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"Am I on speaker phone?"
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April 13 2012

(SPOILER) Discuss 'The Cabin in the Woods'. Been aching to discuss those oh-so glorious scenes? Now is your chance.

Lest we forget (a potted history of the movie's development):

The movie got greenlit way back in July of 2008, was supposed to get released in October 2009 , got pushed back to February 2010, then got delayed to January 2011 and then entered limbo due to MGM's woes. Fortunately it got picked up by Lionsgate and is finally out today.

I'm a little disoriented that it's time to openly discuss the film.
The reveal of Ripley the Director was the most perfect moment in the film. Weaponizing the bong was a close second.
The line that got most of my audience hooked I think was "I dare you all to go back upstairs."
Pretty much from the first line, my audience was laughing. So weird yet so brilliant.
I'm a little disoriented that it's time to openly discuss the film.


Me too. Random thoughts follow:

The office workers scenes were hilarious especially the speaker phone scene
Whitford and Kranz stole the show, with Connolly coming a very close scene
Bradley Whitford firing a submachine at the undead is an image I will not forgot in a hurry.
I was spoilt ages ago for Sigourney's cameo but it was still great to see her.
Now we know what Evil Fred would have been like
Holy god, that final act was mad
Loved the Cenobite wannabee
Creepy mask family was creepy
Need to get a list of all those creatures in the glass boxes
I think it's in the very top tier of stuff that Joss has yet done. Possibly the single most quotable. The dialogue is really top notch. Worth every minute of the very long wait.
Connolly was the big find for me as far as the actors. But my favorite line(s) go to Jenkins yelling "Fuck you!" at every little Japanese girl on his monitor.

Joss had a general comment in his Reddit Q&A: "Art isn't your pet -- it's your kid. It grows up and talks back to you." From the perspective of looking at Jenkins and Whitford as Whedon and Goddard, I find this remark hilarious, because it's pretty much what happens to them.
Though I didn't find it that scary.
More thoughts.

I loved, as Goddard has said, how much this film is more about escalation than spoilers/twists. The basic idea of what's going on, and the stakes, are pretty much revealed by the halfway point. From there on, it's all a matter of just how far they're going to take it. It might be the most lovely batshit of a final twenty minutes of a movie I've ever seen.

I asked Lisa Lassek, the editor, just how often they cackled with glee in the editor's room. She said, "All the time." I don't doubt it.

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2012-04-13 19:53 ]
Loved it!

Firstly, gonna echo @Simon in an earlier thread, and say how great it was to see "A Mutant Enemy Production" on the big screen.

I have to say I enjoyed 94 minutes and 56 seconds of the 95 minutes. The "Hand of God" was just a little too literal for me and I would have prefered the film to cut to black four seconds earlier. It was a moment of pure cheese that just took things one step too far IMHO.

Everything else was just made of awesome sauce. The little Japanese Girls, the Clown, the Unicorn. Oh and the Merman, especially, the Merman.

I'd be very obliged if anyone could tell me what the wording on Tom "the Intern" Lenk's sign was. Couldn't make it out.

Can't wait to see what other folk thought of it. At my showing some random woman behind me shouted out "That was Shit!" just after it ended. Then talked at me about how she came expecting "Friday the 13th" and was disappointed. This stomped all over my giddy high somewhat, so cannot wait to go again next week, with an unsuspecting mate.

Also makes me wonder if the film may be a hard sell if her response is indicative.

ETA spelling

[ edited by viewingfigures on 2012-04-13 21:23 ]
I like that Fran's character died to save the world in Dollhouse and by not dying in Cabin his character actually doomed the world.
I would have prefered the film to cut to black four seconds earlier.
But then it would have allowed for interpretations other than what was intended: the world is screwed. The only extent to which it could go was "all the way".
Honestly, b!x, that might've been the biggest twist of all for me--that the shadowy guys in control rooms were just about completely explained within the first act. The trailers made it seem like they would drag out that reveal.

My only regret from watching the trailer comes from the fact that the Marty-death fakeout didn't work for even a second, since I knew he was gonna make the elevator go down later on and so had to have survived. Otherwise, I managed to stay pretty spoiler free and I'm glad I did. Movie worked fantastically.
Simon, yes, that reversal of roles stood out to me too. Of course in Dollhouse he's one of the manipulators, choosing self-sacrifice to save the innocents, whereas here he's one of the innocents and he refuses to sacrifice himself for a species willing to manipulate itself like that. It's an almost perfect inverse, and I kind of love it.

Even if when it was filmed Topher hadn't actually done that yet.
Creepy mask family was creepy

yeah I was all "oooo a magic catalog full of terrible monsters!" until it got to the mask/doll things and that fucking clown. Killer beasties, yes please. Dolls, no no no.

The zombies did genuinely scare me. Not because they were zombies, but because they had been people who worshiped pain. And as zombies that was still what they were about - they weren't after brains, they wanted to beat people to death and get off on it. I resented that while watching it, since people torturing each other is a big thing I can't stand in horror movies and the reason I avoid most of them. I went into this relatively unspoiled and I had no idea what the monsters were. But as a commentary on the genre I can see how it works.

I really liked that the movie delighted in making you want to root for the people being attacked and the people ultimately in charge of killing them.
@The One True b!X I know what you say is true. But really "the hand of God"?
The hand of a god, to be fair. Or, ancient one, if you prefer.
I really liked that the movie delighted in making you want to root for the people being attacked and the people ultimately in charge of killing them.


Yes the villains were actually for the greater good.
I'll say here what I thought after reading the script, because I still believe it. In many ways the film is about the perfectly valid and legitimate, even if bizarre, need we have to experience horror. Preferably vicariously, rather than directly. But it's then also about the all the ways in which we pervert that need. As in, they don't just sacrifice people to appease the gods anymore, they subject to them to prolonged manipulation, suffering, and sometimes even torture, all via an increasingly elaborate "system" (to use the film's own word).

In the metaphysical structure the film offers, it is actually necessary to sacrifice people to keep the world safe. But just how you go about that -- and the degree to which you celebrate it rather than view it with compassion, regret, and respect -- is in question. The same goes for just what sorts of horror films truly have value, and which are just ultimately a vile reflection of humanity.
If I didn't have to go to work right now, I'd post more, but one of the best moments ever in the history of cinema may have been the UNICORN OF DEATH! I want to know who came up with it because it was brilliant.
I don't think it's a coincidence that this movie seemed to have been written soon after this post:
http://whedonesque.com/comments/13271

[ edited by zoinkers on 2012-04-13 20:15 ]
Thinking about it, my favourite thing about the whole film is that it managed to make 'choosing to doom humanity' into a feelgood ending. I am kind of in awe.

(Is it just me, or is there a steady trend of diminishing faith in humanity through all Joss's work from Buffy onwards? I'm not complaining, mind...)
I've been feeling that a lot lately myself. Are we, as a civilization, worth all the suffering that seems necessary to keep it going?
I think that's a great analysis of it, bix, and it gets me wondering: Has Joss ever had a film that was such a direct commentary/exploration of genre? Of course he's always played with tropes etc., but I just love the degree to which this film explores, as you said, the actual reasons behind horror and why we need it, but also the consequences of that. And I can't think of a time he's ever taken on a subject like this so head-on.

