by Ryan Rigley
Don’t go in the woods. Seriously, it’s dangerous. Especially if you’re staying in a cabin. With the release of “The Cabin In The Woods,” audiences across the country are in for a clever twist on a tried and true staple of the horror genre. Starring Kristen Connolly and Chris Hemsworth, “Cabin In The Woods” follows a group of five friends as they journey to a remote cabin in the woods for a little rest and relaxation. Unfortunately for these rowdy teenagers, the cabin in the woods isn’t exactly what it appears to be.
Fans of the horror genre will be quick to realize that the “cabin in the woods” storyline isn’t exactly reinventing the wheel. There have been a wide array of “cabin in the woods” storylines over the years, probably because it’s just such a creepy concept. The thought of being alone in the middle of the woods with some sort of maniacal killer on the loose would send shivers down anyone’s spine.
While not being a direct parody, “The Cabin In The Woods” takes this horror movie cliche and flips it upside down. Here’s a look at some of the more popular “cabin in the woods” movies that “The Cabin In The Woods” pays homage to.
» “Friday the 13th”
The first in a series of many, the original “Friday the 13th” may not feature everyone’s favorite hockey mask-wearing slasher but it does feature a cabin in the woods! Taking place at the former location of Camp Crystal Lake, a small group of horny camp counselors fall victim to Jason Voorhees’ psychotic mother. Despite their best efforts to reopen the camp, each one of them is murdered in an exponentially gory fashion.
» “Evil Dead” & “Evil Dead II”
Overall, these two movies are very similar. Both of them revolve around a few friends traveling to a cabin in the woods and then being attacked by mysterious demonic forces. They both feature Bruce Campbell, who is more or less playing the exact same role. The primary difference between the two movies is the tone, the first one being serious and the sequel being extremely campy. Also, in the sequel, Bruce Campbell has a chainsaw for a hand.
» “Cabin Fever”
Eli Roth’s “Cabin Fever” is the director’s homage to 80’s-style horror films. Drawing inspiration from the likes of “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” and “Evil Dead,” the film features five college graduates who rent out a cabin in the woods and then become infected with a deadly flesh-eating virus. This, of course, draws the attention of the homicidal locals, who weren’t that fond of the graduates to begin with.
Although technically not a horror movie, Lars Von Trier’s controversial film definitely shares a few key horror movie conventions. After the death of their child, Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg retreat to a cabin in the woods for some alone time. However, much to the dismay of Willem Dafoe, Charlotte Gainsbourg starts to exhibit increasingly violent sexually behavior which ultimately leads to Dafoe getting his testicles smashed by a huge wooden log. Ouch.
» “Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil”
Similar to “The Cabin In The Woods,” “Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil” takes the “cabin in the woods” idea and turns it inside out. Shown from the “demented hillbilly” perspective, Tucker and Dale are two dimwitted country boys that travel to the woods with the hopes of renovating their vacation cabin. Simultaneously, a group of preppy college kids also happen to be vacationing in the very same woods. What ensues is a hilarious sequence of misunderstandings and accidental suicides that confuse the hell out of Tucker and Dale and result in the untimely deaths of most of the college kids.
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