Wednesday, October 16, 2013


Every horrorhound's favorite month is upon us, and to celebrate, I'll be dishing out a personal pick from the genre for every day in October. Some will be obvious and rather unoriginal (sorry that I like movies other people like), while some will be a little more oddball and off-the-wall. Some may even challenge your idea of what constitutes a "horror" movie. Regardless, I hope you enjoy the month with some good movies, even if they aren't ones I recommend!

Today's Pick: The Cabin in the Woods (2012)

Continuing the trend of meta movies from yesterday's pick, I felt compelled to include this modern classic in my list of recommendations. Full of fanatic emotion and a kitchen sink approach, The Cabin in the Woods manages to both extol and castigate the horror genre in the same breath. But, more importantly, it reinforces the necessity of scary tales in our culture and gives their importance the heaviest weight possible.

The premise seems all too familiar: a group of young college kids are taking a trip to a remote cabin for some holiday fun. Unbeknownst to them, there are figures lurking nearby, watching their every move and plotting their demise. However, these figures are two office workers (the honestly Oscarworthy Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford) who seem to be controlling things with a methodical and mechanical precision from a control room far below...

Much like House, the less said about The Cabin in the Woods, the better. There's so much to mull over in every frame that it would require multiple viewings to enjoy every aspect of the film. Luckily, The Cabin in the Woods is such a great time that you don't mind obsessively watching it over and over again. It's satirical humor is pitch perfect, but manages to temper its acidity with an honest affection for the tropes it's laying bare.

And, to take another dig at Scream (sorry!), The Cabin in the Woods is completely reverent to the genre, to the point of zealotry. While it manages to have fun with itself, it presents a world where horror stories are the only thing keeping humanity from destroying itself. It's incredibly profound and for someone who loves horror stories, this movie feels like wonderful justification for having a dark and twisted imagination.

If you haven't seen this film, it's on Netflix Instant Watch right now. Stop reading and go. It's honestly that good. Years from now, when some college class is giving a course on the history of horror, this will be right at the end of the curriculum as the defining deconstructionist work in the genre. The best part though? It deconstructs with the most loving of attitudes. It's a once-in-a-lifetime kind of film and for fans of the horror genre, it is mandatory viewing.

Tomorrow, we're going to the prom! I hope our date doesn't have a crazy mom who brings out her latent telekinetic abilities. ...I'm not even trying anymore, am I?

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