Attention: Spoilers! Lots of them!
I watched „Cabin in the Woods“ two weeks after having written the manifesto to ADULT HORROR MOVIES. I take a strong dislike to Joss Whedon anyway, because of his extremely reactionary affiliation with Ayn Rand´s pseudo-philosophy (each man for his own, only the strong survive, mercy is weakness, unchained capitalism is the only truth). It does not show in each of his products, but it pops up frequently, usually unnoticed by German film critics. Rand is virtually unknown in Germany.
Anyway, here comes “Cabin in the Woods”, a movie that represents everything we dismiss from our programs. The usual bunch of teenagers do the usual thing, with an added postmodern twist leading to an ironic meta level which makes the whole thing a joke with a touch of gore tossed in. The usual bunch of teenagers are sacrifices to cruel old gods, the ways of their deaths are controlled by a bunch of cynical technician which can easily be deciphered representations of horror film producers. The movie caters to those who enjoy feeling superior because they have their genre knowledge ready at hand and pretends to intellectually reflect on the genre. But it has nothing to offer except the same stale sexist humor. There is the usual character of the supposedly dumb blonde. As a first pun in the movie, a female scientist in the laboratory that controls the Meta-level of the movie states: “We rose her libido through some chemistry in her hair dye”. Expect some sex later. The irony adds nothing to the clichéd setup.
You get a bit of Randian nonsense as well. The scientists supposedly need to sacrifice the victims for the good of all. They represent not only the movie goers, but the state, or the social consciousness of the state in a Randian perspective. The only way to realize personal freedom is to oppose the state, even if the result is the same. So everyone dies, but on their own terms. The Cabin in the Woods is an antisocial, cynical, ultra-conservative, ultra-pessimistic film. It reflects the right-wing narratives in the upcoming US election: the social aspects of liberal state is supposedly threatening individual freedom, thus it is a reign of terror. Choose Mitt and you will go to hell feeling free. The better choice in Cabin in the Woods would have been to destroy the old gods who are threatening the world, but then – who wants to mess with Wall Street?