Go see Cabin in the Woods right now! *No more spoiler tags! You've had weeks! Discuss openly!

nel e nel wrote:
SocialChameleon wrote:
nel e nel wrote:

Saw this yesterday with the wife and a couple of our friends. Question:

Spoiler:

does anyone know what movie/legend those strange folks with the ceramic doll masks wearing suits are from? That one stumped us

Such a great love letter to the horror genre.

Spoiler:

They're from The Strangers, I think.

I think Whedon and Goddard have just created a new drinking game.

O_o I love that idea. The internet needs to make that happen.

As for the Spoiler question:

Spoiler:

SocialChameleon's got the right of it -- definitely giving off a The Strangers vibe, and the key moment was in one of the video screens behind Bradley Whitford and Richard Jenkins while they were watching chaos unfold in the facility. In the far left of the frame was a crazy serial-killer with a clown face, I think, with his fugly mug right in the security camera, and right in the middle of the frame the Baby Face Family had a group of people tied up, and it was giving off a very Strangers/Funny Games vibe. I think they were definitely referencing that brand of torture-without-rationale horror, with the creepy-ass-mask thing from The Strangers. I'm sure there's a couple of other layers to it, but my horror knowledge isn't as wide nor as deep as Whedon & Goddard's.

Tomorrow's previous plans fell through, so I recoordinated stuff with my friend and will now be seeing it tomorrow afternoon at AMC River East here in Chicago. Can't wait. All the buzz is one thing, but all the Goodjers freaking out about it suggests it'll really be worth my while, or else!

Just back from it and thought it was a lot of fun. Two big thoughts right now:

-I'm really eager for the home release for freeze-framing quite a lot of moments and figuring out...well, what's from what. Did a little bit of it in the theater and on the CTA ride back from downtown, but there's a lot of detail to pick through.

-I'm kinda puzzled on how to sell people on this movie without spoiling it. Considering what it does, a lot of the first thirty minutes or so feels pretty conventional, and the bits that don't seem out of place in a jarring, superfluous way until they actually spell out what's going on. Granted, it's not insanely complex, and even without spoilers, I worked it out fast, but I was waiting for how the film's narrative was going to do it. There are people I know who'd appreciate both the story and the bigger meta-discussion about the genre, but who would probably sit there uncomfortably going "Jeez, what's with this Oliver Stone tack-on crap?!?" until the film answers some of its own questions, and that's really not going to fly for any future-dated viewing that's not in a theater.

But yeah. Tons and tons and tons of fun. Not what I'd call a masterpiece by any stretch, but for people who give a rat's ass about genre entertainment, it's a blast.

Spoiler:

Oh, and even though I saw the Merman kill coming from a mile away, the blood-fountain-out-the-back-gill was frickin' golden!

I saw the movie tonight, was hoping to get a few others to come out with me but no takers. Glad I went anyways. Fun, fun movie. A great take on the Horror Genre.

HEAVY SPOILER STAY AWAY UNLESS YOU HAVE SEEN THE MOVIE!!!

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Even though the end of the movie means the end of all mankind, I found myself thinking. Damn I'd love to see how that all pans out! So while I know there is no chance for a sequel, I still kind of want one! :)

I would be interested in prequels and a role-playing game. Humor's hard to pull off in a game though, so it might not work.

So good. And so very Joss. Made me happy; my wife's verdict is still out (she /really/ doesn't like gore, even the relatively understated gore here) but it's looking good!

Just saw this last night. Absolutely incredible. I love the sh*t out of this movie.

Part of me feels like the gore was approaching my limit. In fact, parts of it were getting close to my torture-porn tolerance (can you tell I don't see a lot of gorey flicks?).

But honestly, while I don't think it's the most amazing thing ever, it was a Hell of a lot of fun.

I think I'd try to bill it as a Dark Comedy over a horror film, though.

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That third act was amazing. I wasn't expecting them to show you all those monsters and then to unleash them all. Here I thought I was used to all of Whedon's twists because of Dollhouse being very underwhelming in that regard, but this film did it. It managed to be a parody without being obvious about it, too. So good.

ccesarano wrote:

Part of me feels like the gore was approaching my limit. In fact, parts of it were getting close to my torture-porn tolerance (can you tell I don't see a lot of gorey flicks?).

