Movie Discussion: Drew Goddard’s The Cabin in the Woods (2012)

  • Monthly Theme: Giant Monsterscabin_in_the_woods_ver4_xlg
  • The Film: The Cabin in the Woods
  • Country of origin: U.S.A
  • Date of U.S. release: April 13, 2012
  • Studio: Lionsgate & Mutant Enemy
  • Distributer: Lionsgate
  • Domestic Gross: $42 million
  • Budget: $30 million (estimated)
  • Director: Drew Goddard
  • Producers: Joss Whedon, et al.
  • Screenwriters: Drew Goddard & Joss Whedon
  • Adaptation? No.
  • Cinematographer: Peter Deming
  • Make-Up/FX: David LeRoy Anderson, et al.
  • Music: David Julyan
  • Part of a series? No.
  • Remakes? No.
  • Genre Icons in the cast? No.
  • Other notables?: Yes. Hollywood stars Sigourney Weaver and Chris Hemsworth. Whedon regulars Fran Kranz and Amy Acker. Character actors Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford.
  • Awards?: Best Horror Film at the 2013 Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films. 4 awards at the 2013 Fangoria Chainsaw Awards. The Vincent Koehler Award at the 2013 Kansas City Film Critics Circle Awards.
  • Tagline: “You think you know the story.”
  • The Lowdown: It is difficult to even synopsize The Cabin in the Woods because the plot of the movie relies so much on twists and turns… so please be forewarned that there will be massive SPOILERS AHEAD!!! If you haven’t gone to see this movie yet, rush to your local theater to see it, then come back and read our discussion. The film was directed by Drew Goddard (the writer of Cloverfield, who also wrote for Buffy and Angel, as well as Alias and Lost), who also co-wrote the script with Joss Whedon (the brains behind the tv shows Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Dollhouse and Firefly). Two separate plot threads converge as the movie progresses: in one, a group of scientists gather in an underground laboratory to prepare for an unspecified experiment; meanwhile a group of college kids (consisting of Thor‘s Chris Hemsworth, Grey’s Anatomy‘s Jesse Williams, Dollhouse‘s Fran Kranz, as well as relative unknowns Kristen Connolly and Anna Hutchison) take off on a trip to spend the weekend at a relative’s remote cabin. We eventually learn that the five students are part of a ritual sacrifice overseen by the scientists, in which they are murdered by a monster of their own choosing in order to appease ancient, pre-Christian gods and prevent them from awakening to destroy the world. Two of the students survive and fight their way into the underground complex, where things take an unexpected turn toward the apocalyptic.

If you haven’t seen The Cabin in the Woods our discussion will include massive SPOILERS. 

Kristine: So it’s my dad’s birthday and he is going to see The Cabin in the Woods for his birthday present. Happy birthday Dad.

Sean: With who?

Kristine: My mom.

Sean: Wow.

Kristine: Yep. My mother is going as a birthday sacrifice.

Sean: Did she check with you to see if she could handle the movie?

Kristine: No.

Sean: Hmmm. I bet she read reviews. I bet she researched before agreeing.

Kristine: Probs.

Sean: Well, the first thing I want to ask is: Have you ever seen a Joss Whedon property before? He’s the co-writer and producer of this movie.

Kristine: I don’t think so. He = Buffy the Vampire Slayer, right? I shunned all that. Though a lot of people with decent taste like it, but also a lot of people with atrocious taste also like it. And fyi, this exists. They’re putting out a book, The Official Visual Companion to The Cabin in the Woods that decodes all the little clues in the movie, like the whiteboard and all the objects in the cellar. But doesn’t it seem like they’re jumping the gun on that? I thought this is what the fanboy/supernerd culture was supposed to do for itself. But the Whedon Machine is cranking it out for them, which seems kind of Daddyish if you ask me. It’s robbing someone somewhere of the pleasure of taking a pirated screen shot of the whiteboard and making a website out of decoding it and letting the fans figure it all out for themselves.

Sean: Yeah, the Visual Companion seems dumb.

So, one of the people who survives the longest in this film sports the whole “long sleeved shirt under a t-shirt” look, which means we have to look at that for the whole 95 minutes and it is unfortunate.

Kristine: They’re commodifying their own nerdiness to sell the movie instead of it being organic to the reception of the movie.

