#238 | Cabin In The Woods

At the time Cabin In The Woods was being filmed, the horror genre looked to be in a particularly moribund state. Promisingly inventive originals like Saw and Final Destination had given way to predictably lacklustre sequels, which flooded the market alongside cash-in remakes of 70s and 80s classics.

Long-time collaborators and horror aficionados Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon looked at the landscape circa 2008 and didn’t like what they saw. So they wrote Cabin In The Woods, a ‘loving hate-letter’ to the genre. It was smart, witty and surprising – and thanks to studio issues it sat on a shelf for over two years.

As a fairly significant silver lining, during the time that the film was in limbo, a little movie named Thor came out, and suddenly one of Cabin In The Woods‘ supporting players became a major Hollywood commodity. Chris Hemsworth isn’t the lead of the movie by any means, but his presence certainly helped the long-delayed movie to gain some much-needed attention.

Speaking of leads, Cabin In The Woods wrong-foots its audience from the first scene, opening on a mundane conversation between two middle-aged lab attendants which apparently caused some cinema-goers to believe they’d walked into the wrong screening. Eventually, we’re introduced to five thinly drawn ‘college kids’ (all played by clearly older actors, including Hemsworth), who are preparing for a weekend getaway in the titular cabin.

The way the movie’s ‘twist’ is deployed is still divisive to this day. Some feel that the fact that the action is being controlled by outsiders is revealed from the start kills any dramatic tension, while others argue that it’s not intended to be a traditionally scary movie. Fortunately, the film has other surprises in its back pocket that more than make up for the lack of traditional scares.

On this week’s podcast, we break it all down and discuss some highlights, including iconic horror callbacks, a bonanza of Easter eggs and a truly iconic eleventh-hour cameo. We also brainstorm some drinking games, check in with our listeners and pitch sequels to bring the cast back from the dead after a (spoiler alert) fairly definitive final scene…

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Next week, we’re continuing our horror theme with a classic musical that continues to delight and bewilder to this day. Until then happy listening and remember, never go into the basement!