Guys! It’s Friday the 13th!! If you’re at all superstitious like I am, you’ll spend this day being even more careful of stepping on cracks, passing salt from hand to hand, or putting a hat on your bed, but even if you aren’t
mildly obsessive compulsive a superstitious person, you should still be celebrating this spooky holiday. Some people choose to celebrate Friday the 13th by donning a hockey mask and killing everyone at a kid’s camp which still unbelievably remains open despite it being the setting for more than 30 murders, but everyone else just watches a scary movie.
So if you’re wondering which scary movie to watch? It’s Cabin in the Woods.
I saw Cabin in the Woods on Tuesday at a sneak preview and immediately made plans to watch it again tonight. It is probably my favorite horror movie ever made (ever made, y’all) and it is DEFINITELY my favorite film of at least the last two years. And it’s just so fun!!
To talk about Cabin in the Woods with people who haven’t yet seen Cabin in the Woods is inviting trouble, because the film works on three different levels, and only the top level can really be discussed without spoiling anyone. (And PLEASE. Do yourself a favor and avoid spoilers.) So the top level is this: five friends (including Chris Hemsworth, aka, the slightly more talented Hemsworth) spend a weekend at a cabin in the woods. They realize pretty quickly that they’re into some weird shizz, and then they start dying! Just like every spooky cabin horror story ever told! But it’s not that they die, or even how they die (though the deaths are super-satisfying), it’s why they die that makes Cabin so great. When I was at the screening on Tuesday, AICN’s Nordling opened the film by saying, “This is the last horror film you will ever see.” And at the time, I didn’t know how right he was. It really is the last horror film you’ll ever see, because once you watch Cabin, you won’t be able to view any horror film the same way. They’ll become something else – still scary, sure, but really just a story about how to cope with human limitations. That’s the gift that Cabin will give you – an almost spooky insight into why we love horror films.
But that sounds kinda lame, right? Who wants to spend 90 minutes watching a master class on film critique? Don’t worry; you’ll be too busy LAUGHING YOUR ASS OFF to worry about the greater messages contained within until after the movie is over. Seriously. SERIOUSLY, y’all. This movie is so fucking funny. Fran Kranz (the resident stoner) and Brad Whitford and Richard Jenkins get the best lines (except for Tom Lenk! Andrew! His lines cracked me up.), but really the whole movie is written so that you will be too busy laughing to be scared. And the third act – well. Without spoiling anything, let me just say that I was actually clapping in my seat and bent over in gales of laughter every 30 seconds or so. It was the money shot for horror film lovers, and I can’t wait to watch it again and be just as happy.
Also why you should watch? This movie was written by Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon, y’all!! Drew Goddard was responsible for some of the only truly watchable episodes of Buffy in season 7, (and Alias! And Cloverfield!) and Joss is, well, he’s Joss Whedon. You either love his work or you don’t, but I’m betting most of you do. The man invented Buffy Summers. He is my hero.
But maybe you don’t like scary movies. Maybe you’re a big wuss. Maybe your one in particular wants to see Cabin in the Woods and you’re like, “No thanks, can’t we watch that Zac Efron movie instead?” First of all, no, you cannot watch that Zac Efron movie. That movie is based on a Nicholas Sparks novel. Someone is going to die in the end; that’s all you need to know. There will be some emotionally overwrought scenes, someone will kiss someone else in the rain (I think it’s actually a shower in this movie, so, uh, props for changing it up a bit? I guess?) and there will be at least one song by a contemporary country-pop star that will make you want to tear your ears out of your skull. Why do you want to pay good money to torture yourself? Pay good money to see other people tortured instead!
So, yeah, anyway, the scare factor? Minimal. Trust me; I am a big wuss. I love scary movies because I love to be scared (in the safety of a theatre) but I am a GIANT WUSS. I’m that person that no one else wants to sit next to in a scary movie because even if it’s a crappy scary movie, I’m still going to jump everytime the bad guy shows up. And this movie? It’s not really scary! It is, but once you figure out what is going on, you have no choice but to watch the kids in an intellectual fashion, which means you know when they’re going to be attacked. So yeah, you might still jump in your seat a little bit, but you’ll immediately laugh at yourself for doing so. And then you’ll be too busy laughing at the movie that you forget to be scared at all.
I’ll be honest; I feel like I’m doing this movie a disservice by just talking about how funny it is. Unfortunately, I can’t really delve into how smart it is without talking about why it’s so smart, and that’d be spoiling. But maybe you should just trust me on this one. Come on, have I steered you wrong once? Okay, okay, that time you asked for directions to the store and I sent you to the other side of town. But after that? I doubt it.
So trust your pal Erin, and countless film critics who actually know what they’re talking about, and go see Cabin in the Woods this weekend. I am pretty sure you’ll walk out of the theatre with a husband bulge for this movie.
And if you have seen it already? Talk it up in the comments! But NO SPOILERS, PLEASE!