And on top of that, it's just entertaining as hell throughout. I had some reservations about the Hand of God as well, but I think it works for me. The ending is definitely Joss--it reminds me a lot of Angel's ending, in a way--and though the giant hand is kinda cheesy, I agree that it's a good way of saying "This is final, this is not undoable" etc.
I think the film is going to appeal to those knowledgeable in the horror trope conventions much more than the general public. It is a very meta movie.
Joss is a genius. Loved the film, it was brilliant. I didn't see any of it coming and everything was just crazy and unexpected and awesome.

My audience absolutely loved Fran, he got so many laughs right from his first scene with the bong in the car.

The zombies freaked me out, and whatever that spirit thing was that was after the Japanese kids. Loved the whole part with all the different monsters coming out of the elevators, so cool. The office scenes were hilarious, and the speakerphone scene, and the betting on the monsters, and the guy obsessed with the mermaids getting killed by one.
"He's got a husband bulge." -my favorite line, especially in the way it was staged.
I love this movie. This and "Funny Games" (yes, I know the English-language version is a remake of the French-language versions) are the only two movies I can think of offhand to discuss why people who love horror movies do love horror movies. The big difference is that with "Funny Games," I felt lectured to, and being told why I like something for reasons I don't like it, and then having what I liked absolutely misunderstood. "Cabin," on the other hand, understands the form, the satisfactions, what objections might be to those satisfactions, and has an ending unlike any other I have ever seen. (Is there any other movie where a good, likable, empathetic character refuses to save the world and is in a way right to do so?)
BTW, if you haven't read the io9 review, you should. I like it.
The opening title just sort of suddenly appearing in front of Whitford and Jenkins as they are engaging in office talk set the tone for the whole movie. Totally unexpected. Not done the way it is normally done. Big and over-the-top in its presentation. All this on top of a scene that is both normal and perverse.

My daughter and I laughed hysterically throughout the movie. I just wish there was a bigger audience there.

Going to see it again in an hour!
I loved the hand of the god. The whole last act I kept wondering how much further they could go, and they went all the way. So freaking funny.

Definitley a must-own movie. So much detail in there I want to check out more closely.

And so many new quotes for the Whedonesque banner!
It was absolutely fantastic. I might've squealed at Tom Lenk's cameo and Amy Acker's first appearance. Thoughts from the audience/me:
- everyone loved Marty. This was a true Joss character.
- after the title of the film was revealed, someone said "are we in the right movie?"
- LOVED when the zombies escaped their grave.... That was truly from a Buffy episode. I squeed.
- I love how the audience laughed at some of the deaths... It's almost as if we the audience became the "control room"... Fascinating stuff.
- the acting was incredible. Cast was perfect.

I still can't form cohesive thoughts. It's my favorite horror film. Period.
When I saw it the coffee-bong got the biggest cheers, with Ripley being a close second and the Unicorn being right behind at third. Can't wait to see it again and pay even close attention to the whiteboard and the items in the basement as they all are connected to that crazy ass final 20 minutes.
Crazygolfa, Drew said at the advance screening that he really just wanted to have a movie in which a merman would spurt blood out of his blowhole. That makes me think the Unicorn of Death was probably his idea, haha. But him and Joss seem to have similar mindsets so who knows? I would love to have been in that apartment when they were writing this.
Skittledog, don't expect that to change anytime soon especially with Wastelanders which is, according to Joss, about people who (spoiler if you don't want to know ANYTHING about it)



save the world and how unbelievably unhappy they are.
That is a good review b!X. I like that they point out how clear it is that the creators love the genre they're playing with. Some people will find the movie overly-clever or too meta, but those things are only bad when they lack heart. This is fun and exhilirating and chock full of love for creepy stories and scary monsters.
Lisa, that was actually a concern of the studio, that's why the credits were done all "horror-esque." Originally the movie was just going to start with the Jenkins/Whitford scene where they talk about fertility but the studio was worried people would walk out thinking they walked into the wrong movie, haha.
How many people knew about Sigourney? I would say I pay pretty close attention to the Whedonverse (spoilers and all) and I had NO IDEA! Which made that moment absolutely brilliant! How long has it been known generally, I assume since it was shot? :) Amazing!

Ack, on my phone so not going to write an essay, but I was also trying to figure put the purpose of the fourth agent person in the room most of the time? Can't remember his name, but he was just a 'guy to say exposition-ey lines to for the sake of the audience' right?

Not complaining, it wasn't too noticeable. :)
I dont see horror movies, but I REALLY want to see this. Should I wait for the DVD to come out or put on my big girl pants and see it on the big screen.
I took off work today so I could see it. So glad I did because the very few spoilers I hadn't escaped were enough.

Thoughts:

- There were no previews before the movie started, which sort of made me unsettled from the get-go. Is this true everywhere, or just something at the theater I went to?

- Favorite line, "Good job, zombie arm"

- As soon as the lights came up, my husband turned to me and said, "That was messed up." It was a compliment

- I am not at all a fan of horror movies, have never seen a zombie or slasher film, and I LOVED it. I think the tropes are embedded in society enough that I got all the references withouth being a fan of the genre.
I loved the hand of a god. I mean, if you can't deal with that - it has a Merman in it.

Just saw it again. Paid attention to score this time. Score is really great. Love the movie.
I give this movie a solid husband bulge.
You could have been spoiled for Sigourney early on based on her stylists being listed in the credits on IMDb.
insistondoubt it was referred to on the front page but in such a way that no one noticed. Otherwise it was the biggest Whedonverse secret in ages. Such a change from when Buffy and Angel were on the air and Mutant Enemy leaked like a sieve.
E-Rawk - heh, yes, I'd seen that quote and that may have helped me notice the trend. ;) But I'm still unsure whether this film ultimately has more faith in humanity and individuals than Dollhouse did, or less... ultimately everyone here is trying to do what they think is the right thing, even if they stray a little along the way, but still the conclusion is: best to kill everyone. Hmm.
@insistondoubt - My take, is that the new straight-laced member of the office team was there to show how even the guiltless die within the apocalyptic scenario; to reinforce the nihilism. Amy Acker placed a bet on the monster pool for all her misgivings. Which could be read as condemning her to her fate. (Which made me sad btw.) Also he was important as he provided a reminder of just how blase the others had become about the horrors they were inflicting.
I really want a screengrab of that whiteboard.
The movie was amazing, period. Probably the most innovative genre movie I've seen since Scream, yet more comparable to Evil Dead 2 and Shaun of the Dead in quality. But really, unlike anything I've ever seen before. Just the biggest balls ever on a film. That being said, I think this is going to be a weird sell. The movie is weak in the legitimate scares department, bigger on the suspense than true horror. I think horror fans will appreciate the humor of it, but they might not be expecting this from the film. Meanwhile, the mass audience that usually goes to your torture porn and Michael Bay-produced remake horror (Nightmare on Elm Street, Texas Chainsaw Massacre remakes) will be totally confused by this and not get it one bit.

To be honest, I think the people that would enjoy this film the most are very smart fans of movies that have a knowledge of horror films. Which is a hard group to market toward, although I think Lionsgate has done the best job they could have at aiming there.

