Did You Catch This Firefly Easter Egg in Cabin In The Woods?
Drew Goddard’s 2011 horror/comedy “The Cabin in the Woods” is a fun, self-aware deconstruction of cabin-in-the-woods horror movies, a subgenre that has been lampooned more often than it has been presented earnestly. The film has an incredibly elaborate setup: A group of college kids is preparing for a vacation in the titular cabin. Each one of the kids fulfils a notable cinematic/literary archetype: The athlete, the fool, the scholar, etc, though they’re not full-on cliches, at least not yet. While they pack their bags and hit the road, the college kids are being secretly watched by a group of white-collar lab workers who have been covertly feeding them drugs and manipulating their behavior and their personality traits.
The cabin in the woods, it turns out, is a high-tech marvel that has been peppered with traps, artifacts, and mystical devices that can, when triggered, summon any one of a number of monsters or murders. The white-collar workers (represented by Richard Jenkins) then, from their lab, secretly force the young vacationers into a horror movie scenario. When a person makes a dumb decision in a horror movie, it;s orchestrated by corporate puppet masters.
There’s more: The white-collar workers have been manipulating teens into horror movie scenarios for years, all specifically to appease an unseen, wrathful god that requires sacrifices that look like various horror movies.. The wrathful gods are clearly a symbol for horror movie audiences. We, the gods, need to see college kids die in a very specific way. If the horror movie formula is deviated from, the sacrifice will not be sufficient. Hence the predictability of the genre.
It’s all mildly clever, in a discussion-after-the-third-bong-rip sort of way. It’s not so much a satirical takedown of a genre as it is a fun fan theory.
In “The Cabin in the Woods,” the process of sacrificing college kids has become so pedestrian for the white-collar works that they have begun to make bets as to which monster will be summoned to do the killing. As the cabin in the woods is stocked with monster-summoning devices, it remains random which device the college kids might trigger. In one amusing slot, the white-collar workers reveal their betting board, with each monster at their disposal listed on it. The potential monsters include “alien beast,” “Werewolf,” “Hell lord,” “sexy witches,” “angry molesting tree” (a direct reference to the first two “Evil Dead” movies), and a mysterious creature only listed as “Kevin.”
Later in the film, the college kids manage to outwit the scenario they’re in, and wander into a high-tech elevator that leads them into the white-collar lab. There, they will unleashed all of the monsters on the above betting board. The following sequence is an amusing monster mash of all kinds of creatures running amok. Each of the monsters on the board can be briefly seen, as well as a few notable cameos.
Those with quick eyes will be able to see a Reaver from “Firefly,” as confirmed by Gizmodo, at the 2:08 mark in the clip above.
What’s a Reaver?
“The Cabin in the Woods” was written by Goddard and Joss Whedon, the ousted writer/director of “The Avengers” and uncredited completionist on the theatrical cut of “Justice League.” He also created the cult shows “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and the one-season wonder “Firefly.” The latter show had an enormous following of fans who called themselves Browncoats, and was just popular enough to warrant a feature film adaptation called “Serenity” in 2005.
The premise of “Firefly” is a mite elaborate in itself. Briefly: By the 26th century, following a great Civil War, the solar system was hastily colonized by enterprising space pioneers. Many planets have come to resemble the Old West, and the show’s main characters traverse the astral frontier as smugglers. They spend their days bickering, avoiding the lawmen working for the Alliance, and fleeing from dangerous tribes of space monsters called Reavers. The Reavers and the Alliance are the central villains on the show, and the plot of “Serenity” would come to involve the origin of the Reavers.
The Reavers have a great deal of significance to Browncoats, and Whedon, perhaps in a fun wink to his fans, decided to include them in the Monster Mash sequence of “The Cabin in the Woods” For many, the imagination might be inflamed in imagining what would happen to the “Cabin” teens if they had unleased the Reavers.
Also, how does on “summon” a future monster like a Reaver in a present-day haunted cabin? A creative solution: If they watch a cursed “Firefly” DVD, the Reavers appear out of the ether. But until we get a “Cabin in the Woods” sequel, we’ll just have to settle for that Easter egg.
Original article at Slash Film
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