20 September 2014

September 20th

The Six Weeks kicked off with tall ships and pancakes. The daughters and I drove up to the northern port town of Traverse City to check out the Michigan Schooner Festival and visit with my pal Greg and his daughters.  I couldn't ask for a better journey into autumn.  As we traveled further and further north, the temperature cooled and the trees began to show larger and larger splashes of color in their canopies. Signs of the harvest season abounded, with roadside pumpkin stands around every curve and orchards laden with ripened apples and cherries dotting the landscape.  A cider mill provided a perfect rest stop, refueling us with donuts and apple cider.

The Cabin in the Woods (2011) directed by Drew Goddard
Once the girls had finally calmed down and gone to sleep, I kicked off the movie season with one of my favorite recent horror flicks.  Greg had never seen the film, nor had he any idea what it was about.  This, of course, filled me with glee.

While I don't have anything to add beyond what I wrote last year, Greg did come up with an interesting take about 20 minutes into the movie. Attempting to predict what twist was coming -- since the movie shows most of its hand right away -- Greg picked out the new security guard posted in the operations room. He guessed that the guard was in league with the Ancient Ones and would cause this year's sacrifice to fail. Which, thinking on it, might well have been the case.

Who tampered with the wiring to delay the tunnel cave in? It's implied that Marty did this playing with the wires in the elevator, but it's hard to imagine why elevator wires would cause issues with explosives miles away.  Meanwhile, the guard's reactions to the goings on seem to be professionally hidden disgust.  He seems to be an audience proxy in this, but what if that disgust is aimed not at the torture of the teens and, instead, aimed at the ridiculous degree to which humanity has pre-packaged and calculated and dissected and scheduled this ancient sacrificial process? Perhaps the Ancient Ones are less than thrilled at these highly controlled rituals, longing for the chaos of the old days? Maybe "Truman" the security guard was their way off making these things more authentic?

At any rate, it's something new and interesting to mull among many other neat thoughts this film provides, which are sure signs of a strong movie.

Bug (2006) directed by William Friedkin
This was another film I'd been wanting to show Greg, and to re-watch myself. After Bug, I am forever a Michael Shannon fan. Whatever else people may think of this film, everyone agrees Shannon does an astounding job as the paranoid schizophrenic Peter. Only slightly less convincing was Ashley Judd, who gives her all into the part as well.

While I'm not entirely convinced by Agnes's relatively quick transition into full-on madness, the idea itself is fairly terrifying. What if insanity were infectious? What if exposure to crazy ideas made it more likely those ideas would soon become your own? Isn't that how things work, anyway? How can we know that what we believe is sane, or makes sense, or wasn't implanted in our brain by generations of crazy people sharing their nutty thoughts?  But, then, wouldn't that imply the entirely of society is insane?

Tired from a long journey home today, these are the things floating in my head.


  1. "Bug" is what made me a fan of Michael "This Generation's Christopher Walken" Shannon myself. I'm glad to see his career has progressed nicely. I haven't seen "Bug" since it was first released so it's one I definitely need to revisit.

  2. Though there is always the temptation to dissect perceived loose ends or mechanical faults, I found "Cabin In The Woods" to be pretty darn whole as a package. I'm not sure if that's kick ass concept right through to editing from Whedon, but It's thorough. This movie could easily spawn amazing sequels and prequels. SO many unanswered questions, which is arguably what makes a thriller that sticks with you. You find "truths" the next day whilst mowing the lawn. How many old ones are there? Do they hang out underneath these testing facilities around the world? Do third world countries get their own old ones or only those with organized governments? Tickling the brain hardest is the myriad of horrors kept in cages by the organization! What a movie could be made from that back story...teams of Ghostbuster style dudes rounding up histories nastys. Good Fun!