Though if I had one criticism, it's the clip of the elevator scene in the trailer. I would've liked to have bought Fran Kranz's demise in the film and felt the triumph of his return a little more. Not that I could've made a better trailer.

[ edited by PuppetDoug on 2012-04-13 21:36 ]
Simon- I swear I knew weeks ago and I am not even that invested in the movie. So, was it a really well kept secret?
The internets were not ablaze with "Sigourney Weaver to cameo in upcoming Whedon horror flick" headlines. So, yes, it was.
Hollywood Reporter revealed it (after being asked not to) a few weeks ago. It's been a closely guarded secret for many years.
Loved It! Looking forward to all the new Jossastic quotes in the corner.
Simon- I swear I knew weeks ago and I am not even that invested in the movie. So, was it a really well kept secret?


I've been keeping schtum for about two years now? By and large everyone has (apart from THR *sigh*). Her cameo is the horror equivalent of Sean Connery appearing in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.

Loved It! Looking forward to all the new Jossastic quotes in the corner.


Yes, we'll have to do that soonish.

I would've liked to have bought Fran Kranz's demise in the film and felt the triumph of his return a little more.


The promo pic of a bloodied Fran gave away his return as well.
I thought the movie was a hoot and a half! So many details that I loved! The only drawback was knowing that Fran's character wasn't really dead. :-/ unfortunately that was a big drawback for me.
There's sooooo many quotes to pull from this though. And I remember thinking, "If they're giving away this much of what I thought was the "twist" in the very first scene, then what's the actual twist?" Turns out, I didn't feel there were many twists, just everytime I thought they weren't going to go further, they did.

Loved the coffee bong!
Loved "husband bulge."
Loved the office scenes.
Laughed my ass off at the Asian girls and the "Fuck you!" lines.
The evil unicorn was PERFECT!
And I didn't know about Sigourney so that was the cake!
I'm surprised by the amount of hate the movie is getting on Twitter. I'd say it's almost 50% Love it, 50% Hate it and say it's the worst movie ever. An awful lot of people saying they couldn't understand the plot.

The good news is people are going to see it, and it's not the storm trooper nerd army. Also when 50% of people love the poo outta your work, it's good.

[ edited by gossi on 2012-04-13 22:13 ]
I've been avoiding anything related to the movie & I was so disappointed when Marty died. In fact, my daughter whispered "Dammit, he was my favorite character." We were SO happy when he came back. And SW was a magnificent surprise.

Oh yeah, and I just want to add:

He finally did it. JOSS KILLED EVERYBODY.

[ edited by jcs on 2012-04-13 22:22 ]
Honestly, I kinda expected the hate. There is a significant number of people who go to see really awful horror films because they think they're... awesome films. I have no idea why, but they do. And my guess is they're expecting CitW to be similar to those. The fact that it's actually something unique and something that requires thought is going to cause a lot of people to just have gut reactions that will lean towards hate.

Both times that I've seen it, I've heard a lot of people saying, "Oh my god, that was, like, the dumbest movie ever." It causes me a lot of pain to not immediately wrench around, pull a Willow and say, "Look who's talking."

I loved it. Going to see it for the third time now. First two were advance screenings and I feel like I should offer money to its opening weekend.
I think the ONLY thing I didn't really like about this movie was how Marty took a knife or spade in the middle of his back and yet it didn't seem to affect him at all for the rest of the movie. I could understand if they had shown it up near a shoulder or perhaps in a leg, but it looked deep right in the middle of his back. Seems like that would be kinda hard to just shrug off. Just my one nitpick.
Two of the biggest things I dig about the movie: it's a commentary on humans, and it's also very, very fun. Unicorn. Merman. I've seen it a few times and each time I notice something new. (Also, one of the monsters on the whiteboard: "Kevin").
He finally did it. JOSS KILLED EVERYBODY.


Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!

"The horror movie to end all horror movies ... literally."
"The horror movie to end all horror movies ... literally."
I've only been waiting three years for people to get to see that he didn't say that in a "I made the best horror movie ever" way, but as a sly, askance reference to the narrative itself.
Hah, reading twitter reactions is entertaining. But I'm honestly amazed it's ended up with such a positive average on rottentomatoes, given that if you don't love it as a film you probably are going to think it is very stupid indeed. But I am just so chuffed that so many people seem to love it and that that will include a whole host of people who've never been exposed to Jossy/Drewy goodness before.
(Also, one of the monsters on the whiteboard: "Kevin").


Another two monsters on the whiteboard: "witches" and "sexy witches". I'd like to think the latter was a nod to Willow?
Also "Angry Molesting Tree"
I'm hoping there's a good shot of the whiteboard in the companion book that hits next week. I'm waiting for my copy to show.
I wasn't bothered about the companion book before but now i've seen the movie, i'm buying it as soon as it's out.
I think it's fair to say that well over half the audience I just saw the film with were very, very confused.

To be honest, I wasn't sure what *I* thought of it until about 20 minutes after it finished and I started to consider the meta-ness. Now I can't stop thinking on it and sort of love it.

[ edited by apollo11 on 2012-04-13 22:45 ]
Also "Angry Molesting Tree"
Which was actually in the fake casting sides, I think, although I don't remember if it was in them or just more directly referenced.
That was hilarious, and really fun. I didn't find it terribly scary either, but I was pretty sure it was because the underground lab had me thinking that none of this is real, also knowing (from the trailers) that Fran/Marty will find the elevator going down later made me think that no one was really dying.... But I was fine w/not being scared! I loved the movie (oh and for the record, I never heard about Ripley the Director of all of Earth even though I follow a lot of entertainment news).

Favorite line: 'husband bulge'.
Btw I have a feeling this thread will be bumped off the front page sooner rather than later, so we'll do a special round two thread tomorrow.
I'm on here pretty regularly and I had no idea SW was gonna be in it. Glad I somehow missed it, haha. Knowing Marty's early demise was over-exaggerated did ruin some suspense but I did keep wondering, "How the heck is he coming back? Were the trailers red herrings?"

Cyridel, all the characters got pretty messed up and kept on ticking (until their clocks got killed). I just chalk it up to horror movie adrenaline.
And JCS, I am totally stealing that line. Kudos to you!
Yeah, skitttledog the rottentomatoes rating astonishes me--93% with 141 reviews right now--that's just stellar. I know critical approval doesn't translate to box office, but Joss & Drew must feel pretty good about all that approval.
I've heard the "angry molesting tree" referenced in interviews a couple times now, but I must have missed it in the movie. Maybe it popped up during one of the several times I was distracted by the jerk in front of me constantly getting out of his seat. (And when he wasn't doing that, he was talking.)
I don't have much to add to the conversation, but I just came back and loved it. Brought a friend who is not a "Whedonite", and he loved it too, so it does appeal outside the fandom. He is a horror fan, however.
Deadline reports The Three Stooges might beat The Hunger Games this weekend, with The Cabin in the Woods likely on track to meet studio projections for a weekend take "in the teens".
The best part is a close tie between the Thermos-bong and the name of the Pinhead wannabe, Fornicus, Lord of Bondage and Pain. Or maybe the Merman blood spurting. Worst part was the lack of "Grr, argh.". I waited right through the credits hoping it would be there!

