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View Full Version : The Cabin in the Woods discussion (Spoilers, duh!)



Kegboy
04-14-2012, 01:17 PM
As with my Mass Effect thread, I'd just as soon dispel with the spoiler tags. As I said in the Movie thread, if you haven't seen it, you do yourself a diservice seeking out any info beforehand. If you're the least bit interested in this, back out, go see it, and come back. We'll still be here.

Now, with that out of the way, did anyone else get the feeling that the third act was a direct result of Whedon's tv budget limitations on Buffy? I feel like the elevator doors opening were the release off all his pent up creative juices that had built up over the years.

The movie's not perfect by any means, but the structure, the layering that goes on throughout is pretty darn close, in my opinion. Really gets me pumped to see what Joss learned from this experience and applied to The Avengers.

Hicks
04-14-2012, 08:54 PM
It certainly felt like it could have been a continuation on ideas touched upon on Buffy/Angel. More monsters, wilder monsters, giant monsters, giant Gods, those kinds of things.

This almost feels like it could belong in the same universe, to a point.

It all gets so big/wild that in a way I'm glad they didn't have the budget to go in this direction on the shows.

All in all, it's a really good flick if you're into these sorts of movies (which I more or less am).

I've come to realize that I'm usually about 90% on board with what Joss and his folks do, and this was no exception. I know it's just a movie/show, but it bugs me how they'll have a character get stabbed or caught in a bear trap, but within seconds of screen time they're moving around like it never happened (only the blood stains are left to remind us). I wish there would be more physical consequences to those attacks beyond the second in which they occur.

By the way, jumping back a bit, am I the only one who felt like this was somewhat of a continuation of what The Initiative would be up to if they were still around in 2012? Ten years ago they were capturing and dissecting monsters to better learn how to stop them, but once they learned about these agent gods, this is totally what I could see them setting up to deal with it.

If I want to get nerdy-nitpicky (and why not, I suppose), I have to ask: Assuming this is the government behind this (which I think it's meant to be), how the hell would they learn about this before it had already blew up in the world's face? Why is this the only solution they could come up with? There's these ancient demon gods or whatever, yet no positive/good gods to counter them? And why are these gods content with young adults who are only roughly the archetypes they are looking for the blood of? Wouldn't it have to be completely authentic (rather than chemically-affected people who maybe/kinda/sorta fit the stereotypes)? Why is the virgin dying last an either/or option in terms of whether or not she survives? Plus, why is it not okay to just set them up with one type of monster ('they have to choose'), yet in so many other ways it's okay for it to all be contrived? I mean it's not like they went out of their way to stir up ANY kind of monster to begin with; that was all set up by these folks (no matter which they happened to inadvertently select in the end).

I dug the Hellraiser/Pinhead ripoff sphere and monster.

I know, most of this falls under "it's just a show, I should really just relax," but hell it's a forum thread to talk about it, I'm enough of a dork to ask, so what the hell; I'm asking.

I kind of wish they'd have kept Thor's character around longer; I enjoy him on screen (cue someone making a joke here).

I really enjoyed Fran Kranz in his role; well done (though you get the sense this is probably [this and his role as Topher] the only type of character he probably plays this well, to be cynical)

I hit the restroom right afterwards before heading out, and I heard someone else who had just seen it say to someone he was with "I have to admit it was a really good movie, but the ending sucked".

I wonder how many people will agree with him on that.

Personally, I didn't really have a problem with it. I mean what the hell else were they going to do with it that would have been any better? At least that's how I felt about it.

Speaking of which, I was pretty sure that was Sigourney when I heard her doing the voice over, and it was fun to see I was right.

I can't leave without acknowledging how well they inject humor into this whole thing without it becoming a true full-on parody of a horror movie; it walks that line pretty damned well. I'm in particularly referring to all of the comedy played by the behind-the-horror-scenes guys as things gear up and then move along.

Kegboy
04-15-2012, 01:09 AM
I've read the argument that the ending is "the end", so to speak, because Joss didn't want any chance of this turning into a franchise. That could have been done very easily, be it the scenario plays out more or less as it should, all the way up to Dana shooting Marty. And obviously you have the other offices as well.

But, the argument goes, Joss didn't want another Saw, he wanted to draw a line in the sand. Like the rogue showing how magic tricks work to get magicians to raise their game, Joss wants horror to evolve, and stop doing the same things over and over again. I do think that's a good argument, I just don't know how successful he'll be.

Kegboy
04-15-2012, 01:17 AM
Regarding the Initiative comparison, I thought that as well. Actually, I thought more along the lines of "Holy ****, he just fixed Season 4!" Now he just needs to make a movie to fix Season 6. Maybe the sequel to Dr. Horrible will be a musical about Felicia Day's character coming back from the dead, that could do it.

As for the government "learning about this", I felt they had always done it. Note the beginning credits showing sacrifices during the ages. TPTB in each culture do it, they've just become more coordinated and advanced as the years progress. Building a better mouse trap, so to speak.

