This site will work and look better in a browser that supports web standards, but it is accessible to any browser or Internet device.

Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"I'm twice the man she is."
11971 members | you are not logged in | 18 January 2021


April 14 2012

(SPOILER) Discuss 'The Cabin in the Woods' - round two. In which we carry on chatting about Drew and Joss' new movie.

First discussion thread can be found here.

How long until we have a member called AngryMolestingTree?
I dread to think. Or Fornicus, Lord of Blood and Bondage.
So, do we think that Lionsgate did a good job at representing the film to the wider audience now we know the reception?

[ edited by Jaymii on 2012-04-14 17:22 ]
That's probably a topic for the other thread?
Yeah, this more for the actual movie itself rather than the marketing.
I just saw someone on twitter describe the film as ' will save us all.'

Apart from it not really saving the world at all, I thought that might not be a terrible way to describe it...

[ edited by skittledog on 2012-04-14 17:28 ]
I may name my child Fornicus. Note: I do not have a child.

Going to see it again tonight as I'm still noticing details. I think the "fuck you, and fuck you, fuck you, fuck you, fuck you" scene may be my favourite thing pretty much ever.
Probably the speaker phone scene for me. Pure comedy gold.
Yeah, that was the moment the penny dropped at the UK critics screening that they were watching something funny and interesting.
I loved the Aquaman reveal: I could sense it coming and was laughing before they even showed it, whilst everyone else was just thinking I was weird. THEN they got it...
Even if it is for the other thread, I was pleased with the advertising for the film. I believe a wider audience will see it and be surprised at how much they like it and how.well they follow a fairly foreign concept (to them, Whedonverse fans).

I have so much to say I.don' will gather myself and get back.later.
Saw a late show of CitW last night and have been mulling it over all morning. I didn’t like it as much as I had hoped but found myself appreciating so much of what it was about in spite of that. I think because of the “meta” aspect of the whole enterprise I had a level of detachment that I usually I don’t have with Joss’s work.

I did love that Joss and Drew did let there ids run wild. In a recent New York Times interview Joss said that he’s having to let go of the need to have everyone like him and be true to what he needs to say next. It was in reference to Wastlanders but I think it applies here too. And I think, as with Wastlanders, Joss needs a partner in crime to let him do this. Here we have Drew Goddard who made a great directorial debut and you can totally see these two horror geeks just saying to one another, “Lets just go nuts, lets take this all the way.”

Things that I loved the most? Richard Jenkins saying “Fuck you” to all these adorable Japanese school girls, Bradley Whitford’s character being killed by the Merman, Mordecai on speaker phone, Marty’s Killer Bong, I could go on and on.

What I didn’t like? The ping-ponging back and forth between the office and cabin made it hard for me to truly care for the characters. Also I thought that the monsters were more silly than scary and in general it was not a scary horror movie (although the death of Jules was truly horrific ).

As for the very end, where Marty and Dana decide to let the whole world go down instead of allowing themselves to be sacrificed for the greater good, I see parallels with some of Joss’s other work. I’m think of Buffy rejecting the First Slayers insistence that she be alone rather have friends and a normal, modern life, or Buffy rejecting the power of the Shadow Men because it would make her less human. There is the theme that rituals and traditions can be truly barbaric and inhumane and maybe its best to choose to reject them no matter the consequences.
I really didn't know Bradley Whitford was gonna be in the movie, was really cool to see he was in it. I've been watching Aaron Sorkin stuff like mad lately and because he's in both Studio 60 and the West Wing I've become a big fan of his. He really stole the show during those (I'm just gonna call them the Initiative) scenes.

Loved the movie, but bit conflicted about the last shot of the hand. Felt the scene between Marthy and Dana was so good that it should have been the end.
I hope that if Joss returns to TV, we'll see a lot of these actors again. Well, Fran and Amy obviously, but to see Whitford talk Joss lines on a frequent basis would be just magical.
I noticed I was really engrossed by the motorcycle scene. Thought it an interesting choice to set that up with the bird's death earlier. My wife and I were squirming the whole time, because we knew it would go badly (thanks to the bird, which had seemed like an extraneous unnecessary fx shot). Seemed to take forever. Which really lead to exhausting amount of squirming. I wonder if the scene was originally meant to play as hopeful? "escape is possible!" And instead they added the bird shot, to change the Motorcycle scene into something hopeless?
The ending smoking scene really made me think of TheThing, and I was sure they'd end with something ambiguous like "I guess well sit here and see which one of us dies first" as the fate of the world waited to be decided. But instead, they went definitive with the hand shot. ... The ending Smoke also reminded me a little of heathers, just seeing our heroes exhausted, bloody and sharing a joint as their world ended.

My wife mentioned some article she'd read about how cavemen invented painting as a way to substitute for actual killing. To satisfy the gods? She tied it into the idea of wicker men being burned so they wouldn't have to burn real men anymore. Which she tied into this idea that we tell horror movies as a culture, to fill a cultural need for sacrifice. Which seems right in line with the movie's themes. I'd never heard this before.! Anyone have any leads on articles about this sort of thing?

Also, Can anyone deduce what creature the film strip in the basement would have unleashed?

[ edited by WarrenEBB on 2012-04-14 18:29 ]
Was anyone else looking desperately for the Mutant Enemy mascot to be one of the monsters released? I kept searching and searching the scenes, but the nearest I could see was the thing Marty shot in the head.
My friends and I were confused about one point. When the techs said that the bridge didn't go down because of interference from "upstairs," what was that a reference to? We thought maybe Marty's messing with the control box was screwing up the bridge controls. If not him, who would have wanted to mess with the sacrifice?
This got buried in the other thread

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.

Anyone agree?
I've mentioned in the past that I like Mutant Enemy stories where they tell you exactly what is going to happen later, but somehow still make it surprising and exciting when it happens. That's probably why I like this movie so much.

I was thinking that the lab people are like the step sisters from Cinderella (the Grimm version). The sisters hacked their feet to make them fit in the golden slipper. It works at first, but then (magical) birds alert the prince that there is blood in the shoe. In this movie, none of the college characters really fit their archetype (despite what negative reviewers think). This means drugging the kids, adjusting the temp/lighting/air to get the couple to make out, having an invisible force field to stop the heroic gorge jump, etc.

It does make me wonder. If they can fudge the details that much, how much of the ritual was really needed? And how did they figure it out in the first place? (I was watching an episode of Bones on Netflix. When this guy had his faith challenged, he was reminded that the biggest sin is to claim you know what God is thinking/planning.)
With the control room guard, Truman, as a stand in for the audience; being prepped but not prepared, like us in on the secret while watching it for the first time, asking the moral questions of 'should ', etc. Drew and Joss killed him/the audience. No, put him/audience in such peril that the only option was suicide. Am I off base or is that freaking diabolical?

[ edited by garyyager on 2012-04-14 19:33 ]
WarrenEBB, I totally got a Heathers vibe at the end too when Dana and Marty were sat on the step smoking the joint whilst the world ended.
After being the final girl in the Halloween movies, Jamie Lee Curtis would have also been a good choice as the director.

[ edited by garyyager on 2012-04-15 01:04 ]
jkalderash, yes the tunnel didn't blow because of a glitch caused by Marty mucking about in the electronics "upstairs".
I'll admit, I was hoping for more horror but after reading through last night's thread and seeing a lot of excellent observations from the membership around here, I am growing more enamored of it as time goes on. Not sure what I was expecting that would be different from what they did (and I spoiled myself on the ending long ago so I knew what I was getting into), but it's very smart and funny and meta and ultimately successful. I was fortunate enough to NOT have spoiled myself on the 'release the hounds' scene of the third act, and that right there is worth the price of admission. Weaver's cameo, as has been noted, was a marvelously kept secret.
This could totally be a prequel to Cloverfield, which was written by Drew.

Yes garyyager, Jamie Lee Curtis should have gotten the "Director" role, but there is just something sinister about Sigourney Weaver. It was very similar to her role in Paul. I wonder which was shot first? Probably Cabin.
Cabin. There was some talk in the last month or so about this cameo maybe not landing in quite the way it would have originally, because of her doing another similar one in the meantime.
The cameo certainly caught me off guard, but it was a little hampered due to the Paul cameo, which my mind instantly jumped to. Still amazing though.
jkalderash, b!X, I think the glitch was caused not by Marty doing anything with the electronics, but by the fact of Marty's survival when they think he's dead. The sacrifices are supposed to happen in a certain order. This is also in line with the little earthquake that happens when the control room *thinks* Marty has died, the blood comes into the blood device and the Fool carving gets zombie blood instead of Marty blood.

WarrenEBB, as to whether Dana or Marty dies at the very end - the Director says that it's eight minutes until dawn and if the sun comes up and Marty is still alive, it's the end of the world. I think we are meant to surmise that the sun has risen, so by then, the choice is gone, and it wouldn't matter by then if Marty dies before Dana or not.
Shapenew, but it's specifically referred to as a glitch from upstairs, in a way that sounds physical, electrical, mechanical, not that the ritual has some sort of supernatural power over when the tunnel blows.
Now if Adam could have pulled that off at the end of Buffy Season 4 he would have been so much more interesting! Seriously, the whole elevator/monster sequence was the best.

I didn't find it scary, but I'm not easily scared (this is what happens when The Shining is always in your DVD player). It was Evil Dead II kind of awesome though, and I don't mean the look of the cabin. It had the same sort of hysterical awareness that Evil Dead II had, it also had a zombie arm.

It's absolutely a see more than once movie. The first time your there to figure out what's going on, every time after that it's about enjoying yourself and picking up on the details.
Pretty_Hate_Machine, the grabbing hand was a motif that had run through the film. It was satisfying to see "the ancient ones", even if it was just a bit of it - and if it had ended on the two of them, without us seeing the world actually end, I think it would have been interpreted as ambiguous.

Dude Meister, it's a pity it got delayed so long as this was actually filmed long before Paul!
A few people have commented on the zombie's blood filling the Fool carving, instead of Marty's - most recently Shapenew.

I didn't think that any of the blood being put into the ritual room was actually the kids' - when Jules dies and Hadley (or Sitterson, don't remember) pulls the lever, we get to see a mechanism that looks like it smashes a prefilled jar of blood to pour onto the carving. Did I misinterpret what was happening there? I confess that I didn't quite process all the machinery in that shot.

Just came back from seeing it in the UK and WOAH.

