Class of Nuke 'Em High trailer (1986)
Silly Symphony: "The Skeleton Dance" (1929)
Rawhead Rex (1986) directed by George Pavlou
It wasn't as bad as I'd remembered. I like the idea of a pre-Christian pagan god being unearthed and terrorizing a small town in the Old World. I like Barker's sexualized spin on things, making Rawhead a hyper-masculine brute with an insatiable appetite and a short temper. He's so masculine, he pees on a guy to baptize him ("mark his territory," I suppose) and can only be defeated by a woman holding a fertility statue that shoots magic lightning out of its stone vagina.
Watched: DVD from Artisan.
Intruder trailer (1989)
Blood Freak trailer (1972)
her fresh flesh (2010)
The Cabin in the Woods (2011) directed by Drew Goddard
favorite band in the end credits. I was blown away seeing this in the theater and I still love it to death watching it again at home.
The most obvious way to look at the film is that it's a mirror held up to us, the audience of horror films. We are the Old Gods who demand to watch young people sacrificed for their sins. But, why? I often dwell on this about myself. Why do I like horror movies so much? Looked at from the outside, I can see why some people think poorly of us horror fans: it is kind of screwed-up to get a kick out of seeing people fake-killed in gruesome and inventive ways, isn't it?
Following the logic of this movie, however, may reveal an answer. The yearly sacrifices to the Old Gods in Cabin keep them sleeping. Without those sacrifices, the Old Gods awaken and destroy the world. I think horror tales actually do serve a similar purpose in the real world. I'm a fan of the idea of catharsis. I think we're not quite the rational, evolved species we like to think we are; we're violent little monkeys and we're going to need a way to blow off some steam. Horror stories (and, even more effectively, violent video games) help us do this. Without the catharsis of pretend violence in our media, I think we'd see even more real violence than we already do.
You could also look at the movie from the creators' perspective. Cabin is a call for change in the horror genre. It pulls back the curtain on the genre and says: "see how silly some of these things we do really are?" Writers are forced to create characters who act in illogical and goofy ways -- almost like they've been gassed -- in order for them to further the horror story. They lazily use stock characters -- the fool, the nerd, the jock, etc. -- even though no one really fits perfectly into those categories in real life (jockish Curt demonstrates how smart is really is when recommending text books to Dana at the start of the film).
Worse, new ideas are shunned in favor of the tried-and-true things that have worked before (as we're told in the film, the generic redneck zombie Buckners have a 100% success rate). Bradley Whitford's character Hadley wants nothing more than for someone to choose the merman as their destruction, but he is always disappointed. I think of Wes Craven here, who stumbled into his role as a horror movie guy but never really thought of himself that way. When finally given a chance to break out of the genre with Music of the Heart, the film bombed and his fate was sealed.
The end of the movie, in which Marty decides that perhaps it's time for someone else to take over, seems like a ballsy -- maybe even arrogant -- call for new blood and new ideas in horror. The scenes we'd just seen, with all of the familiar horror tropes running wild, are the film almost saying "here, we just used up every horror monster, ever. Let's do some new things next." Pretty bold for a first time director.
And, if you don't want to go all English-major-essay on the film, it works perfectly fine as cool horror film with a neat twist. It starts in a place we've all seen before -- kids in a cabin in the woods -- and steers into into some fresh territory with some amazingly fun visuals and excellently drawn characters. Easily my favorite horror movie this century.
Watched: blu-ray from Lionsgate.