This really was something else. Definitely one of my favourite Whedon productions. There was just so much going on constantly, in every single line and in the background. It is really going to reward re-watches.

I went in knowing very little, having avoided even the trailer. I had bits of info that me certain it would be a film within a film idea, but no details. I kind of expected the mystery to drag out, rather then be explained within the opening scene, but I think that was probably for the best. It still keptme on the edge of my seat throughout, constantly wondering where it would go. I certainly did not see the final act coming and it was truly spectacular.

The jokes worked on the audience I was in (which was incredibly mixed, although mostly teenaged) and everyone seemed to get it, so I definitely do not share concerns that it might go over people's heads. People also seemed to be quite scared by it, although I must admit that I thought that to be the only that area that did not work for me (excluding mouth face ballet dancer and... shudder the clown.

As for the Hand of Evil God, I was fine with it. The rest of the film wasn't exactly subtle, so why not go the whole hog? I also liked the way it smashed down on the audience.

Just absolutely brilliant.
I was nearly spoiler free. I read only one article, and it was the one I posted a couple of days ago. I had seen the picture of Fran/Marty in the elevator some time ago, but I had forgotten it. So I actually bought his death, and I was happy not to have been spoiled. The movie was so much fun, and brilliant. I didn't know SW was in the film, but I recognized her voice in the voice-over, so I wasn't too surprised when she actually appeared on the screen. But it was great, nevertheless. As with others above, I was sorry that the first comment I heard from the few people who were in attendance at my showing was that the film wasn't scary at all, and it wasn't even that funny. But other people in the audience clearly got it.
Hollywood Reporter also pegs The Cabin in the Woods as on track for projected weekend take in the teens.
I feel proud to be among the first to review the movie for Whedonopolis, thanks to the Wondercon screening. Even more so, I managed to avoid telling people about how Joss and Drew were stunned that Sigourney Weaver not only wanted to know when the werewolves were coming, but if they'd sign her copy of the script.
As for how it ended, it wasn't the end of the world...it was the end of a planet of metaphors. I see the Hand of God as us rising from our seats, clapping for what we have seen, and then going home before we have to pay the baby sitter for an extra hour...or maybe headed to the local pub to tell others about this freaking film!
Yes, this movie is one planet of horror metaphors brought to you by Drew and Joss, the same way the original Buffy movie was a sea chanege of how the usual horror flick has to make way for those that are completely different.
Besides, who are the monsters anyway: the zombies and assorted crates, or the corproate Seneca Crane impersonators who think killing five people a year is worth it? Anyone remember Jasmine from Angel, and her offer for mankind: a perfect world in exchange for regular human sacrifices?
Well done, guys!
FWIW, it was the fake casting sides for Holden and Jules that had the hot tub and the angry molesting tree.
The actress who played Jules is joining Spartacus. Yay. And we get to see Deknight kill her off too, no doubt.
So glad I can finally talk about it after three weeks of hell!

Oh, three years you say? Huh.
Kevin.
Unicorn.
Sugar Plum Fairy.
Merman.

I'll try to get more when I see it again tomorrow. The second time around (not having noticed the first time), I had to laugh at the girl creepy-singing one of the bloodied troopers to death. There were so many creatures/entities from bad horror movies, I wonder what got left out!

I did wonder how everyone kept surviving knives in their backs, but it doesn't matter. In the end, Joss kills everyone (as it should be).
I love this exchange from today's Wired interview.
Wired: I felt like the final scene of Cabin played like something right out of the Monster Manual. [Note: Here I mention a specific monster, but Goddard asks me to keep it on the down-low.] Did you play D&D?

Goddard: God bless you, you’re the first person to mention the Monster Manual. Just keep that [name of specific monster] thing quiet. If you can try to keep from spoiling that, I’d appreciate it.

Awesomeness. This is the first movie to lure me to a theater since Interview With The Vampire first came out and my head is still reeling from what I just saw. I went to a matinee because I refused to wait any longer than I had to and I had to hold myself, not in a husband bulge way, more in an oh-my-god-this-is-fucking-awesome way.

Must watch many more times... and I'm so happy I remained unspoiled which I am like, never, it was worth it muchly... my head is crammed with Cabin thoughts to the point where my brain feels like the last 20 minutes of the movie.
I kinda love it!

Evil Unicorns!
Deadline now says Stooges and Cabin are neck-and-neck for Friday take (although Stooges is still predicted to beat it on the weekend overall).

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2012-04-14 01:07 ]
Wait ... does that mean Cabin is beating The Hunger Games? Never mind, I guess not.

Also, the NIN track in the closing credits. It's becoming more and more likely that Joss is a closet Trent Reznor fan (at least, I've never heard him mention it). Unless it's Goddard.

[ edited by zoinkers on 2012-04-14 01:14 ]
I just came back from seeing it, and I agree with a lot of what's been said here already: it was brilliant, it's too bad I'd seen the TV spot with Fran going down in the elevator, the speakerphone scene was particularly hilarious, I actually cared when characters were killed, and I couldn't quite tell how much of the audience I saw it with "got it." And I agree that it was more about escalation than twists, but I'm still glad I was only minimally spoiled before... My only nitpick for the entire movie was that I found myself thinking, "Really? There's a button for that?" when the third act mayhem got going. But I guess that pales in comparison to the rest of the suspension of disbelief that was required :)
Whooooooooooooooooohooooooooooooooo.
I kind of love this movie. Can't wait to see it again.
Variety has all three films each on track for a $5-7M Friday.
I'll have to see it again. For movies that I really anticipated seeing (like "Serenity" and "Lord of the Rings"), my preconceptions would get mixed in the first time. Second time, I can kick back and just enjoy the ride.

I had no idea about the cameo (despite reading most of the articles here).
Glad I don't read Rex Reed. Half of his "facts" are wrong, and he gives away the cameo for no necessary reason? WTF?

I think the movie had to end with the Hand.
Just before the ending, a friend pointed out that perhaps the Fool and the Virgin were actually assigned wrong. (We don't know about his experience. And her introduction started with a discussion about her break-up, which could make her foolish.) When the Hand came down, I turned to her and said, "guess not".

(Edit: The lab people are definitely on the wrong side, despite trying to save the human race. They talk about the necessity of free will & making a choice, but as the victims pointed out, the only choice they were given was the manner of their death.)

[ edited by OneTeV on 2012-04-14 02:05 ]
My first thought on seeing the ending: "Well, this isn't going to do anything to improve Joss' reputation for liking to kill people off!"
"Really? There's a button for that?"

Half of me agrees, while the other half just really wanted them to press that button.
OneTeV, I think the actual choice was to not go into the basement and to definitely NOT touch anything that was down there! I mean, when you rent a cabin (or beach house) there is often a room filled with the owners belongings, and it is not considered to be okay to go and mess around with their stuff. Anyway I thought that theoretically they would have been safe if they had just taken Marty's dare to go back upstairs (LOL).

And it is interesting that Marty was the Fool, but he seem to be the only intelligent one of the bunch.
What I really loved was how truly non-stereotypical the characters were and only appeared as such through manipulation. Obviously that was the point but it just made me really happy.

I brought a friend with me who knew nothing about this movie and has never really heard of Joss before and she absolutely loved it. I was so glad.

