Ever since Cabin in the Woods had audiences freaking out at Butt Numb a Thon and even more so at SXSW (and for many of us, way before then), it's been perhaps the most buzzed about original film of the year. While running errands a couple days ago, two employees and two customers began talking about the film, seemingly prompted by nothing, discussing whether or not it will be like say, Saw, or something more subversive. So for the confused or uninitiated wondering what this buzz is all about, let me break it down for you - spoiler free of course.
The Hold Up
Cabin in the Woods was originally shot in 2009 for MGM, and when the studio went under, the film just kind of hung around for a while, wondering if it would ever see the light of day. So it's not like Cabin just popped up a couple months ago and people started gabbing. Some of us have been anticipating this film for *literally* years. Anticipating an ORIGINAL film for years is extremely rare. So when Cabin started screening, most notably at Butt Numb a Thon, and word on the street was that it was balls out amazing, well, you can imagine how difficult it became for us geeks to contain our excitement. While the hold up was initially so frustrating for us all, a lot of positives ended up coming out of it other than the long period of time to simmer in anticipation, including enough of a chance to resist 3D conversion (thank goodness for that) and the GIANT strides that have happened for the people involved since wrapping.
Certainly this applies to Joss Whedon. Once and to a certain degree still, a geek's geek, beloved by a very specific niche audience, who everyone else ignorantly turns a nose up at, now Whedon is about to enter the arena of household name-big budget-massive franchises. If Cabin had been released when intended, maybe his involvement would have been brushed off by the more mainstream audiences. But here, in 2012, mere weeks after Cabin hits theaters, so will The Avengers, directed by none other than Whedon himself. The Avengers has already put Whedon on the map outside of the geek crowd. Remember when I mentioned hearing employees discussing Cabin a couple days ago? One of them got more interested the moment someone else mentioned that the writer is directing the Avengers.
Not to mention the cast! Since wrapping, Chris Hemsworth went and oh you know, became Thor, NBD, and apparently ultimately got the job because Whedon called Kenneth Brannagh and recommended he give Hemsworth another shot. Then as luck would have it, Whedon and Hemsworth reunited to shoot The Avengers. Hemsworth has a huge following now and brings a star element to the film that previously didn't exist. I'm personally excited for the film to open so people will see what Kristen Connolly (who holds a masters in drama from Yale, whatwhat) can do and start propelling her towards stardom.
Former Buffy/Angel Writers Taking Over The World
Continuing the trend of former Buffy writers taking over the world, Cabin in the Woods is Drew Goddard's directorial debut. Since Buffy's end, we've seen David Fury writing and producing for Lost, 24 and Fringe, David Greenwalt creating and showrunning Grimm, Jane Espenson writing for Once Upon a Time, Dollhouse, and Battlestar Galactica and showrunning Caprcia, Marti Noxon writing Fright Night and writing/producing for Mad Men and Glee, Drew Z Greenberg executive producing Warehouse 13, and the list goes on and on. The writing room for Buffy and Angel was the breeding ground for greatness and the proof is in the pudding.
Word on the street wasn't just that the film was great, but that it is important to not know anything going in. I echo this statement and hope you have done your best to avoid all trailers and simply know you are going next weekend. I went in 100% cold and was astonished at what I found. Other people will argue that the film is unspoilerable for reasons that will become clear to you, but I disagree. I think part of the wonder of Cabin, part of its genius, sits in the audience not knowing what exactly to expect, which simultaneously makes it impossible to market and yet all the more desirable to dedicated genre audiences. If you *have* seen the trailer, don't worry, it's only the tip of the iceberg, but if you have managed to avoid it until now - keep it that way. But what builds more buzz than being told by multiple sources that you MUST see it before it gets spoiled for you and know NOTHING going in? OhgodIwanttoseeitagainrightnow.
Aside from being shrouded in secrecy, which certainly adds to the draw, the film is also intensely quotable. Most of the quotes at least to me, act as a spoiler, so best to only engage in a quote-off with other folks who have seen the film, but at least one of them, "husband bulge" spoils nothing while still being incredibly specific and reminiscent of some great moments in the film. Bring a pen and paper cause some of these lines you will not want to forget.
It's Not Based On Anything and Not A Franchise
!!!!!! Huzzah for original genre material! ORIGINAL GENRE MATERIAL!!! That's enough on its own to get me buzzing.
In case you were wondering....:)
In case you were wondering....:)
Are you planning on seeing Cabin in the Woods, opening today nationwide? Have you managed to avoid knowing anything about it? What excites you about the film? Sound off below!