Today’s Favorite Thing: The Cabin in the Woods

While this probably constitutes retreading old ground, I feel that I should take this opportunity be very clear.

I like horror movies. A lot. Like … I really, really like horror movies.

It’s a condition that’s plagued me since childhood, and yes, I could probably even make some weird attempt to justify my obsessions or invent a cool little postulate as to why my little-girl thoughts were dominated by movie monsters, and not flowers or ponies or rainbow-dolphin-unicorns. (I was an English major with a psych minor—I’m uncommonly equipped to mangle theories into vague reflections of reality.)

But I just have this feeling that anything I could come up with wouldn’t mean that much. The true, honest thing is actually very simple. I saw my first horror movie when I was six (It was House. It was terrible.), and since then, I’ve just kind of been fixated.

As a result, I spent most of my childhood searching out terrible, hilarious monster flicks (Puppet Master, Leprechaun, Troll), and then talking my sister and my friends into to watching them with me. I saw the good, important movies, and the classics—The Shining and Rosemary’s Baby and The Exorcist. Nosferatu. I saw All The Zombie Movies. I read special effects books about designing prosthetic wounds and watched documentaries about the rise and fall of the slasher film. If I happened to be wandering around looking oblivious and humming disjointedly to myself, there was a good chance I was bopping along to “Don’t Fear the Reaper” or “Pet Sematary.”

So it is with very little irony that I say, The Cabin in the Woods exists for me! Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard made it for ME. (Oh be quiet—I will tell myself this fantasy if I want to.)

I went and saw it on Saturday. And not just because I have a troubling, knee-jerk impulse to see every horror movie that comes out, regardless of whether it looks like it will be any good, and not just because I am in love with Topher Brink.

I saw it because it promised me something unusual and unexpected and fantastic.

These promises were not empty.

The Cabin in the Woods is my new best friend. It knows all the horror movie conventions, and it understands them, and loves them and cuddles them just like I do, and it still has the absolute temerity to flip them over and start poking around in the wiring.

Even now, three days later, I catch myself thinking about the narrative and the structure—taking apart ideas and stacking them in a neat little row like a set of morbid Russian nesting dolls. And no, I don’t think this movie will be for everyone, But I know enough to tell you that if you like the same things I do—if you get irrationally excited about zombie apocalypses, and the piano theme to John Carpenter’s Halloween makes you feel nostalgic, instead of just edgy or kind of annoyed (and yes, if you love Topher Brink)—then you need to go see it.

Because if you’re anything like me, then Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard are thinking of you.

They made this movie is for you, too.

4 thoughts on “Today’s Favorite Thing: The Cabin in the Woods

  1. I can’t watch horror movies because anything with a half-way decent score scares the pickles out of me, so when I realized that Topher Brink and THOR were going to be in a movie together and I wouldn’t be able to watch it (well, watch it and then sleep ever again), I was devastated. I’m glad it’s getting such good reviews. It makes me feel positive. :)

    • Well, I’d totally tell you to watch it anyway because it’s really, really funny (sometimes uncomfortably funny), but unfortunately, it also happens to be … kind of scary. Thor is pretty awesome though, and of course, <333 Topher. (Always.)

  2. This is the first time I actually took the time out to watch the trailer..and wow not what I thought it was and now I want to go watch it. I live for horror movies, my parents never really monitored what I watched as a kid so I was introduced to movies of Freddy and Jason around the age of 6 and have loved horror flicks since then.

    • It is … YES! Not the thing you think it is, at all (and I even went in expecting it not to be a reheated slasher movie).

      And I *loved* Freddy Krueger so much when I was a kid—just so much! He was basically my ideal villain: unkillable, hilarious, and completely off-the-wall inventive.

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