Wednesday, October 29, 2014

10 Things I Love About Cabin in the Woods by Joss Whedon

I don't do Halloween. Not really. We never did trick-or-treating as kids in my family (never really felt like I missed anything). I enjoy dressing up, and for the first time I'm in my own place where I had to think about getting candy for trick-or-treaters coming to my door!

I also don't really do horror movies. I was one of those people who had nightmares after watching something most people would consider innocuous. So I didn't see my first real thriller/horror movie until I was in my 20's. True story.

But I've been slowly working my way into them. I still prefer thrillers to horror movies and I'm not a big fan of really gory movies. But the short series Harper's Island hooked me on a good psychological horror and when I heard that Joss Whedon was putting out a horror movie, I knew I had to go see it in the theatres, so I dragged Jenn N. along with me. And I loved it. I love the way that Whedon both paid homage to horror movie tropes and yet also made fun of them. It's a fascinating movie to me. And since Friday is Halloween, I thought that it would be fun to do a 10 Things post about one of the only horror movies I've seen :)

  1. The humor: Yes, it's a horror movie, but true to Whedon form it's filled with little tongue-in-cheek moments (the elevators killed me) that make it more than that too.
  2. The cast: Come on. Fran Kranz and Chris Hemsworth?! And Kristen Connolly does a great job. Plus small parts for Amy Acker and Tom Lenk. What more can I say?
  3. The unexpected: I'm assuming that most horror movies thrive on the unexpected. I don't have a lot of things to compare it to, but I get the feeling this is a different kind of unexpected. And it was all the perfect kind of unexpected.
  4. Which leads me to the ending. I won't go into detail, but if you haven't seen much of Whedon's work the ending might throw you a bit. When the movie was over I was grinning like an idiot because it was just such a Joss Whedon ending. And the 2 couples who were sitting in front of us were gaping at the screen and one of them suddenly yelled, "What was that?!" and I started giggling.
  5. The memories; And I know this isn't directly related to the movie, but I will always remember this particular movie-going experience. Somehow on that night I managed to leave my driver's license at home - something I have never done before or since. But when I got up to buy my ticket, the girl behind the counter, (who was almost young enough to be my daughter) (that's a slight exaggeration, but not by much) ASKS FOR MY ID to prove that I'm over 18 and can watch an R rated movie. I, of course, do not have my ID. I blink at the ticketeer (what are they called?) as I dig through my purse and confess I don't have it on me. She hesitates. Hesitates. And I said, look, I'm over 30. I appreciate the compliment, but please don't tell me that you're going to ban me from going into this movie because I don't have my ID. And she sold me the ticket. And I was laughing so much because this is the only time in my entire life that I have ever been ID'd for anything. Ever. And it was also the only time I have ever not had my ID on me. Ever. So. Lesson: Never assume that the 18 year old behind the counter will accept that you're old enough to go into an R rated movie without your license as proof. :)
  6. Fran Kranz: Seriously. I love this guy so much. And his character is so bizarre. And I just loved his performance.
  7. It has Everything: It's a horror movie and a monster movie and it has zombies and it has aliens and it has government conspiracies and it has mermaids and it has ... basically anything you can possibly imagine is here. Yet somehow it works.
  8. The Menagerie: Even though so much of this is basically just throw-away footage, each of the monsters is pretty fully realized in some way. Super creative.
  9. The Opening: Maybe I should have started with this, but the beginning of the movie cracked me up so much with the weird guys in suits and then BAM the title just blasted in your face.
  10. The Conceit: I really liked the fact that we, as the audience, know the whole time that this thing is rigged. That there is more to this than a creepy cabin in the woods. And I also like that, at the same time, we learn about the full nature of this creepiness along with the characters caught in the cabin in the woods. Not quite sure how you can know and not know at the same time, but in this movie you can.
So there you have it! Happy viewing!

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