those are both kinda/sorta accurate.
The movie opens with two middle-aged dudes talking meta-riffically about the upcoming day of work and other typical office drone stuff. They hear there’s an issue at the Stockholm office and they shrug it off and say the Japan group will get it all handled anyway and then use the most horrific of all vehicles, a golf cart, to head to their work station. They’re coming to get you at a par 3, Barbara.
Cut to college girl Dana, hanging out in her underwear because that’s how all college girls just chill. Right? Girls didn’t hang out with me in college. Dana’s getting ready to go on a road trip with some friends to a cabin…in a place somewhere else, I guess. Her friends include her sluttier friend, her sluttier friend’s hunky boyfriend who looks like Thor, Thor’s slightly less masculine friend who is hunky but polite and then a random stoner dude who looooooves pot and is too silly for girls to waste any vagina on. It’s almost like they’re, like, character archetypes, maaaan.
The group takes off in an RV to the cabin, then encounters a scary hillbilly at a gas station who warns them to stay away from the cabin, almost as if this were planned out. Then we cut to the two middle-aged guys in the bunker talking to the scary hillbilly after the kids leave.
The kids get to the cabin, start partying and then somehow unleash a family of scary redneck zombies, who then begin stalking them and killing some of the group. I’ve made a mess drunkenly making macaroni and cheese, but luckily never unleashed zombies. As the attack continues, the stoner has his suspicions that this is all being controlled by some undercover group…but how deep does it go? And why are they doing this to them? You’ll have to watch to find out, and also to see how silly and nonsensical a movie that starts out this promising is willing to go.
The Scariest Part Of The Movie: Once the redneck zombies are unleashed, this movie gets legitimately scary for a good 20 minutes. Then things take some very strange and silly turns and it’s back to meta-giggles. I never thought I’d be laughing so hard at a relentless bloodbath featuring werewolves, Hellrasier-esque beasts and a Merman, but when it happens it was downright hilarious.
Our Hero’s Downfall: The story is such that our heroine is literally set up to fail no matter what she does. Just another case of being born to die, brah.
Could It Happen: Much like when people think 9/11 was a conspiracy, I point to the tradition of typical bureaucracy – there’s no way any organization has their shit this together to pull it off. More than likely the intended victims would just start getting random bills, then have to file form 8899-B with the Refunds Department within 90 business days to submit for a reversal, but only if they’ve already filed form 88Y-3 with the head office and received receipt of its acceptance. Of course, that receipt must be sent to Refunds within 30 days of processing…and then everybody dies of old age. SCARY.
Spookiness Factor: 5 out of 10. Redneck zombies – scary as shit. Rampaging plastic costume Merman? not so much.