I can deal with gore, and this was relatively mild,

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but in the throes of the fakeout ending on the dock, I was genuinely bothered by the apparent chunky blood vomiting. This probably has a lot to do with the contrasting attitude of the control room, but man, that moment is the one point in the whole flick where I went, "I'm legitimately uncomfortable."

ianunderhill wrote:
ccesarano wrote:

Part of me feels like the gore was approaching my limit. In fact, parts of it were getting close to my torture-porn tolerance (can you tell I don't see a lot of gorey flicks?).

I can deal with gore, and this was relatively mild,

Spoiler:

but in the throes of the fakeout ending on the dock, I was genuinely bothered by the apparent chunky blood vomiting. This probably has a lot to do with the contrasting attitude of the control room, but man, that moment is the one point in the whole flick where I went, "I'm legitimately uncomfortable."

Spoiler:

Yeeeaaaah. I understood the humor they were going for, but I was just thinking "Dear God, just make it stop already."

I think the first scene was uncomfortable for me because they just seemed to take so long with it. I was glad they didn't really show anything, but with that bear trap and then pulling the saw out, I was genuinely uncomfortable up until the screen went black. Similarly, Topher (the stoner)'s pleas for help as he was being dragged off were half-triggering my "this is bothering me" sensors. The other half was sighing and thinking "Yep, Joss Whedon is just the sort to create a character everyone will love and then kill him off."

Which is partially why I was actually surprised he was still alive.

I think, however, on a second viewing it wouldn't be quite so cringy. Once I know where the line will be drawn at (and that Topher doesn't actually die) then I won't be so bothered.

On the whole, though, there's a reason I prefer how Ridley Scott directed Alien. It's all about the suspense, not the cringy moments or the gore.

Spoiler:

I was under the impression that she got a significant shot to the stomach and was just vomiting straight up. I didn't see it as vomiting blood. Also, gore should be taken in context. If you are comparing genres then gore is just gore. Once you are within the context, you must compare your content with others. As far as that goes, sure there was lots of blood, but the actual bloodletting was relatively low key. Jason squashed a man's head into the size of a walnut. Michael Meyers shoved a syringe into a nurse's eye. Hostel exists. Cabin in the Woods was middle of the road IMHO. But I am a veteran of the horror genre.

One scene that got me was

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Where the evil doctors are on the loose and are "operating" on this guy. He's only partly anaesthetized, and he says "Doctor... Doctor, please stop cutting..." Hit me later that night while I was trying to sleep.

I'm in Grenn's camp on this one. As far as the genre (and various sub-genres) go, this was fairly middle of the road, gore wise. I actually found some of it quite inventive

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I mean, when was the last time you saw a bear trap on a chain?

. I think the hammer scene in Old Boy was more cringe inducing than most of the stuff here.

But that's coming from a 'seasoned veteran' who is able to eat a bowl of spaghetti while watching any of the Saw movies.

Was it more or less cringe inducing than Audition? That's about as far as I go.

Grenn wrote:
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I was under the impression that she got a significant shot to the stomach and was just vomiting straight up. I didn't see it as vomiting blood. Also, gore should be taken in context. If you are comparing genres then gore is just gore. Once you are within the context, you must compare your content with others. As far as that goes, sure there was lots of blood, but the actual bloodletting was relatively low key.

Spoiler:

I think you're mistaking a comment for a complaint. Aside from the literally blood-soaked corridors at the end of the film, which is copious, I agree: this movie's pretty mild in the way of graphic violence. I was just calling it out as the one moment in the whole film that made me go "goddamn, that's horrible!", which is something I don't readily do, despite the fact that I've watched a lot of gorey movies from about age ten upwards. The fact that it's so dark doesn't make it clear what's coming out of her mouth at all, and in the "well, this is where the last one dies" moment you're put in on the initial viewing, it feels likely. The jubilation in the control room contrasts with what's happening on the monitor and makes what's happening weightier. This is almost certainly deliberate, especially if you're buying into the "meta-commentary on crowd-pleasing by-the-number horror flicks" aspect of the film - this is just like that guy at the back of the theater going "YEAH!" or whatever when so-and-so bites it in specatacular fashion.