Got the sacrifice to ancient Gods to save the world bit fairly early on, having read loads of Lovecraft and being a practicing Christian who believes in a good God and a much better atonement probably meant I was slightly more aware going in. Genuinely thought Franz was dead, genuinely knew nothing about Sigourney Weaver. Felt the big red button that releases all the monsters was a bit much though.

I need to go away and think more about it all, but Joss' use of atonement (someone dying as a sacrifice in the place of others for their wrongs) really interests me. This, Buffy at the end of Season 5 (where she says something like "it's always got to be blood"), Cyclops during Astonishing X-Men when he gives himself up to death knowing that he'll be raised back to life in order to save his people, I could go on. I know Joss isn't a Christian or anything, so I'd love to know why it's such a theme.

Also, Dialogue hilarious. Most of the audience where laughing out loud at some point. The speaker phone bit in particular.
Mercenary, I was going to mention that, too. It's a pre-prepared vessel of some kind that's shattered in order to then let that blood flow. Maybe it is really theirs, but collected over time or something. But it wasn't a vessel that could have been prepared right then and there.

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2012-04-14 21:39 ]
@WarrenEBB, on horror movies filling a cultural need for sacrifice, see Fr. Robert Barron's "Word on Fire" commentary on 'The Hunger Games', where he discusses the history of the concept of the pariah in society and the cultural need for human sacrifice. (Summary of 10 minute video here.) This commentary definitely applies to questions raised by 'Cabin' as well.
Another observation after thinking about the movie some more...

The scenes with the two way mirror in the cabin say something interesting about the characters in the cabin compared to the people behind the scenes--they were tempted by the notion of secretly watching others, but ultimately decided it was wrong (at least the two characters who had the opportunity to be tested), while the people behind the scenes had no trouble watching everyone in the cabin.

ED: Oh, and did anyone else catch that the necklace that Hadley was wearing matched the emblem on the floor for the closing scene?

[ edited by PaperSpock on 2012-04-14 21:58 ]
That's awesome, PaperSpock. And since the ritual is about setting people up to be punished for their transgressions, there's an example of how, in a sense, it's the puppeteers who are transgressing. So who punishes them? (Well, in the end, Marty and Dana, I guess.)
Oh yeah, that's beautiful. I'd thought about the mirror afterwards and what it meant but hadn't got to that point. Love it.

Re the blood, I don't remember the smashing vessel but I definitely agree that it would be inconveniently impossible to collect the kids' actual blood to fill the outlines (since Marty shouldn't shed enough, and Holden's should be all diluted in the lake), so I'm fine with it being pre-prepared blood from somewhere else. I didn't catch the little earthquake when the gods react to Marty not actually being dead yet, but have seen other people mention it too. So I need a rewatch for that at least...
@bishop. Great video. It makes you think, humans always seek to sacrifice and scapegoat an innocent to appease whoever it is they have to appease, but in the Christian gospel, God himself comes down to make sacrifice and appease God. Oh, I'm going to have to sit quietly and think about this all.
Fantastic observation about the mirror, PaperSpock. I had forgotten that part and so hadn't bothered to analyze its meaning in all this. Good stuff.
Aha, aintitcool have a screenshot showing some of the names on that whiteboard in their review.

Nobody wanted Dismemberment Goblins? (I'm guessing... do any other words end in 'berment'?)
All I could really do was sit back and enjoy the ride and the craft. It was funny and in some places, quite chilling. I pretty much cared about everybody but the blonde chick and each time someone died or I felt was about to, I whined a little in the back of my throat. Then laughed uproariously at the evil corporation manipulators (Whitford, Jenkins and Acker) and felt a little sick (oh, right, the audience) at the obvious lampooning of formula slasher movie voyeurism by having the betting office workers watching not only the violence but the sex unfolding and being shooed away. I feel more than a little awe at the smarts of Joss and Drew at making blase white-collar workers' day jobs sentinels of saving the world by killing unsuspecting young people. Anyone could have tossed together everything plus the kitchen sink into a horror film, but those two transcend all of that.

And the parallels to Joss's tv shows was something else. "From beneath you it devours" ... what's beneath the cabin? Initiative-type secret operation with a lot of demons and mystical creatures in rooms, not to be experimented on, but turned loose on the victim who unwittingly chooses it.

Have to buy the DVD for sure because this begs multiple viewings.

[ edited by Tonya J on 2012-04-14 23:49 ]
I would have put money down on Snowman

Saw the movie again today, loved it. Audience seemed mixed on like and dislike, but about half clapped at the end, and plenty of laughs throughout. One guy on his cell phone on the way out: "There's never been a movie like his before, you can't compare it to anything else." I would disagree in specific (it seems built by and for comparison to horror films), but I love his enthusiasm!
b!X, Mercenary, I'll be interested to see if there's a definitive explanation either way, but I definitely got the impression that the blood belonged to the specific victims. Certainly with Jules and in-theory-Marty, the body could have been dragged over to something that poured into the machine. I know that it's not physically possible, but neither are painworshipping hillbilly zombies, so I think a little supernatural getting it from hither to thither is possible :) Or I could be wrong!
All I can tell you is that the screenplay refers to the breaking of vials of blood. Not the funneling of blood into vials that are then broken.
Just got back. Isn't it great to finally have some new Joss-y goodness in the world, folks? I loved it as much as I hoped to, and my wife actually liked it quite a bit more than she expected to. She loves Joss, but doesn't really tend toward horror, so the fact that she sings this film's praises is really something.

I'll admit to being sleepy while watching (had to get up super early for a silly work meeting, and then had to see the early show because it's cheaper), so my opinions may change as I wake up more in the coming days. That being said, wow! Great idea, awfully good execution, fantastic casting. The fact that it doesn't feel at all dated despite being made three years ago makes me hopeful about the timelessness of it. And, oh yeah, the dialogue! "Well... good luck with your business..." "It was you, all right?! I learned it from watching you!" "Your basic human needs disgust me." I probably got those slightly wrong, but I'll be happy to commit the right words to memory after many more views when it comes out on DVD/Blu Ray.

Now, the not so great. All in all, it felt a bit... TV to me. I don't know how else to say that. Don't get me wrong, I love TV, so this isn't a horrible thing. I remember years ago, talking to a friend of mine, who said the same thing about "Serenity." I disagree with that, as I found "Serenity" to feel much more cinematic than "Firefly," but here... I don't know. I was especially feeling this way when the zombies rose. It just felt, look-wise, like something I'd see in an episode of "Buffy" - "Here's a center-framed zombie. Here's another. Here's one more. Here's a slightly elevated shot of three meandering zombies." A friend suggested that this is maybe an example of an homage to flicks that came before. Maybe.

That same friend didn't really dig the ending, but I was totally into it, I think *because* I've watched so much "Buffy" and "Angel" and have been trained to appreciate the idea of Old Ones rising up to take over. Because of this training, it genuinely took me by surprise when the world did end, since that just doesn't usually happen. Neat!

Other random things - I love that Hemsworth wasn't a "dumb" jock and that the virgin wasn't a virgin. I love that Marty's stonedness is the thing that allowed him to survive until the end. Hell, I just flat loved everything that Fran did in the film. Can Fran Kranz be super-famous already? And the worst thing about my experience? I had to get up and pee near the end and missed Whitford, Jenkins and Acker dying. Also, for that matter, did the Truman character die? Anyway, apparently I missed the Merman. Dang. Anyone wanna detail those deaths for me?

All in all, obviously, so much damn love for this movie. Thank you, Joss and Drew.
Truman blew himself up with a grenade, taking out whatever it was that was attacking him (I don't remember) in the process.
@Dude Meister
"Was anyone else looking desperately for the Mutant Enemy mascot to be one of the monsters released?"

Not the Mutant Enemy mascot, but I did think that an appearance of The Gentlemen somewhere in that long shot of all the cells holding the monsters would have been epic.
Saw the movie last night with my sister, my niece, and my newphew. I had to drag my sister in cause she hates scary movies but I told her that it wasn't going to be that scary, more of a horror-comedy like Scream. Everyone loved it including my sister despite the fact that she's calling me a liar cause the movie scared her and "was nothing like Scream". They loved the humor and we talked a good while about the movie after. My niece and nephew are still pumped up about the movie and want to see it again. I'm short on cash right now though and probably won't see it again until tuesday when I go with my friend from work.

The highlights of the film for me and my family were Marty and his bong, the harbinger on speaker phone, and when all the monsters got loose. I was semi spoiled for the movie beforehand. I've known the ending since 2009 but refused to read the script. I saw the original imdb cast listings which, btw, where was the werewolf wrangler in the movie? I had watched the first and second trailer which I honestly now wish I hadn't cause when Marty "died" I knew he would be back eventually so the umph from his return was kinda lost on me.

I'm glad that I didn't know that the film would end with a monster movie battle royale. Even with the imdb listings it didn't click in my head. In fact I was kinda clueless about the monsters in the cages when the virgin and the fool are in the elevator until the camera pans out into that beautiful shot of all the monsters. That was probably my favorite camera shot from the entire movie. I just loved it and thought it was breath taking and that was the moment I said to myself "this is a wonderful movie." My eyes went directly to the twins from The Shining so I didn't really see all the monsters in the cages. Guess that means I need to rewatch the movie several more times? I definitely think I do because I was nervous the entire like first 30 minutes I think before the killings started. I was nervous about how my family and the audience would react to the movie and whether I would actually like it or not. I didn't really settle in until I think the speaker phone scene. I will probably be able to enjoy the movie more and take everything in on a rewatch. I can't wait to own this movie on blu ray. I just wish I had more cash to see it in the theather more.

I think my audience enjoyed it. It got alot of laughs and I didn't see anyone walk out. I did see some people come in late or get up to go get snacks. I'm sitting there thinking "Wow, they are going to be so confused" because this film had little to no filler.

I got a question though which I don't think I've seen anyone here or on other sites bring up. What was the deal with the blonde kissing the wolf? At first I thought the wolf was going to come alive so I was pretty uncomfortable and waiting to see it bite her face off. Actually the way the blonde was acting extremely sexual with the fool and the scholar was off-putting to me as well. I'm not sure what I was supposed to think or feel there?

Edited to add. I have so many thoughts about this film and don't want to double post so I'll add some more thoughts.

Was anyone else surprised there was no vampire in the film? Or was the giant bat supposed to represent that? Also did anyone else expect the virgin to actually watch the scholar get naked? I was expecting her to take the painting back down when she saw how weird it was.

[ edited by eddy on 2012-04-15 00:53 ]
After Twilight, no one thinks vampires are scary anymore... :)
Oh crap. I forgot. Every single one of us(my family) loved the cutaways to the Japanese girls. The song they were singing, the frog, how abrupt it was.