The reason I don't like horror movies is because they don't scare me. I assume that it is their intention to frighten me and give me nightmares but most that I've seen have failed miserably at that. I personally never saw this as a movie that intended to scare me so it didn't bother me when it didn't. I knew it was meant to play with the clichés and to entertain me. It very much succeeded in that which is why I loved it.

I wasn't aware about Sigourney Weaver until a few days ago when I read it in a review on Rotten Tomatoes (might have been the Hollywood Reporter one). I'm a little upset they ruined it for me with only a few days left to go before the release.

One more thing. I kept hearing(well, reading) that it was really gory but I didn't find it very gory at all. I mean yeah, there was blood but it just didn't seem bad at all. Maybe I've become too desensitized from movies like Saw (even Passion of the Christ).

[ edited by Destructo Girl on 2012-04-14 02:32 ]
I think, no matter what, they would've ended up in the cellar. The stakes were too high for them to be allowed to survive if they didn't go into the cellar. If they were able to be manipulated into splitting up, I'm guessing they could've been just as manipulated into going into the cellar.

As for Marty - I think all of the characters were intelligent. But they were all subjected to cognitive inhibitors, etc. Being the Fool allowed him to retain his intelligence, but it doesn't mean that the others would be any less intelligent in normal circumstances. And, in fact, I'd say they do seem more intelligent than Marty in the first few scenes.
Cabin has been trending on Twitter on and off since last night. Haven't seen any Stooges trends. This means little to nothing in terms of box office, I guess, but is interesting to me anyway.
I actually found my audience interesting. There was a huge mix of people - mainly older viewers around 40 and up. I assumed there would be a lot of people in their 20s, but there were hardly any. I feel like that might actually push Cabin a little higher than expected in box office sales.
My favorite line, and I wish I could remember it perfectly, was when the little Japanese girls were singing and captured the evil spirit. "Kiko's spirit will live in the happy frog." Ribbit.

That was so bizarre, adorable, hilarious.
At the end, Half the audience stood and cheered. A tenth yelled "that sucked". The rest were staring straight forward, jaw dropped unable to form a thought after that WTF moment.
I just wonder why Human Sacrifice Inc. thought a big gorilla would complete the ritual in Argentina...and why there? Why not Sao Paolo?
I just got back from seeing it, and I'm having a hard time reacting since I'd never seen a horror movie before. I did have unbridled love for the Japanese school children sealing away the evil spirit. A few musings...

*At one point I thought that the idea was that the behind the scenes people were making a movie, essentially a dark version of a reality show, like Marty suggested.

*Trying to untangle the analogy... Who were the people behind the scenes supposed to represent, and who were the gods supposed to represent? I could see the behind the scenes people as either horror film fans, or the makers of a horror film, and I could see the gods as either horror film fans, or a subconscious, primal need for bloodlust within horror film fans.

*I went into the movie a bit spoiled due to trailers, yet I forgot about Marty in the elevator, so that part retained its effect on me. On a related note, seeing the matrix of monsters, and the chaos that ensued when they were released was funny and amazing.

*What were the rules of the sacrifice, specifically? Culture specific? That is, the five archetypes weren't represented in the Japanese classroom, and yet, I can't see it being done if there wasn't a chance of it having an effect. Also, part of me thought that the carnage to the people behind the scenes would somehow satisfy the sacrifice (I mean, if they just need to amuse the gods, and if the sadistic sacrifice gods weren't amused by that degree of insane carnage, I really don't get them).

*Speaking of the multiple other horror sites, it is really odd that all would fail--is there a suggestion of some force at work causing this?

*I couldn't get behind Marty's decision to let humanity die, since there are some innocents out there that don't deserve to be brutally murdered by giant gods.

*I really loathed the behind the scenes group when they were partying as Dana was struggling to survive in the background.

*Having recently marathoned the first four seasons of the West Wing, I was probably a bit more lenient towards Bradley Whitford's character than I would have been otherwise.

*I was a little sad Amy Acker didn't get a bit more to do.

*I ended up on a bus on the way home with two people who had just seen the movie as well--their opinions were rather mixed on it...but they did talk about it for well over a half hour afterwards.
Speaking of giant gorillas in Argentina: I appreciated the fact that in this world, it's HARD to create the circumstances of a horror movie. Lots of manipulation is required to get the characters to behave stupidly enough to get themselves killed, and even so, in most scenarios (Sweden, Japan, etc.) people were able to defeat the nightmare baddies without fulfilling the requirements of the sacrifice. Despite the whole apocalypse thing, that's actually kind of a positive view of humanity... Right...?
The movie was amazing, from start to finish. My fiance was a big fan, and usually it's a big struggle to get her to go to horror movies (although I'd say this was more of a meta-horror-comedy).

Also, I feel like the mass slaughter of the control people is essentially what Joss would have liked to do to the Initiative during that final battle in Buffy Season 4? Seemed like the same, on steroids (with special effects money).
Pure gold:
-Harbinger on Speakerphone
-Stitterson yelling at Japanese girls
-Hadley "Oh come on" at merman
-actually pretty much anything said by Hadley or Stitterson
Favorite scary moment:
-the silence after the elevator ding that signified all hell was about to break loose
@paperspock-I thought about some of the same things that you did regarding the sacrifice; I was wondering why each ritual seemed to be different and also why the deaths of everyone behind the scenes didn't count. That being said, I was able to easily overlook it.
Multiple gods, one per site, specific rules for each god? The rule of the ritual are important because there's plenty of arbitrary slaughter in the world, and that's obviously not enough to satisfy them.

Besides, I'm no expert but I think the archetypes in Japanese horror are likely very different.

[ edited by zoinkers on 2012-04-14 04:11 ]
@PaperSpock: My thoughts on your thoughts. (Which is also the opening lines used for a paper-mind-meld...)

- I was thinking the lab was secretly being run by the evil doll-creatures from the trailers.
- Not everything is an analogy, right? Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.
- I was surprised by Marty. When I thought of the trailer, I was wondering if it was a creature imitating him (since I thought he perished).
- I wondered about that too. Seems like part of the ritual is they have to pick these people to play these roles, and stick with it. No tag-in substitutes, I guess.
- Are you aware of the Gambler's Ruin?
- This feeds into the last response. Even if Marty sacrificed himself, the system is flawed, and would eventually fail anyways. And there is always the chance that the people predicting doom were wrong. (Sometimes R'lyeh sinks back into the ocean before Cthulhu recovers from being run over by a boat.)
- I think that was entirely the point of that scene. I'm starting to understand the interview where Drew said he had to have that REO Speedwagon song. (I don't like their music, but think it was perfect for the scene.)
- Think that is also deliberate. Mutant Enemy does love the charismatic but evil characters.
- Agreed, but I would have liked to spend more time with *all* of the actors that they cast.
- Heh, I ran into a Whedon/Buffy fan on the way out, who asked for my opinion.
The rules at each site seemed to work in accordance with the horror films of that culture.

As for others not counting as the sacrifices, they had to fit the age and the stereotype in order for the ritual to work. It couldn't just be any old death.
- Not everything is an analogy, right? Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

I disagree with this. I think the metaphor of the gods who need to be appeased runs very close to the thematic heart of the whole film. And even though the film doesn't provide solid (or even particularly coherent) answers on this point, I think it's important just to ask the question: Why do we need these films? Where does the drive toward human sacrifice come from?