The wife and I absolutely loved it!

Spoiler:

Did anyone really believe Topher would die that soon in the movie? I mean the trailers sort of gave that away when they showed clips of him and the virgin being the only ones left at a seemingly (more obvious to me that it was right before the climax) later scene.

The other thing that the movie got me thinking about was the archetypes. Now I am definitely stretching this out into philosophical land here as there was not much more than subtle hints in the movie. But I started thinking about what do the archetypes represent in a hunter and prey scenario.

The whore leads you to think one thing but as a threat to the hunter, she is something much more powerful. The whore doesn't represent promiscuity, she represents a liberated woman. She is self assured and not allowing herself to be oppressed by society's "norms". Her weakness is that she is often outcast because of others superficial judgement.

The athlete is obviously able to resist physical harm easily. He is also a threat physically to the hunter. And thus his weakness is that not all of the threats/traps are physical.

The scholar represents logic and intelligence. He will be resourceful with making his simple surroundings into defenses and other items key to survival. His logic will help with puzzle solving. And so, his weakness is the illogical nature of the whole conflict. He may try to over-complicate the intentions of the hunter.

The fool is the one who figures everything out. He is the tragic one who, if listened to, would prevent most or all of the tragedy. The problem is, he is never realized by an archetype until they are about to die. Usually he is the one that wakes up the virgin to the reality of the situation with his dying words. Another of his failings is that he always runs away from confrontation. This helps him last longer but the hunter always catches up, no matter how slow he runs or how clever you are at hiding.

The virgin represents innocence. Of course her's is the story arc in which she must lose her innocence to become the combination of the other archetypes. She must:

Find the whore's inner strength
Deal with physical pain and hit back like an athlete
Be as resourceful as the scholar, but understand the illogical or don't over-complicate things
Heed the words of the fool, and know when to run but know that you can't run forever

Saw this a few nights ago and thoroughly enjoyed it, which is saying something as I'm not a horror-movie person, and have near zero tolerance for torture-porn in movies. There was one major improvement to the movie I would have made though:

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How did Joss Whedon not cast Nathan Fillion as the Pinhead ripoff guy with the sawblades in his head? That would have been hysterical, and a great nod to Firefly/Dr. Horrible fans!

On the argument of gore, it's all a matter of what you're used to. I compared Alien, and I must also compare The Thing. Gore is handled differently in those films. Ridley Scott's style in particular is to give you a quick glimpse and move away, and usually in a rather intense scene to begin with. It builds up to the suspense of "Is this guy going to bite it?", gives you a quick shot that, yes, this person dies, and then moves on.

The Thing is an extremely gory movie (though I'm still not sure how to rank it: I don't find it gross because none of it is real, but I've known people that just can't sit through it). However, it doesn't really do a lot in terms of "torture porn", so to speak. Most of the long, drawn out gross stuff is the alien itself. You rarely see someone die on screen. There are two major characters I can think of that do. One who gets his arms bitten off, arguably the most cringe-worthy scene in the movie, and when Windows gets...eaten? It's such an absurd scene, however, that you can practically imagine yackety-sax playing the whole time.

The closest sort of gore moment you have in The Thing to what's in this film is the doctor, but it's yet another quick moment. You don't expect it to happen, and before you can recover it's over and everyone's moving on.

I'll put the following in spoilers, just in case. I'm not going to discuss story points in this spoiler block, though, in case you still want to read:

Spoiler:

The Cabin in the Woods felt more like what I'd call inspiration from traditional slasher horror, which in a lot of ways has pretty much crossed my threshold. The camera is focusing on these people that are screaming in pain, bleeding, and simply making you wonder when it's going to stop.

I can understand why certain directors want to do that. Part of the point of horror is to make the audience uncomfortable, and in some films it's even basically pointing out how sick the audience is for not turning their eyes away. But I feel like most of the time it is fetishized, as if human life is completely disregarded. It's the one time where I really buy some of those "desensitization" arguments in a film.

Okay, now I AM going to discuss story points.

Spoiler:

The first death, the whore, for example. They show you the saw blades up close, let you know what's going to happen, but it seems to just take forever in order to get there. Fortunately all you got was some blood splatter from behind, and if I recall a lot of it was silhouetted as well. A quick shot, then blackness. It was ALMOST Ridley Scott's style, only there was all that f*cked up sh*t leading up to it.