Theres so much stuff to like in this movie. I loved the design of the cenobite. At first when he's there alone in the shadows I was freaked out thinking this huge imposing figure is going to bash away at the wall to kill them. But then he just walks up all sad looking playing with his cube. I said out loud to my sister "Oh crap. THATS HELLRAISER!" And the unicorn of death. How not scary at all it was yet brutal in its kill. I loved that part. I loved all the cutaways to the room/hallway covered in blood and entrails. Those poor commandos. I was kinda shocked the movie was as bloody as it was(and all the cursing, "fuck you fuck you fuck you fuck you" was a great line that my family loved). I didn't know they(Joss and Drew) had it in them. But I'm glad they did.

[ edited by eddy on 2012-04-15 01:13 ]
eddy, apparently there are vampires, but sort of "Lost Boy" vamps rather than "Buffy" vamps. (According to Drew Goddard.) Likewise, according to Goddard, the Jules making out with the wolf thing was his.

b!X, maybe the control room crew somehow got blood samples of the five targets at the same time they were treating the hair dye, Marty's pot stash, etc.?

[ edited by Shapenew on 2012-04-15 01:11 ]
Did he explain the meaning behind the wolf kissing Shapenew? I didn't think it was sexy(or that we were supposed to think it was). I don't want to say disturbed but it did make me feel uncomfortable.
To make you feel uncomfortable?
Lol. Sorry if it sounds weird. But I wasn't sure if I was the only one who felt that way about it.

CITW was the best horror film I've seen since The Hills Have Eyes remake, The Descent, 28 Weeks Later, and Drag Me To Hell. Better than all 4 of those.

[ edited by eddy on 2012-04-15 01:30 ]
Has a script of this movie been published?

There was so much laughter at Hadley's and Sitterson's scenes that I missed a lot of their dialog.

Thinking back, it seems like almost every line also carried another meaning. From the obvious "let's get this show on the road" to the witty banter playing with the famous anti-drug PSA "I learned it from watching you" carried another voyeuristic meaning.

I really want to read it now that I've seen it.
I thought the wolf thing was just for the torture of anticipation. That's the only part of the movie where I covered my eyes (because I was afraid the wolf was going to bite her face off).
The wolf kissing scene made me feel uncomfortable too mostly because I kept waiting for the wolf to bite her face off. I thought it was whatever they were pumping into the room to make them all horned up that made her kiss the wolf so, umm, thoroughly but it was a dare that started it right? Geez, it's been well over 24 hours since I saw it and I can't stop thinking about it. Anyone know how long till it's out on dvd? No job equals not as many trips to the theater as this movie deserves plus I'm looking forward to (hopefully) much making-of footage.

edited to add yeah, what you said jcs

[ edited by bloodyrockerswitch on 2012-04-15 01:41 ]
Do the Japanese have different ancients to appease? If not, why don't they have to follow the same formula?

[ edited by Squishy on 2012-04-15 01:46 ]
The wolf bit definitely made me (and other people in my screening) feel uncomfortable.

Just got back from watching it so I'm still sorting out my feelings but overall I liked it much more than I was expecting to. I'm not really a fan of horror so was expecting to be grossed out/scared by the film but I wouldn't class the film as particularly gory or frightening (well, there are certainly some points about human nature to be made but I mean more on the shocks and scares front). I was going to support Joss and Drew more than anything but found myself to be very pleasantly surprised that the film has a very Mutant Enemy feel to it and really makes you think afterwards. Kristen Connolly and Fran Kranz were really great.

For the comment about it being too TV... I can see that. There were some very cinematic shots in there - the shots of the beautiful woods, the shot of Dana swimming up out of the lake.. but there were also only a few sets and a small amount of the CGI monsters felt a bit TV (that might just be my feel though as I find a lot of CGI takes me out of the moment) it had a pretty low budget though so that's understandable (some of the CGI was also excellent I must add, mixed bag).

I did feel that the audience I saw it with (teens and people in their early-20s) were expecting something different, there was a lot of restlessness in the first 30 minutes or so until the violence started happening. They seemed to get more into it after that but I felt that aside from myself and the people I went with the overall feeling was lukewarm, though it's hard to tell what people might think afterwards as this is definitely a film I'll need to think about and re-watch.
I think the wolf kissing scene was just to demonstrate how much power the control room had over the kids. That they could effect their actions so drastically.
The main thing about the wolf kissing scene that bothered me was that I was thinking of it as a flea bitten dusty old disgusting taxidermy project (even though it was obviously a nice clean rubberized product).

Actually I wasn't surprised or put off by the whole 'being too TV' thing, this is a low budget movie, and obviously every bit of CGI had to be treasured and spent where it would have the most bang for their limited buck.

Oh and after the fact, when we see that Marty is still alive even though his 'blood' was already presented to the Old Ones, pretty much confirms that the blood flow is symbolic and not the victim's own blood. At least that is how I understood it.
Squishy (and others), The Director explains to Dana and marty that the ritual is different per culture (and changes over time as well) but that it always involves youth, and a minimum of 5 victims. Beyond that it seems to vary. It can't be different Ancient Ones or else the failures of all the other locations would have had no bearing on the Americans. Each failure would have meant Ancient Ones coming up.

Also, I noticed at the prescreening but haven't seen it discussed. The "Glitch in '98" was the fault of the chemistry department, joked about to the lead chemist at the beginning of the film. Anyone notice that the glitch this time was also chemistry's fault? Marty's pot "immunized" him from all their chemicals, allowing him to keep a clear head, which helped get Dana's mind going, and presumably helped him not only survive his zombie attach, but to figure out the elevator, etc...

Speaking of, it's subtle, but here's the timeline of the faulty cave in: No order is given initially, Hadley and Stitterson's faults. Marty starts hacking at stuff, coincidentally disrupting the circuit. Hadley notices the tunnel, orders the cave-in, but nothing happens. Stitterson helps re-route at the last second. The blame by the munitions dept on something happening upstairs is timed immediately before the reveal that Marty is alive. Stitterson, "what do you mean, upstairs?" they know the zombies didn't do it, and the only other people up there are... Then the phone rings to tell them someone is still alive.
@Shapenew: My assumption is that during pre-vacation prep, the powers that be could have gotten blood samples, at least. Or, indeed, it's purely symbolic, although that would be weird.

@garyyager: The companion volume from Titan Books (next week) has the script.
Oh bobw1o, that is brilliant! I'm afraid when I heard about the interference from 'upstairs' I assumed some kind of celestial God working against the Ancient Ones underground... and then I forgot all about it. But I'm sure you're right: it was caused by Marty disconnecting wires or otherwise damaging some of the mechanisms. I am going to need to see this again!
Embers, I won't lie, I had to work it out a bit after seeing it the first time. With that in mind the second time it made perfect sense. In the end, they're very clear (but again subtle) in their distinction between what upstairs and downstairs mean.

On the blood vials. I did see the glass break the first time, but assumed it came from Jules. That never made sense to me though. When Marty didn't die, and the zombie blood is darker, I assumed it must be pre-drawn blood (from wherever). Upon a second viewing I really think that's the case. Actually, I wouldn't be surprised if that blood was all from the same source and the source was maybe Hadly, or the Director, or a combination of those in charge. It makes sense in the greater idea of the ritual, that the person doing the sacrifice must give something of themself as well. And as Spike said, it's always got to be blood.
I really loved the movie - up until the final 5 seconds. Someone mentioned earlier that the giant hand should have been left out, and I agree. However, having only seen it once, I don't want to comment any more yet. As with so many of Joss's projects, this movie is so densely packed that I probably missed half of what was happening (and I can tell that from some of the other comments, too) on the first viewing. I definitely need to see it again, but probably won't be able to until next weekend.
@b!X - Thanks

@steverogers -
I understand. The last third of this movie is a thrill ride that keeps escalating and escalating until there is no where to go. Except it does, off the cliff. To misquote spinal tap "You're on 10, all the way up, all the way up...Where can you go from there? Nowhere. What we do, is if we need that extra push over the cliff...11." I think 11 might be too far. The ending is like a car blowing an engine or tire on the last lap but still winning the race. Fantastic, but slightly better if that didn't just happen. But need to see again.
Loved the movie. Beautifully done. And clearly a love and hate letter to the genre.

My biggest question: How did this movie ever get made?? I cannot imagine a more difficult movie to market. And even if you could market it effectively, I have to think that this movie has a very limited audience. Horror is an already marginalized, subversive genre. And then Joss and Drew come along, trying to subvert the subversion!

That said, I think it has cult classic written all over it. Kinda like a Repo Man of horror movies or something...
LOVED the movie :) but I think it was way to smart for the average person. I've seen this twice already and when walking out I've heard alot of people not liking the movie and not getting what it was about.

Haven't read through all the comments yet but did we ever find out what was written on the side of the cabin as shown on the website?
Did he explain the meaning behind the wolf kissing Shapenew? I didn't think it was sexy(or that we were supposed to think it was). I don't want to say disturbed but it did make me feel uncomfortable.

Jules' behavior in general is explained as being a result of the hair dye, I believe. Makes her dumber and also more sexual. Hence the weird fireplace dance, the wolf make-out, etc.

Just got back from my second viewing. I think I liked it even better this time. I want to wait for the hype to die down, but this might be one of my favorite films ever from any genre. Just hits all my buttons.
I'm not sure... you'd have to actually try marketing it for what it is in my view. The problem is, if you market it as a flat out comedy OR a horror film, part of the audience comes out alienated because they didn't know what they were watching until it was too late to enjoy it. Part of the anger comes from being in the wrong mindset to process what they're seeing.

If this film is successful, they WILL have a marketable genre. They'll just say "like Cabin in the Woods."

And I think this movie got made because Goddard has skins on the wall with both Whedon and Abrams, while already having Cloverfield under his belt. It's fun to imagine the Mutant Enemy team as the underdogs that we root for... but that's not really what they are anymore.
@steverogers I didn't like the ending either until the second time I watched it. Franz character was talking about how it would be a more interesting to see "the end of the world" story than the "cabin" story.

