It looks like I waited more than a week to see The Cabin in the Woods, which simply isn’t true. (It also looks like I haven’t read a book in more than a month, which, well, yeah, that’s true. What is wrong with my life?) It’s just that I had other stuff I needed to write about first, and on top of that I have of course remained incredibly busy with my new job. But this review marks me as all caught up again, which is on the one hand relieving and on the other tragic. I’ve only seen two movies in quite a bit more than a month, obviously no video game time to speak of, I’m drowning in books I want to read (not that the one I’m reading is bad, it’s just way too long)… I fear I am not type-A-driven enough for this number of hours per week.
That or I watch too much TV. Of course, if I didn’t, I may not have been sufficiently obsessed by Joss Whedon to run out and watch his horror movie on opening day, nor to hope but ultimately fail to watch it again prior to the review. Because, there’s a lot to watch. I fooled myself into thinking the previews unfairly gave away plot details, but it’s not true. The opening scene of the movie reveals just how much of a rabbit hole you’ve stumbled into, and all but dares you to figure it out before you hit the bottom. In case you need more of a plot summary than the none I’ve given so far, I’ll just mention that five college friends plan to spend a weekend at a cabin in the, um, woods, after which horror ensues. But I bet you already knew that? And yeah, everything else is wildly spoilerful and goes beyond a cut.
Well, except this: if you like like horror as a genre, and especially if that’s the kind of thing you’d say out loud? You must see this movie. (If you don’t / wouldn’t, it’s still pretty worthwhile. The only reason not to go see it is if you can’t stand to see on-screen gory violence, because, yes, that’s gonna happen.)
Okay, so, if you’re here, you’ve seen the movie or foolishly decided that you definitely aren’t going to. Here’s the little bit more I have to say, then. This is the first movie I have seen in, well, possibly ever that made me squirm uncomfortably in my seat and feel guilty to be there, watching. Because those horror-trope teens dying in the woods? The writer of the movie told me they were specifically dying for my entertainment. And of course that’s always true, of course it is, but it’s different when it’s extra-literal. All those other teens ostensibly died because a drowned camp kid wanted revenge or a crazy brother wanted to find his last sibling or a pedophile disliked being set on fire, and I was allowed to ignore the literal reason. But now I’m even ostensibly at fault? That’s pretty harsh, Joss.
Except, you know, it made me think about what I was doing, which is rarely what happens in a horror movie. And then, right when I couldn’t make up my mind who to root for (pragmatic scientists vs. doomed teens, you see, and there are good reasons to go either way), I got to take a break from thinking and feeling bad because all hell broke loose. And it wasn’t even really a cop-out! So, yeah, I’m pretty impressed.
It better not have ruined future horror movies for me, though. (Or for that matter any produced material where people die for my entertainment. Because… dammit. And yet, it will be at the front of my brain for at least a while.)