Most people would call The Cabin in the Woods a horror film, but there is enough far out elements to classify it as speculative fiction. I realize that is a spoiler, but I would have to say that The Cabin in the Woods is more a parody of horror films.
As a Christian, I don’t think I can really recommend horror movies. In many cases, I put them on a level a little above pornography, but violence is the problem and not sexuality. There are some horror films that are very good, like Psycho (the Alfred Hitchcock one), and really have a theme that humanity is a fallen being. If you think about it, some of the horror movie classics like The Exorcist and The Omen have bible-based subject matter.
As I have said before, The Cabin in the Woods is a satire of the horror film, which is apparent in its title. That is a summary of a lot of horror movie plotlines, and to call a film by this title is like calling a spy movie “The Guy who goes on a Secret Mission”. Most horror movies like Friday the 13th or even Alien present a scenario with a group of people trapped in a small place with a ruthless killer. Find out after the jump what makes this film different, and there are spoilers.
The film starts out with a group of college students who go and spend a weekend at a…do I need to say it? Do I need to say what happens to them? Yeah, this is a set-up. What I find most interesting of this film is it starts out with a bunch of scientists who are watching this happen.
Now, why is this happening? I have seen other films where there is a secondary audience within the film, like Rubber. I believe that the reason is to show how we as an audience react to horror movie conventions. It gets really crazy when the scientists take bets on what is going to attack the college students, and the guy who said zombies wins.
Now, with this set-up, I saw two things that could happen. First, the film could just focus on the college students and never explain who the scientists are. Second, it could be revealed who the scientists are, and we find out that the explanation is pretty stupid compared to the lead-in. In this film, we are given the explanation, and it is a pretty good one.
Of course, there are some things that don’t quite add up. For example, these scientists seem to have all these monsters worse than zombies on hand, and it isn’t explained how they captured them or where in the world they come from. I will have to say that this film branches out more than I ever thought it would.
The ending is about as open-ended as a film that wants a sequel, but it is so strong that I never want to see one ever made. That usually means that one will be made, of course.
The thing I enjoy about The Cabin in the Woods is that it discusses the possible necessity of sacrifice to prevent catastrophe. This is pretty much the gospel message, even if it was never meant to be.