Naptown_Seth
04-15-2012, 08:13 PM
I've read the argument that the ending is "the end", so to speak, because Joss didn't want any chance of this turning into a franchise. That could have been done very easily, be it the scenario plays out more or less as it should, all the way up to Dana shooting Marty. And obviously you have the other offices as well.

But, the argument goes, Joss didn't want another Saw, he wanted to draw a line in the sand. Like the rogue showing how magic tricks work to get magicians to raise their game, Joss wants horror to evolve, and stop doing the same things over and over again. I do think that's a good argument, I just don't know how successful he'll be.
I completely agree with you and with what Joss did. It doesn't help that the first Saw sucked (Cary Eweles was especially poor), but much like other brilliant original horror films the sequels end up becoming parodies of themselves and it ruins people's mindset of the original.



This might be his funniest film. I was surprised how funny it was in fact.


The over the top stuff was too much cheezy CGI, but it was worth it to have that elevator hall reaction scene when the 2nd set of guards shows up, plus tying into the "Ding" in general.

The hallway and them hiding in the room while it went on really reminded me of In the Mouth of Madness with Sam Neill stepping out of his asylum room to find nothing but destruction left again by the "old gods". And of course Mouth of Madness basically has the same final fate for the world which is interesting (and perhaps not accidental).



The brilliance of the film to me was two fold:

1) Juxtaposition of violence and comedy/disinterest. A specific example was where she's being beat to death on the dock while they party to REO. A typical director would use this as a means of making them the fools (as a character type I mean) where in the background the audience would see her getting away or being saved while they failed to pay attention, thus turning the tables on them switching her role with their role in the story (foolish victim).

But that's not what he does. They have made an error but they find out before she's saved. What Joss does is make a point about how complacent they (and we) are about the suffering she is undergoing. It's background noise to them, a post-game commercial after their team just won the big game.

They have no remorse or reflection on it at all. And the audience is lured into being just like them by keeping the focus in the room with them, full of music and funny quips, but without letting us off the guilt-hook by not having her suffering visible in the shots.


2) The pure blending of comedy, horror, sci-fi/fantasy and action. Again the hallway scene borders almost on being The Matrix in gun action, or certainly Aliens (a classic horror/action blender). The film is excellent at intermixing all of these genres without being a sub-type of any of them. It's not really a horror-comedy, for example.




But again the comedy...."am I on speaker phone?" Oh man, that is great parody. Taking the ominous, all-knowing "punisher" character and giving him a virtual wedgie. Joss just walks in and both celebrates and undercuts all of these classic horror staples.


It's got to go in the mix with Shaun of the Dead and Scream as the top films to inventively embrace and mock horror at the same time.

Naptown_Seth
04-15-2012, 08:17 PM
PS - I never watched Buffy, so all those references are lost to me. I saw the film, but never the series.

I did catch up on all of Firefly after Serenity came out.




I kind of wish they'd have kept Thor's character around longer; I enjoy him on screen (cue someone making a joke here).
I'm man enough to agree on this. Chris Hemsworth has just the right amount of charm to be the cool, big tough guy you want to hang out with rather than resenting him for having so much going for him. I thought as Thor he did a pretty good job of conveying arrogance, but even still he has a natural charm that's going to make it tough for him to pull of any "jerk" characters. The Rock is similar but has enough edge that he can more easily slip into that mode I think.


Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford were both used well too. Jenkins has been on fire with roles the last few years. He's had solid turns in a lot of interesting films and across a decent range. I mean Let Me In and his role couldn't be a more different "horror" film and role from Cabin in the Woods.


Also, not to derail this but it looks like only 3 of us are talking film in here, have you had the chance to see The Raid: Redemption?

I mention it since Raid and Cabin have been the two buzz films this spring. I caught Raid early by seeing it in Houston after the Rockets game. It's freaking brilliantly directed and equally as worth seeing.

Cabin has the script (story and dialog) but Raid is directed at a much higher, artful level. It's really beautiful and innovative to watch. Oh, and there's about 8000 hours of action packed into less than 2. :)

They are both great surprises, or rather both were great at living up to the hype, but I give the edge to Raid just barely. It's nice when you get quality films released before summer tent poles break out (though Hunger Games has to kinda count as the starting point).

Hicks
04-15-2012, 10:53 PM
So you saw Serenity before you saw Firefly, and you've seen the Buffy movie, but not the Buffy TV show?

:picardriker:

obnoxiousmodesty
04-16-2012, 08:46 AM
I saw it with three others yesterday. One hated it, one loved it, and two of us thought it was very good but has little to no re-watch value. So I'm giving it a very solid B+.

I agree that it felt a bit like something that could have been done on Buffy or Angel, if they'd had a larger budget. I thought it was very inventive, the humor was almost always perfect, and the monsters were memorable, even as cliches. Nicely done.

(I stayed until the end of the credits, but alas, no "Grr.. Argh!"... damn.)

Major Cold
04-16-2012, 10:17 AM
I haven't seen it