5.23.2013

And Then A Wild Merman Appears!

THE CABIN IN THE WOODS (2011)
Image from empireonline.com.

Let's start this off by saying: I'm shamelessly, shamelessly biased when it comes to Joss Whedon. Really. The man has my heart and then some. If I could somehow steal the brain cells from Joss Whedon, Quentin Tarantino, and Guy Ritchie and inject them into my own skull, I'd probably be set for life. Robert Rodriguez can come too. The point is, Joss Whedon can do no wrong. I was destined to love this movie at first sight.

With that said, Joss Whedon isn't the only one who brings something to the table. Here are my five main reasons why I absolutely loved this one:

1. Men Behind The Curtain

It's one thing to create a mysterious evil company that does evil, mysterious things. It's another thing to create a mysterious evil company that does hilarious, common day workplace things and still maintains and aura of evil mystery. Despite the fact that the organization is clearly completely evil, you can't help but be fascinated, mortified and mildly endeared by their daily shenanigans. Even though we were supposed to be rooting for our friends in the woods, I would've been okay with watching the psychopathic puppeteers the entire time.

2. Dat Ass

Just when I thought a woman making out with a mounted animal head could not possibly be sexy...it is. Or maybe it's just the fact that she engages in a couple minutes of shameless ass shaking over the fireplace. Either way...you go, Anna Hutchison. Keep up the good ass. 

3. Fran Kranz

Here's the thing. Since I'm in the middle of watching Dollhouse (2009) on Netflix (hello, Joss Whedon fixation), I kind of already have a man-crush on Fran Kranz. So the fact that he spent the whole movie smoking up and trolling everyone made me adore him even more. The rest of the cast was good, don't get me wrong. Kristen Connolly was wide-eyed. Jesse Williams was...there. Chris Hemsworth was Chris Hemsworth. But, in my biased opinion, Kranz kind of stole the show. Plus, he has a pipe that transforms into a coffee mug. Now I know what I'm asking Santa for this year.

4. Motherfucking Merman

If you're going to have a creature movie, you've got to have excellent creatures. The zombies were cool. Particularly for their pain fetish. But things really got awesome when we got to see all the different creatures tucked away "downstairs." Most are familiar, but there were a few inventive scares that I had to give the movie props for. I, for one, wasn't actually really scared by this movie, but that doesn't mean I couldn't appreciate good creature designs. And if you have any doubts about the creatures, let me list off a couple creature names from the behind the scenes: Angry Molesting Tree, Balding Menace, Face Peeler, Man In Transparent Tarp, Exploding Shard Babies, and Snake Pubic Hair Woman. C'mon. I want a Cabin in the Woods II just so we can get more insane creature screen time.

And then there's the Merman. The most satisfying creature in the movie. You're waiting for it. Waiting for it. And then when it appears...it's more amazing than you anticipated. Karma wrapped up in a slimy, fanged, fishy mess. And the blowhole. THE BLOWHOLE. A thousand female fantasies suddenly sunk to the bottom of the lake and I absolutely loved it.

5. More Than Meets The Eye

At the end of the day, there's a reason Joss Whedon gets all my love. It's because he's a brilliant writer who has the uncanny ability to create deceptively simple stories with incredibly complex undertones. The Cabin in the Woods is, on the surface, a flawless, by-the-book shameless teenagers-meet-scary-cabin movie. We've got our stereotypical jocks, sluts, nerds, virgins, and that-best-friend-with-a-heart-of-gold. Hell, we've even got the old, gnarly man at the gas station who warns the teens of what lies ahead. And yet, it's so much more than that. On one hand, it's a borderline spoof of cabin-in-the-woods movies, entangled with a social commentary on our culture's voyeurism and lack of empathy. It's horror with touches of science fiction and a generous splash of comedy. And it works. Joss Whedon's talent truly lies his ability to create multiple layers all while making it look easy.

Basically, though I was probably one of the last people to see Cabin in the Woods and it was in grave danger of getting overhyped, it still managed to keep me hooked and then some. Which says a lot. Overall, I'd call this a successful satire, if not a successful, solid horror film in its own right. And Sigourney Weaver. I rest my case.

4 comments:

  1. Up until last year, I had no opinion about Joss Whedon. But between The Avengers and this awesomosity, I am now one of those people who will watch anything and everything Whedon is attached to.

    Oh and Fran Kranz's Marty was my absolute favourite character of last year. Legend.

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    1. YES! Whedon is a man work remembering. Everything he touches turns into awesome.

      Mary was a BAMF. End of story. Though am I the only one who thought he was going to end up being the virgin and Dana was going to be the fool? Let's face it, between the two of them, he was the one using his brain. And he was stoned half the time.

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  2. This was some truly insane, kick-ass crazy shit. I had to strap in on a permanent basis and own this one. Though I own most of Whedon's creations. No one writes a female like he does. River Tam and Zoe Washburne are two of the best females ever on television.

    And Eliza Dushku's Echo was incredibly awesome as well. I wish to God Dollhouse had gotten more play, but that's Fox for you.

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    1. YES! Whedon is a BAMF. End of story. His female characters are, without a doubt, some of the best well-written women in film. And River Tam and Zoe definitely lift the stakes.

      As do I! Dollhouse is epic. You'll be seeing all my Dollhouse gushing soon!

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