Joss Whedon, Christus Victor, Science is dead, long live the old gods! Cabin in the Woods

I got a lot of good things from this movie, of course.

The movie is bracketed by discussions that perhaps our world, or even our race, has come to an end. Maybe it is time to pass it on. The first discussion centered around the use of technology while the latter, the inhuman consideration that a friend could readily kill another friend.

Marty is the kill figure in these discussions. He is also a stoner, so much so that laced weed no longer affects him. He makes the statement along the lines of “Society needs to crumble…. we are just afraid to let it.” In the end, he and his friend, who both contemplated letting the other die, one to save the world and one out of revenge, discuss that maybe we no longer deserve to be the dominant species on the plant.

This is Whedon’s style though, isn’t it? In Firefly and Dollhouse, there is the underlying theme that society has reached a level of corruption, inhumanity, and immorality and all guided by technology.

Once the group arrives, they go to their respective rooms. In one room in particular, there is a see-through mirror underneath a gruesome painting of a sacrifice. It is decided that they will leave the painting in place. When the camera pulls away, the audience gets to see that people are watching the camping party which makes any sense of modesty seem silly. After all, we are voyeurs, aren’t we? Marty replies later that one of the girls cannot see what she doesn’t want to see… that we aren’t who we are.

In a twist on the horror genre, magic, monsters, and old gods exist and they are protected by science. These, we are told, are where our nightmares come from, rather than the reverse.

Another scene which got me was when Marty walks outside, seeing no stars, mentions that “we are abandoned.” Odd, considering that for some, the stars were gods.

In the end, the Director gives Marty a choice – either die with them, or die for him. He was the one which was needed to die. But, he didn’t.

The old gods return.

So much for a part two.

Some serious language at the beginning and other scenes not suitable to people under 30.

Joel L. Watts holds a Masters of Arts from United Theological Seminary with a focus in literary and rhetorical criticism of the New Testament. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

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