I felt it had to do alot with the meta horror movie commentary going on. He was saying how if the characters don't "win" in the end and the world doesnt go back to normal; there is a more interesting story there that gets cut off.
Joss not horror fan that loved the movie. Looking forward to all the new quotes in the corner, "husband bulge", "thanks zombie arm", "really".
If you enjoyed this film, please be sure to rate it at

I just saw it alone at the afternoon matinee, because my wife isn't into gore, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Very satisfying, but it would have been so much more fun if I could have seen it with my brothers!!
Exactly, azzers. You can't market it for "what it is" because there isn't really a word for what it is. Horror? Not really. Comedy? Not really that either. Sci Fi? See above re Horror. Satirical Meta Horror? Perhaps, kinda. But that characterization isn't likely to draw huge crowds. And by the way, who is this movie's target demographic, other than the most nerdy horror fan boys and girls (like myself)?

The other huge marketing problem is the need to avoid spoilers, which is much more pronounced with this movie than any other that i can think of. How do you market a movie when the very act of describing it is likely to significantly diminish the impact of the viewing experience?

Yes, Joss and Drew are no longer underdogs. But this movie sure is. The very fact that we're even seeing it in theaters suggests to me that Joss has gained significant influence in the entertainment industry. And that's just one more reason to love this movie.

[ edited by Squishy on 2012-04-15 04:48 ]
I saw the 10:10 showing on Friday night and really enjoyed it. Some of my favorite parts:
speaker phone
white board
the Cenobite-looking the original Hellraiser so that struck a nerve with me
Sigourney Weaver - I was unspoiled for this which was great.
"I think we should split up."
bong/travel mug
the reveal of the creatures in their cells
Kristen Connolly and Fran Kranz were both superb.
I'm a big horror fan. I thought the zombies were somewhat scary but overall I didn't think the film was particularly scary. The humor and meta aspects made up for that with me though. I will see it again in the cinema and buy it on home video when it's released. Kudos to Joss and Drew for a job well done.
I could have sworn that Hadley asks Lin "Do we have the blood samples?" right at the beginning of the movie, when they all meet up. It stuck in my mind because it seemed like such an odd question.
In regards to the reason why Marty wasn't affected by the chemicals. Fran said during a screening in Philly, there was a line that appeared in the trailer and not the final cut. Along the lines of "This is my stash that my other stash doesn't know about". They put chemicals in his stash, but not his super secret stash. But since it wasn't in the final cut, it may not count.
From the credits I noticed that Joss directed the secondary unit. I knew he co-wrote and produced the movie, but I didn't know he did any of the directing.

I'm so glad that Fran is getting some public kudos. Despite some early people disliking his Topher on Dollhouse I always thought he was great and in Cabin he was able to shine.
crazygolfa, that line might not be there but it's still established that that's what happened.
One of the things I really liked about this movie was it was sort of like a Cannabis activism movie. I liked how it was pot-positive, and how Marty smoking the weed actualy made him immune to the toxins that they were being subjected to. Weed basically saved him...until the end that is.
@zombalina4: I don't see it like that at could look at it like an anti-pot movie. Because he was smoking pot, the world was destroyed. What worse outcome could there be? hahaha
I just got back from it, and thoroughly enjoyed it. I went in with no spoilers (except something I accidentally glanced at on twitter about a unicorn). Thought it was fantastic. I had fun from start to finish, and our theatre seemed to receive it fairly well (lots of laughter). I saw it with three other people, and they all loved it too. One of them is a Whedonite, though, so she was sure to come out happy. The other two aren't as passionate about Joss, and one of them was raving about it—she said she wants to go again as soon as possible.

However, I have a group of friends who went last night and hated it. They aren't really fans of genre/off-beat stories, so I guess it doesn't surprise me. I have been thinking about the whole "was it marketed correctly?" question, but I don't think I have any answers.
This movie is to a traditional horror movie, like "Aliens" was to "Alien". It might not be as scary a movie, but it still had scares. Plus an incredible intensity, and it turned up the monster threat *way* past eleven.
Just one question: Who/What was Kevin?
Just one question: Who/What was Kevin?
There was an interview with Joss recently where he suggested asking Drew about that at some point. Which suggests there is, at least, a story there.
The scene where the control room crew, celebrating what they believe to be their success, with "Roll With the Changes" blasting and drinks all around - while on the screens behind them, Dana is being slowly, horribly beaten to death - that's the point I leaned over and whispered to my daughter "This movie is fucked up." I got a similar feeling from the "Whose hands are these?" scene in Dollhouse: Society and technology have lost their way, morality is out the window, and mankind is well and truly damned. Chilling. Brilliant.
@The One True b!X

I went to a screening/Q&A last week with Drew Goddard and someone asked him about Kevin. Drew didn't elaborate much on it but according to him, you can find Kevin among the monsters? I watched CitW for the second time tonight and still couldn't find him. Granted, I was mostly trying to keep an eye out for a guy with a nametag that says "Kevin" so I may have missed a subtle reference or something...
My personal and entirely made up theory for "Kevin" is that it refers to the character from the proper three American Pie movies. The most annoying, punchable, unlikeable character ever committed to film.
Truly for me, he IS horror defined.
My name is Kevin. Kevin is always the annoying, punchable character in films.

Plus having zombie, vampire, angry molesting tree and Kevin on the same board is hilarious.

As to how to market it, go horror. Universal tried horror comedy ads before with Slither, as have Lionsgate, and they aways result in box office bombs.

[ edited by gossi on 2012-04-15 10:38 ]
Ok, I slept on it and have now decided that I don't just like it, I love it. I can't stop thinking about it.
Yeah, I saw it again last night. It really stands up well to multiple viewings because there's just so much going on. I think I both fear and worship Drew Goddard.

One scene which sticks with me - the boobs scene. That's really well played.
I think it's more on me being reminded of him with American Reunion upcoming... it just fit perfectly for me. ;)
Seeing it again tonight, so many things to look out for and appreciate now. For a film I wasn't even sure I enjoyed until about an hour after it was over (and was actually unsure if I could stand watching it again), I can't believe how much I'm looking forward to seeing it again so soon.
Squishy, I like that way of thinking of it - that Joss and Drew may not be underdogs any more, so they had the ability to get this film made and widely released, but that doesn't mean the film itself isn't an underdog. It's a bit of an expression of their most underdoggy sides. I'm really going to try to stop caring about what people think of it and just be happy it got made and I saw it in a cinema and it's exactly the right sort of thing to rewatch with my friends for years to come.

It's interesting that the giant hand seems to be the part splitting the geeky consensus so completely: I've seen a lot of people saying they loved it up until that point. Aside from the CGI (a touch cheesy, definitely), that was the moment at which the film gained my complete allegiance, honestly, and I don't think I'd be as happy with it if it had backed down from there. Without showing it, there'd be a lot of people speculating that maybe the world didn't end, that something in Marty & Dana's willingness to sit there and die would complete the ritual and save the world, or that The Director had just been lying to serve some other purpose. Show it, and suddenly you have the underdog triumph feelgood factor tied into the absolutely certain extinction of humanity. And it is just so wonderfully crazy that they were able to pull that off - it adds a whole extra layer of appreciation for me. I love it.
Yeah, the hand is the biggest selling point to me. I mean, it crashed down on the viewers face. I've seen a lot of people complaining about the end, but I really think a Hollywoodesque ending on this one wouldn't have made sense. I know they reedited The Descent for release in the USA to give it a happy ending, but one of the things I remember most about that film is the real ending - which I won't spoil, but wasn't happy or expected.
Your basic human needs disgust me.
It appears that the monsters that we first see from the elevator are the ones that were staged from the items they examined in the cellar. So we know creepy Latin passage = redneck zombie torture family. Hellraiser sphere = Hellraiser guy. Music box = dancer. Any idea for the other?
The seashell was for the merman, I recall. That's the only one I can come up with so far. Also, I checked the twitter responses again for fun and now I see a lot more people loving it and a lot less of them hating it. I think the polarizing nature of this film says a lot about how well it works. People that hate it calling it dumb is sort of ironic though.

[ edited by Pretty_Hate_Machine on 2012-04-15 13:31 ]
I was one of those that did not like the hand. I may change my mind, when I see the film again midweek, has happened before, so who knows?

My reasoning was not that I thought it would have been a Hollywood ending without it, but that I had already bought the end of the world scenario, and therefore it was an unecessary rimshot.

If anything I would compare it to the ending of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. I know what happens after that final freeze frame so have no need to see it happen for confirmation.

But hey, I can always press stop when the DVD comes out, if I remained unconvinced. And for those that do applaud the hand I begrudge them not their enjoyment.

I still adored the movie.
Did anyone notice the Dr. Caron (Serenity) look-alike who shoot herself in the head on one of the monitor scenes? I was waiting for a Reaver to get her. I think Weaver getting axed at the end was Joss' dig at what the studio had done to his Aliens script.
All in all, a very funny "horror" movie that I would have given 5 out of 5 stars, but it seemed to lose steam in the last 10 minutes. Too many monsters attacking and not enough witty dialogue. Sadly, it doesn't seem to be making a dent at the box office...again. I think Joss is cursed. Maybe some witches...Some evil witches...
Glad I can finally read reviews and comments about the movie. It was a fun ride and has my brain going. I tend not to think too much about some movies or TV shows (because they don't make me) and have realized that when they do, I've seen something special...and I may need to see it again. NIN's "Last" during the end credits was great "this isn't meant to last, this is for right now"

[ edited by mustang5o on 2012-04-15 14:41 ]
Re Twitter reactions right now - America is asleep and most of the UK screenings won't have finished (or started) yet. Best time to look is late evening, basically. I have noticed the reactions in the UK are generally better. Re box office - it is easily in line with studio estimates. It beat the first Saw film, which is the franchise which put Lionsgate on the map.
I can understand people not liking it as its not going to be everyone's cup of tea, but i really don't get the reasons some people are giving on twitter. A lot of the tweets from people that hated it describe it as variously "dumb", "stupid" and "retarded". To me it was clearly a very intelligent film with a lot to say about the horror genre. I'm just baffled by some peoples reactions.

[ edited by Derf on 2012-04-15 15:15 ]
Or maybe not some evil witches, but some (as it said on the board) witches or sexy witches :).
Re: hand of a god

Most modern horror films end with a bang, instead of a whimper.
Something like the villain's arm popping out of the rubble, an unexpected kill ("Blade 2" comes to mind), or a new threat (to set up the pointless sequel). In that context, this movie *had* to finish off with something besides watching the two of them on the ground.

This movie also paid off everything that it set up. See a hand print on the winnebago door? Expect the unexpected passenger. See the bong collapse into a coffee mug? See it extend into a bat-like weapon. The pit was shown, the elder gods mentioned... it was probably too tempting not to actually show one.