The same goes for the Unicorn. It was funny, and I laughed when you heard a majestic choir sing out every time the horn stabbed the guy, but part of me was thinking "Did we NEED that?" I mean, the audience got the point as they saw the Unicorn running towards the guy. Did we need to see him die?

But, this is spoken from someone that did NOT grow up with this stuff. I haven't seen Friday the 13th, I haven't seen Nightmare on Elm Street (though I saw that first death in the beginning where the girl is getting dragged all over her room), and I'm more curious about Halloween because the film is by John Carpenter.

The first "gory" film I saw was Jurassic Park when I was 7, and I kept my eyes closed every time it looked like someone would die the first time I saw it. Most kids my age had already seen Playboys and Total Recall by that point. So to a lot of folks used to horror films, well, yeah, Cabin in the Woods is VERY mild. But to people that AREN'T, it could cut close to the line of uncomfortable.

For the record: yes, I've seen the first three Saw movies. The only interesting one was the first. I liked it, but I won't buy it (and even that is technically mild compared to some of the horrible stuff out there).

Coldstream wrote:
Spoiler:

How did Joss Whedon not cast Nathan Fillion as the Pinhead ripoff guy with the sawblades in his head? That would have been hysterical, and a great nod to Firefly/Dr. Horrible fans!

Spoiler:

There's always availability/money issues at play in casting, but beyond that, I don't see what Firefly or Dr. Horrible have to do with a film that plays on horror tropes. Joss Whedon gets enough flack already without making references to his own work where it isnt appropriate or particularly meaningful. Furthermore, presenting an obvious analogue of a well-known copyrighted character changes from "Oh, that's supposed to be like Pinhead, I get it" to "Wink wink casting?" and is distracting. I'm happy it wasn't done.

Complaining about sex in Game of Thrones and gore in a movie based on slasher films. Ya'll confuse me sometimes lol. That's like complaining about a Pauly Shore movie being bad.

I can appreciate that people have difference experiences growing up but honestly, what did you expect?

My wife and I just came back from the movie and we really enjoyed it. Very much a "fun" movie. I wouldn't even call it a satire or a parody so much as "meta horror". It definitely had some funny parts though and my wife and I found ourselves laughing at a lot of points where the rest of the mid-sized audience was rather quiet. The last line of the movie being one example. Just cracked me up but based on audience reaction I'm not sure how many of them were in on the joke.

I'm glad to see this come out for Joss Whedon and I hope it will give him some momentum going into the Avengers. If this and the Avengers both do well it should open up more opportunities for him. My wife is the huge Joss Whedon fan, I thought his stuff ranged from okay to awesome but was rather hit or miss. If he keeps putting stuff like this and Firefly out though he'll find a special place in my heart.

TheArtOfScience wrote:

Complaining about sex in Game of Thrones and gore in a movie based on slasher films. Ya'll confuse me sometimes lol. That's like complaining about a Pauly Shore movie being bad.

I can appreciate that people have difference experiences growing up but honestly, what did you expect?

My wife and I just came back from the movie and we really enjoyed it. Very much a "fun" movie. I wouldn't even call it a satire or a parody so much as "meta horror". It definitely had some funny parts though and my wife and I found ourselves laughing at a lot of points where the rest of the mid-sized audience was rather quiet. The last line of the movie being one example. Just cracked me up but based on audience reaction I'm not sure how many of them were in on the joke.

I'm glad to see this come out for Joss Whedon and I hope it will give him some momentum going into the Avengers. If this and the Avengers both do well it should open up more opportunities for him. My wife is the huge Joss Whedon fan, I thought his stuff ranged from okay to awesome but was rather hit or miss. If he keeps putting stuff like this and Firefly out though he'll find a special place in my heart.

I haven't seen it yet and am not complaining. I just want to know what level of gore there is so I can make an informed decision about whether this is the movie for me.

Paleocon wrote:

I haven't seen it yet and am not complaining. I just want to know what level of gore there is so I can make an informed decision about whether this is the movie for me.

That wasn't a response to a specific post just a generalization. Wasn't intended as snarky.

