Friday, April 20, 2012

Final Thoughts On Cabin In The Woods ... I Promise

Are you sick of me talking about Cabin In The Woods yet?  If you follow the blog on Facebook, where I don't believe a day has gone by all week that I haven't talked about some aspect of it, then I'm guessing you probably are.  I already did a pretty thorough review of the movie last weekend, but there's just one final thing that I wanted to briefly touch upon here tonight, something that I've kinda come to realize about the movie after spending all week almost nonstop thinking about it and discussing it, both with friends and with my inner self.  I love talking to him.  Such a cool guy.

Anyways, bear with me here for one last little expulsion of thoughts about the movie!

I've read many reviews of Cabin In The Woods this past week and I gotta say, they're all pretty damn interesting.  I've had an absolute blast reading all the different opinions and takes on the movie, whether any given reviewer adored it like myself or just plain didn't get it.

One of the key phrases I've seen tossed about in a lot of those reviews is that, "Cabin In The Woods reinvents the horror genre".  It's a bold statement, a serious dose of hype that seems to have resulted in many horror fans being disappointed when they finally see the movie for themselves and are bummed to discover that the statement is not exactly true.  Though I love Cabin In The Woods dearly, I don't believe that it does reinvent the genre.  This is in no way a criticism of the movie, because my belief is that it never actually aspires to do that.  That's really not the idea here.

Cabin In The Woods doesn't reinvent the genre, so much as it does admirably pave the way for a new crop of horror filmmakers to reinvent the genre.  In other words, it doesn't reinvent the wheel, but rather exposes it for the tired old machine it is and then smashes it to pieces with a big ass fuckin' axe, thereby issuing a challenge to filmmakers to reinvent that wheel from scratch.  To me, that's the brilliance of the film; the impact it already has and will continue to leave on both horror fans and horror filmmakers alike.  Quite honestly, I think it's this impact that the film not only strives to achieve but in fact does achieve that's greater than the actual awesomeness of the movie itself.  Which is exactly why I personally found the movie to be a whole lot more fun to discuss and analyze, even then it was to sit back and experience for the first time.  If you're asking me, the brilliance of Cabin In The Woods lies within its message and the thoughts that it leaves in your head afterwards, more than anything else.

So, what does the movie mean for the future of the horror genre?  Well, honestly, it could have absolutely no impact on the landscape of the genre whatsoever.  Just because it paves the road doesn't mean anybody's gonna walk down that road.  Unfortunately.  But the hope here is that a new generation of filmmakers heed Cabin's message and warnings, and are inspired by the film to essentially throw out everything they know about the genre when they sit down to write and make their own movies, hopefully reinventing the genre by straying from the norm and thinking outside the box.  At the same time, my personal hope is that us fans allow those filmmakers the freedom to make movies that are different than what we've seen before.  It may not be comfortable at first, but we need to allow and accept that change, or else it quite frankly will never come.

To me, Cabin is merely the pre-cum prelude to that potential geyser of kickass original horror cinema that we can only hope comes in its wake.  And that is precisely, in a nutshell, why I love the movie so damn much.  Is it the best horror movie ever made?  No, it's not.  But I'm head over heels in love with what it represents, and what it represents is a potential clean slate for the genre as a whole.  Remember that dry erase board filled with generic ideas and horror movie monsters that we see in the film?  That's the perfect representation of the tired old machine that is the American horror movie industry, and Cabin In The Woods essentially wipes that board clean, leaving a whole lot of room for some much needed originality.  The film almost dares, and challenges, horror filmmakers to fill it up with a whole new list of nightmares and ideas.  Inspiring?  I sure as hell think so.

Blow our minds, horror filmmakers of the future.  Blow our fuckin' minds wide open.  We're ready for it.

(Oh and if you somehow missed seeing Cabin In The Woods last weekend ... GO SEE IT THIS WEEKEND!!)


Unknown said...

When I saw the flick, I saw on the board of scenarios that "Kevin" was an option. Anyone know what that is about?

Johnny said...

From what I've heard, Kevin was a character that was written in the script to show up at the end when all hell broke lose, but he never made it into the movie. He was apparently gonna be a normal looking dude who killed people, I guess just representing killers who are human rather than monsters.

MJ said...

This is something I've been trying to explain to people without ruining it- Cabin is like a brilliant closing chapter to 80's 90's and 2000 horror, rather than a revolutionary new beginning.

Jason said...

I just saw it thought it was brilliant. SPOILER: At the end I thought it would turn out that the Stoner was the Virgin, and the redheaded chick was the fool (for sleeping with her professor). Then she would die from the werewolf attack saving the world.

Emily said...

It's funny because the other night, I watched a straight-to-DVD slasher called MaskMaker which was decently made but just followed the Cabin scenario SO CLOSELY that I simply couldn't ignore it. It's hard to ever say one movie changed the way you watch film, but I tell ya, it was HARD to enjoy this other movie on its own terms!

Johnny said...

Ya, going back and watching generic horror movies after watching Cabin is pretty interesting. Seems you can more clearly see them for exactly what they are in the wake of that movie!