Cabin in the Woods - Grading, Discussion, Spoilers

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Argus Skyhawk, Apr 14, 2012.

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What did you think of Cabin in the Woods?

  1. Excellent

    44 vote(s)
    55.7%
  2. Good

    26 vote(s)
    32.9%
  3. So-so

    7 vote(s)
    8.9%
  4. Poor

    1 vote(s)
    1.3%
  5. Lousy

    1 vote(s)
    1.3%
  1. Mister Fandango

    Mister Fandango Fleet Captain

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    It's always funny how facts like that only come up when Whedon's getting criticized, but not when he's being praised.

    It wasn't a system. It was a fact of the world. Without that system, there would be no world. The only possible variant would be one based on a lottery or other voluntary means of picking the sacrificial victims, but obviously that wasn't an option else any number of people within the organization would have willingly gave up their own lives in place of the chosen victims. It also means that no one, anywhere around the world in any country or any religion, was using such a method since only ONE group of sacrifices was necessary. As the movie made abundantly clear.

    What's more worrying is what we saw of the Japanese method. Apparently, an entire class of preteen schoolgirls would have appeased these gods in place of the "rules" required of the victims we saw in the United States. Or, amongst those preteen girls, was there a whore, a virgin (meaning all the others have been 'touched' at least once), and a stoner amongst them, and all those other poor girls were just being killed so the Japanese works could wank one off or something?

    Keep in mind that, again, only one nation around the world had to succeed at the sacrifice, which logically means it was to the same group of gods. So, either they just made up random rules to fuck with humanity all around the world and any random killing would work despite the specific archetypes/statues focused on in the actual movie, or Whedon just tacked the "twist ending" on and hoped no one would notice.
     
  2. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Oh hogwash. The success of Angel, for instance, has as much to do with the contributions of David Greewalt (Angel's co-creator), Steven S. DeKnight, Tim Minear, Sarah Fain & Elizabeth Craft, David Fury, Drew Goddard (sorry, I did mis-remember his name), and especially Jeffrey Bell. And Firefly was Tim Minear's baby, too -- "Out of Gas" is perhaps the single most popular episode, and he wrote and directed it. Names like Douglas Petrie, Drew Z. Greenberg, and Jane Espenson also have fanbases from their work on Buffy. Joss Whedon is not the Hypnotoad sucking up all glory.

    And The Cabin in the Woods is as much Goddard's baby as Whedon's, if not more so. Goddard's talked about how a lot of the movie was influenced by his having grown up in Los Alamos and seeing how surreal it is to have a community whose major industry is building horrible weapons of mass destruction.

    Of course it's a goddamn system. You think society isn't a system? It is. The world is a system.

    According to the people whose business it is to victimize innocent people, sure. That doesn't mean they're a reliable source of information.

    Fascinating how no one's considered the idea of alerting the peoples of the world and perhaps fashioning a democratic response to this issue.

    Or the possibility that if the monsters were defeated once, they could be so again. Perhaps more permanently, in an era of atomic weaponry.

    :rommie: :rommie: :rommie:

    That's a good one. Yeah, because the sadists running that facility were ever so virtuous and empathetic, weren't they? Very self-sacrificing.

    Be real: This Organization, whatever it was -- and we don't know if it was government, or some ancient cult that had grown rich, or what -- is a prime example of institutionalized corruption.

    Given how flexible the American branch of this Organization was about these so-called "rules" -- if the "rules" were really that important, I doubt that a non-virgin would have actually been useful for the "virgin" sacrifice -- I think the film was fairly clearly implying that those rules had more to do with the culture doing the murdering than with what the monsters actually wanted.

    ETA:

    Now, answer my question. Does a system that depends upon victimization and oppression deserve to exist?
     
  3. Silvercrest

    Silvercrest Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Didn't The Midnight Meat Train feature something like this?


    Edit: I haven't seen the movie, only read about it, so I can't get into a serious discussion. But I'd say the answer to your question is no.
     
