[caption id="attachment_172235" align="alignleft" width="300"] FilmDistrict[/caption]
Guys, it's not like if you decide to stay in a cabin in a secluded area of the woods — oftentimes with three or four of your attractive friends — that you're all going to be killed one by one by demonic creatures/flesh-eating viruses/other people.
It's that you probably will. There's a difference.
It's true: We've been conditioned to be averse to staying in cabins for any length of time. We can't help it. Hollywood has just presented us with too many reasons to stay the hell away from cabins.
Here are ten.
1. A Hermit Might Infect You With a Flesh-Eating Virus, Like in 'Cabin Fever' (2002)
Ah, those damn hermits that hang out near isolated cabins in the woods when you and your friends are just trying to have a fun spring break. One minute you're secretly and accidentally shooting them with a rifle, and the next minute they give you and all of your friends an unstoppable flesh-eating disease. Not cool, hermits, though you guys still make great cookies. Indeed, in Eli Roth's directorial debut, it isn't a masked crazy dude with a knife or murderous demons from space that are haunting the attractive co-eds stuck in a cabin in the woods — it's biology. Talk about a good reason to perk up in survey of bio class: You might be trying to f**k Rider Strong when you need to know about it most.
2. Some, Um, Really Messed up S**t Might Happen to You, Like in 'Antichrist' (2009)
Wikipedia describes Lars Von Trier's "Antichrist" as an "art film," which is kind of like describing Paul Verhoeven's "Showgirls" as a "Vegas movie." It's not that it's incorrect, necessarily, it just might not be telling the entire story. And in the case of "Antichrist" (and in Wikipedia's defense), it's kind of hard to tell the entire story without vomiting on your keyboard, so we'll go with some fun, fit-for-the-whole-family bullet points: crushed testicles; whole pineapples in vaginas; blood ejaculation. I only made one of those up. Don't ever change, Lars, you sick son of a bitch.
3. A Psycho Might Be Living There With a Chainsaw, Like in 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre' (1974)
Okay, so technically the "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" house isn't a "cabin" necessarily, because it's in the middle of nowhere instead of in the middle of the woods. But what are you going to do, chainsaw me to death for its inclusion on this list? (Laughs to himself, high-fives the three closest people near him.) It's pretty much a cabin, so let's continue. You know the story by now: Some kids are chainsawed by a guy in a mask named Leatherface in a
house cabin house cabin in Tobe Hooper's cheaply-produced moneymaking cult classic, and if only it hadn't spawned 7,918 remakes and sequels, we'd be all the better for it. The entire movie is embedded above if you happen to have an hour and a half to spare watching an embedded YouTube video.
4. You Might Be Hunted By an 18th Century Witch, Like in 'The Blair Witch Project' (1999)
You can thank "The Blair Witch Project" for sparking the "found footage" genre of movies, though only "Blair Witch" itself really actually convinced people (somehow) that the movie was actually based on grainy footage found in the woods of Maryland, because people were stupid in 1999, I guess. The above scene is the merciful ending scene of the film, where the main characters walk into a cabin and scream a bunch of times before the camera ultimately drops to the ground, meant to symbolize that the camera holder is now a dead person. I dare you to watch it and not think of this.
5. John Turturro Might Accuse You of Plagiarism, Like in 'Secret Window' (2004)
Yep, even if you're not stabbed, or shot, or consumed by a flesh-eating virus, or an invisible ghost, cabins can still at least indirectly cause the end of your career. Witness "Secret Window," where writer Johnny Depp's neighbor John Turturro accuses him of plagiarism. And even if it's only, "Hey, I wrote that before you did!" as opposed to anything murderous (at least SPOILER ALERT to start out), Turturro makes for an excellent casting choice just because of how well he always plays a creepshow. Great job, John. Keep creeping us out.
6. You Might End Up (Ahem) Spitting on Someone's Grave, Like in 'I Spit On Your Grave' (1978)
Lots of really, really bad things happen to the woman that rents a cabin to write a book in "I Spit On Your Grave," things that are bad enough that she would be willing — nay, eager — to spit saliva on the graves of the people that did those things to her. Oh, and also, she put said people in those graves. Yep, ISOYG is a real charmer. (How much less threatening would this movie be if it was called ISOYG, by the way? ISOYG sounds like a little girl's pet lizard in a Disney movie, and it might very well be.)
7. You Might Accidentally Release Evil Demons That Kill Your Friends, Like in 'The Evil Dead' (1981)
Sam Raimi's original "The Evil Dead" is often hailed as a classic, and rightfully so, largely. But for the purposes of this list, "The Evil Dead" is without a doubt the most "WHY THE HELL ARE YOU DOING THAT, EXACTLY?" movie amongst these ten. For one, why the hell are you spending your spring break in an isolated cabin in Tennessee? Why the hell are you even bothering to open a Book of the Dead? Why the hell are you even inviting Bruce Campbell's character to spend recreational time with you?Anyway, yeah, don't do any of those things.
8. Nazi Zombies Might Attack You, Like in 'Dead Snow' (2009)
"Dead Snow" would initially appear to have a ridiculous premise — Nazi zombies attack seven attractive Norwegian students in a cabin — but is it really that silly? Why wouldn't you add Nazis to the "Let's kill a bunch of 20-year-olds in a cabin" movie? It's like adding water to a can of Campbell's soup circa 1996. (For best results, just add Nazis.) And even if the characters who are getting killed by these Nazi zombies suck as people, it's not like you can root against them, because who are you going to root for, the Nazis? "No, I'd root for the end of the movie." Touche, reader.
9. A Guy in a Hockey Mask Might Kill You and Your Buds, Like in 'Friday the 13th' (1980)
There's a hidden moral to the story of Jason Voorhees killing a bunch of would-be camp counselors in the original 1980 version of "Friday the 13th," a moral that transcends generations, a moral that could very well have been written by Socrates for how universal its message is, and it's this: Don't reopen a camp if people were murdered there 20 years ago and a large percentage of everyone you talk to about it says, "Hey, don't open that camp or you're all going to die." The fun times had by you and the kids probably won't be worth it. Thanks, "Friday the 13th."
10. People Might Be Controlling You For a Weird Social Experiment, Like in 'The Cabin in the Woods' (2012)
For the movie that simultaneously pays tribute to and satirizes the endless "cabin in the woods" movies, it probably didn't take co-writers Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard very long to come up with the name "The Cabin in the Woods" because the movie is about a cabin in the woods. Ironically, unless you're walking into a cabin with a conspiracy theorist crazy person, the scenario depicted in the movie is probably the most far-fetched of the ten to actually happen to you in real life. Still, I know people who have paid Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford to watch them showering and that wasn't even for a movie, so it's not that unrealistic.