The Thirteenth Thing about The Cabin in the Woods
What great--if not very subtle--forshadowing!
After I wrote my Twelve Things about The Cabin in the Woods, I started poking around the movie blogosphere to see what other Horror lovers had to say about the film. And I was amazed at the number of people who came to the exact opposite conclusion I did: they thought that the ending, far from being the result of a moral choice, was a function of an incredible lack of morality in the characters. Well, let's explore that a little more, shall we?
Again, if you haven't seen the film yourself, please don't read any further. First watch it yourself, and then come back. I've just given you golden advice, so I hope you take it.
In my first post, I asked three questions. There was a fourth one staring me in the face, but I completely missed it. Here it is now . . .
Question 4: If you learned that the fate of the entire world (including, of course, yourself) depended on the death of one of your friends, would you kill him?
My naive assumption was that the vast majority of people would stand by their friends to the end--even if it were a literal end. Apparently, I had no idea that the popularity of Katniss Everdeen was less a sign of things to come than the logical conclusion of centuries of philosophy. As crazy as this may sound, we as a culture really have started to believe in human sacrifice again.
And we would, if backed into a corner, stab our friends in the back to save ourselves . . . or commit suicide to maintain the illusion of "control" over our destinies.
One of the comments which haunted me was: "Bizarrely, Whedon seems to think 'everybody in the whole world dies' actually is a better outcome than 'girl doesn't stand by her friend.'"
"Bizarrely"? If he meant that it's unexpected, then I'd agree. Whedon did make Vampire Slayer Buffy murder her lover in cold blood to prevent the destruction of the world--and she was supposed to be his ideal heroine, not to mention the vindication of all the Pretty Blonde Girls who have ever been powerless to save themselves in Horror movies. Now he creates a Final Girl who has the chance to do the same thing, but "punishes" her for it? Yet this is not necessarily a contradiction. Perhaps it's even a sign of growth! Let's give Whedon the benefit of the time stamp. Besides, it's not what the commenter meant.
Given the context of the discussion, what the commenter found bizarre was that anyone would think that friendship is a better outcome than communism. The only thing I found bizarre was that someone would be so casual about revealing he would sell out one of his own friends . . . or maybe his spouse . . . or even their child . . . if the price were right.
Remember that human sacrifice works only when the person offered up to die is completely innocent.
Then there was the vehement commenter who said of the ending: "It's Hollywood's valorization of the individual taken to utterly perverse extremes."
After reading that, I wished I knew her in real life so that I could find out (through some indirect means) her thoughts on unborn children. But in my ignorance, I'd still bet this entire blog that if anyone described legal abortion as "valourisation of the individual taken to utterly perverse extremes" within her hearing, she'd erupt in rage. But I admit that that has nothing to do with this particular issue.
It would be enough to tell her which characters in The Cabin in the Woods truly represent the audience--and therefore, her. It's not Dana and Marty, who are left to make the best possible choice in a bad situation . . . nor is it Sitterson, Hadley and the other employees of the corporation, who exploit innocent people in order to produce the perfect
Do you know who you really are in this story, dear viewer? You are the ancient evil gods. Think about that the next time you cry "Crucify Him! Crucify Him!" in the anonymous darkness of your fancy neighbourhood cineplex.
Image Sources: a) "That moose over there . . ." b) The weremoose