Sean: Well, it is a very Dungeons and Dragons or video game culture thing to do, put out all these ancillary supplemental products. Also very comic book culture. Like strategy guides and “Who’s Who” guides and things. That stuff is all a big part of geek culture, right? I think Whedon knows his fanbase pretty well at this point.

Kristine: Yes, I believe so. Did you ever read Terry Brooks? He is a fantasy writer whose books are very convoluted with 10 million characters. I liked him in junior high, which wasmy one and only foray into fantasy.

Sean: The Sword of Shannara.

Kristine: Right.

Sean: Yeah, I never got into those but I read a ton of fantasy. For some reason, I loved it.

Kristine: Really? I never knew that.

Sean: Oh my god so much.  I had problems getting into science fiction as a young reader, honestly, but I loved fantasy. Piers Anthony’s Xanth books, Lloyd Alexander’s Prydain books, David Eddings’ Belgariad, Zelazny’s Amber series, The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, Robert Asprin’s MythAdventures, Tolkein, C.S. Lewis’ Narnia books, The Mists of Avalon, all that shit. That and horror were like the only things I read. Oh and animal books. Watership Down, James Herriott, Jim Kjelgaard, that kind of stuff.

Kristine: Um….

Sean: So, I asked about Joss Whedon because the flavor of the dialogue in The Cabin in the Woods was very Whedonesque and I was wondering if you picked up on that. Or if the dialogue even struck you as particularly stylized.

Kristine: No, it didn’t really strike me as anything because I am not familiar with him. Explain?

Sean: Just, the banter in the movie. That’s the way his characters talk.

Kristine: Especially Stoner and Virgin, right?

Sean: Oh Christ that stoner character.

Kristine: I didn’t mind Stoner.

Sean: That actor was so annoying, I thought. He’s from Dollhouse, a Joss Whedon show, and he was only slightly more tolerable there. This is a Whedon “thing” though. He latches onto actors that he likes for whatever reason, and really pushes them. Case in point: Eliza Dushku.

Kristine: I liked Stoner. I found him highly entertaining.

Sean: His hair was a monstrosity.

Kristine: I found Virgin more annoying.

Sean: Gasp.

Kristine: You heard me right, sister.

Sean: She was the only bearable one I thought. Well, besides Thor, obviously.

Kristine: Meh.

Sean: I’ll tell you my favorite part of the movie. The adorable Japanese girls all hugging and cheering when they defeat the J-horror ghost. That was the greatest thing ever.

Don't you nerds tell us what to put on our monster list!
Don’t you nerds tell us what to put on our monster list!

Kristine: Yes. And they reduce her to a harmless little froggie by like, singing jumprope songs. Amazing. And I could not avoid thinking about House for that scene also.

Sean: Oh total House except here the girls live and win. It was a very fun girl power moment, and those kids were the most adorable things I have ever seen.

Kristine: Completely agree.

Sean: My second favorite moment: when Virgin’s fight to the death with the killer was playing on all the background screens when the scientists were partying.

Kristine: That was awesome, I was just thinking of that.

Sean: I thought that was brilliant.

Kristine: Like some kind of snuff movie, right? It was very good.

Sean: But also being like, We all know how this plays out. We’ve all seen this before so we don’t need to watch it in the same way. It was a smart way to subvert and comment upon the genre, and undercut some its more tired aspects. And it made us think about watching a scene like that, and called special attention to how moments like that are framed for spectatorship. If we judge the scientists and think they’re horrible for watching that scene play out, then we’ve got to remember our own relationship to those kinds of images. But the scientists are even ignoring the scene, right? So there’s even an additional layer of jadedness and nihilism to their relationship to the images. I mean, the whole movie is really about implicating the audience, don’t you think?

Kristine: I do agree it implicates the audience. I like the screen-within-a-screen meta-ness of how that scene is set up. My other favorite part was what I am calling “The Monster Mash,” when the elevators keep dinging and opening and the creatures keep pouring out and it’s relentless and awesome. I also liked how the movie articulates what horror movie audiences are complicit in when films from the genre codify certain kinds of characters: Whore, Virgin, Black Guy.

Sean: I agree. Though might I add, my boyfriend (whom I saw this with) was particularly offended by the carved archetypal outlines from the end of the movie, the ones that fill up with blood any time someone dies. He thought they were incredibly cheesy.

