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July 24 2009

Teaser posters for 'The Cabin in the Woods'. Three in all and they're very knowing.

Nice, why do they have a dupe of the 2nd one? At first I thought there were three.

Edited because confused.

[ edited by cabri on 2009-07-24 09:03 ]
Yes I could sworn it was three separate taglines but obviously not.
Oops. You're too quick for me, Simon.
I left a comment, maybe they just accidentally copied the wrong image url.
There are three there now.

Oh I'm so excited now. And I think we're beginning to see this thing about picking the genre apart
Those taglines are hilarious.
I changed the link to a site that doesn't have watermarked posters.
Those are really nice.
Wasn't expecting them to bring a smile to my face as much as they did.
Love them. The taglines remind me of Scream and the way it deconstructed slasher films.
Love the taglines!
Hmmm. The taglines remind me more of Scary Movie.

And I think that's a bad thing, obv.

[ edited by ZodKneelsFirst on 2009-07-24 12:35 ]
Words to live die by.
I read a review of the script recently and it'll be interesting to see how MGM sell the movie. It certainly doesn't fit neatly into one particular horror genre.
These posters were great, and make it obvious that Drew and Joss
intend to stand the Genre on it's head. :D
The middle one is my favourite. My anticipation is stoked.
A snarky horror movie??
Doubts gone.
Heh, good stuff, so far it seems exactly along the lines I was expecting (i.e. 'Scream' for Cabin movies) and even if it turns out to not be what I expected, I doubt it'll be in the bad way.

Gotta say though, I hope TCitW either actually does turn the genre on its head or that it inspires non-horror fans to hunt out its precursors so that we don't have oodles of reviewers/fans that haven't seen 'Scream' or the Evil Dead movies or a lot of the horror-comedies from the 80s talking about how Joss and Drew have revolutionised yet another genre that they didn't actually revolutionise that much (not everything they do has to totally rewrite the playbook).
OMG! Best.Posters.Ever. Now I'm really excited about this movie coming out!
I have to be honest in saying that I am somewhat-disappointed by them in that it further confirms my suspicions that the film is indeed a bit more on the tongue-in-cheek and/or campy side which si something I usually am not at all a fan of and would much prefer having a straight-through horror film that takes itself seriously (although i† could certainly have some humor here and there but it must be organic and feel natural and not take away at all from the horror of the scenario)...

... Having said that, it is Joss and Drew and I still am hoping to be surprised by it.

[ edited by J Linc on 2009-07-24 16:25 ]
J Linc - the complaint I've heard the most about Buffy is that it's campy. I mean, it's called Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Yet we all know that Buffy is one of the most intelligent, witty, and insightful shows ever. Give it a shot.
Haha, these make me chuckle.
I don't think the posters can tell us the tone of the movie. They seem to be commenting on points the movie might make about horror, but that doesn't mean the movie will be campy. I was wondering too, but teaser posters can be deceptive.
Yeah, I figured the same about the possible intent of them. Draw any onlookers in with humor, but that's not necessarily what the film's going to be. Didn't Joss promise that they were attempting to make a horror movie that's actually scary again (not that there haven't been any genuine horror movies in the last few years, but a whole lot of them are remakes and Saw sequels), not just gore and torture ?

Maybe the characters in these films won't fall prey to any of the horror movie cliches/rule-breakings. Maybe it'll start out horror and turn into something else entirely. I love surprise genre switch-ups and tonal shifts (although a lotta folks had a problem with the change mid-way through in Hancock, I thought it worked. On the other hand, although I love the Danny Boyle film Sunshine, it going from sci-fi to quasi-horror toward the end made things feel a little off, though it still saved itself with the very end).

I'd been avoiding every bit of news about this film up until now (aside from catching the odd casting confirmation or rumor and one interview), wanted to see how spoiler-free I could stay until February, but couldn't go speculation-free any longer.

One minor strike against the posters--does the type of redness they're drenched in remind anyone else too much of Cabin Fever ?
Even though plot-wise, it's not very similar to Scream, Scream is a good example tonally -- i.e. a genuinely scary film that at the same time pokes fun at the cliches of the genre.

It's not campy, unless you consider Buffy campy (which, as someone else pointed out, some people do).
The only difference may be that 'Scream' subverted horror tropes while at the same time getting away with many of them by hanging a lantern on them. With Cabin I guess i'm expecting more genuine subversion and less playing along with the genre but getting "cool points" by showing that they're aware of it. But i'm also expecting to be wrong in a lot of my expectations ;).

One minor strike against the posters--does the type of redness they're drenched in remind anyone else too much of Cabin Fever ?