- Are you aware of the Gambler's Ruin?

However, I think this is really insightful - thanks for the reference! Black swan events also come to mind.

[ edited by zoinkers on 2012-04-14 04:35 ]

[ edited by zoinkers on 2012-04-14 04:36 ]

[ edited by zoinkers on 2012-04-14 04:38 ]
I've only read maybe a third to half of the comments so far, so I don't know how much of this has been covered. Just a few points:
  • I stayed fairly spoiler-free throughout the run up to the movie's release, but inadvertently learned about Sigourney's cameo when I looked at IMDB yesterday. Grrr. At least the rest of the audience gave her a huge cheer.

  • I did give a small cheer when Mutant Enemy came up on screen. The guy next to me followed suit. His girlfriend, who I suspect was the real Whedonista of the pair, was squeeing at both Amy's and Tom's initial appearances.

  • Whole lotta Evil Dead references in act one, right down to the design of the cabin.

  • The Unicorn of Death had to have been an homage to one of the most memorable scenes in the Vincent Price camp classic The Abominable Dr.Phibes.

  • I was kicking myself for being caught flat-footed at Marty's return. If there's one thing nine years of The X-Files taught me, it's that off-screen deaths don't count. Although given the specific order of deaths laid out at the end, shouldn't there have been some consternation in the control room when Marty was seemingly killed before Thor?

  • On a related note, I had a bit of dread when Marty returned that there would be a twist in which it was revealed that he was actually a virgin and the world would be doomed by his dying before Dana. I was glad to be wrong. And Sigourney's line addressing Dana's previously established non-virginity was priceless.

  • Also, Dana. Last Girl Standing with an androgynous name. Our boys do know their tropes.
All in all, big fun. I may have to rope some people into seeing a repeat viewing with me.
I didn't know Sigourney Weaver was going to be in it, but totally recognized her voice earlier in the movie. It's the voice over the PA talking to Marty & Dana that they have to die, I think just as they get out of the elevator.

Like Vandelay, I waited until the end and was disappointed there was no "Grr, argh".

I didn't mind the giant hand of the ancient ones, but was hoping for at that point for tentacles for a tip of the hat to H. P. Lovecraft.
Roland, I totally thought there was going to be a twist that Marty is a virgin and so with Dana dying that it was actually done in the right order. World saved! Yet after that point might as well go all the way.

While I was leaving there was some guys who said they loved the movie but were very upset with the ending and the ancient ones coming out. I really do think this is a movie that will turn off a good chunk of the audience while many others love it to pieces.
That was so much fun! I'm so glad I stayed away from the spoilers, worth the wait! The Japanese classroom with the frog, the release of all the monsters, and Dana and Marty's ending dialogue are immediate favorites.
LOVED the movie, absolutely worth the wait! I find it kind of funny that Joss essentially created Buffy as a way to alter the classic horror staple of the hot blonde being the first lamb led to the slaughter, and then years later co-wrote a horror movie which straight out stated that that's the way it has to happen.

Not only that, but I'm a little saddened that Joss finally succeeded...he finally killed everybody that I've ever cared about!

[ edited by Axed84 on 2012-04-14 05:26 ]
SIGOURNEY FUCKING WEAVER!! BEST KEPT CASTING SECRET EVER!! (For me anyway, I thought I already knew everyone that was going to be in the movie.)

That's all for now. More comments to come later.

Oh, except also: "Good job, Zombie Arm". Favorite. Line. Ever.

ETA:
@mnspnr - We had the same favorite line, yay! Re: the lack of previews, it was the complete opposite for me. It has been a really long time since I've seen that many previews before a movie. At least 7 I think? I was seriously starting to think "OHMYGOD I KNEW IT THERE ISN'T REALLY A MOVIE, LSKDFJLIEJGLWEIHR" like it was some sort of anti-Joss prank. *phew*

[ edited by DreamRose311 on 2012-04-14 06:07 ]
- Glad to see I'm not the only one who was thinking Marty might end up being the virgin.
- I didn't dig the unicorn bit as much as other. Didn't a vamp get staked with a wooden unicorn on Buffy or something? I know Veronica Mars used a unicorn to stab a rapist once. So, I wasn't blown away by that moment like some others were.
- I assume the rules of the sacrifice have evolved throughout the years and evolved differently in different cultures. Hence, the different rules in Japan.
- One of my favorite sequences was Sitterson racing to cave-in the tunnel while the college kids raced to escape. It was a great "who am I supposed to be rooting for here?" moment.
- I loved the brisk pacing of the film. It just blows by.
- The last 20 minutes is amazing. Very little of the movie surprised me, but I thought the shot of all the monsters in their shifting elevator boxes was the most effective reveal. That was the only moment where I was really stunned.
- I like the hand of God bit, not just as metaphor, but because the hand coming out of the ground is just classic horror movie imagery.
- Favorite funny bits: the speakerphone, the Japanese classroom, and the white board.
- I sadly had the Sigourney Weaver cameo spoiled for me on Rotten Tomatoes. The Joss interview on AICN gave away a little too much for my liking (the girl's diary is mentioned, as well as talk about the office staff being for "the greater good"). And yeah, the trailer ruined Marty's return.
Love the discussion here. I think I have little, if anything to add. But wanted to point something out about the Rotten Tomatoes score. Everyone's talking about the reviews, which are overwhelmingly in favor. But look at the audience rating. As of this post 28,503 audience ratings averaging to 81% like it. Love them numbers!

Regarding metaphors of the roles everyone plays, I don't think there's anything directly applied like: Director=Whitford's character, not intentionally. I think there are just very easy parallels that can be drawn, based on the roles needed to tell the story.

Those parallels to me are: 5 kids = Horror movie victims, Whitiford/Jenkins = writers/directors/producers, the crew = movie crew (and the writers/directors/crew enjoy with a glee their own work, as they must to make a quality product), Sigourney = Studio, Gods=Audience. We, the audience are the ones who must be appeased, and our unhappiness is the end of that world if we do not like the movie.

And as said above. No dead body = not dead, I would've assumed Marty was alive anyway (and the trailer doesn't say he lives, you have to remember the scene on your own while watching the movie), and since the movie opens with the behind-the-scenes, there really wasn't any spoilers in the trailer. IMHO

I reserve the right to be wrong about all that. :)
I seem to remember learning Sigourney Weaver was attached to Cabin, but had forgotten until she showed up at the end. So that's almost like being unspoiled.
Even once it was clear that the ancient ones were going to be arising again, I was still expecting a happy ending - a kind of repeat of The Judge in Innocence.

According to the alternate narrative I made up at the time, (and still like,) the ancient ones would have been far too massively powerful for humans thousands of years past to have even considered facing, but compared with the modern technology that enabled us to, as a salient example, capture all the other horrors the company had, the old gods were simply insufficient to doom the world.

If that had happened - if the god had arisen and then said, "Oh, what's that?" to a nuke before being blown to bits - the moral of the story would have been that all we needed to break ourselves free was for someone to stand up against the sort of Stockholm syndrome that had taken hold of millenia of frightened humans, to stand up and refuse to commit evil in good's name.