Gore level is kind of hard to explain. It's bloody as hell but the movie on the whole is cartoonish. The violence isn't visceral and the gore is more camp than actually disquieting. To me and the wife, at least.

Paleocon wrote:

I haven't seen it yet and am not complaining. I just want to know what level of gore there is so I can make an informed decision about whether this is the movie for me.

It's hard to explain without spoiling it. The following contains a description of the kinds of gore in the movie and does not talk about plot points or who dies and how:

Spoiler:

There's cutting of the laceration and stabbing variety. There's a decapitation that isn't explicitly depicted but you see right before and right after. There's some gun violence later in the movie. There are also walls literally covered in blood and some instances where blood is sprayed all over the place, and while this gives the elevators at the Overlook Hotel a run for their money, it's not so much in the "get ready to be disgusted!" vein as it is "look! it's gallons of blood! it's ridiculous!". What's happening at this point in the film factors into that tremendously - I don't want to give it away, but I don't think it's a stretch to say that the context for the scenes I'm specifically thinking of dampens the impact of it like crazy.

Oh, and there are some severed limbs.There's nothing where we see organs pulled out or tendons ripping or anything like that.

To put it another way: ever see Robocop? In a measure-of-impact sort of way, I'd say this isn't even as gorey as Robocop. The violence here generally doesn't seem to have a lot of deliberate weight/squirm factor worked into it.

EDIT: On the other hand, if you've avoided or haven't seen many gorey films, the question to ask yourself going into this is, "How well do I understand tropes, archetypes, and cliches in horror movies?" Most of what it's playing off of is stuff from the past three decades and have a tendency to be comparatively much worse than this in the way of graphic content. It's possible that you might not enjoy the movie because the ideas it plays with might not be meaningful to you, while the actual depictions of violence may be below your threshhold.

ianunderhill wrote:
Paleocon wrote:

I haven't seen it yet and am not complaining. I just want to know what level of gore there is so I can make an informed decision about whether this is the movie for me.

It's hard to explain without spoiling it. The following contains a description of the kinds of gore in the movie and does not talk about plot points or who dies and how:

Spoiler:

There's cutting of the laceration and stabbing variety. There's a decapitation that isn't explicitly depicted but you see right before and right after. There's some gun violence later in the movie. There are also walls literally covered in blood and some instances where blood is sprayed all over the place, and while this gives the elevators at the Overlook Hotel a run for their money, it's not so much in the "get ready to be disgusted!" vein as it is "look! it's gallons of blood! it's ridiculous!". What's happening at this point in the film factors into that tremendously - I don't want to give it away, but I don't think it's a stretch to say that the context for the scenes I'm specifically thinking of dampens the impact of it like crazy.

Oh, and there are some severed limbs.There's nothing where we see organs pulled out or tendons ripping or anything like that.

To put it another way: ever see Robocop? In a measure-of-impact sort of way, I'd say this isn't even as gorey as Robocop. The violence here generally doesn't seem to have a lot of deliberate weight/squirm factor worked into it.

EDIT: On the other hand, if you've avoided or haven't seen many gorey films, the question to ask yourself going into this is, "How well do I understand tropes, archetypes, and cliches in horror movies?" Most of what it's playing off of is stuff from the past three decades and have a tendency to be comparatively much worse than this in the way of graphic content. It's possible that you might not enjoy the movie because the ideas it plays with might not be meaningful to you, while the actual depictions of violence may be below your threshhold.

Cool.

I'm trying to figure out if this is one of those movies like Tucker and Dale vs. Evil that plays on a lot of horror movie tropes that let the audience in on jokes, but those without those insights can still enjoy.

Paleocon wrote:

Cool.

I'm trying to figure out if this is one of those movies like Tucker and Dale vs. Evil that plays on a lot of horror movie tropes that let the audience in on jokes, but those without those insights can still enjoy.

I would say the two movies are quite comparable. Cabin requires more familiarity with genre tropes to get the most out of it though. Tucker and Dale leaned more towards slapstick comedy whereas Cabin is more of a high-concept horror movie with witty dialogue.

It's not so much complaining, just noting a preference in an effort to give others who may not normally dig horror a chance for it.