I dunno, the (apparent) nature of TCiTW makes me hesitant to criticise on the basis of anything they do being "too much X" (especially where X is another Cabin horror movie) since they may well be deliberately alluding to X as part of commenting on the genre. Very hard to know of course but i'm gonna extend the benefit of the doubt whenever I see anything like that (until we know one way or the other).

(you may not have looked at the official site launch thread Kris but as a couple of folk have commented, it's - no doubt deliberately - very similar to a shot from 'Evil Dead' and i'd expect more of that as we move towards the release)
These are also making me, a true horror non-fan, have hope that this might be something I can go to and enjoy...we shall see.
I love the poster on the top. To an extent, Joss has already subverted this one in the opening scene of Buffy.

Definitely my most anticipated movie of 2010.
I'm a little thrown by the taglines actually. The first one is perhaps titillating enough by mere acknowledgment of the word "sex" that it might get some people to pay attention to "hey, what's this movie about."

The second actually makes me think more of an old man saying that sassy standby line of "oh no you' di'n't!" which amuses me but probably isn't what they're going for.

And really in the event of a [potentially supernatural] thing chasing you, as stupid horror movie tropes go, that actually seems to make a little sense. While splitting up to explore/cover more ground tends to get characters killed off when not in Scooby Doo, if they're already chased then they might as well make the killer(s)/monster(s)/thing/cabin itself (is that a theory about the movie yet? Killer sentient building?) choose between multiple targets rather than taking them all down in one fell swoop/slither/slam/stride.
I look forward to being there, doing that, and getting the T-shirt.
Looking forward to this more than I did Scream. MUCH more.

BTW, I'll never understand why people say that Scream "subverts" the slasher film. It doesn't, not as far as I can see -- and I've watched many of them over the years. Frankly, it does more re-grounding of tropes than subverting of them. As Saje said, it hangs a lot of lampshades...but in the process, it re-energized the very tired plot elements it was supposed to be mocking. If it had subverted them, it would have destroyed them. Instead, we had, and continue to have, a huge outpouring of inferior slasher crap in its wake.

In any case, I'm really hoping that Cabin in the Woods will do what Scream was SUPPOSED to do thirteen years ago, and finally mock and subvert the tired teen body-count formula into submission. Maybe then there'll be more room for mini-masterpieces like Drag Me to Hell.
You may have a point re: subversion I think BafFler, I was trying to come up with a trope 'Scream' actually subverted, thought "The female would-be victim wins" and then straightaway thought "Like in Halloween" (so not exactly brand new). But I also think that's maybe an extreme interpretation of "subvert" - it surely doesn't have to mean "destroyed forever after, never to be seen again" ?

And no film will kill the teen slasher horror movie, no matter how cleverly it mocks, satirises and subverts. So long as teenagers (and former teenagers ;) are a cinema going demographic there're gonna be slasher movies. What it might do, Watchmen style, is inspire a slew of other subversive horror movies, at least until that well runs dry and then the the cycle moves on to the "next big thing" (and it at least might help break the back of the - already on the wane IMO - so-called "torture-porn" films).

(personally I say long may the slasher/survival horror movie continue - sure there's a lot of rubbish but every now and then from amongst the dross you get a wee gem like 'Quarantine' or 'The Descent'. 90% of everything is crap after all, those movies aren't any different)

[ edited by Saje on 2009-07-25 18:01 ]
90%? Or, in the case of slashers, 97.3%? :-)

I can think of several tropes Scream mentioned...and then proceeded to follow through on, instead of ignoring them. Like the ol' "Don't run up the stairs when you're being chased by a killer" bit. Or the ol' "The sassy blonde always gets it" bit. Just about the only trope I can think of that it TRULY subverts is the "Final Girl must be a virgin" bit, and given that Billy was planning to deflower Sidney all along, it practically had to be...so I'm not willing to give any extra points there.

I suppose, on reflection, my definition of "subvert" is a bit extreme, but not TOO much so. We have seen a few crackerjack Westerns in the last few decades, but the genre has nowhere near the status it did before it was subverted lock, stock, and two smoking barrels by Blazing Saddles. And superhero comics are still prevalent, but the combined influence of Watchmen (and anything ELSE written by Alan Moore) and The Dark Knight Returns (and anything ELSE written by Frank Miller) have changed their landscape permanently. So, subversion can destroy a genre, or it can also produce significant changes from the original model.

My real point above was that Scream did neither of those things. The formula is still as present, and still as stupid, as it ever was. In fact, given the choice, I would RATHER watch an older slasher film that a newer one...because there's still a sense, when you watch the old ones, of a complete lack of irony, of "We're doing something that's never been done before." (Actually, untrue, but they THOUGHT they were, and that made the difference.) The new movies are too self-aware, and it makes their slog through the same old formula a trying experience.