Just my two cents. I liked this ending, too.
He finally did it. JOSS KILLED EVERYBODY.


I knew it was only a matter of time.
Deadline now saying estimates for the weekend are for box office to run The Hunger Games, The Three Stooges, and The Cabin in the Woods, although those last two look to possibly be close.
I love that Joss keeps giving Fran erection euphemisms in his lines. :)

I think we saw the angry molesting tree at the end. That was so much fun, trying to identify all the monsters. Definitely a must-rewatch kind of movie, just to catch all the little things you missed.
Interesting thing of note: Cabin (opening in 2,811 theaters) may be right behind Stooges (opening in 3,476 theaters).

So Stooges may make more cash, but their ticket-per-theater ratio is lower.

Stooges had a $30 million budget. Anyone know what Cabin's was?
The Angry Molesting Tree is in one of the elevators - its roots grab somebody.

Having seen the film twice now, I got the significance (the second time around) of the little earthquake when what the control room crew *thinks* is Marty's blood goes into the blood machine and around the figure of the Fool. It's the Ancient Ones stirring in their sleep, because instead of the blood they were supposed to get, they got zombie blood. (On first viewing, I thought, "How can he have bled so much and still be alive?") It's a clue that it's not really Marty.
Stooges had a $30 million budget. Anyone know what Cabin's was?
Don't ask me to find which article, but today I read $45M.
Wow. That was weird and crazy and meta to the extreme. Also struck me as incredibly bleak, despite the humor.

Loved the Sigourney cameo. I was not expecting that.

I also loved the way the film positions the viewer with the office people--voyeuristic, but jaded; wanting and *needing* these people to die, but not reacting to their deaths. And the moment when Bradley Whitford's character is positioned as a writer/director: one of his coworkers compliments him on the perfect "denouement," and he acts humble but is clearly very proud of his work. If Whedon and Goddard are questioning the ethics of viewing this kind of story, they're also questioning the ethics of writing/filming it.

The glimpses of Japan were hilarious. Loved the bit with the frog on the humorous level. But also on a deeper level, it emphasized that the desire/need for ritual sacrifice transcends culture and society. It may look different outwardly, but the essence of it is present throughout geography and history.

For a while there I thought they were doing something along the lines of Rene Girard's scapegoat-theory ... that the sacrifice was "necessary" to satisfy some need within human society, to reassure people (in a very twisted way) that there was some kind of order or justice in a chaotic universe. I didn't expect the ancient evil deity to be real until very near the end. Still not quite sure how I feel about that ... though I do finally understand the line about "a horror movie to end all horror movies." Which is highly amusing.

I also saw parallels to Dollhouse, particularly with the chem team. The use of chemicals and pheromones to control people's behavior and desire reminded me of the Dollhouse theme that we're all essentially programmed by our culture, in ways that we don't even see.

But yeah. To me, the disturbing kinda outweighed the funny. Which is not meant as a critique: I think it was meant to be disturbing.

I wonder ... are there any critics out there drawing parallels between this and Hunger Games? Very different stories, obviously, but both are films that *are* violence-as-entertainment on one level, while critiquing violence-as-entertainment on another level. Cabin has a a hell of a lot more layers than the (film) Hunger Games, IMO; but it's still an interesting happenstance.
I too waited through the credits hoping for a Grr Arrgh. When there wasn't one, I just did it myself.

Another recent Unicorn Stabbing is in a recent episode of Supernatural. Sadly it reminded me of it so much that I was expecting the unicorn to have a rainbow coming out of its ass... If it had I would've seriously wondered who on that writing staff already knew about it >.<

Also I have to give a HUGE HUGE thank you to not letting the GIANT FUCKING SPIDER come out and attack. I had to only-mostly watch all the carnage because I kept expecting the damn thing to crawl out at any time. So... SUCCESS!
I can't stop looking at the #cabininthewoods Twitter stream, and I guess it's because I never got to see so many non-whedonesque types reacting to a Joss project before. it's a strange feeling, as if the general public just stepped into my world or something.
Lots of "WTF?" and "weirdest movie I ever saw" "that was messed up" (in a good way). Lots of "amazings." A few "dumbest movie I ever saw" and some complaints that it was funny, not scary. Some gripes about the ending. And a surprising number of people saying they want to see it again.
I loved it so much- we (me, my husband, and our entire theater) laughed almost the entire time. It was smart and entertaining, and I definitely put this up there as one of my favorite Mutant Enemy productions :)
Deadline's sources now estimate The Cabin in the Woods will take in $5.5M on Friday, with a $13M third-place weekend.
@dream rose I had forgotten about that unicorn bit on Supernatural. I don't watch the show but I saw a clip of it on The Soup. So maybe that also diminished the impact of the unicorn for me (subconsciously anyway).

Reading some of the negative tweets about the film, I'm beginning to think most of the naysayers are the same tweeters who didn't know the sinking of the Titanic actually happened.
Erendis, I love your line of thinking. I had similar thoughts after my viewing, and have been wondering about the connection between Cabin and Joss's post on Captivity and Du'a Khalil Aswad. Expanding somewhat from the focus on women, the film tackles our desire to see youth and sexuality punished in general. I too found the connections disturbing and fascinating.
There is so much to love about this... I have to say my favorite is the exchange between Tom Lenk and Bradley Whitford during the betting on whether he should keep his bet knowing that he will have to share with the maintenance and the larger dialogue of predictable failure. (Landscape architect here - we keep betting on the logical (zombie family) without taking a chance on the creative (mermen)). If it had been mermen - however absurd it seems - would the world have survived?

[ edited by EnWhy on 2012-04-15 01:06 ]
I've seen it twice now, once at midnight and once at the drive-in. Most of the audience didn't seem to get it at the midnight showing, but I heard someone at the drive-in raving about it.

Also, I agree with everyone else's raves. I really need to sit down and write a review.
Definitely a mixed crowd at tonight's 10pm showing. Place was about half full. Most people seemed to enjoy it (my 3 friends and I were laughing throughout) but there wasn't quite the same enthusiasm as the audience last week (which was, admittedly, a crowd of whedonites about to see an advance screening so no real surprise that we were pumped and loud). There were no complaints I could hear and some people seemed to like it but I think most people were entertained but not impressed.
I <3 Zombie Arm! Somebody make it a twitter account, mm-kay?

Me and @gorramsister were highly entertained, despite her being in the throes of a new sinus infection. I made the mistake of later going to see Lockout with my other sister -- it was like going from The Silence of the Lambs to The DaVinci Code, not a good idea! One thing you always know with Joss, if something doesn't work (and I don't mean Cabin!), at least it's an interesting failure. Can't say the same for Besson.

Edited for typo.

[ edited by cabri on 2012-04-14 09:01 ]
I just want to point out that Bradley Whitford was right in the end: the chem dept. screwed it all up! The pot they adulterated for Monty (Fran Kranz) was making him more perceptive rather than more suggestible!