  4. Mister Fandango

    Mister Fandango Fleet Captain

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    Yes, yes. As I said, Whedon gets all the credit for his success unless some rabid fanboy needs to rationalize why something he does is horribly nonsensical, stupid, and mistake-ridden. Then they start mentioning everyone else, and even pretending to spread the fanboyishness to other people to show just how they don't praise him and him alone. (But only to disprove how they do. At all other times, it's really Whedon and Whedon alone.)

    Case in point: It's funny how you don't jump on all the other people throughout the thread who ''mistakingly'' gave Whedon all the credit when they enjoyed the movie.

    So I guess Whedon had zero input in the movie, then. Otherwise, all of these mistakes and stupid concepts would have been brought up and eliminated with his cohorts, no?

    Your use of the term implied it was something that didn't have to exist, but existed because a bunch of people wanted to do it like this. That wasn't the case at all, as the world was presented to us by Whedon. This organization had to exist in order to keep the world turning. Not a single person we saw actually wanted to be there. They were just jaded by years and years of having to endure these duties and found levity where they could. It's no different than doctors or morticians making jokes/bets about corpses and other morbid things.

    Just to point out: All their deaths meant nothing anyway. Whatever rules are used in this world -- and we only have what Whedon presented us as facts, so yay, he still gets the blame for everything -- they were apparently very specific and without very specific murder victims, the entire world would end. As it was about to at the end of the movie, despite dozens of people being slaughtered by all kinds of random monsters.

    Who said they were ever defeated? If they were, no deal would have had to have been made to begin with if they had their asses handed to them. If anything, the deal is how they were defeated, if there was a war to begin with. And by "defeated" I mean "allowed humanity to live by accepting the sacrifices rather than just wiping them off the face of the planet."

    Also, since you seem to feel its okay to make stuff up, who's to say there isn't a global government that's researching this? They clearly developed all-powerful forcefields and bioweapons, none of which they actually needed in order to get the job done. So why did they invent them in the first place? Oh yeah, probably in response to the threat these gods possess. But even with that technology, they knew they didn't stand a chance, so they had to keep appeasing these gods with the original deal they made to save the world.

    And, finally, who's to say it's not a democratic system? "Democratic system" doesn't mean "everyone knows everything and votes on each and every topic." If it does, however, I must have missed the checkbox about how I wanted every dollar of my taxes spent the last time I was at the voting booth.
     
  5. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    This is a ridiculous assertion, and I have no idea why you're so invested in this issue of "praise/blame only Whedon."

    Were you just not around when it became the fad to hate Buffy Seasons Six and Seven? When the Connor arc on Angel fizzled out? Are you unaware how unpopular Dollhouse was?

    Joss gets praise and so do his collaborators. And Joss gets criticism, and so do his collaborators. Get over this ridiculous "cult of Whedon" nonsense.

    I haven't looked at this thread in months, saw it the other day, noticed your erroneous attribution of everything you didn't like to Whedon alone, and corrected it. That is all.

    And I didn't "jump all over you." I said, in total: "1. Whedon co-wrote this with David Goddard, and Goddard directed it. They shared the credit, so you should spread out the blame." That's all. You are the one who chose to try to make that conversation thread into a much bigger deal than it had been.

    Now, I know you're just going to assume that I'm a Whedon fan who's pretending to be a fan of Goddard's for the sake of an argument with someone on the Internet, but I can tell you that I've been a fan of Drew Goddard's since I saw his brilliant, brilliant Buffy episode "Selfless." I also enjoyed his contributions to the episode "Conversations With Dead People," and his work on the fifth season of Angel, including "Lineage" and "Origin."

    Am I as big of a fan of Goddard's as I am of Whedon? No. Does this mean I am not also a fan of his? No.

    I really don't know how to engage you in a conversation about this film if you assume that anything someone else says to you about their enjoyment of a given writer is not said in good faith and is just a lie to score points.

    No, and I neither said nor implied that.

    However, the fact remains that Goddard was the co-writer, and was the director. And in the world of film, the director bears greater responsibility for the film than anyone else.

    Because that's what it is.

    So its agents and leaders claim.

    These people were professional murderers who profited and found levity from their victims' suffering according to arbitrary standards that even the Director herself admitted were determined by culture, not by the monster being appeased.

