This Month saw the release of teen slasher movie ‘A Cabin In the Woods’. The film was marketed as another horror instalment firmly within the conventions of the teen horror genre. The story has every aspect a viewer of these films has come to expect- A group of teenagers going away for a weekend of fun , 5 unlikely friends who represent different youthful cultures and subcultures ( the jock/The nerd/The drug user/The party girl/The good girl), The errie setting in a remote and abandoned cabin, a strange shop owner who warms them away before they reach the cabin and unsettles the group.
It was due to these factors being shown in the trailer, that I did not want to view the film at first as it was reminisent of the countless films I have seen with exactly the same plot many times before. With the current economical climate and cinema tickets being at an all time high of £8.50 per person, my initial feelings were that thought hollywood would have to do one better than this to increase box office takings. However on viewing the film I found I could not have been further from the truth. The film is a complex mix of spoof, satire, gore, horror and comedy. The plot also follows a secret agency who controls the horrific events on the teenagers in the cabin from a high tech security room underneath the cabin. This is the setting for most of the comedy in a style similar to television series ‘The Office’. Similar to ‘The Office’ this is the setting for corporate middle aged men in suits who act like children in many ways (one of these being the way in which they inflict terrifying moments on the teenagers in such a silly and casual manner) as well as the office politics and awkward moments between collages in such a setting.
This film in many ways has many of the ingredients to make it to the list of some of the best spoof movies ever made, however the underlying story that this secret agency makes these horrific events to teenage groups as a sacrificial ritual to the underworld so they do not want to take over earth, is an unexpected serious note within the film. This is something unique to a spoof movies as films such as: ‘Hot shots’, ‘Scary Movie’ and ‘The Naked Gun’ have every element about them being as humorous as possible. This conscience and risky slant on the genre makes it something much more than a spoof, it brings new context to the films it is making fun of such as ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’ , ‘Friday the 13th’ , ‘The Grudge’ without ridiculing their existence but instead adding to the value of them…. whilst poking fun at them at the same time. This is possibly due to the writer Joss Whedon being not a spoof screenplay writer but instead a creator of notable works in the horror genre such as ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ and ‘Alien Resurrection’. This is not the first time a spoof and love letter to the horror genre has been fused, Wes Craven who directed ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’ did this when creating the parody on the teen slasher genre ‘Scream’. A Cabin in the woods is out in cinemas nationwide now.