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Cabin in the Woods poster taunts us with meta-textuality


Cabin. Woods. Whedon. This should end well for the characters...

'The Cabin in the Woods' (2012) poster...

A refreshing counterpoint for those who complain that every movie poster looks the same, Lionsgate have released a poster for the mysterious, long-delayed The Cabin in the Woods, from Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard.

The intriguing poster for 'The Cabin in the Woods' (2012)

And it’s a floating Rubik’s Cube cabin, with woods in the background.

So either the film’s going to cleverly subvert the horror genre, or it’ll feature aliens invading in spaceships that look like badly-designed houses. Or, you know, both.

The poster debuts the brilliant tagline “You think you know the story.”  As with the main poster image, it’s simple, confident, and intriguing.

The question is, what exactly should we expect from a film directed by Fake Thomas Jefferson and produced by Numfar, and written by them both? Will we do the Dance of Reacting to Totally Unexpected Plot Twists?

Speculation is fun, even though the filmmakers seem confident that we won’t work it out before the film’s released. But what if we guess randomly, and happen to be right about some elements? Does that count? Just in case, here goes: Elephants! Conversation! Metaphors! Trifle!

Maybe they’re stuck in a house and not allowed to leave until they finish a certain number of really difficult Rubik’s Cubes? Fran Kranz as a man gradually driven mad by increasingly difficult Rubik’s Cube challenges?

Maybe the horror is that the characters will be trapped in a cabin and subjected to continual spoilers—but probably not even Joss Whedon would do that to his characters…

There’s no mention of the awesome Amy Acker (Angel, Dollhouse, the upcoming Much Ado About Nothing) in the press release or on the poster. So this probably either means that she’s hardly in the film, or that her character turns out to have a pivotal and awesome role. Or, you know, they just didn’t have space to list everybody or something.

There are rumours that the trailer will be released on Monday. Of course, in case they decide to release it on Tuesday instead just to mess with our minds. Monday would come and go, and the fans would freak out. The fandom’s in trouble; must be Tuesday… And then they’d release the trailer, and all would be right with the world. Until the point where they kill off all the main characters…IN THE TRAILER. (“Ooops, that was supposed to be the tearful closing montage… For I am Trailer Editor, King of cretins. May all lesser cretins bow before me.”) (And then there'd be another clever flourish that says, “Did you really think it was going to be that simple? Of course not; we know absolutely what we’re doing. But to find out, you’re going to have to watch the movie.”)

With The Avengers, The Cabin in the Woods, Much Ado About Nothing, possibly In Your Eyes, and possibly the web series Wastelanders, as well as continuing comic book…um, continuations of his shows, 2012 is set to be the Year of the Whedon. Unsuspecting filmgoers looking for the latest superhero blockbuster, an intriguing horror movie, or an artsy black-and-white contemporary Shakespeare adaptation are likely to stumble upon his genius.

It looks like the kind of film that, if it came out of nowhere, would have the potential to be a breakout hit: an original, smart, genre-savvy horror movie that does something new, with marketing that intriguingly teases this, to boot.

In fact, The Cabin in the Woods is not even the most exciting upcoming movie from either Joss Whedon or Drew Goddard. The former has The Avengers coming out, which will be even better because it’ll be the best movie ever, and the latter is writing Robopocalypse for Steven Spielberg, which will be better because the title is made of awesome.

How will Joss Whedon surprise fans who are familiar with his expectation-subverting ways? Will he subvert expectations by playing to expectations? (Or play to expectations by subverting expectations?) Maybe a cute, witty, hilarious, loveable guy and girl will meet, they’ll fall in love, and NEITHER OF THEM WILL DIE. Also, they won’t suffer any heartbreak, physical injury, or insanity, and after the monster/bad guy/threat has been conclusively vanquished, the movie will end with their wedding, attended by all their (perfectly alive, happy, and physically and mentally intact) friends and family, and there’ll be happiness and safety and laughter and everything. And cake.

The Cabin in the Woods is finally released on April 13, 2012.

Ain't It Cool News spoke to Whedon and Goddard about the poster briefly, but beware of possible (vague) spoilers.

See also:

Joss Whedon's The Cabin in the Woods review (spoiler-free)

Schrodinger's Spoilers: How the Cabin in the Woods trailer redefines spoilers, but spoils nothing

Joss Whedon will follow The Avengers with Wastelanders, "a dark piece" with no singing

Tucker & Dale, The Tunnel lead Telluride Horror Show selections


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