One of the things I have found whilst writing this blog, is that it occasionally stops me from re-watching films. I only write about films once on the site, so am more likely to not pop something I loved back in or take another look at something I thought was rubbish the first time around.
This might be a remedy for that. Who knows, it might be the first and only of these. But I grabbed The Cabin in the Woods (2012) on blu-ray the other week, and as I was watching it I started tweeting a few thoughts about it. Don’t worry, this is no live tweet. But just reflections on what viewing the film was like a second time. So I thought that I would share them now and perhaps flesh out my thoughts a little further. There may be spoilers below, so consider yourself warned. Also you’re a fool if you haven’t seen this film yet.
The whole Whitford and Jenkins section of the film is what really sets it apart. I noticed this time around, that’s not just true of the ending, but also of the setup. The way they are controlling everything, the betting pool at the office. That aspect is what keeps the first two acts of the film from simply being the knock-off slasher fare the film is skewering.
This was really stark to me watching this time. I think partially because I had seen Listen up Philip (2014) at CIFF earlier the same night I watched this and that film also is very sharp in its structure. Thankfully this film doesn’t have a stupid chapter structure, like all those films that have been grinding my gears later. But it does have a very extended (longer than I recall) set-up, the ‘typical’ slasher middle section and the final act payoff.
You can only see the third act of The Cabin in the Woods once, which I thought would really impact on my enjoyment second time around. But I was surprised to find that I got almost as much, though something quite different out of it this time.
As someone pointed out to me on twitter at the time, the audience is really a character in the film, which is not how I had thought about it before. Our insatiable hunger for the same horror tropes to be continually fed to us year after year, just like the Ancient Ones.
The last act is searing even on repeat viewing. Just look at some of these screen grabs.
What do you guys think of Cabin in the Woods, and especially any of the pondering I have done above? How did it hold up on a second viewing for you?