    We don't have anything presented to us by Whedon and Goddard. We have allegations presented by the Organization and its agents. Because there is a such thing as an unreliable source of information, we have no way of knowing how accurate those characters' assertions are.

    (And, yes, Whedon has a history of featuring large organizations that claim one thing and turn out to have been lying. The Watchers Council's claims about the nature of Vampires and of the Slayer were later shown to be false, but vis a vis the evolution of Spike and by the revelation of the Shadow Men in "Get It Done.")

    I seem to remember one of the Organization's people claiming that the monsters were subdued and then afterwards appeased by annual human murder victims. I can't find a transcript; if I'm remembering erroneously and you can prove so, I'll thank you for the correction.

    ... because a global government would be a government, and therefore able to compel legal obedience and levy taxes. It would be impossible for a global government to exist without the knowledge of humanity; otherwise, it's not a government, it's just a conspiracy that encompasses officials from different national governments.

    And even if there were -- so what? It's still nothing more than an example of institutional corruption. The word "government" does not inherently make an organization's actions legitimate.

    This is a joke, right? A conspiracy to abduct innocent people and murder them in order to appease the bloodlust of a hostile monster living beneath the surface, without informing society of this issue and formulating a response based upon the will of the people.... this is democratic? It's not a democratic system if an existential threat to a nation -- or the world -- is kept secret from the public at large.

    Meanwhile, you have yet to answer my question:

    Does a system that depends upon victimization and oppression have a right to exist?
     
  6. Mister Fandango

    Mister Fandango Fleet Captain

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    Yet, remarkably enough, when you did read through the thread months ago, you didn't once "correct" any of the people praising Whedon and Whedon alone.

    Funny how that works out.
     
  7. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Are you really going to make a big deal over my not having corrected some folks -- both praising him and criticizing him; see stj's posts, for instance, for a fairly critical stance on the film -- on including Goddard when this thread was active five months ago?

    Seriously?
     
  8. Immolatus

    Immolatus Captain Captain

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    all I wanted to know was how they caught all those monsters and kept them locked up in glass cages :confused:
     
  9. Kestrel

    Kestrel Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I think "fizzled" doesn't quite fit. "Burst into flames, flailed about, tripped and was impaled on rebar, then rose as a zombie and was shot in the head" would be more accurate, though doesn't quite catch the skin-crawling-awfulness that was the Connor arc in Angel S4. :lol:
     
  10. Mister Fandango

    Mister Fandango Fleet Captain

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    You're the one who decided that it was something important enough to bring up and emphasize, so yes, seriously. That said, I apologize that my particular criticisms were enough to cause you to nerdrage on the topic. Doubly so if my pointing out of your hypocrisy only increased that rage, as it clearly has. Consider it dropped completely.

    I know what you mean. What I want to know is why they had all those monsters locked up in glass cages to begin with. Or, more correctly, why monsters were being used at all, let alone why it was required for the sacrifices to pick which one was going to slaughter them.

    Heck, I'm still trying to figure out why they had a force field. Thor attempting the jump and failing miserably would have been far more humorous anyway.
     
  11. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    I didn't "bring it up and emphasize" it. I brought it up in one point. I didn't make a big deal out of it -- you did.

    I shall endeavor to read through every single thread and imagine every possible thought that might potentially occur to me six month down the line from now on. :rolleyes:

    I'm not the one who threw a hissy fit over someone noting but not making a big deal out of a minor mistake I'd made. Yours was the nerdrage.

    Yeah, Joss and company really dropped the ball on that one.
     
  12. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    Bought the Blu-Ray today and watched the movie tonight, still a very interesting and fun movie/take on the genre.

    But the best part of it is, clearly. Kristen Connolly who... Oh man.

    :drool:

    Anyway, I'd be interested to see what Whedon and Goddard had "in mind" (if anything) when it came to the different items in the basement and which "monster" or situation they unleashed. We know that reading the Latin from the diary summoned the zombie family, the conch summoned the Merman and the "puzzle-sphere" summoned the "Hellraiser"-like demon. But with all of the creatures we see in the "prison" under the cabin and all of the trinkets in the basement of the cabin it'd be interesting to know how many dots and such are connected "behind the scenes" in the mind of Whedon.

