Archive for April, 2012

You’ve seen and heard it happen. Maybe you’ve even been part of it yourself. It’s that moment at the end of the trailer for G.I. Joe: Retaliation, when we get the big reveal of Bruce F’n Willis, and the whole audience goes absolutely ape-shit. And why not? It’s really freaking cool to see Bruce Willis, right? And in a G.I. Joe movie? This is awesome!

Except, today it finally occurred to me – is it really? For that matter, why are we still excited about Bruce Willis at all anymore?

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Horror needed The Cabin in the Woods.

I don’t necessarily mean it needed another self-reflective, meta, deconstructive look at the genre and its various cliches. One of those every few years is just fine, thank you. But what it did need was a slap-in-the-face reminder of just how good, original and powerful the genre can be, particularly at the theatrical level. Sure, there have been decent enough horror films over the last few years, but when was the last game-changer? The last film with this sort of word of mouth? The last “knocks you right out of your seat, you can’t believe how great it is” masterpiece? I know some will point to Paranormal Activity, but that was just a more popular and better-received version of a sub-genre already going at the time, and all it really did was unleash a wave of predictable sequels and wannabes. The Cabin in the Woods is something else entirely. This is Next Level film-making.

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