Kristine: Well, what about the giant hand of the vengeful gods? I did not like that.

Sean: I loved the entire last five minutes. My only complaint with the giant god-hand was that I would have preferred like, primordial tentacles instead of a hand. Something more Lovecraftian and abject. The hand was a little bit Sony Playstation. But I loved the downer ending. I’m not quite sure how to unpack it, I will need to rewatch the movie. But I was sort of into the idea that the individual refuses to become a sacrifice for the greater good. I also like how Virgin is still humanized by the movie even though she turned on Stoner. Them sharing the joint, connecting and ushering in the end of the world together was pretty much amazing.

Kristine: Yes, I liked the laissez faire resignation of the surviving two leads. But I hated the godhand. A tentacle would have been much better.

Sean: I loved the nihilism.

Kristine: “I loved the nihilism” sounds like what a rich white lady would say at the gallery opening of a dour German painter.

Sean: Well, pass me the sauvignon blanc.

Kristine: I am drinking sauvignon blanc right now. Not a lie. I am a cliché.

Sean: So for as much as I liked the movie, there was something… off about it that I can’t quite put my finger on. I liked it, but the first hour didn’t quite work for me. It got better as it went along, and I was wondering if maybe that had to do with the scientists being introduced too early….

Kristine: Oh, I liked that they were there right from the beginning.

The movie’s centerpiece: a tense encounter with one of those Kinect dance games.

Sean: Right. I don’t know, I just felt no tension during all the cabin hijinx. Like, I didn’t feel that “horror movie” feeling of suspense and dread at all. I’ve seen worse movies that did a better job at getting that “horror movie” feeling across, even fleetingly. The only time I felt any tension at all was after all the monsters had been unleashed in the underground labs and Virgin and Stoner had to fight their way through them. And that was great, but it almost felt like too little too late.

Kristine: In terms of the scientists being part of the narrative right from the beginning, I liked that the filmmakers acknowledged their audience early and often and did not try to hoodwink them.

Sean: Yeah, I see that. I guess I felt like the scientists section of the movie was very distancing for some reason, but maybe that was the point? To create some sense of remove, of an overarching framework to the more traditional “horror” moments.

Kristine: I’ll buy that. But I do agree the movie lacks some punch. The thing I didn’t like about it was… it was not scary. But I thought the scientists (Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford) were great,

Sean: I loved Jenkins and Whitford, totally. They were wonderful. But is the movie not scary because the “redneck murder family” were just kind of lame?

Kristine: They were lame in the flesh. They were scary in the diary reading. “Husband bulge” was scary and hilarious and made me want to die. “The Black Room” sounded scary but then the actual fiends were… meh. They were zombie wrestlers.

Sean: Total zombie wrestlers. I guess I am jerk because I didn’t like the diary.

Kristine: Right?

Sean: What about the blonde making out with the wolf head?

Kristine: Weird and funny. But I have a nerd question: in the basement, Thor was playing with the puzzle orb thing (that belonged to the Pseudobite), and then Grey’s Anatomy had the ballerina (I don’t know what movie that references), and the blonde had the necklace thing – what was that associated with?

Sean: I’ll admit, I need to rewatch it in order to get all the references. They were like, whizzing by. But off the top of my head, I think the ballerina music box was a reference to The Changeling, but I can’t remember. It’s definitely popped up in a million horror movies. I think April Fool’s Day has some meaningful music box shenanigans (though there’s also a jack-in-the-box in that movie). The necklace I have no idea. And the conch shell I think was just a pure joke.

When Michael Jackson looked in the mirror, he’d see Alicia Witt.

Kristine: Thor’s throbbing orb. Do you think he is hot?

Sean: Um, yes. But not like, to die for hot. Just, common slice of beefcake hot. But I also think he’s got charisma beyond the hotness, or that enhances the hotness. I approve of him.

Kristine: He and Stockard Channing Tatum are like the same person to me: boring mutants.

Sean: Wait a second, I thought that you were obsessed with Channing now and his amazing comic performance in 21 Jump Street. Didn’t you nominate him for a Mark Twain Prize and basically call him the “comic voice of a new generation?” “A singular talent?”

Kristine: His comedic timing is impeccable. He will win an MTV astronaut for that performance. You mark my words. So have we now come to the moment where you say that I would do Stoner over Thor and you judge me for it?