    An enjoyable movie though I'm generally mixed on the ending of it. It's hard to like an ending when two people, pretty damn selfishly, allow for the fall of all of mankind.

    ;)
     
  13. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

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    Man, lot of Whedon angst in this thread. Luckily for me the second I found out about a twist of some sort in this flick I went into media blackout and so enjoyed this movie. Somehow i missed the trailer which was just as well I think. I just found it fun, I wasn't needing it to be profound or anything, though there was some food for thought to snack on in there.

    I was smiling just seeing Topher and Amy Acker who got more than her fair share of adorable at birth. I think she must of stolen my share. And Trekker speaking of adorable I was surprised to see Kristen Connolly's age. I've always been a sucker for a girl in Mary Janes. Not to leave out the guys that's my favorite Chris Hemsworth role by far, I guess he's not made of wood after all. Loved the surprise guest star.

    Maybe those horrors are what Angel and company were going to engage in the ending of Angel.

    The bit with the Japanese schoolgirl horror cracked me up.

    As an aside, Tucker and Dale vs Evil is another fun twist on cabin horror with Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2012
  14. Ayelbourne

    Ayelbourne Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Heh. This movie would fit neatly into the slayerverse. Minus the ending, of course.
     
  15. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Haven't seen that but a little flick called Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon addresses some of the themes hinted at in Cabin more directly and more adroitly.
     
  16. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

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    I should add that Tucker and Dale has a more comedic bent should anyone think of checking it out (it's on Netflix instant).
     
  17. PsychoPere

    PsychoPere Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Whedon addressed this topic in an interview in the Official Visual Companion (pages 40 and 41).
    (Bold added by me.)
     
  18. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

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    Watching the behind-the-scenes there was a lot of work done on all the different denizens but unfortunately I think of a lot of the detail gets lost in the actual film. While one could argue it'd get too over-the-top, I'd have enjoyed seeing a little more of it.
     
  19. DevilEyes

    DevilEyes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Finally got the chance to see it when the DVD came out. I loved it. Of course, it doesn't bear scrutiny if you look at it through realistic lens, but it was never meant to be realistic. It's one huge meta commentary that's clever, fun, funny, scary (the procession of the monsters in the elevator was just fun, but the scenes in the cabin in the first part of the movie were quite chilling; they really got me with the wolf scene, I was expecting it to come to life any moment, and the diary of the redneck torture family girl was really creepy. The torture family were a great choice and creepy not because they were zombies, but because they were humans who enjoyed torturing and mutilating people and made a religion out of it, which is very fitting for the theme of the movie), and with a daring twist which I loved.

    I saw the many Whedonesque connections - I was reminded not just of the Initiative, but also Wolfram & Hart,, and about AtS Not Fade Away with making a stand for the sake of it without much hope, and about BtVS The Gift: "I don't want to live in the world where these are the options".

    No, it wouldn't, and it wouldn't have made sense, since Dana was not a virgin and her friends knew about her affair with her professor. But a man was never going to be given the role of the Virgin, whether he actually was or not, just like a man was never going to be given the role of the Whore, even if he were an actual hustler or gigolo[. And a woman was never going to be given the role of the Scholar or Athlete/Jock, even if she were the most intellectual and educate or the most athletic. The whole point is that these roles are very specifically gender-defined. Notice that none of the male stereotypes are related to sexuality, but the two female stereotypes are all about sexuality. Women must be classified either as Virgins or Whores, with all the value judgments and fetishization that goes with it. The movie's criticism of these damaging stereotypes wouldn't work if it ignored their inherent sexism.


    The "extremely satisfying payoff" in The Hunger Games isn't there because it's not supposed to be, since it's only the first book in the trilogy and sets up the tensions of the rest of the story. The payoff only comes in the other two books (which will in this case be the three sequels). And it is indeed extremely satisfying, IMO at least.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2012
  20. Ayelbourne

    Ayelbourne Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Problem is: the movie structured in a way that doesn't tell you anything about a trilogy.
    So, if you don't know about that fact going in (like me), the ending just infuriates you to no end. ("Huh? That's it? This barbaric game is just going to continue? What the hell was the point then?")
    The first part of the trilogy should feel like a first part, not a one shot.
     

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