Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Challenge of the Cabin (in the Woods)

     Looking forward to the release of Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard's Cabin in the Woods with great anticipation, I came by this early review.  It seemed somewhat hyperbolic at the time, as Ms Johanson states, up in the first paragraph, "I don’t know how anyone can possibly make a horror movie again."  Having now seen the film myself, I am in fact not sure that Ms. Johnason has gone far enough.
     I will not labor the issue of the film's metatextual commentary or the cleverness and engagement with which the story is told (an absolute necessity, I think, given its subtext; I mean, just how far can you go without alienating your audience?).  I will simply say this: the last fifteen minutes of the film encapsulates the most staggering, chutzpah-driven challenge conceivable to horror-movie makers, movie-makers in general, story-tellers of any variety and American culture itself.  "We have taken away all your tools, all your devices, all the things you have come to rely on,"  the film -- and its makers -- say, "now go do something new.  To not do so would be creatively bankrupt and irresponsible."
     I'm very curious to see the response of other filmmakers and storytellers (I'm mulling over my own even now).  No doubt, many will ignore it and go on with business as usual.  A challenge of this scope is, to say the least, intimidating.  But those who choose to pick up the dialog Whedon and Godard have set in motion, what will they do? What is the next step? At this moment, I'm not even sure I can fathom it.

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