I've seen a few horror films, sure, and I think if you've seen any Evil Dead then you'll still be able to enjoy the wink and nods, but for those that haven't grown up on it, we may not see the content in this film as mild. We may see it as rather intense.

I mean, it's one thing to hear a movie is great. It's another to be told that the movie is so awesomely bloody and you have to go see it when you usually don't go into that thing. There's good odds that a portion of this film's target audience love blood and gore, and thus can't really give as accurate a testimony to someone who says "I'm not usually into gore, is it tolerable?".

Paleocon wrote:
ianunderhill wrote:
Paleocon wrote:

I haven't seen it yet and am not complaining. I just want to know what level of gore there is so I can make an informed decision about whether this is the movie for me.

It's hard to explain without spoiling it. The following contains a description of the kinds of gore in the movie and does not talk about plot points or who dies and how:

Spoiler:

There's cutting of the laceration and stabbing variety. There's a decapitation that isn't explicitly depicted but you see right before and right after. There's some gun violence later in the movie. There are also walls literally covered in blood and some instances where blood is sprayed all over the place, and while this gives the elevators at the Overlook Hotel a run for their money, it's not so much in the "get ready to be disgusted!" vein as it is "look! it's gallons of blood! it's ridiculous!". What's happening at this point in the film factors into that tremendously - I don't want to give it away, but I don't think it's a stretch to say that the context for the scenes I'm specifically thinking of dampens the impact of it like crazy.

Oh, and there are some severed limbs.There's nothing where we see organs pulled out or tendons ripping or anything like that.

To put it another way: ever see Robocop? In a measure-of-impact sort of way, I'd say this isn't even as gorey as Robocop. The violence here generally doesn't seem to have a lot of deliberate weight/squirm factor worked into it.

EDIT: On the other hand, if you've avoided or haven't seen many gorey films, the question to ask yourself going into this is, "How well do I understand tropes, archetypes, and cliches in horror movies?" Most of what it's playing off of is stuff from the past three decades and have a tendency to be comparatively much worse than this in the way of graphic content. It's possible that you might not enjoy the movie because the ideas it plays with might not be meaningful to you, while the actual depictions of violence may be below your threshhold.

Cool.

I'm trying to figure out if this is one of those movies like Tucker and Dale vs. Evil that plays on a lot of horror movie tropes that let the audience in on jokes, but those without those insights can still enjoy.

I don't think it's anymore gory than Tucker and Dale. I think it's actually more of a horror movie though. Although they're combined beautifully, they keep the scary parts scary and the funny parts funny. There's some painful parts, but I think you can handle it.

ccesarano wrote:

It's another to be told that the movie is so awesomely bloody and you have to go see it when you usually don't go into that thing. There's good odds that a portion of this film's target audience love blood and gore, and thus can't really give as accurate a testimony to someone who says "I'm not usually into gore, is it tolerable?".

That's why I've tried to be very clear about my take on it. I don't really love blood and gore, but I'm desensitized to it by way of having grown up around a bunch of people who swapped dupes of whatever crap their marginally less poor cousins etc. could snag off pay cable (see: Big Trouble in Little China and Hellraiser on the same VHS cassette, because!). Suffice to say I've seen a lot of stuff that leans on it. This doesn't lean on it, but it's about some movies that often do. There are other things about how those movies are structured and shot and made that are at stake in this, too. That's why I raise the question of, "Is there anything in this for everyone?" I don't think there is, and there are plenty of people I know that I'm not reccomending it to simply because I think they'd either be repulsed or bored. If it helps to clarify, the latter category includes acquaintances who have a useful level of exposure to the "source materials" but lack the sort of pop-cultural literacy to be engaged by it in a way they'd enjoy.

And yes, I said "pop-cultural literacy". Entertaining as Cabin may be, The Third Man it ain't. This is niche stuff, though arguably, it's for a pretty big niche.

Bottom line: if you got through Sean of the Dead without any issues, this is slightly more gory than that with a little more lingering in terms of shots, which may up the ick factor somewhat.

Paleocon wrote:

Was it more or less cringe inducing than Audition? That's about as far as I go.

Cabin in the Woods never comes anywhere near horror of the kirikirikirikirikirirkiri scene. It's gorier, but doesn't have nearly the same emotional impact.