[ edited by OneTeV on 2012-04-15 15:33 ]
prophecygirl, b!x, apollo11, I believe there's an explanation of Kevin in the interview that's in the "Cabin" Visual Companion book.
I haven't noticed any negatives on twitter, and on Rotten Tomatoes 'CitW' continues to get a lot of love (a lot of movies drop in their ranking after they open but 'CitW' is holding strong). I think that the audiences are enjoying the movie a lot and that it is doing very well at the box office (it is doing better per screen than any other movie currently showing: Hunger Games is on a lot more screens so it is making more money, but it is making less per screen than 'CitW').

Seems to me that this is a pretty successful opening weekend, and I'm hoping it will building more of an audience as people hear that it is funny, smart and different.
Embers, there is a mixed reception on twitter to put it politely.
I was just reading a bunch of #CabinInTheWoods on twitter and I'm not seeing much hate.... I'm just surprised that this thread seems like a wake when it looks like celebration time to me. Just saying.
Search for 'Cabin in the Woods'. The hash tag was used by the actors, not the wider audience. The movie is financially successful so ultimately it is just noise.
I've been checking out some of those tweets. Seems much of the negativity comes from people who didn't get the scary movie they were expecting.

Maybe I shouldn't open this can of worms, but I'm really starting to see parallels to Goddard's Cloverfield here. Hugely polarizing movie that one, but the hate seemed to come from folks who were pissed they didn't get a Roland Emmerich flick. Both films do belong to their respective genres, but what makes them great is the way they turn those genres on their heads.
I wasn't sure what to expect walking in, and I'm still not sure what to think the next day. I appreciate the hell out of the movie. Not sure that I love it. Two thoughts:

* When Joss deconstructs a genre, he doesn't mess around. How many times in a horror film have I wondered why he/she dropped the weapon? Well, it's because the handle was electrified and some middle-aged dude in a control room pushed a button, that's why. Duh.

* Could this be the ultimate Reefer Madness "drugs are bad" morality film? Hey pothead, you may think you have all the answers and see things others don't, but your self-centred screw-the-system enjoyment of life will be mankind's downfall.
I strongly suspect they weren't trying to say don't do drugs.

And yes, I hadn't thought of Cloverfield, Ozzel. Good point. I loved that film, like, a whole lot.
I'm waiting for the interview to explain how Joss and Drew managed to get Sigourney for the movie.
And if she was happy about reading "axe buried in her head". :-)
Saw it yesterday, loved it, can't stop thinking about it. Seeing it again tomorrow night with a friend. Can hardly wait.

Quick laundry list of things that made me sit up and take notice.

- Opening: an office water cooler? Then the "Cabin in the Woods" slammed over it.
- Speakerphone: the 2nd chastisement "I'm still on, aren't I?"
- The White Board: Everything on it.
- The quip about the blonde hair dye "lowers her inhibitions and makes her stupid" (apologies for bad paraphrasing).
- The wolf kiss: the pickup lines before the kiss. Brilliant.
- The unblinking stares in the control room during the oral sex scene. Any and all meta about voyeurism. Yes, that means you, audience. Sitting there. Watching this. Feeling shitty yet?
- Amy Acker (beer): "They're celebrating. I'm drinking."
- Race to the tunnel/control board: mixed emotions on who should win.
- The red purge button: Immediately thought of "Out of Gas" and smiled to myself. Nervously.
- The zombies eating the first round of dead troopers. The pause. The long stare.
- The shot of the blood-soaked elevator lobby...the second elevator ding...cutaway before the doors open.
- The Director (virgin): "We work with what we can get."
- Everything Marty said.

The showing I attended (Austin, TX) was packed, and the audience appreciative. The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema has been drumming this movie for a while now.

I was having so much fun, I couldn't refrain from exclaiming out loud. Repeatedly. I just hope I didn't ruin it for the guy sitting next to me.

[ edited by Hera on 2012-04-15 17:08 ]
I never saw Cloverfield (fear of shaky-cam), but I'm definitely going to see it now. If it was anything like this, I'll love it.
Love Cloverfield to pieces. Read the Rex Reed Observer review of Cabin (AFTER seeing it, for he spoils rather bitterly) for one of the most hilariously inaccurate reviews I've ever read.
Fascinating to watch Cabin reactions on Twitter.
Hera, which Drafthouse did you go to? I saw it at the Ritz, and my audience seemed very appreciative as well.

And I *loved* that our warning not to talk before the film was a clip from Firefly. :-)
I can understand of course, how the film wouldn't be everyone's taste but what I continue to not get, other than being provocative, is why certain reviewers are employed to write movie reviews who actively dislike and insult the genre's fans and the genre itself. I've read one that said CItW is nothing more than a rip-off of other films; in fact, rip off was used three times in the opening paragraph. As they say here, play the ball, not the man, but too few reviewers do that. For a good one read Peter Travers at Rolling Stone.

[ edited by Tonya J on 2012-04-15 18:14 ]
Erendis, it was the Village location. We didn't get the FF "special hell/talk in the theatre" clip — ours was much more disturbing.

I've always appreciated the Alamo's grandiose threats, and their dedication to offering up the best cinematic experience. We did get some great Buffy clips as openers, though. Also a clip from an Asian film where a piano ate a young girl. -)

We're blessed that we live in such a movie-savvy town.
"In regards to the reason why Marty wasn't affected by the chemicals. Fran said during a screening in Philly..."

When the hell was the screening in Philly? I kept watching out for one, but never saw it listed!

I've seen the movie three times so far, but now I feel cheated! There is no Fran Kranz to talk about it afterward!

Anyway, have to grade more papers so I can see the movie again today. If I can't get to it, I'll go to an early matinee after work tomorrow. I rarely go to movies, but where Joss movies are concerned, the theater is my second home!

All that aside, my 22-yr.-old daughter and I laughed and "wowed" through the movie (my first viewing). We got it. We had so much fun analyzing it as it proceeded.

My husband didn't get it (my second viewing). His sophistication with regards to movies goes as deep as an Abbott and Costello movie. I have tried to get him to view things in a more discerning and thoughtful way, but he's the type of person who needs things to be plain and obvious. It's very frustrating.

I went a third time with my 18-year-old twins. My daughter didn't say much (other than that she liked it - she is, after all, a Joss fan, also). My son would giggle periodically throughout the day afterward, as he thought of different scenes in the movie. We both ended up talking about it several times afterward, analyzing what different scenes were about. He loved the scene where Marty is outside peeing, and Carl suddenly crashes into him. He jumped out of his seat when that happened, and we all laughed out loud. Much fun was had!

OK... back to work.☺
And how bloody brilliant was the use of "Roll with the Changes" . "and if you are tired of the same old stories... ".
I think I remember Drew saying in an interview that they had to really pay to get that song, too.
worth every penny
@garyyager re: "Roll with the Changes": great observation! I didn't notice the lyrics and totally missed that. To all those who didn't appreciate this movie their first time through I would say, "So if you're tired of the same old story / Oh turn some pages / I'll be here when you are ready / To roll with the changes."
I'm thinking that all the "dumb" and "retarded" reactions are based on a reaction to the whole "Ancient Ones" plot. Americans who come in looking for horror are looking for a certain experience and react to the whole over-the-top mystical element the way they react to a show called "Buffy" or "Xena" and think they're too "cool" for genre.

I just realized that Angry Molesting Tree isn't just a funny name but also a reference to the movie Poltergeist. Joss just loves to make things that reward the people who obsess about them. :)

[ edited by Ronald_SF on 2012-04-15 19:40 ]
Actually, I think the Angry Molesting Tree is a reference to the tree rape scene in the The Evil Dead.
Yeah, straight up Evil Dead riff there.
It's a thing which happens in Evil Dead. Not sure it's angry though.

I just realised I will buy this on DVD if they do commentary. Because that's a commentary I need to hear.
Wonder how many of the weekend sales were from people who saw it Friday night and had to go back for details?
Never saw the first Evil Dead. (I loved the 2nd one!) I'll have to cede to you here that the "molesting" tree is a nod to Evil Dead.

Though the tree in Poltergeist was definitely "angry." Who thinks of these things? Hehe.

And whoever thought that clowns were cute and meant for children? I don't know a single person who isn't scared of clowns.
Angry tree in Harry Potter, and a whole bunch in LotR (run forest, run) - common trope really.

Following the whole "the movie is a metaphor for a movie" idea, then surely Marty would be the "actor with a drug problem" who goes off-script and off the rails, and ends up totally ruining everything.

The whole thing is so meta, I'm surprised Abed wasn't in one of the boxes.
The whole thing is so meta, I'm surprised Abed wasn't in one of the boxes.

This made me laugh out loud. Like, actually.
AlanD Abed comment = WIN!
Saw Cabin In The Woods today.Couldn't see it any sooner since I was tied up but got a chance to go today.Really fun film.
The whole thing is so meta, I'm surprised Abed wasn't in one of the boxes.

That would have been amazing.

I don't really understand how people could not like it. It's not perfect, but it was just so fun.

It seemed convenient to have an unmanned control room right there for them, but the chaos that was unleashed was just pure epicness.

Could anyone make out what Tom Lenk's sign said near the end?
so one more time,

The glitch in '98 = Homecoming??

Broadcast in 98, features a cabin in the woods, but Buffy wins!
It's a neat thing, bivith. Might not be intentional though. We'll pretend it is.
I'm so happy to get to study the whiteboard! But where is the ballerina on that list?
"The Doctors" - maybe the masked guys?

No idea what "the Huron" could be. I figured that the ballerina was the Sugarplum Fairy.
The blackboard doesn't totally match the released creatures.
Twitter buzz I've seen seems to be around 65% LOVE, 15% LIKE, 15% HATE, and 5% WTF?! I feel sad for humanity when I read a comment like "Don't think we were meant to laugh"
I'm still calling those guys "the doctors" until I'm told to stop. Because it sounds cool and scary. :-)
I think The Doctors were the group that looked like they were dissecting someone alive on one of the monitors. Yay, the whiteboard!
I'm assuming "giant" and "twins" are two different things. Because "giant twins" don't even bear thinking about. The little girls from the Shining only very tall.
I thought it was brilliant! Scary, funny, whip-smart, perfect. The only part for ME that could have gone over the top was the unicorn, but they knew right where to tow the line with that gag, and ended up being hilarious. There was so much good stuff that has already been touched on. I loved that the RV was super similar if not the same model as the Buffy S5 RV. Also, I am dying to know what was written on the sign Tom Lenk was holding up in the control room monitor when the whole place was going to hell.
Does "GIANT" look like it's in quotation marks? If so, why? It's only a giant if you're not as tall as Drew Goddard to begin with?
I don't think the '98 glitch would be a television reference. I think a horror movie reference is more likely. Although it could simply establishing Hadley and Stitterson's over confidence, which ultimately led to their downfall.
Just back from my second viewing. Tonight, the audience definitely seemed to enjoy it a lot more and seemed busier than opening night too. It's actually a much more enjoyable film second time around just for the `sightseeing`; picking up on the smaller gags like the whiteboard - although I'm sad that I forgot to watch for Angry Molesting Tree's appearance. I think a lot of people lose it in that last 20 minutes or so and just don't realise the over the top nature isn't to be taken seriously, or the `meta` aspect totally blows by them.