That only occurred to me an hour after the movie, as I was talking it over with friends. Brilliant!
I think I loved this film even better on second watch. Fran's entrance into the film was epic, as was "husband bulge", in fact Fran was basically awesome all around. Like pretty much everyone else, the lift scene in the trailer ruined his death scene for me. However, I did watch the trailer quite obsessively. Hubby, who had seen it maybe twice, had forgotten about the lift scene so it didn't ruin it for him.

I thought Kristen Connolly was amazing, another great find by Joss.

I've known about Sigourney Weaver for a couple of years now too and was very surprised how well the secret was kept. I wish I hadn't as it was obvious to me throughout the film that she was going to be the Director.

I caught one of the free screenings a few weeks ago and the cinema was packed, everyone laughed in the right places and there was a generally good feeling coming out.

Last night I went to my local cinema and it was about half full, which is pretty good for that place especially for an earlyish showing. In contrast, when I saw Serenity there on opening night there were about 10 people, and five of those were with me! Most people seemed to laugh in the right places, and the two young girls behind me jumped and screamed a couple of times, which made me laugh.
My favourite audience reaction, actually, was when the Director showed up, and everyone in the room started whispering "Sigourney Weaver???". (This was one of the preview screenings a few weeks ago.)

Least favourite audience reaction was to the unicorn impalement... I was the only one in the room who laughed. (Does that mean I'm psychotic?)

I've put more of my thoughts into a reflective piece that's currently running on Bleeding Cool. (Hope it's not breaking the self-link rule to post this in the comments!)
Posting to your own stuff in the comments is fine.
This was such a fun flick. I saw it with my girlfriend, and we both really enjoyed ourselves. I found the entire experience very meta, and laughed an awful lot. That last act is perfectaly executed, and had most of the audience noticeably excited.

I saw it with a theatre about 95% full. It was a youngish crowd, and it seemed like people were reacting correctly. There was some restlessness during the scenes in the "control room" though. As we left, it was clear most people really enjoyed it, but I heard a few "what a dumb movie" and "it wasn't scary".

People actually bood at the end of the first scene, when it didn't start off horror-ey enough. So the general positive feeling by the end was kind of a relief.

[ edited by rabid on 2012-04-14 10:41 ]
Luckily I saw it in a sold out theatre with a savvy crowd. I think Joss and Drew would've been elated at the reaction.
jcs, I had the exact same reaction to reading twitter. I guess I was just about in the fandom when Serenity came out (though observing more than commenting), but I didn't have twitter and I was reasonably certain it wasn't going to storm the box office anyway, so I consciously avoided paying attention to reaction other than from film critics. This time, I don't have as much invested in whether people like these characters or care about this story, so I'm kind of enjoying watching the split reactions, but it's still... odd. Hugely divided. I guess this is the real-time equivalent of watching the world divide into "Buffy is the best show ever!" and "oh god that stupid show with a stupid name" and... hmm. I'm not sure I like it.

In terms of the more geeky but not necessarily Whedony corners of the internet, I'm pleased that the response among AV Club commenters seems to be overwhelmingly positive. Couple of detractors, but none of the 'it was stupid and I didn't understand it' there.
Who else ships the unicorn from Cabin with the unicorn from Supernatural? Just me?

But in terms of fanfic goodness, I can see a lot of AU fic where the ancient gods are actually the senior partners from Wolfram and Hart.
So the glitch in 98. I'm pretty sure this is a reference to Buffy episode Homecoming which aired in 98 and has a similar premise.
Speaking of giant gorillas in Argentina: I appreciated the fact that in this world, it's HARD to create the circumstances of a horror movie. Lots of manipulation is required to get the characters to behave stupidly enough to get themselves killed, and even so, in most scenarios (Sweden, Japan, etc.) people were able to defeat the nightmare baddies without fulfilling the requirements of the sacrifice. Despite the whole apocalypse thing, that's actually kind of a positive view of humanity... Right...?

miri47 | April 14, 03:37 CET

This was one of my favorite points about the movie and something I have been thinking since I saw the movie yesterday. I haven't formulated any rational thoughts about it yet, but I find it utterly fascinating that humanity's ability to defeat the horror tropes of their culture is what damns them (at least initially, maybe enough survive the initial rising the beat the ancient gods?).

Another point I loved was the exploration of the Virgin/Whore and The Final Girl tropes. Again, need to rewatch to formulate proper thoughts, but I loved it.
This was a bait and switch movie. A big con. A three card monty of a movie. However its a con game that is really fun to play. Yes, it has a stacked deck, very carefully stacked deck. One designed to continually, tease, taunt, and trick you.

I completely get the negative reviews of those pissed off about being conned. But for most its a ridiculously fun. I can't wait to play again.
The control room guard, Truman, was the stand-in for the audience. He/we sort of knew what was going to happen. He/we understood what was happening, but has the question "Should this happen?". He/we were prepped, but was he/we actually prepared? When Truman exploded, how many of the audience mind's also figuratively exploded with overload? When the movie lost Truman, how many in the audience did the movie also lose?
I was almost completely unspoiled when I went to see it last night. On the way to the theater, I told my son, in jest, "Joss is going to kill EVERYONE."

I had no idea how right I was.

LOVED the movie. I am not very good with words, to go on about how original, clever, and fabulous it was. But I loved it so hard. And so did my son. Joss Whedon is still my master.
Fran Kranz needs to be super famous like right now! He totally stole that movie. Had such a blast, and the twist blew my mind. Will definitely be buying the DVD.
I loved it. I've seen it twice and had a good audience both times. First audience laughed more, but second audience seemed really into the suspense aspects. When Marty found the recorder, everyone went "nooooo!" when he wouldn't move away from the window. The girl behind me was especially happy when he comes back. And everyone loved the weaponised bong and the big red button that should never-ever be pressed under any circumstance.

Something I noticed the second time around - blowing off the creepy gas-station owner was one of the "transgressions" the college kids made that made it necessary to "punish" them.

When the Harbinger calls the office, he tells them that the Fool is acting weirdly unFoolish, which is a big deal that they need to pay attention to. Hadley, Sitterford and Lin are too busy laughing at him to notice.

Then later they all get eaten by monsters.

It's a really neat film all around. Will drag all acquaintances to it sooner or later.
Cruella DeWitt, first of all I love your nickname lots. Also, I hadn't noticed he wanted them on the phone as I was too busy laughing. Good spot.
When the Harbinger calls the office, he tells them that the Fool is acting weirdly unFoolish, which is a big deal that they need to pay attention to. Hadley, Sitterford and Lin are too busy laughing at him to notice.


...Which is just like the audience. Genius bit of layering!
The glitch in '98 simply establishing the overconfidence that led to their downfall!? Or a reference to a specific movie in '98?
Second time around, paid special attention to the intern's signs but still couldn't make 'em out. Need a high-def theater. Son said he thought the intern's 2nd sign mentioned something like "second level."
Parts of it reminded me of the initiative in Buffy season 4. I hated that the previews spoiled Fran Krantz's return!
It was like the Initiative had been taken over by Wolfram & Hart. (I'm 90% confident that one of the Wolfram & Hart locations was used for the first scene. Think it was used for Dollhouse Washington as well.)
Except the film was shot in Vancouver.
There was one establishing type wide shot of the interior (a walkway overlooking a lower area) of the "Observers" building that was very similar to particular shots in Serenity and I think Dollhouse.

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