I’m currently playing a sly game with Avengers: Infinity War, in which I’m carefully filtering all media -internet, print, word of mouth- and avoiding any spoilers. At all. Its a tricky game and one can’t always win, but so far I’m winning. it’s a game I’m also playing with Marvel’s Black Panther movie and a few others that I haven’t seen at the cinema or on disc yet. Avoid reviews. Avoid internet articles. Avoid forums. Its the only way to avoid spoilers. I mean, sure if you’re not bothered, relax and the hell with it, but if you think a film deserves being unspoiled, you’ve got to make some effort.
Sometimes it can be a long game. Witness The Cabin in the Woods, which I finally got around to watching last night. I’ve dutifully avoided all spoilers and reviews for all these years. Not so sure the effort was duly warranted, as it turned out, but yeah, I managed to watch the film last night fresh-faced and blindly ignorant of what I was about to watch. I didn’t even know that Chris Hemsworth was in it until his name came up in the credits. In yer face, spoiler-net.
So anyway, it’s a film about a bunch of typical American college teens spending a weekend in an isolated cabin in the woods that is inevitably only going to end one way -loud music! booze! sex! gore!- and the horror tropes are, as you might expect, flashing by in an almost whos-who almanac of horror films, classic and bad. But there is always something weird going on, unseen by our protagonists, the events being orchestrated… Clearly the whole cabin in the woods setting is a knowing wink towards all those horror tropes and the film has an agenda lifting it beyond the b-movie horror cliches it seems happily content to put onscreen. When the twists/meta-story unfolds the film actually descends into the wildest Joe Dante chaos not-actually-directed-by-Joe-Dante that I have ever seen and is all kind of fun. Gremlins on steroids. Wouldn’t say it was actually scary though. Which raises the question, shouldn’t a horror story be scary rather than clever?
Oh well. It was rather good fun and I enjoyed it, particularly some of the casting choices, such as Amy Acker and Fran Kranz, who set me off reminiscing about Dollhouse. And it’s always a pleasure being surprised by Sigourney Weaver turning up. That’s worth all the effort of staying spoiler-free all by itself.