Tyler

The Cabin in the Woods

133 posts in this topic

Got a 'C' Cinemascore, with a D+ from females. The general public definitely doesn't like it. What a shame.

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They probably hated the vampires circling the moon attacking the hot guy.

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I saw the film last night and thought it was gloriously campy, over-the-top and ballsy. Didn't really find it scary though, although i was unquestionably disturbed by the third act onslaught, which managed to conjure every horrible, childhood fever dream imaginable. But up to that point, I definitely had fun. I found that the audience reaction to this in my theater was overwhelmingly negative-- one of those films where the walk-out comments where generally loud and profane, including someone saying "that was 20 dollars flushed right down the @#% toilet!"

I will never hear the word merman again without thinking of this movie! Loved that.

Ignoring for any critical assesment of the unique twists in the story, it's probably wise to advise this is NOT a date movie especially if your SO is disturbed by general evisceration, exploding bodies, roomfuls of entrails and blood and monsters vomiting into their victims mouths...There is considerable restraint in the first two acts. So much so, that they may have gotten away with a PG13 and the film easily passes date movie muster up to that point. But that third act, in the bowels of the nightmare zoo. Yikes Shit! ...

Edited by Greg P

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Ok, one detail is bugging me: Where did Curt get the motorcycle that he tried to jump the gorge with? Was it in the RV somewhere? Already at the cabin?

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I found that the audience reaction to this in my theater was overwhelmingly negative-- one of those films where the walk-out comments where generally loud and profane, including someone saying "that was 20 dollars flushed right down the @#% toilet!"

The audience I saw it with was pretty positive..but then, it was a small matinee crowd. This is going to be one of those ones people "absolutely love" or "hate with a firey passion", isn't it?

Edited by Nezpop

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Ok, one detail is bugging me: Where did Curt get the motorcycle that he tried to jump the gorge with? Was it in the RV somewhere? Already at the cabin?

It was strapped to the back of the RV when they left home & shown in a couple of shots along the way. Yes, I broke down and saw this. My gothic/horror-film fan colleagues/friends Sherry & her husband metaphorically held my hand. As Sherry quoted somone or other's dramatic principle, "If you reveal a gun in Act 1, someone has to use it before the end of the play." (Not a spoiler, because we're not talking about a gun.)

Speaking of spoilers, anyone with half a brain should figure out what's going on the minute the opening credits start rolling, so skip them if you want to be really, really surprised. I didn't absolutely love it, because...well, I'm never going to love this genre. Horror fans (like my friends & many of you) will appreciate much of what happens in it so much more that I ever could. However, I did kinda love what Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard did with it, and the casting (Fran Kranz is a delight), and Jeffrey Overstreet's review. People who thought it was a waste of money should just watch SAW XXLIV again.

Edited by BethR

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By the way, another recent movie that plays with the cabin in the woods setup, but in a rather different way, is Tucker and Dale Vs Evil.

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Fran Kranz is a delight)

Yes. Some director who enjoyed this movie should be trying to get him for a future film. I am not naming names or anything. But his name rhymes with Merickson.

Tyler-I agree...Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil was also a delight in this exploration of the genre.

Okay...now to go watch Rare Exports.

Edited by Nezpop

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For the more squeamish among us, how does the gore/bloodiness in this film compare to, say, Tucker & Dale vs. Evil?

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For the more squeamish among us, how does the gore/bloodiness in this film compare to, say, Tucker & Dale vs. Evil?

There's a lot of violence in the film, but you don't end up seeing all that much of it directly. More often, it cuts away before the most gruesome shot or you see someone reacting to it. The goriest parts have a cartoonish feel to them, too.

I actually think the violence level is one reason Cabin isn't tracking that well with audiences. It's a movie about violence, but it's more interested in commenting on it than on showing or reveling in it.

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For the more squeamish among us, how does the gore/bloodiness in this film compare to, say, Tucker & Dale vs. Evil?

I havent seen that film, but Cabin definitely try to make-up for its early restraint in the final 20-30 mins. The ending features an assualt rifle barage of hellsih images, characters and scenarios-- in a rather suffocating manner-- which makes the gore probably seem more intense than it actually was. I am not squeamish about horror films and this one was no different, but the chaos and violence of the final minutes was definitely unsettling... in a good way, if that makes sense.

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I'll admit this one got a number of good laughs out of me (mostly from the fellas in the control room), but I can't say I walked away loving the film. It's too clever for its own good.

Edited by Ryan H.

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I really enjoyed the film, but I'm wondering just what critics are referring to when they talk about the "twist"?