Sean: I wouldn’t even have ever asked that. I would have asked, Thor or Grey’s Anatomy.

Kristine: Thor.

Sean: But Stoner…? I mean, really? Is that even on the table?

Kristine: It goes: (1) Stoner, (2) Thor, (3) Grey’s Anatomy.

Sean: I am speechless, obviously.

Jesse Williams just told her Izzie might come back on Grey’s Anatomy.

Kristine: So, was the audience at your screening rowdy?

Sean: My audience was a silent tomb. But we went to a matinee. Still, there was this huge posse of 17-to-19-year-old boy-creatures that came in and I expected a-hootin’ and a-hollerin’ but they were on their best behavior which, thank god. That particular theatre has been a place where many horror movies have been ruined by “comedians” in the audience: Paranormal Activity for one. Also the remake of Friday the 13th but that sucked so bad anyway that it didn’t matter. But when The Cabin in the Woods was over my boyfriend was like, That movie was the dumbest thing ever. He was disgusted with it. He said that he had been nervous about being scared and couldn’t believe how he’d been duped. I think he secretly wanted to be traumatized and was mad when it was all cheeky and meta.

Kristine: Is he a “Buffy boy?”

Sean: He loathes Buffy and the culture of Buffy fandom intensely. But his best friend and me both love Buffy so, I don’t get it. Part of me thinks if I made him watch it he’d grow to love it, but then I remember how obstinate he can be. But he likes Battlestar Galactica so it’s not that he’s immune to geek culture. He tends to judge things that are self-consciously cheesy.

Kristine: Well, I saw it with my boyfriend also, who is not a horror person.

Sean: What did he think?

Kristine: He was pleasantly entertained, though he also noted that it was not scary. He did wonder if someone better versed in horror movies would have gotten more out of it. I think the answer is… minimally so. I think a Whedon fan probably gets a lot more out of it than any other type.

Sean: So the merman I thought was dumb but the blood blowhole was funny.

Kristine: I could draw a scarier merman right now.

Sean: My favorite laugh moment was… My bf also cracked up at this: the unicorn.

Kristine: I liked that too.

Sean: That was the only genuine laugh the movie got from me, was the unicorn stabbing that guy.

Kristine: Really?

Sean: Yeah. The rest of it was what I call “smile and nod comedy.” Where you’re like, Oh that was clever. Smile and nod.

Kristine: I laughed at the monster mash and some of Richard Jenkins’ lines.

Sean: He is amazing. I love him. And all the monsters coming out of the elevators was fucking awesome, though I didn’t laugh I was more like “!!!!”

When Joss Whedon was on set, he would wear this wolf mask and STILL make everyone shut their eyes when they talked to him.

Kristine: It’s easy to pick apart this movie. But overall…I was entertained.

Sean: I agree.

Kristine: What do you think is more successful: this or the original Scream?

Sean: “Successful” in what way? As a genre deconstruction?

Kristine: Yes. Scream was a big deal when it came out, remember?

Sean: Um… I think this was more intellectually satisfying. But Scream was more thrilling…

Kristine: And scarier.

Sean: Scream and Scream 2 are undeniably wonderful, especially the Scream 2 sequences where (1) Dewey and Gail are being stalked through the media arts department and (2) Sidney and her friend have to sneak over the killer after the police car crash. Those are the two best sequences in all the Scream films, I think. The other sequels are meh, though each featured a delightful supporting performance: Parker Posey in Scream 3 and Hayden Panettiere in Scream 4.

Kristine: I only saw 1 and 2.

Sean: We saw Scream 2 together at an advance screening, remember?

Kristine: Yes.

Sean: Free passes. That was a lot of fun. I loved the movie.

Kristine: And I went to the bathroom and thought I was going to get stabbed in the brain through the stall door like Omar Epps.

Sean: So my last question is, Did watching this movie make you more open to the idea of watching other Joss Whedon shows or movies? Would you ever give Buffy a chance?

Kristine: No, this movie does not fill me with the desire to explore the oeuvre of Joss. But I don’t have a particular aversion to watching Buffy. It’s just very far down the list. Like, I have to catch up on Dexter and Breaking Bad and a million other shows and then, possibly, I could have time for Buffy.

Sean: Dexter is not worth catching up on. I stopped watching it. Do you know how bad a show on my “list” has to get for me to take it off the list?