I would love to study how what other audience members are reacting like influences people on this one and how they rate it in the end. Can definitely see it as a possible factor.

Settle a bet someone; is the line "good work zombie arm" or "good job zombie arm"?

[ edited by apollo11 on 2012-04-15 23:54 ]
Didn't anybody else think it would have been more horrific if at the end the "ancient evil gods" didn't actually arise? And that for all these years people were being sacrificed horrifically for nothing?

Saying that, I loved it. And I hate horror films. Loved that the target five were demonstrably more than their assigned roles, the humor, the twists. All of it. But I knew from the opening imagery that it was going to turn out they were a sacrifice. Didn't damage my enjoyment of the movie though.

Saw it Sunday afternoon in a smallish theater that had about 30-35 people. Lots of laughing, so I think almost everyone was having a good time.

[ edited by NYPinTA on 2012-04-15 23:50 ]
I just read a review that said "Josh Whelan" and closed the window. Is that a new one?
Maybe? We could make a board of fake Joss names.

I'm pretty sure the zombie arm line was "good work." I'm not sure why I would remember that but I do.
I thought it was "stumpy arm"?
NYPinTA: Didn't anybody else think it would have been more horrific if at the end the "ancient evil gods" didn't actually arise? And that for all these years people were being sacrificed horrifically for nothing?

No, but I do now. +1
NYPinTA That was the ending I was expecting, maybe because it would've been very dark and yet our heroes would've been saved, which seemed fitting. Perhaps that's why I enjoyed the hand so much--exactly the opposite of what I expected. And also it gives the control room people legitimacy. I like legitimacy in my bad guys.

Of course, I spent the whole movie being wrong about what was going to happen next, so maybe that's just me. :)
I cheated and read the script page. "Good work, zombie arm" wins.
apollo11, I think it's "work." Whatever the word was, the line made me laugh, almost as much as "I disemboweled him with a trowel." Edit: yep, work.

I'm pretty terrified of horror movies, so I really liked the way the movie was able to transform tense moments into comedic ones. Particularly the scene with Marty peeing outside- I jumped when Curt appeared, then laughed my head off when they knocked over Patience.

[ edited by Like With Pie on 2012-04-16 00:45 ]
Yep, I thought about what jcs did. If you take away a reason, then there are no stakes for the control room people and worker bee staff. I thought it was enough that we had no idea how or why these people were hired. Was it an underground word-of-mouth hiring or nepotistic thing, handed down through the ages to be chosen to do those jobs? (Obviously the tech changed over the centuries). This and the below were enough to fleetingly contemplate in-between the action scenes.

Something else that has nagged at me is about 3/4 of the way through, someone makes the remark they didn't think Curt even had a cousin, so how did they come to be at or invited to the cabin in the first place (which made me think Curt was in on it somehow).
Just back from Sunday matinee, my second viewing. On the one hand, smaller theater; on the other, easily half full. Great, great audience. After the first Hadley/Sitterson bit and the title, I heard a fantastic, "What the fuck was that?" somewhere to my left. They loved Fran from the moment he showed up. A cutesy puppy sort of "awww!" erupted from three different parts of the theater at Tom Lenk. At the end of the end credits, someone made their own "grr, argh".

And then there was one truly kind of profound bit of audience reaction. When it's down to just Dana on the docks, and Hadley gives his little mini-speech about rooting for her, and then pivots to the tequila gag... the audience, en masse, refused to follow him.

Dead, pin-drop silence. And it was clear, not least of which because even the guy who was laughing at everything the entire movie didn't laugh at the pivot, that it wasn't because they didn't get the beat, get the joke, whatever. It was because they'd decided to stay with the sentiment about Dana for that beat or two more, wanted no part of Hadley at that moment.

Dead silence. Not a rustle, or a titter, or a cough. It was kind of chilling. The hair on the back of my neck stood up and a little voice in my head went, "Wow." All I could think later was, go movie, go Kristen.
That's pretty amazing, b!X. I had the opposite reaction, mostly because I was so terrified for Dana- I was eager to distance myself from her scenario and become invested in the trivialities of the Initiative.* I especially liked the guy with the ballet tickets trailing off, "...your favorite ballet." It was a nice, small touch of creepiness and desperation in a movie with already so much creepiness and desperation, though of a different sort.

*I know it's not actually the Initiative...
That was the reaction of the first audience I saw it with. They followed right along with Hadley that way. So, it had never really occurred to me that the moment would play another way elsewhere, until it happened.
I haven't seen much horror in the past 15 or so years, saw Texas Chainsaw Massacre only on a tv screen, so I was pretty much in shock and horror at the Jules killing. That was pretty intense for me and it felt like she was being killed for everyone's enjoyment. I think I had seen this scene many times before; but the whole "meta" aspect of CitW really humanized what was going on for the first time for me.

I also thought it was interesting how Joss was portraying exactly what he had rejected in creating Buffy: the cliche of the blonde girl getting victimized in a horror film. Only this time he attacked the cliche by daring us to get kicks out of something so sadistic and brutal.

Hey, could we start a thread to list all the tropes and references to pop culture and other horror movies that we can find? That would be fun.
Tonya J, it was Dana who said that, to Marty, in the last 2 minutes of the film. Presumably the drugs were wearing off.

[ edited by bobw1o on 2012-04-16 01:26 ]
Also, I forgot to mention that today's audience got the "I learned it from watching you!" reference.
I just saw the film at the Slaughter Lane Drafthouse in Austin, TX. They played Dr. Horrible, Firefly, and Buffy clips as part of the intro bit before the previews started. One of the Buffy clips was from Homecoming and I leaned over to my husband and said something like, "Homecoming? I can think of like 20 other episodes with better clips for something like this." It didn't take long to figure out why the chose to play a bit of that episode.

I'm not a huge fan of scary movies but I really loved this one, mostly because it was smart and funny with a little bit of scary mixed in.
Laughter was the main thing I got from my audience. Except for one guy and my group, everyone was out of their seats like they were paying by the minute. However, my group loved every minute. I had huge expectations and they were met. What's more, I've been developing a better understanding of my fandom and where it comes from. As a result, I really feel like I love this movie, but not because it was Joss and Drew, but because it was just so brilliant.

As an absurdist, I saw those ideas through the entire film and I did filter its thesis through that lens. I expect this will be Joss' first work that will maintain a cult following while missing the mainstream, but I think (as we've seen) more critics will continue to love it more than anything he's done. If anything, this bodes well for the future of Joss, Drew, and horror.

Top moments for me:
-All the dialogue
-The audience being forced to see themselves (if they thought that far)
-Fran, of course
-Tension done well
-The little things that made certain moments more than they should have been. Jules making out with the wolf left everyone in my theater freaked out. You could feel it
-The growth from standard horror-fare into, well, what we expect from Joss and Co. Namely, not once in the last act did I feel like Fran or Connelly were the lead. They both shared equally
-Tom Lenk and Weaver. My friend recognized Weaver's voice immediately, but it was still a blast to see her

-Lastly, but certainly not least, I love love love seeing Amy Acker in a lab coat

And now I'm off to start

[ edited by Sigfodr on 2012-04-16 02:20 ]
Embarrassed to say, I don't get the "I got it from watching you" line, except to the extent she is playing along in a self deprecating way with his joke about her reading. From the comments, I gather this is a more specific joke/reference. Could someone please explain it to the slow class of me?
Your wish is my command, Squishy.
"Streets paved with actual street..." - line of the movie for me. Unfortunately I can't remember the rest of the quote or the setup to that punchline... any of you nice people with the script to hand able to help me out?

Squishy, I had to ask my girlfriend about the "I got it from watching you" bit afterwards - I could tell it was a reference, but not what to.
Thanks bobw1o, mind not like a steel trap anymore. I love how doubt was put in our minds even at the very end. What, no cousin, then ...
Making fun of an anti-Drug PSA is always funny, and adds to the message: "drugs will save you from Hillbilly Zombies" (but maybe not from the Ancient Ones).
I don't know if someone already mentioned this but could the mysterious Kevin be a reference to Sin City? I didn't come to this on my own, I saw it on IMDB.
I expect this will be Joss' first work that will maintain a cult following while missing the mainstream...
First? Isn't that everything he's ever done?
Lots that I loved about the movie. At times though, somethings just did not click. It might have been at times too tongue and cheek. Also, I kinda felt the Ancient Ones story didn't quite mesh the way it was supposed to.

I loved the speaker phone bit and Bradley Whitford. I loved Weaver's cameo.

Really my favorite scene was the moving boxes of monsters. Awesome.

I do want to see again to catch more of the references. But please don't flame me, it's just at times the movie didn't resonate the way all of Whedon's past works have.

Is it bad that Bradley Whitford was the character that I wanted to live?

I went in spoiler free so I really didn't know what to expect.
And now I'm off to start

Thanks, b!X. I love that reference, but the commercial is not one I know. How could I not know that? Did I miss it by a couple years?

The reference seems like a reflection of the larger fact that this entire movie is a very exclusive but nonetheless wonderful inside joke for those who are in on some very particular pop culture references. I like to think I "got" a lot of this movie, but I wonder how much more i missed. Probably a lot more than I got.

Speaking of obscure pop culture references, the opening sequence with the all caps red title exploding onto the frozen screen? Total seventies grind house horror! And I love how they set up the villains with water cooler talk among middle age, middle management types with normal, mundane problems. We have seen the face of evil, and it is all of us. At least, those of us over thirty.
I'm thinking Kevin is a Micheal or Jason like terror. Once a man, now a relentless killing machine that can walk faster than any young athletic person ever could.
sab39, I don't have the script, but the set-up begins with Marty suggesting the war Mordecai has been there since was the civil war. Then, when leaving he tells Mordecai he heard there'd be a railroad coming through any day now, and after that streets paved with actual street. The last bit is an F-bomb (though not the first of the movie) aimed at Mordecai.