I sort of saw that coming from the opening credits, and it was pretty clear by the beginning of the second act.

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We'll, I share the love, and agree with the sentiment that an awful lot of people that see this film aren't going to be thinking about the movies deeper themes. I guess that's where essays about the movie come in, but then I suppose there is spoiler territory to think about. It's kind of a strange thing, as this is of course one of those films where such discussion could ruin the film, but also after people have seen it, greatly enhance it.

The crowd at the theatre were laughing a lot throughout and smiling and laughing when they left. Some seemed to like it. Yet I did hear a few quite negative comments from several viewers who were actually also laughing about it afterwords. It's almost as if they were laughing at a lot of the stuff in the film but thought it was awful overall. I'm not sure what to make of that response. Possible little spoiler - The reasons some people aren't liking this film actually makes for a good discussion, fitting in with one of the film's themes.

I thought that the filmmakers really pulled it all together compentally, and at the moment I can't think of any real misteps or plotholes, although maybe on a second view they might become noticeable.

I'll have to look into Tucker & Dale vs. Evil if its a similar film. For those who are interested, there's another recent film that plays on the genre in a pretty funny way with a fairly well done psyhcological theme.

It has some great stuff in it including
which I thought was hilarious within the setting of the film, although it might not be that funny on its own. Note - Language warning - for the F word.

I really enjoyed the film, but I'm wondering just what critics are referring to when they talk about the "twist"?

I sort of saw that coming from the opening credits, and it was pretty clear by the beginning of the second act.

I think that one part was evident even from the trailer, and wasn't really a twist.

Edited by Attica

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I'm gonna play ruthless contrarian. What an incredibly brainless, callous, awfully stupid movie. I avoided nearly all commercials and trailers, but still figured out the third act (at the moment the second time Bradley Whitford repeated that specific "M"-word... the rule of THREE binds even scripts like this.

Oh CGI , how many more movies must you ruin?

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Nick Alexander wrote:

: I'm gonna play ruthless contrarian. What an incredibly brainless, callous, awfully stupid movie.

Thank God. I was beginning to feel alone.

Actually, I found the movie entertaining in places. Bits of it were amusing and all that. (I chuckled often, though now, only 26 hours later, I can't quite remember what any of my chuckles were about. Oh, except for that one phone call. That was a keeper. Oh, and the blow hole. Lovely detail.)

But as world-creation, it sucks. Heck, even as genre mash-up, it's lacking. (As Mister Miyagi said, "Squished like grape.")

And I agree completely with Mike D'Angelo and others who have been wondering what all the fanboy spoiler-sensitivity is all about. All the basics -- the human-sacrifice theme (OPENING CREDITS!!), the guys in the control room (VERY FIRST SCENE!!), the quasi-virtual reality electronics (THAT BIRD!!) -- are spelled out in the first 15 minutes of the movie. Anyone who seriously cares enough to avoid even THAT much information before seeing a film like this wouldn't be opening this thread in the first place, so what's with all the black bars?

Honestly, I'll take Knowing over this any day. Now THAT was a movie with a twist, and the scope to carry it out.

Side note: Why include a one-way mirror in the plot if you're not going to actually, like, do anything with it?

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Side note: Why include a one-way mirror in the plot if you're not going to actually, like, do anything with it?

Maybe not needed this late in the thread... but spoiler warning.

But they did do something with it. They showed that he had the character to tell her about the mirror instead of watching her take off her cloths, being that his observation of her would be in poor taste. Then at that time the film moved to the people in the control room observing these characters, thus showing that they were in poor taste. This set it up so that later when they were observing various things (such as the naked girl) on the screens we saw their poor taste in wanting to do so. But of course the people in the control room represent us, the viewers of horror movies, and these viewers can often be lusting after the girl, and in several other ways doing things similar to what those in the control room were doing, including taking bets on the characters on screens deaths, an overly relaxed attitude towards mutilation, death, and torture onscreen. ect.

The mirror and it's direct connection to the control room is what set up this theme, and the people in the control room are saying something about some movie viewers. As well during the mirror scene he had the character to avoid his temptation and not watch her take off her cloths...... but I wonder how many people watching this couldn't wait for her to strip down at that moment?

The mirror helped to set forth the film's main theme, and watching the film through the lense of this theme is when it starts to become especially thought provoking.

Edited by Attica

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Attica wrote:

: The mirror and it's direct connection to the control room is what set up this theme

I get the "theme" part of it. What I'm asking about is the "plot" aspect. Once they introduce it, they don't use it again.

