Autumn has fallen and it’s time once more to celebrate the primal, compulsive instinct of fear. Rainestorm finishes its horror trilogy and goes to the well one last time to highlight 31 days of spooky scares that season the eerie atmosphere of Halloween.
Hex cast: 2012
The charm: Genre deconstruction has become quite chic in the years following Wes Craven’s reflexive horror classic, Scream. It gave a boost to the horror genre, which was then immediately slogged with cheap spoofs, high-profile remakes and at least two new sub-genres: found footage and the unfortunate and aptly-named torture porn. With the flurry of sequels that inevitably followed every successful film, the general consensus was that the creativity well had run dry.
Enter Hollywood’s current golden boy, Joss Whedon. He and fellow writer Drew Goddard responded to this draught with a twist that explodes the horror genre in its entirety. Here we learn not only the origin of literally every horror film and horror story imaginable, but we get to see why they play such a pivotal role in every culture. Written with Whedon’s usual sometime wit and Goddard’s capable directing, The Cabin in the Woods is the anti-horror movie, an antidote to the high ratio of dreck that has sadly thinned the genre’s blood.
Focal point: The realization that stoner Marty’s marijuana habit makes him the most lucid member of the group.
Entrancing trivia: Immediately after an early preview screening with fan Q&A, the first question Director Drew Goddard was asked was, “Will there be a sequel?” To which he responded, “Have you seen the ending to my movie?”
Speak the words: “Ok, I’m drawing a line in the fucking sand. Do NOT read the Latin!”
Companion spell: Waxwork (1988). Creepy baddie David Warner collects the souls of a group of teenagers in what may be the first self-referencing meta horror film.
Cursed by: Heavy on homage and humor, The Cabin in the Woods is surprisingly short on scares.