Billy Gray

Archive for May, 2012|Monthly archive page

Slash and Burn

In Movie Reviews on May 2, 2012 at 12:11 pm

Joss Whedon is married, more or less happily, to hokey genre entertainment: he knows sci-fi and horror like the back of his hand, and clearly loves them, even as he mocks and dissects their trappings, hoping to refine them through deconstructive criticism. He made his name with the TV adaptation of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” a revered gothic-comic take on the forgettable Valley Girl film spoof he wrote. “Buffy” peppered the vampire-as-sex metaphor with sly high school soap opera. With “The Cabin in the Woods,” which Whedon wrote with director Drew Goddard, the fanboy favorite tweaks the slasher flick formula. But unlike “Buffy,” “Cabin” is too slick and abstracted to work as horror or satire, adding to the case that po-mo horror should have begun and ended with “Scream,” or at least its first inferior sequel.

The trouble starts early. A cheesy Freemason-esque credits sequence is broken by a cut to two geeky co-workers chattering in the cavernous antiseptic office space built for every corporate satire film set.  Cue freeze-frame and blaring ominous score, then cut to a group of nubile idiots—meathead, floozie, semi-virgin, brain and stoner sage—packing for a weekend in the woods. Clearly, we’re in for an arch, bumpy ride that will make little to no sense beyond its central lampoonery. Read the rest of this entry »