In fact, they kind of forget that they just introduced it. The guy finds the mirror, tells the girl he's not going to spy on her, and then he switches rooms with her and... he begins to take HIS clothes off, but without giving ANY sign that he realizes SHE could be watching HIM. What sense does THAT make?

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I don't know...the realization that it was actually

a human sacrifice to appease ancient gods

was not clear to me at the start. When they did the whole

speaker phone bit, I still was thinking this might be animatronics high tech "testing" stuff

...but the idea that it was

a combination of hi-tech and real honest to goodness monsters

? That much I was uncertain of. In the beginning, it seemed pretty vague about the whys. The opening credits had me curious as to what the symbols meant to the story, but I did not see those and declare "Ah HA!"

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These questions, I hope, are ambiguous enough that those not wanting to be spoiled would only be confused.

(Ask me if I care. I wasted a moviegoing window that could have been used for something profound and meaningful... like "The Raid: Redemption.")

But... where were those five archetypes in the J-Horror elementary school sequence? If the J-Horror girls didn't have to sacrifice any innocent archetypes, and succeeded in turning the evil presence into a frog, why couldn't our hapless American heroes succeed in doing the same?

There was a scene where I chuckled--that elevator lobby scene when all eight doors opened--but for all the "copyright-free" images they used to demonstrate the carnage in the last ten minutes, why did they miss the most terrifying elevator door sequence in the history of movies? (The Shining's blood flood--which was parodied in Kung Fu Hustle... and yes, they did include twin girl ghosts in its coffers...).

How can the universe of appeased Egyptian gods coexist w the universe of turn of the century religious fanatics that compose Latin spells?

And that bird... how much better if the bird's demise was met off screen?

And one of the deaths was completely nonsensical--so an RV is driven how many miles before any of them know that there's a stranger aboard? Jump scares aren't scary if the kills are random, without any semblence of logic.

Bottom line, just because one likes horror movies, doesn't mean that person is gifted in making one. _Scream_ succeeded in being both a parody homage AND a scary movie in its own right. The scares were genuine, because there was a logic that, while stretched to an extent, made sense. This exercise in meta horror needed another draft to tie its loose ends.

Edited by Nick Alexander

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But... where were those five archetypes in the J-Horror elementary school sequence? If the J-Horror girls didn't have to sacrifice any innocent archetypes, and succeeded in turning the evil presence into a frog, why couldn't our hapless American heroes succeed in doing the same?

The movie's concept is that each culture--they showed a number of different ones on their monitors, including the J-Horror one--has different horror archetypes. That is, the American one is the five kids in the cabin, and the Japanese one is schoolgirls being tormented by a ghost. When the Japanese girls turned the ghost-thing into a frog, that was a triumph for the girls, but a failure for the appeasing-the-ancients program; the reason all hell didn't break loose on Japan right away is that the American scenario hadn't fully played out yet. From that perspective, the way the American scenario played out--with Dana and Marty infiltrating the underground base, and ultimately with Marty refusing to kill Dana to save the world--was effectively the same thing as the Japanese girls turning the ghost in a frog; it failed to appease fulfill the requirements of the American scenario, and thus broke the seal on the ancients. And since every other culture's scenario had already failed, the whole world went splat at the end.

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So... the Egyptian gods are bound by imaginary lines in the sand demarking the separation of countries? How could they be "gods", then?

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And one of the deaths was completely nonsensical--so an RV is driven how many miles before any of them know that there's a stranger aboard? Jump scares aren't scary if the kills are random, without any semblence of logic.

Yes. There would be nowhere to hide in an RV. Nowhere at all. Because RVs do not have bathrooms or closets.

The film actually hints that one of the zombie family members is in the RV. When the survivors run up, there is a bloody hand print on the door, suggesting somebody is inside.

How can the universe of appeased Egyptian gods coexist w the universe of turn of the century religious fanatics that compose Latin spells?

Um, when did the movie establish the sacrifices were to Egyptian gods? They are ancient gods that predate specific religions.

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So... the Egyptian gods are bound by imaginary lines in the sand demarking the separation of countries? How could they be "gods", then?

Did it call them gods? I got the impression they were more like demons or figures from mythology and nightmares.

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So... for all the milleniums that this world was in existence (since these angry gods existed before Egypt), the United States was unable to meet its quota until... 1974 (at the very earliest, assuming Tobe Hooper's masterpiece played to those archetypes?). Or perhaps the Herschell Gordon Lewis flicks of the 60s counted? Did Godzilla help keep Japan's quota fulfilled?

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