Good call NYPinTA, that's the truly obvious answer isn't it? If true, I definitely did not notice him between 2 viewings. If there was only one person in a creepy white mask (and not in a suit) I would've said that was it.

[ edited by bobw1o on 2012-04-16 05:24 ]
Honestly, I was one of the people who loved the last shot, loved how they tied it up, and loved their explanation (as well as who was delivering said explanation.)

It was just a standard horror movie plot that all the wacky machinations fed into which I thought was rather elegant and funny in its own way. And even with that, there was plenty of metaphor there if you cared to find it.

I loved that Dana fires the gun AND the plot doesn't absolve her of it. I love that "saving" mankind ultimately requires killing the "fool" who can see the strings.

And the hand of god just made me giggle. I can see the comedy of nothing happening, but I can also see that as over-the-top nihilistic and even Goddard himself didn't want this film to feel like a "downer" in the same interview he called the film "triumphant nihilism." So they ended with cartoonish destruction rather than chilling revelation.

Why does Mutant Enemy love snuffing Amy Acker so much? One thing I've learned: if Amy Acker is a cast member, her character shan't reach the brass ring of AARP membership.

[ edited by azzers on 2012-04-16 06:24 ]
Not a horror fan at all. I lack the requisit sadism. I loved the premise & the dialog, but I thought the movie suffered greatly whenever Fran wasn't on-screen.
The murder via unicorn is so full of greatness and hilarity. The whimsical music that accompanies truly killed me.
azzers: Yeah, I'm waiting for the scene in Much Ado where Beatrice suddenly gets taken out by an enemy soldier who's been hiding in the bushes ever since Act I, Scene I.

(What, you thought the mention of a battle was just a throwaway to set up the plot? Don't you know Joss *at all*?)
I have no insight into Kevin either, but I like to think it was a nod to Monty Python. According to John Cleese, when writing comedy, Kevin is one of the funny names, like Brian, Trevor or Tim.
The Kevin name made me think of "We Need to Talk About Kevin" maybe a reference to high school shooter architypes?

[ edited by Charmuse on 2012-04-16 06:53 ]
Charmuse, that's what I was thinking too.
I really feel that there is nothing more to Kevin than how out of place a normal name is on a list of horror monsters. It's a non-sequitur. I think it would be less funny if it was a reference to something.
Keep in mind that in 2009, We Need to Talk About Kevin was just a novel, and as far as I know not an incredibly well-known one. I think that would be a weirdly obscure reference for them to throw in (not to mention, y'know, a little bit tasteless). I think it's most likely a combination of Tat and Giles_314's ideas: it's a funny name, made even moreso by how it stands out next to a bunch of monsters and stuff.
Great quote from Drew:
For me, it was never just about horror films, it was about archetypes. It was about storytelling. At the end of the day, a movie that's about other horror movies isn't interesting. A movie about who we are, is.
-- GQ
I agree with Giles_314. But then again... Kevin Smith? Kevin Bacon? The Kevinator from the Guild? Or Maybe, Kevin is the name of the Cheese Man.
Can I just say how glad I am that the 3D conversion never happened. It would have added nothing to the movie.
I saw it yesterday and am still processing it. I'm not a fan of horror movies but went because of Joss and Drew and things they had said in various interviews. I wouldn't say I loved it but I found it so intriguing that I'm still thinking about it over a day later and am planning on going again - and buying the DVD when it comes out.

I had watched the trailers once but had forgotten about the elevator scene so I was surprised - and happy - when Marty showed up.

One of the things I want to see on the DVD is the picture covering the one-way mirror. It seems like a metaphor for the whole film from what I could see of it. A pack of wolves? beasts? ripping apart people (I assume) while a lone figure stands in the background just watching.

I want to see all the objects in the basement and how they relate to the monsters.

I also want to see it again knowing what happens because I think I was so afraid that it was going to be scary that I kept internally calling the actors by their real names to remind myself that it was a movie. Also I saw it with a group of people and the woman beside me kept pointing out the Stargate actors who were in it, which kind of took me out of it a bit.

I still don't know how to describe it to people without spoiling it to encourage them to see it!
I can add that the tequila line fell flat with both audiences I saw, and I had no idea why... but yes, they probably are invested in Dana and it's intended to fall flat because of that.
Another possibility for the glitch in `98 (although I do like the Homecoming theory)... it happens to be the year a certain Alien Resurrection was around and came out on VHS. Horror movie, Sigourney Weaver, Joss... consider this conspiracy started!

I've also been stuck at how to describe it for people without spoiling it. Very hard. People who don't `get` the meta aspect won't like it, but if you tell them, it gives away a lot. I pity Lionsgate for having to figure out how to market this.

[ edited by apollo11 on 2012-04-16 12:18 ]
Was anyone else thinking of Monsters Inc.'s collection of doors when we see cabin's cubes?
For all those asking about Tom Lenk's signs, according to IMDB:
"Trapped in a closet
Dragonbat has my scent
Send help!"

I don't imagine I will like any film this year as much as I liked Cabin. And that includes The Hobbit (coming from a hardcore fantasy geek). Good showing this weekend, hopefully word-of-mouth will help keep it going!
And I feel really dumb for just making the connection to the way the Initiative was destroyed. I always felt that scene was less that it implied. While most of Buffy fit perfectly within it's language and violence level, it seemed like the destruction in Primeval was restrained by its platform: TV. I thought it should have been way more violent and terrifying visually. So, that scene was always more of the statement of an idea of what was going on, rather than a direct conveyance of events. Like a reenactment that delivers the mood and the message, but just isn't the real thing.

Basically, looking back on the destruction of the "downstairs" and all its gore is how I visualized the end of the Initiative, and it feels so good.

Also, everyone in my audience seemed to cheer at anything weed related. Even the slightest mention of Marty being high or acting odd. Like, way more reaction to drugs than anything else.
Saw it again last night, and on the way out an older woman wanted to talk about "the zombie film" a bit. Her husband and daughter liked it, but she hated it. (Fair enough. Humor is subjective, so maybe her tastes are different.) Then she said that it got a ton of bad reviews, and (in particular) the Onion trashed it. I had to point out that it was in the mid-90s on the TomatoMeter, and that the AV Club gave it an "A-" (one of the highest ratings I've seen there).

My friends and I were confused why she would say that. Was she misinformed? Actually remembered the reviews that way? Or was she making it up so that her opinion would have more support?
Probably a bit of the last two - misremembered where she saw a bad review, and exaggerated the number of bad reviews she'd seen to sound more authoritative. I'm occasionally guilty of doing that sort of thing myself when I start with a bias against something...

My audience laughed at the tequila moment, so it's interesting that others would decide en masse not to. I always wonder how much the random selection of people you end up in a cinema with affects your enjoyment.

And garyyager - yes! Me too! Even though I haven't seen Monsters Inc since it came out...
I have to get this out of my system:

The Unicorn of Death = Bad Horse !! {{laugh-snort like a 12-year-old}}
Yes, I also thought of Monsters, Inc, when I saw all the cubes.
Anecdote about movie-goers' reactions in general: Years ago, after I saw Contact, I walked out of the theater thinking about what I had just seen. I overheard someone bitching, "Two HOURS to find out the alien is her father! Jeez."

Ummm, wow. I guess we didn't see the same movie, nor did we go for the same reasons. I suspect this might be a reason for some of the extreme 'hated it' reactions to Cabin.

I'm a long-time horror fan, and I thoroughly enjoyed CitW - I just need to see it again. Too many things to take in for just one viewing!
I thought of Cube when I saw all the cubes. Similar movie in many ways too. I think I prefer its runaway-bureaucracy explanation over Cabin's

[ edited by AlanD on 2012-04-16 17:54 ]
I love Contact. I've never seen it in the theatre. And now I don't plan to, heh.
The 'Kevin' theories I've seen elsewhere mostly pertain to it being a generic boy name like 'Jason' (Friday the 13th), which is what I thought when I saw it on the board. Who's up for sexy witches?
I saw it Friday night in a large, about half full theater, and the crowd seemed to be loving it. When I walked out there was a couple behind me and the guy said "That was *so* funny!" and the woman said, "OMG NO it wasn't, it was horrifying!" And that made me smile :)

I managed to be really unspoiled. I knew that there were people in an office building in addition to the kids in the woods, so I was obviously expecting someone "pulling the strings", but beyond that I knew nothing. And yet, when the opening credit sequences rolled with the blood and the art depicting human sacrifice throughout the ages, I felt instantly "spoiled" to thinking "oh, so they're being sacrificed and sacrifices are still going on today, they've just been modernized."

That being said, I think Joss and Drew have messed with my head enough that I honestly did NOT see Franz's return coming. I hadn't seen the trailer/commercials that showed him in the elevator, so I wasn't waiting for that. I really thought he was gone! I was shocked he went so early, but then I just thought "well, that's Joss for you."

I completely expected the film to end when it looked like only the virgin was left and the workers were all celebrating. "I'm an intern." (Hi Andrew!) It seemed completely within the non-standard logic of the story for it to end with no one caring if the last "teen" dies in the background while they all drink and celebrate. I had had no sense of time up to that point, it didn't seem short. I really thought it was over.

The whole blood bath at the end was just completely ridiculously awesome. I couldn't help think that what happened in that elevator/hallway was what Angel & Co. were facing at the end of Season 5 in the alley.

I see others saw parallels with Wolfram & Hart too. I got so much Meta-Whedon enjoyment out of it. Later that night I couldn't sleep, not because I'd been scared, but because my brain wouldn't stop thinking about all the parallels to Buffy/Angel/Dollhouse.

I had NO clue Sigourney Weaver was in it. When her voice first popped up I recognized it immediately and thought "how cool that Joss got her to do a voice cameo." Then when she ACTUALLY showed up and got an axe in her head I was a bit beyond giddy.

I want the Blu-Ray with commentary ASAP!!

"Not a horror fan at all. I lack the requisit sadism."

Don't know if anyone is still posting in this topic, but just wanted to add us true horror fans (namely, those of us that do not consider the likes of Saw horror films) are not sadists. We're masochists ;)
Days later, I think I finally understand what I saw. I’d closed out much of the film because I don’t go to horror films. And while I was busy not seeing certain stuff, I think I missed things I probably ought to have seen—I love the comments I've read in this thread so far. So it took longer to put it together. Or my version of it. Aside from the mayhem-can-be-fun part.

