Halloween draws closer! We’ve only got about two weeks of October left, so here are some more great movies to check out. My last list of Haunted House movies brought to mind the Cabin in the Woods subgenre, a small group of films, but one very near to my blackened, mechanical heart. Here are some of my favorites.
1. The Evil Dead ~ 1981, Sam Raimi
The ULTIMATE cabin in the woods movie, and my favorite horror film of all time. The thing about The Evil Dead is that it is such a pure, and perfect example of the Cabin in the Woods scenario, that it’s basically the first, and the last, word in the genre. Think of an important Cabin in the Woods horror flick that came before The Evil Dead… Cape Fear, almost? Straw Dogs? Night of the Living Dead establishes most of the genre conventions, but it does so without the “Woods” part of the equation, which I feel is actually an important element, because it uses the fear of isolation as part of the constant threat to the protagonist. There was Equinox, which is another huge influence on The Evil Dead (allegedly), and that will show up later in this list, but mostly The Evil Dead was the first really focused and pure Cabin in the Woods movie, and it’s so successful that made the Cabin in the Woods scenario cliché all by itself. Every Cabin in the Woods film from that point onward becomes a reference, parody, or homage to The Evil Dead.
2. Antichrist ~ 2009, Lars Von Trier
3. Evil Dead 2 ~ 1987, Sam Raimi
4. Cabin Fever ~ 2002, Eli Roth
5. Wither (AKA Vittra) ~ 2012, Sonny Laguna and Tommy Wiklund
6. Tucker and Dale Versus Evil ~ 2010, Eli Craig
This counts! It’s post modern, but it counts. I would call this the ‘Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead’ of Cabin in the Woods movies.
7. Entrails of a Virgin ~ 1986, Kazuo ‘Gaira’ Komizu
8. Evil Dead ~ 2013, Fede Alvarez
9. Dog Soldiers ~ 2002, Neil Marshall
10. Rituals ~ 1977, Peter Carter
(Turns into a Cabin in the Woods film briefly. It’s toward the edges of the genre, but a great enough film to warrant inclusion.)
11. Night of the Demon ~ 1980, James Wasson
(Same as Rituals. Only briefly toward the end does this become a Cabin in the Woods film… But I really love this movie, so I’m putting it in here.)
12. Equinox (AKA The Beast) ~ 1970, Jack Woods, Mark Thomas McGee, Dennis Muren
Last I’d heard, Sam Raimi denies that he had ever seen this movie when he made The Evil Dead, but a lot of people have trouble believing that given the overwhelming similarities between the two. I don’t know who to believe, but the two are close enough that The Evil Dead could have been a remake. It’s certainly closer than Carpenter’s ‘The Thing’ is to Nyby and Hawks’ ‘The Thing From Another World.’
13. Scarecrows ~ 1988, William Wesley
I control this website… Therefore, no one can stop me. I can post these all day.