Random Ryan Murphy/Brad Falchuk cameo.

Kristine: So, my last word on The Cabin in the Woods is that I have only been watching horror movies for a short while and I could have come up with better stuff to go on that whiteboard.

Sean: I love that you are all sassily dismissing the whiteboard. I feel like a million genre fans had an orgasm the minute that whiteboard appeared on the screen. But I agree that upon closer inspection, it’s not all that great. But the idea of it is great. So one more last thing for real: the mirror scene. What did you think of it?

Kristine: That was actually one of the scariest parts because it actually gave you a chance to imagine what had happened in that room.

Sean: Yes it was cool.

Kristine: It was a rare moment where the movie let the audience’s imagination take over instead of preemptively filling in the blanks to let us know that they know that we know that they know that we know. I think that making a scary movie is an act of courage and faith because so many people will say, “That didn’t scare me. I knew that was coming…”

Sean: The objectification of the male body was interesting. But him stripping when he knew about the mirror? I was like, OMG…

Kristine: I think this movie was so scared of disappointing people by not being scary that it didn’t even try and made it all a big joke instead. Which I’m fine with because I think most of the jokes worked but still… it would have been nice to be scared.

Sean: Well said. Comment on the stripping.

Kristine: I thought him stripping for her was kind of awesome and a show of trust and vulnerability that I would never do, though, fyi, not everyone doffs their shirts as soon as they enter a room.

Sean: Interesting. It is also a very Whedon moment: to turn the tables and show the woman experiencing pleasure and desire. But I was also like, Thor is in this movie and you have a sexy male stripping scene and he is not in it? Bad call, Joss.

Ratings Roundup

The Girls Rating: Nice try folks!

The Freak’s Rating: Problematic, but fun as hell.

Cabin-in-the-woods

21 thoughts on “Movie Discussion: Drew Goddard’s The Cabin in the Woods (2012)

  1. So I have to admit that I hated Buffy. Hated Angel. But kinda liked Firefly. Joss is right around the same level as McG as far as I’m concerned, but on the whole, I really liked this movie. It’s definitely structured to appeal to nerd culture with it’s Matryoshka Doll Easter Eggs. I personally thought a lot of the tension was lost because the characters we actually liked became victims. They weren’t the typical “deserving” victim we see in most cabin-in-the-woods stories, but they were forced by the puppeteers to play those roles and I think that made it hard to know how to feel about their situation. It didn’t make their situation “thriller” scary to me. There was no tantalization there. It was just real, actual horror. To be smart, but forced to play the jock? Horrifying!

    I actually liked that the god wasn’t Lovecraftian. I thought the CGI was a little lame, but I liked that the ancient old god that wanted blood sacrices, as well as wanted see the sinners punished, was in our image! Yes, I believe that god at the end was the old testament version some call God.

    The monster bash was my favorite. As soon as I realized Stoner and Virgin were going to push the red button, I giggled with Newman-like glee.

    Overall, I loved this movie and I will probably watch it again.

    1. After reading this comment, I think Shawn is correct that having the arm of “the ancient revengeful being” be humanoid was a deliberate and critical choice, not just a lazy one. A being that demands sacrifice based on moral judgement certainly does jib with certain people’s ideas of the Judeo-Christian God (i.e. http://www.godhatesfags.com/). In other words, I see the scientists as being, like, contemporary versions of Abraham sacrificing his Isaac or the residents of Sodom and Gomorrah being punished (forgive me if these allusions are off base, my biblical knowledge is extremely weak. I hope you get my gist). However, I still didn’t like it, and thought something primordial would have been cooler!

    2. I should be over being shocked when I encounter people who didn’t like Buffy, since I know it’s a “love it or hate it” kind of thing, but it still never ceases to amaze me. I also didn’t like Angel, though. However, comparing Joss Whedon TO MCG ARE YOU EFFING KIDDING ME?!? Your punishment: you will be locked in a room for 5 days trying to explain how to play chess to Eliza Dushku.

      I didn’t think the movie established the characters of the kids well enough for the contrast with how they’re “forced” to act by the puppeteers to really work. Thor recommends textbooks didn’t cut it for me. For a movie poking fun at the idea of character tropes, didn’t it need to do a bit more work undermining or lampooning them? But I did think the Thor-being-gassed joke of “let’s stick together, wait, no we should split up” was very funny, and Stoner’s “Really!?” was great. I wanted more of that.

