Friday, April 20, 2012

The Cabin in the Woods and more

I feel like we've been hearing about The Cabin in the Woods forever. Or anyone that pays like a tiny bit of attention to what Joss Whedon has going on has been hearing about it forever. I knew I wanted to see it but last week's priority was Blue Like Jazz. I have a really busy week with family stuff coming up so I decided to squeeze it in this Friday.

I didn't know...a lot about it? I'd seen a few trailers that I found confusing, but I thought it was going to be your typical horror flick, only with a touch of goofy funny. I was therefore pleasantly surprised by how different and thought provoking I found it. I didn't think it was perfect, I'm not here to tell you that I think it's better than The Hunger Games (current pet peeve is how everything is better than The Hunger Games) but I do find myself wanting to talk about it.

If you haven't seen the movie and wish to remain unspoiled, than I'd suggest just moving on the rest of this post!

Click for spoilers, and I mean ALL THE SPOILERS. The Cabin in the Woods invites comparisons to The Hunger Games because it's set up in a simliar fashion. We first meet the "game makers" as they are setting things up to go and then the unknowing teens who are setting out for a weekend of fun at a cabin in the woods. Everything about their stories feel like your typical teen slasher horror flick, but then we cut away to the guys behind the curtain at strategic points in the story that make you wonder what exactly is going on...why are they doing this? Why did they put stuff in Jules' hair dye to alter her behavior, why are they placing bets, why does no one care,etc.

And what's interesting about how they set this up is that you have your typical roles, the innocent good girl, the more flirtatious girl (who they later call the whore), the jock, the fool, the nerdy guy. And even though they don't exactly fit those labels and expectations, the guys running the game are doing everything they can to make sure they do. Basically they are attempting to engineer your classic horror slash film, all for some greater good, it seems like a corporation, there was a worldwide attempt, but why?

And the thing about it is that even while the film seems to be critiquing this very voyeuristic culture, (it does kind of remind me of The Hunger Games, and to a lesser degree,Sucker Punch in that regard) it is also delivering what you think you came to see. You see every bloody death. You watch the blond girl character do all manner of sexy provocative things including take off her shirt. And you don't exactly feel any impact from it for the guys engineering everything, because they're funny to be honest. So I'm not sure how successful it is if it intends to say anything at all.

The other thing, though, that I liked was how these five kids were chosen for what is revealed to be a sacrifice and forced into these roles. And you can take away from that how society chooses our roles for us, and we sacrifice our true selves so often to play them. This is perhaps the most interesting idea in the film to me, and it's only hinted at.

I did like all the horror story creatures and I can see how this could be a franchise, because there are endless possibilities and combinations of stories to tell. And that blood bath at the end was something else.

Anyway, I did really like it and I recommend seeing it if you can and then coming back to talk to me about it, because I want to talk about it!


I just watched this episode and it was everything I love about this show. I had only one small gripe, but mostly this episode was a perfect example of why this show is so freaking good. I mean it hits every important emotional note for me, it really delivers. I genuinely like all the characters, and I love that they allow Nikita to be complex and interesting.

Part of my love for this show is that I just generally like stories about people fighting the good fight against impossible odds, and how it makes them tired, and they doubt themselves, and they wonder if they're doing anything really good at all, and they form impossibly close bonds with the people they work with. I loved this about Buffy and Supernatural in its early days, and now Nikita. And here's the thing, I just really liked that Nikita was allowed to acknowledge that sometimes she likes hurting people, that sometimes she likes to do bad things and that Michael was there to say sure, maybe part of you is evil, but that's only part of who you are. This makes her so relateable and real, and it was a very earned moment for the show. And even though I don't really ship Michael/Nikita, I thought that scene at the end where he said she didn't love herself but it was okay, he would teach her, was so sweet. And true! Because why, after everything she'd been through, would she love herself? It was a really follow-up to her conversation with Amanda as well.

It just makes me so sad that this show will probably be cancelled and we'll be stuck with all the boring stuff on TV foreverrrr. Why don't other people like what I like? :(


Libby of Libby's Book Blog is hosting a really fun challenge where you read a book and then make a pilgrimage to the place in the book. It sounds like a fun summer project so I highly suggest checking it out! She has sign-ups open now.

I could actually use a few people to bounce BBAW ideas off of. I have a couple of people already listening, but if you still care about BBAW and don't mind a few emails from me to chat ideas, will you let me know? You can either email me at mypalamyATgmailDOTcom or leave me a comment with your email address. This isn't an official volunteer sign-up, just looking for friendly advisers!

That's it from me! I'm off to the Festival of Books today and looking forward to it. I need some renewal of my bookish love. Have a wonderful weekend everyone and I'll catch up with you soon!


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