It was around this time last year that I saw this movie for Film Club. In the first screening, me and about ten other people busted out the Blu-ray and watched it in a different light as it was the first current horror film that I had seen in the company of other people. I knew I would enjoy myself because of Joss Whedon but I didn’t figure on how much I’d enjoy the ride.
Starting off with the horror-themed variation of the Lionsgate logo (which fits so well here), the film introduces us to the story that we think we know, to paraphrase the tagline. Then, the rug is pulled out from under us as we see two men in office attire talk about…childproofing. Yep. But hey, it’s all part of the plot as the title sequence carries on. Art of the Title has a great article about this sequence here.
So, five people go off to a cabin in the woods for the weekend. Along the way, a harbinger tells them about the terrors in those woods. Thing is, that’s his job as he’s part of the experiment. Bets are placed underground as to which object will be used in the basement full of talismans. The vast amount of choices would have been a GREAT DVD extra with the numerous alternate movies but that’s another project for another day.
The fivesome deal with surviving as they get picked off one by one. Two of them notice the strange set-up of the cabin and find a way underground. It’s here that the viewers are rewarded with the bloodbath that is needed in modern horror films; after all, to quote a Buffy episode, “We are as gods.”
Now, I haven’t seen any of the films that are classified today as “torture porn” or “gorenography” where a lot of blood is shed for the sake of blood. I don’t have a large problem with the sight of blood but when syringes are stabbed through eyeballs or other sharp instruments in senstive areas, I recoil. I’m not a hack-and-slash kind of guy in terms of horror movies; I prefer psychological terror and the principles of “less is more” and “nothing is scarier than Nothing.”
The list of monsters connected to each talisman is quite vast but I was secretly hoping the Mutant Enemy would grace the screen. Grr argh, I guess.
Before the most recent edition of the 1001 came out, I guessed and hoped that this would make the list. It has, though how long it will stay there will probably be about a year or two before removal. For what it’s worth, it has an interesting commentary on about moviegoers and horror films. On top of that, the dialogue and humor provide a balance to the emotional roller coaster of terror.
1001 MYMSBYD selection