The Mystery in the Woods

1. Ryan Gosling in The Ides of March (2011) with Philip Seymour Hoffman
2. Philip Seymour Hoffman in Mission: Impossible III (2006) with Simon Pegg
3. Simon Pegg in Stark Trek (2009) with Chris Hemsworth
4. Chris Hemsworth in The Cabin in the Woods (2012)

What we’ve got here is a surprising and hilarious horror movie. But it’s likely to be misunderstood by a lot of people, judging from its Cinemascore grade last weekend (‘C’ from all audiences and ‘D+’ from females).

I could discuss any of the main five stereotypical characters in this movie that are played with here. There’s the Jock (Chris Hemsworth), the Bookworm (Jesse Williams), the Blonde (Anna Hutchison), the Stoner (Fran Kranz) and the Virgin (Kristen Connolly), but I’d like to highlight the characters played by Bradley Whitford and the wonderful (and Academy Award nominee!) Richard Jenkins. The pair play two mysterious men in a laboratory who seem to be controlling all the scares (I’m not spoiling anything, as this was foolishly spoiled in the trailers). The movie comes from the minds of Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and Drew Goddard (of Lost fame). Are Whedon and Goddard inserting themselves into this movie with the characters of Whitford and Jenkins? Some would like to think so, and I think the masterminds themselves would like to think so as well. After all, Whedon and Goddard ultimately decide the fates of characters onscreen.

It’s also really fun to see Whedon playing with the idea of the Blonde, particularly since he’s known for creating strong roles for young women. But Whedon plays with the idea of the Blonde here in a different way than before. In fact, many of the stereotypical characters are on display in Cabin, but the way they interact and face fate may surprise you.

The surprises are enough to sustain for a while, but in the end, Cabin waters down its subversion by giving us almost too much information about the mystery of the Cabin. I just wish Whedon and Goddard would’ve let us use our imaginations a bit more.


About Andrew Fillmore

31 / M / LA
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