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The Cabin in the Woods


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#41 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 02:23 AM

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?

#42 Attica

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 02:49 AM

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, 17 April 2012 - 02:53 AM.


#43 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 02:54 AM

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?

#44 Thom Wade

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 07:43 AM

I don't know...the realization that it was actually
Spoiler
was not clear to me at the start. When they did the whole
Spoiler
...but the idea that it was
Spoiler
? 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!"

#45 Nick Alexander

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 08:52 AM

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, 17 April 2012 - 08:54 AM.


#46 Tyler

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 09:14 AM

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?


Spoiler


#47 Nick Alexander

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 09:23 AM

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

#48 Thom Wade

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 09:24 AM

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.

Spoiler


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



Spoiler


#49 Tyler

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 09:40 AM

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.

#50 Nick Alexander

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 09:43 AM

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?

#51 Thom Wade

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 09:51 AM

Such archtypes predate the 70s. The scholar, the fool, the virgin, etc are pretty old archetypes. The film makes it clear that the current incarnation is something they evolved to.

#52 Nick Alexander

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 09:58 AM

And how were these sacrifices able to have been so manipulated in every single century before the birth of modern technology, before Thomas Edison invented the light bulb? I mean, that was one expensive electronic fence in the middle of nowhere, and that's for starters.

#53 Nick Alexander

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 10:21 AM

As a fan of horror movies--both current and classic, I recognize that while horror has existed in various forms, the archetypes/victims did not. How were the jock, harlot, virgin, etc, play out in Shelley's Frankenstein? Or Tournier's _Cat People_? Or _Hamlet_ (assuming this qualifies?)

Even moreso, why not the gods/demons/underground-dwellers-w-giant-extraterrestrial-hands just go read up on the police blotter at some random inner city metropolis? Surely all sorts of individuals can fulfill specific archetypes.

#54 Thom Wade

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 10:27 AM

It seems you are demanding a level of world building that the film does not require. Knowing how they did it in the past is hardly need to know for the story to work on it's own. Seriously, people seem to apply less rigorous testing to their religious beliefs (where mystery or unsure of the reasons why/how can be overlooked with "it's bigger than me") than you are demanding of this film.

#55 Nick Alexander

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 10:32 AM

I would not have demanded it if the story had not introduced it. But because they introduced it, I demand it.

#56 Attica

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 11:17 AM


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.

I viewed them as demi-gods. Demi-gods in ancient mythology have all sorts of rules and limitations.

#57 Attica

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 11:31 AM

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?

They used it once more, partly to effectively take it's need out of the plot. When one of the redneck gouls attacks the "virgin" her new boyfriend sees this through the mirror and comes crashing through to save her. Thus the mirror is destroyed and can't be used anymore, and they play on the horror trope of the hero being there to save the girl with no apparent explanation. But of course there was an explanation...... he saw her through the mirror.

As to the part about the spying, I had wondered about something similar, and this could possibly be a mistep in the film. But I also had considered that this scene might be playing on the idea that women are more trustworthy in the spying department then men. The idea of a man discovering that he can see a woman in a mirror and then spy on her stripping down fits right in with the horror genre, the other way around not as much (although it's not outside of the "rules" I suppose). Also she was the "good girl" in the movie, and the "good girl" would probably lean towards being trustworthy in that department.

Edited by Attica, 17 April 2012 - 11:38 AM.


#58 Ryan H.

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 11:38 AM

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?

You are thinking *way* too hard about this movie. THE CABIN IN THE WOODS is a big, silly gag, and logic isn't one of its priorities. Looking for logic in THE CABIN IN THE WOODS is like looking for logic in the MEN IN BLACK films. You're not gonna find it.

#59 Attica

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 11:44 AM


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?

You are thinking *way* too hard about this movie. THE CABIN IN THE WOODS is a big, silly gag, and logic isn't one of its priorities. Looking for logic in THE CABIN IN THE WOODS is like looking for logic in the MEN IN BLACK films. You're not gonna find it.

Yeah. Even in a more epic serious horror film like Nosferatu viewers aren't expecting the film to explain how it was that vampirism started. ect. ect. This film is playing on ancient mythologies where the demi-Gods would demand these sorts of ritual sacrifices. To my knowledge ancient mythologies wouldn't be expected to explain the details of how it would have worked out in the past.

Edited by Attica, 17 April 2012 - 11:52 AM.


#60 Attica

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 11:50 AM

Here's another thing to consider. Possibly the folks who aren't into this movie (and there seems to be a few) are represented by the African American guy who was new to the control room. I think it's fair to say that he represents the person who is new to horror films and is observing it's fans enthusiasm for this genre...... and just doesn't get it.

Edited by Attica, 17 April 2012 - 11:51 AM.