Just to make clear where I'm coming from: I will gladly watch the Jamie Lee Curtis version of Prom Night ten or fifteen times more...I will NEVER watch the remake. I found the remakes of My Bloody Valentine and Friday the 13th, despite all the "critical" (read: fanboy) praise they garnered, markedly inferior to the originals. I went to see the latter, against my better judgment, on the strength of a Devin Faraci review at CHUD, where he said the cast and crew had "managed to make [the formula] look and feel fresh." I decided to trust Devin. I will never again trust him with anything more valuable than the care, for a period of less than ten minutes, of a rotting slug carcass. So it's not that I hate slashers per se, it's that I hate what they've become.

I know that nothing will kill the genre off entirely, but it's time to put it back in its coffin for the next ten years or so and let some (comparably) original work dominate the horror cinema field again. And while we're at it, let's send the torture porn and the Asian remakes to the same section of the graveyard...especially since all three of them have begun, of late, to crossbreed, and their offspring will be more mutated and vicious than that baby from It's Alive. Please, please let Cabin be the work that digs the graves and shoves in the bodies.
Haven't seen those remakes, doesn't seem much point. I agree though that it's all cyclic (i.e. largely market driven) and that few genres go away for good (few even change significantly in fact IMO).

We have seen a few crackerjack Westerns in the last few decades, but the genre has nowhere near the status it did before it was subverted lock, stock, and two smoking barrels by Blazing Saddles. And superhero comics are still prevalent, but the combined influence of Watchmen (and anything ELSE written by Alan Moore) and The Dark Knight Returns (and anything ELSE written by Frank Miller) have changed their landscape permanently.

Re: westerns, bit thin I think. 'Blazing Saddles' came along at a point when Westerns had been on the wane for years (decades even - for sheer numbers the 30s, 40s and 50s would have to be the genre's height) and had been, if not subverted then at least examined from within the genre itself since at least the early 60s with films like 'The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence' among others. It was more a coincidence of timing in other words rather than a definitive nail in the coffin I reckon (a more fully developed awareness of other cultures and of what the west was really like - and maybe more to the point how it was really won - probably also contributed).

In general I think spoofs and satires tend to arrive when enough people are familiar enough (basically over familiar) with the tropes to notice when they're being spoofed (and that they're tropes in the first place). So you have 'Airplane' after a slew of disaster movies (most of which did good business in their time) and at a point when disaster movies are already so out of ideas that they're pretty much parodying themselves (which 'Airport' was it with the space-ship ?). But I don't think it's valid to claim that 'Airplane' "killed" the disaster movie (it might have hastened it into a down cycle slightly though, before back up it popped with e.g. "Volcano" or "Dante's Peak" or "Independence Day", dipping after September 11th and arguably back up again at the moment). Likewise with 'Blazing Saddles'.

Re: superhero comics, yeah there's a point there I think. If anything (as Moore himself has said) there were too many Watchmen/Dark Knight imitators afterwards but there's no doubt that they changed the genre by re-setting the bar for literary quality, self-awareness and willingness to play with convention.
Breaking the interesting 'examining the genre'-posts here for a bit to say: I'm on the fence with these posters.

On the one hand, they give me hope that this'll be accessible to a non-horror fan. For intance: I watched 'Scream' because it tried to subvert the genre a little and because it was much less scary for it (although there was more than enough suspense), which meant I really enjoyed it.

The humerous nature of these tagline posters clash a little bit with the much scarier opening on the website (which itself might've been a go at an homage/knowing-wink at fans of the genre).

Having said that: these are very obvious jokes which really remind me of the way Scream was marketed (especially the 'sex' and 'split up' ones) which was so long ago (and has been partly poisened by things like 'Scary Movie' by now), that it can't be expected to work the same magic these days.

Because I, and probably many others here, automatically view this through a Whedonesque filter and go "right, this'll have some tongue-in-cheek-Jossyness then" or something similar, which we're all comfortable with and like to a big extent. But I'm not sure that if one is not familiar with Joss' voice (or, rather: what some of us might expect from him), that these posters seem a bit clichéd and are nothing special.