At some point I decided that the sacrifice would not be completed, and that, despite this, the world would *not* end. So the world ending, and the giant hand, sort of disappointed me. I’d thought the film would say: people have been placating the “gods” forever with human sacrifices and this is the wrong approach. (Not all sacrifices have involved slaughter: so many people don’t really *live* because they think life is only a waiting room for heaven, and this can amount to a long, life-sucking sacrifice of what a person potentially could be.)

I’d even thought the ending might release some previously unforeseen good. Something the sacrifices had always prevented by their existence. But that didn’t happen.

Except it did. The idea of the earth being destroyed because humans fail to please a god is ludicrous. And if we’re going to imagine such an ending being fulfilled, it really *should* be represented by a giant comic hand. And, if you recognize the ludicrousness of it, you’re free to reimagine the purpose of life, and free to redesign your own life. Great ending!

Something else I really liked: those horrors arranged in glass cubes are our fears, which will devour us if we let them. The clown, previously seen in “Nightmares” (Buffy season 1), was a tip-off. They didn’t devour Dana and Marty, who learned what was going on yet refused to buy into the whole human-sacrifice-is-necessary thing. We didn’t see them get to walk away afterward, but in a way they did: they went out as us.
Just came home after watching the film in a Moscow cinema. The movie theater was almost full, people laughed and applauded.

I expected the movie to be good, but I didn't expect it to be *so* good. It's the ultimate existentialist movie - cruel, sarcastic and unexpectedly enlightened.

Plus, it's a proof that all seven seasons of Lost could be easily squeezed into 90 minutes.

It was dubbed in Russia wasn't it?
Just wondering, how are people describing CITW when recommending it to others? Because I don't know how to let people know how good it is without spoiling anything, and it seems a lot of people are expecting it to be more horror-y than it actually is.
AlanD - YES
If Community comes back next year (it better), I can't wait for Abed to talk about Cabin.

I'm holding onto my belief that it was "Good job, zombie arm," until I see it again...

ETA: I listen primarily to a classic rock radio station, and right after posting this I happened to notice that what was playing was "Roll With The Changes" That song will never be the same <3

[ edited by DreamRose311 on 2012-04-16 21:58 ]
I would recommend this to my brother but I think he's ruined for horror comedy after seeing Tucker & Dale vs. Evil which he raved about (as in, can Cabin top that? Maybe). I'll still give it a try though.
emmy - If you're recommending it, just keep in mind who the audience is. I would mostly recommend it as a horror comedy and just make sure that they know both classical horror elements are in it AND the comedy tends to undercut the suspense. I just wouldn't undersell either element because they both steal the show at different points and you don't want your friend baffled by their own reaction.

It's one of those, "if you're confused by your reaction, it's ok" kind of movies. It's supposed to be fun.
And now I'm just randomly laughing at the hard cut from Whitford and Jenkins to the title card. I can't stop randomly laughing at things that I remember.
The smash cut to the title is great. And off such a mundane conversation.

ETA: On another topic, the line is, "Good work, zombie arm."

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2012-04-16 23:08 ]
When I saw the hard cut, it made me think that this is what an intro to an Austin Powers film directed by Quentin Tarantino would look like.
@Simon - yes, the film was dubbed. In Russia most films are dubbed.

I can't wait to see it in English on DVD.

There were giant posters of The Avengers in the movie theater. Tomorrow there will be a press-conference with The Avengers crew (sans Joss, alas) and then the premiere.

Ladies and gentlemen - Joss Whedon, man who destroyed the world and saved the world within two weeks!
emmy, I've been telling people "you know how Shaun of the Dead deconstructs zombie films, yet still manages to be a REALLY GOOD zombie film? Sort of like that" Prepares them for funny, prepares them for genre, and doesn't give away anything.
Curiously missing from the betting board is Ballerina Dentata, which is how Drew referred to that particular creature in an interview. Unless she's what's listed as Sugar Plum Fairy.
maybe the Ballerina was being rested for some reason. Still in her cube, but not available for this assignment. Toothache perhaps.
I've been thinking about the Shaun of the Dead comparison too.
Probably no one is reading this thread any more, but I was pleased to see that CitW is still going strong, moving into 2nd place as Stoogies drops into fourth place. Of course my hope is that CitW will continue to do well (I'll be seeing it again on Friday, I can't wait!).
Agreed embers! That excited me too! I definitely am going to see it again, but I don't know when yet.
I have to say this or I'll bust -- the central twist, the kill order, that puts the whole last act in motion, is a plot hole you could fly the Death Star through. Leaving aside the very conventional Only a Flesh Wound factor of Marty's ostensibly spine-injuring stab wound, the Puppeteers whole job is to kill these people in the right order. They've literally got one job. And to do that job, they even have "Aliens"-esque vital signs monitors, established on screen, on all five people. But somehow they failed to notice for a really long time, even unto partying, that one of those monitors was, presumably, NOT telling them someone was DEAD.

AGHGHGHGH pulling out hair in the theater illusion-smasher.
Was the monitor switched off after they thought he was dead? I'm going to have to watch out for that on DVD.
@KoC - to me, it's about the system malfunctioning because of the human factor. They're corrupted by their jobs. They're relaxed, convinced in their impunity. They've forgotten to seal the tunnel. They've forgotten to check the monitors.

I wonder if you watched "Buffalo Soldiers" (I guess you did because I remember that you're a Scott Glenn fan). It's the same model of human behavior. Complete amorality, utter irresponsibility.

Maybe the monitor showed him offline because he was down in the "machinery" for a while where there were no monitors? Then when he emerged from the grave and was making his way to the lake, that is when upstairs spotted him and alerted the monitoring room that things were not over yet? The timing would be right.
(Another possibility is that the monitors were just for when they were in the house but that leads to other awkward questions.)

As a side note, while I enjoyed the movie greatly, I did not think it was very scary. I enjoyed the meta, but I think that sort of thing should always be secondary to a good moving story.
@everyone-who-thinks-the-Marty's-death-is-a-plot(actual hyphen)hole. It was established that the "control room" didn't have total omnipresence/omnipotence over the killing floor (and honestly I don't entirely understand the whole hydraulic bloodletting, which makes me think too much. oouch.) so I'm willing to buy that the office drones just missed it.

And in an office pool, come on! Angry Molesting Tree? Who (besides Sam Raimi) would bet on that? Okay, I would.
If one expects a seamless plot from a horror movie... well... I just find that funny.

Marty's injury irked more than going off camera, surviving and no one noticing. One thing Hadley and Sitterson certainly didn't seem to lack was hubris. So that they would miss something they thought was already taken care of (like I don't know... chemistry problems) isn't shocking. But the Only a Flesh wound is a major horror trope, so even calling it a plot hole here would be asking for something out of the genre.

Here's my thing... I noticed gaps in the plot, I noticed tone issues, and I noticed meta to excess going on. I still loved the movie, as did most critics. I can totally dig why those flaws might have sunk the film for parts of the general audience, but to ask them to change it is to ask for an entirely different movie. And I was happy with this one.
I think I may have found the mysterious Kevin. I think I may have spotted him on one of the screens wearing something like a plastic bag over his head, and he was suffocating someone with a plastic bag. I maybe wrong, but based on the kernels of information that Drew and Joss has given, I'd suspect that would be him.
Auuugh. I forgot about that guy. Whoever he is, that was really messed up.
Just saw it. Blown away. Am going to see it again ASAP.

This movie has so many memorable scenes it's ridiculous:


-"Zombies are totally different than redneck-zombie-torture-family. They're as different as an elephant and an elephant seal."

-The sound of an elevator ding will never be the same. Holy crap. That scene rips the lid right off of it. And then straight through to the end it just doesn't stop.

-"I'm sorry I let you get attacked by a werewolf and then ended the world."

I'm really glad I went in unspoiled, but on the other hand, knowing the movie's secrets won't affect further viewings. It's not like The Sixth Sense, where once you know the reveal that's basically it. It's about the awesome ride.
This time I paid more attention to Patience Buckner. Not sure what to make of her yet, but I don't believe she ever attacks any of the five...towards the end, it looks like she might be going for Marty, but she ends up killing the director (as an aside, last time people afterwards were arguing whether or not the credits meant that Sigourney Weaver had directed the movie). Still, it feels like there might be some reason why she Patience makes it to the end.

On a related note, based on the gas station scene, anything other than the Buckners would have felt a bit inconsistent, as their lore is trumped up by Mordecai.

Another new catch was the rumbling after Marty's "death." I just now realized that the ancients were saying, "Hey, NOT DEAD!"
On Marty: he was dragged down into a grave by a zombie and didn't reappear for about an hour. Seems plausible that they didn't have a camera pointing directly into the grave, and assumed that being trapped in a grave with a zombie for that long meant death.

Then the floor rumbled, which they misinterpreted as Marty dying, and that cinched it. Sloppy of them, yes. But it wasn't exactly "hey I can't see him anymore he must be dead" either.
PaperSpock, I was fascinated by Patience upon my second viewing as well. There seemed to be a pathos to her character that I missed the first time, since all the child abuse aspects managed to sink in more. And her name! Patience. So perfect. She takes a licking and keeps on ticking. Makes it all the way to the end to deliver the coup de grace to the Director, the Initiative, and the world.
Saw it a second time today which is rare for me.I don't usually see movies in theaters more than once.The last time I did was for The Dark Knight in summer 2008.

Just as much fun the second time and I was able to pay more attention to little things more.

Can't wait for the Blu Ray release of this.
Just saw it tonight - was way too busy all week and could only make it now. It was freaking amazing experience, and we had the theater 1/3 full, even though it is the second weekend in suburbia-land. I loved it so much I am going to see it the second time and buy the DVD, but at some point I was almost hating it ( the tequila scene) . Could not believe though that the evil guys would just get away with it - and the massacre scenes felt so right... gods below - I never thought I would feel so good about seeing a bunch of office plankton being massacred by monsters. Squee for the Unicorn - Harmony should have been there to see thee. Yes indeed I got the Wolfram and Hart (Whole building full of zombie lawyers ?) plus Initiative kicks out of it. One more thing though - when Jules and Curt are walking in the woods breathing all that pheromone fog, and then during the oral sex scene - I got a distinctive feel of the space sex sequence in 34 of S8... and the following Apocalypse sort of fits into the same mold : sex is eeevil and 'they have to transgress to be punished' thing and such. Of course the Cabin goes at it with a whole bucket of salt - not just a grain.

This thread has been closed for new comments.

You need to log in to be able to post comments.
About membership.

joss speaks back home back home back home back home back home