      And to cap off this contrarian response, I am not down with the “Old Testament God” thing. Just, no. NO.

      I appreciate this movie and am glad it exists, and I hope it does well enough to get Joss more work being McG.

  2. I’ve been wrestling with how I feel about The Cabin in the Woods since seeing it last week. I’m still ambivalent, probably because I’m a huge Joss Wheldon fan and went into the theater with (too) high expectations and felt flat by the end of the show. It seems Wheldon/Goddard tried to do too much, cramming horror, sci-fi, comedy, homage, irony, geek lust, puzzles, etc into one movie. And they did an OK job for the most part. But to use a baseball metaphor, the movie hit a bunch of singles but no home runss.

    There were a lot of specific scenes and references to love. The unicorn, the Horror Hollywood Squares shot, the human-zapper electrical grid, and especially the office partying while a live slaughter was being televised were all inspired, and I’m sure I didn’t get more than one-percent of the horror geek references. I loved the bloody monster mash. But perhaps the most interesting reference/twist for me was “The Ancient Ones” or gods which had to be appeased. OK, I’m a bigger fan of Cthulhu than of JW and was waiting for the appearance of the tentacled one at the end, but Wheldon gave us a typical twist, going all anthropomorphic on us. I agree with Shawn Scarber’s comment. The Ancient One was God, or at least the Old Testament version. Still, the Big White Hand didn’t quite work for me. Imperfect CGI? Me wanting tentacles? Another (yawn) Man is the Monster rant? Who knows.

    As already mentioned, there are tons of minutia to talk about here. Geek heaven, and I’ll probably watch Cabin in the Woods again after it’s released on DVD. But in the end, I would have liked Cabin in the Woods more if Wheldon/Goddard had not aimed so high. Dave P.

    1. Dave, I am with you in being a Whedon superfan and feeling like my expectations were too high. I wonder if I hadn’t known who was involved and there was no surrounding hype, if I would have liked it more…. I am looking forward to rewatching this a year or two to see if I warm up to it with a little critical distance. I love your baseball metaphor; it’s apt. Though I might only say, I’d rather see a big, ambitious failure than something safe. Even though the movie didn’t ENTIRELY work for me, I’m impressed what they tried to do and it was a nice antidote to all the samey horror that gets cranked out every year. But when I walked out of The Descent, out of Drag Me to Hell, out of 28 Days Later, I was floored – I had expected to walk out of this with that same feeling, and it wasn’t anything even close (though the last 5 minutes did work for me).

      And also: TENTACLES.

  3. Horror Hollywood Squares! Ha ha ha! Dave, read my response to Shawn above…I agree with you on all counts regarding the Old Testament God imagry.

    1. Who would host Horror Hollywood Squares? Rick Santorum? Elvira? Charles Manson? Maybe an unknown person with a grotesque disfigurement? Like that lady who got her face torn off my the chimpanzee in Connecticut who went on Oprah?

  4. Considerably late to the party (having only just seen the film as of last night), but I enjoyed reading your dissection. Sadly, I had presumed the film was a mundane slasher when it was first released, and didn’t feel the need to watch it until I learnt of the twist in the proceedings (such is the lot of those who live under a rock, and yet have internet access!).

    I was surprised to read the above discussion regarding the anthropomorphic nature of (at least one of) the Ancient Ones, and whether this was intended to represent the Abrahamic deity. I’d read that the Ancient Ones were intended to represent the audience/movie-going public (hence the demand for formulaic plots, fan service, and so on), but perhaps this did not come to light until more recently.

    1. Hey, thanks for the feedback. Can’t speak for Kristine, but my opinion on this movie has soured even more over time, to the point where I sort of actively hate it now. The context you provide – about the filmmakers’ intentional use of the deities as metaphors for the audience – push the movie even further into the realm of hectoring anti-horror movies that are about telling horror audiences how sick they are (see: anything by Michael Haneke). Rewatching this, it feels more twee and self-congratulatory than at first viewing, and I think a lot of the satire comes at the expense of the genre and the audiences who love the genre. I remember asking myself, ‘So is this a kind of love letter to the genre?’ after I first watched it and over time I think the answer is firmly no. Also – digital blood.