The Cabin in the Woods – SF Debris

Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard wrap a great horror move around a terrible horror movie. Don’t skip this because you hate these kinds of movies, because it’s not what it looks like.

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12 comments

  1. I like this movie for the most part, but yeah I’m not a big fan of the “humanity isn’t worth saving” ending.

    • Maybe you didn’t noticed but this movie is a satire. Basically everything what happen there should be taken with grain of salt (if killer unicorns* didn’t make that obvious).

      *Well.. technically in real myths that is exactly the case, as they are magic wyverns with sharp claws who hate assholes. But they clearly use cheesy hollywoodcorn design, so it shouldn’t be taken seriously.

      • Yeah, but it sill kind of rubbed me the wrong way. I wouldn’t say it ruined the movie or anything though.

      • So what if it’s satire? Satire can still try to convey a serious moral message. I mean, the filmakers are already using the film to express their viewpoints on horror cliches and the state of modern horror movies, who’s to say wether or not “humanity isn’t worth saving” isn’t part of their view too?

      • Rezro, you’re a joke nobody likes. How are you still confused by this concept?

        But tell us more how unicorns are wyverns, especially if it somehow veers off into Chinese nationalism.

  2. Loved the movie and liked the review as you opened up my eyes on some nuances that I didn’t see before.
    In any case, I think that ending (letting humanity die) is ok, as it was decided by two young people who were in physical pain and in horrible mental state. People do not make good decisions then. On the contrary, “I’m dying, fuck everything else”, would be a quite logical path to take for more self-centered young person.

    • True, but the pot head brought it up at the beginning with his “we should let society crumble” speech, and then they end the whole movie on that note as well.

      So it seems less like “the characters are tired, cut them some slack for this obviously wrong decision” and more like the film WANTS us to agree with them.

  3. The movie: ‘The demolition was blocked from upstairs.’
    You: ‘That means Marty did it while futzing around…’

    Wow! I have never figured that out! The first time I the movie, I glossed over the line; later, I thought it meant the Elders did it, maybe out of revenge for not killing Marty. Your idea makes so much more sense.

    ‘The motorcycle jump was so obviously going to end in his death…’
    Actually, the first time I saw it, one of the guys I was with whispered something like ‘he’s gonna fall short, isn’t he?’ to me; he’d forgotten the force field.

    Part of the problem I have with the ‘humans aren’t worth saving if they’re killing my friends’ ending is that it only works if everybody except the five are in on this thing; but nobody knows.

  4. If I were to re-write this movie, what I would do to fix the whole “Humanity isn’t worth saving” debate is have the audiences POV character asks, “Why are we doing this?” have the next level of higher up say, “You don’t have clearance for that yet.” And then have it happen again, and again, and have keep having it be bumped up, so we have a guy with 30 years experience still is being told, “You don’t have clearance for that yet.” And then when we finally have The Director, the ultimate head hontcho of the hole human operation, we have on the teenagers asks, “What’s going to happen if the ritual isn’t completed?”
    Silence.
    Silence.
    Teenager, “You DON’T KNOW!”
    So for thousands of years humanity has been doing this ritual millennia after millennia without really truly knowing what would happen if they DIDN’T.

    • I have to agree with this point: the “Humanity isn’t worth saving” argument is invalidated. In this context, the one making that argument is part of humanity, and therefore subject to all the problems of humanity – moral, intellectual, etc. Which means that there is no solid moral or intellectual ground upon which they can make that case. Only a villain or a monster could really make that argument.

      Ultimately, I think your case for them having no clue what would happen if the ritual isn’t completed is the best scenario. It would make humanity the villains, but only because they don’t know any better. They’re only making the most moral decision they can with the limited information they have. The fact that they are operating in complete ignorance then makes humanity itself worth saving, but presents the need to find a better way. Presented with their own ultimate ignorance, they are left with the moral dilemma of trying to find that better way.

    • I don’t think that’s a solution. Making the protagonists the righteous, brave heroes who call out humanity for being ignorant cowards would technically justify them… except it does so by dumbing down that entire universe. The same way the Aztecs woldn’t have a more interesting culture if the reason for all their human sacrifices was “We don’t know.”

      All the office workers torturing teenagers to death without knowing why would be one-dimensionally evil, unthinking drones with zero complexities. The giant organization that got this much funding without being able to justify anything is now harder to suspend disbelief over than all its b-movie inhabitants. It’s not worth destroying everything that makes the organization, setting, and arguably the whole movie interesting and thought-provoking just to make the protagonists look better by comparison. Whether you’re dealing with elder gods or script writing, the sacrifice has to be worthwhile.

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