Director: Drew Goddard
Tell me if you’ve heard this one before: a group of college kids decide to go on a fun getaway to a cabin in the woods except horrific, violent, and fatal events ensue. Of course the answer is yes, because it’s a premise that has been done a million times and something writers Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard are painfully aware of. While it isn’t a new idea to poke fun at horror convention (if you haven’t seen Wes Craven’s Scream please do), Cabin in The Woods takes it a step further, not only by laughing at these conventions but by playing straight into their hands and embracing them as part of the narrative.
The most blatant and obvious example of this comes from our five central characters, with each of them fitting into a specific horror film character stereotype. As part of the film’s narrative, the characters must die in a ritual that is very reminiscent of a basic horror film plot. The ritual must begin with the death of the whore, followed by in no particular order the jock, the fool, and the scholar; and, in the end, the last character, the virgin, may live or die. The virgin obviously represents the famous final girl of the horror genre.
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The film’s narrative is pushed along by two “game-controllers” in an underground facility. While simultaneously controlling the events as they occur these characters are enthralled, entertained and at times titillated by said events.
While these are only a few examples of the great meta-commentary in the film, The Cabin in The Woods stands out as an amazing horror film. It comments on the horror convention, and deconstructs itself in an entertaining and satisfying way.