Hello Geeks and Ghouls, Famous Monster here. Well, it’s finally October and you know what that means? Breast Cancer Awareness 5Ks? Good guess. Pumpkin Spice Lattes? Delicious, but no. Halloween? YES. Horror movies? DOUBLE YES!
Welcome to 31 Days of Horror, where I’ll cover at least two noteworthy horror films a day for the entirety of the month. That’s 31 Days of Horror and 62+ scary movies perfect for a cold, dark October night. Be sure to visit Geeks of Doom every day this month for a double-shot of chills and thrills!
Today’s double-shot features a family of zombified, pain-worshipping, backwoods, redneck idiots in Drew Goddard‘s The Cabin in the Woods and a couple of dim-witted country boys in Eli Craig‘s Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil.
In The Cabin in the Woods, a gang of college kids visit a remote cabin in the woods to partake in irresponsible activities such as (but not limited to) alcohol, illicit drugs, and premarital sex. There’s the jock, the slut, the nerd, the virgin, the stoner – all your old pals are there, and they’re in for some serious shit.One by one, these nubile teenagers are hacked to pieces by an axe-wielding maniac in the woods (or God-forsaken summer camp).
Sound familiar? It should. You’ve seen this genre convention in horror films like The Evil Dead, Friday the 13th, Cabin Fever, Sleepaway Camp, and The Burning. The Old Dark House has become The Cabin in the Woods, a subversive, spirited deconstruction of the genre. Even the film’s title is a reference to the archetypes it celebrates and simultaneously dissects.
That Creepy Scene:
Obviously, everyone’s favorite scene in The Cabin in the Woods is when Marty and Dana take the elevator down to the lower levels of the facility, passing hundreds of imprisoned monsters and supernatural beings. There’s Wraiths, Werewolves, Angry Molesting Trees, Sexy Witches, Giant Snakes, and my personal favorite: Dismemberment Goblins.
We get a nice close-up of Fornicus, Lord of Bondage and Pain – the Pinhead-like being that carries a puzzle sphere-. When Dana and Marty are cornered by the facility’s security team, Dana uses a big red “DO NOT PRESS” button to get the party started, realeasing the monsters who massacre the facility staff.
Dragon-Bats, Clowns, and American Slow-Walking Creepy Girls go on a murderous rampage, paying homage to nearly every monster and horror icon we’ve ever seen in film. This is one scene you’ll be watching over and over again, freeze-framing to spot all the different creatures.
Directed by Drew Goddard and co-written by Goddard and Joss Whedon, The Cabin in the Woods is an unconventional, satisfying carnival dark ride that is fun, scary, and altogether definitive.
Definitive? Really? Yes. Whedon and Goddard have given birth to something of a masterwork – a holy text of horror that has changed the genre by exposing (in hilarious detail) the minutiae of what has become the standard in horror movies. As Whedon has so aptly described it, “a loving hate letter” that also works as a serious critique.
We’ve seen exploitation films, slasher flicks, demonic possession, waves of Japanese horror has since devolved into “torture porn” movies like Saw and Hostel, and countless re-imaginings of classic movie monsters and new horror icons like Jason Voorhees, Michael Myers, and Freddy Krueger. The Cabin in the Woods is the final horror film – the period at the end of a longwinded run-on sentence. It’s a blood-splattered, bad-ass thesis in genre filmmaking.
Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil is a side-splitting horror comedy by first-time director Eli Craig. The film stars Alan Tudyk (Firefly) and Tyler Labine (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) as Tucker and Dale, two best friends on vacation at their dilapidated mountain cabin deep in the heart of the Appalachia.
Amidst fishin’ and drinkin’ Pabst Blue Ribbon, these dim-witted country boys are mistaken for murderous backwoods hillbillies by a group of obnoxious college kids. When one of the students (Katrina Bowden of 30 Rock) gets separated from her friends, the lovable duo of Tucker and Dale try to lend a hand, but as the misunderstanding grows, so does the body count.
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I’m not generally a horror movie fan but these two films are some of my favorite. I think it’s the stab they take at horror movie cliches and turns them into shenanigans and I appreciate that.
Comment by Ampa Pantages — October 25, 2012 @ 9:05 am