So while this actually makes me more interested to see what the heck the tone and style of this movie will be, these posters don't seem like anything to really get the blood boiling if I wasn't already following Whedon's work by default :).
Love it. Now I know its going to be brilliant.
(which itself might've been a go at an homage/knowing-wink at fans of the genre)

As a couple of folk mentioned in the site thread, it's very 'Evil Dead'-ish GVH (that sort of rising from the floor shaky-cam shot was a Sam Raimi trademark, all through the 80s he was known for moving the camera around in unconventional ways and though he calmed down a bit as he got older and made more naturalistic films you can still see shadows of it in 'Spider-man', particularly at the end when Spidey fights Green Goblin in the ruined building). Can't find the exact shot (IIRC it's when they first hear the Necronomicon read out and the spirits are awakened. Muh huh ha ha ha ! Seemed apropos ;) but this vidlet (at about 1:45 and then 4:45) gives an idea.

I like the posters but I sort of get what you mean, the tag-lines aren't exactly subtle but then maybe that's what it needs. Or maybe the subversion goes a layer deeper and they're even playing with the idea of playing with the idea ?
Yeah, Saje, I've read about Raimi's signature camera movements (despite not having seen any of his horror movies myself) and spotted some of it in Spider-Man, after some reviews pointed out which parts were prime examples of his style, although I couldn't have spotted the homage to 'Evil Dead' the people in that thread picked up on (which is what I was already referring to with that line, heh ;)).

As for the subversion and taking it a layer deeper: I can see what you're saying, but at what point does it stop counting as subversion and does it just become the thing it's trying to subvert? (I don't know the answer by the way :))
Ah, yes, The Descent would be one of those very good horror flicks in the last few years. Also greatly enjoyed Drag Me to Hell, hilarious and still effectively creepy at times, although it was a completely different animal compared to The Descent's seriousness--one of the things I found most refreshing about The Descent, that it played it straight throughout with no forced humor from the characters, just character-building in the first half, leading up to the creeping dread of the unknown and then the shit hitting the fan, not to mention the pulse-pounding last few scenes and the fan-pleasing/frustrating multi-interpretable ending...although a lesser film, this also worked for The Ruins (the one that takes place in Mexico or South America, can't recall, with the plants/vines).

I wouldn't have known about the potential Evil Dead homage in the image, haven't got around to renting that trilogy yet and didn't visit that other thread, so thanks for mentioning it Saje.

I'm not a seasoned horror/thriller movie fan, but I find that most times I try one out, I seem to have fun with it or really enjoy it (last year it was getting through just about all of Romero's zombie films--or a remake, as in the case of Zack Snyder's Dawn of the Dead, this year I think I've only seen The Howling and some newer stuff like Drag Me To Hell).

BTW, you mentioned Quarantine. While I fully intend to watch this because Jennifer Carpenter (from Dexter) is awesome and the trailers looked fairly promising (and reviews seemed to be neutral or mostly positive, not bashing), I've also heard that the original that Quarantine is remade from, Rec (for "record", I think), is far superior. My boyfriend, who isn't into horror films (not 'cause they're too intense, just 'cause he finds most of 'em stupid and he's not a huge movie buff to begin with), loved Rec and said it scared the crap out of him. Any words on that, if you've seen both ?
I haven't seen 'Rec' Kris though it's on my wishlist. May have to bump it up.

I wouldn't have known about the potential Evil Dead homage in the image, haven't got around to renting that trilogy yet and didn't visit that other thread, so thanks for mentioning it Saje.

Watched them pretty much as they came out (more or less - IIRC 'Evil Dead' was uncertified in the UK for years so I had to wait for a dodgy copy to *cough* fall into my hands) and liked them though, probably because I wasn't a huge horror fan in the early 80s and pretty young when I saw it, 'Evil Dead' freaked me the hell out (melting plasticene effects and all ;). It's certainly one of the "big" cabin movies so i'd imagine we'll see more of it in there (though i'm expecting a different tone from the two sequels).

And yep, 'The Descent' was a great film, one of those movies that remind you what going to the pictures is all about (coming out people were laughing from nerves and swapping favourite bits in slightly shaky voices, even with strangers - dunno about Canada but that hardly ever happens in the UK unless you feel you've really shared an experience).

Yeah, Saje, I've read about Raimi's signature camera movements (despite not having seen any of his horror movies myself)

You can get a non-horror feel for 80s Raimi if you check out 'Crimewave' GVH, it's far from perfect IMO but it definitely has some amazing moments. "Different" is how i'd describe it ;).

Re: subverting the subversion, i'm leery of suggesting that stuff for exactly the reason you point out - it's nigh impossible to tell how many "layers deep" it goes, if any, and them being extremely subtle may well look exactly the same as them not being subtle at all (so without categorical statements from the creators - in this case I assume not Joss or Drew BTW - we're in real danger of just making shit up, building speculations with no foundation).
Yep.

(I just wanted to keep things going here and confirm that yes, it is worth posting replies when the thread is long gone off the home page of the site, I do continue to check on threads I've posted in for a bit)

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