An Interrupted Review of “The Cabin in the Woods”

There’s an optional ingredient in the thriller-movie formula. In the first few minutes of the film, before any true threats are established, an innocent event serves as the first scare. A friend creeps up on the future victim before they laugh about the startle, foreshadowing their future, topless deaths. A rattle in the bushes turns out to be the family dog instead of the anaconda that later kills the family, sparing the dog as that would be too sad. Characters need to be developed before they die, but sometimes the audience needs a scare to establish the genre.

Earlier this evening I put the wife and kid to bed and went downstairs to watch “The Cabin in the Woods” on Netflix. I wasn’t expecting much and had every intention of eventually picking up the banjo while watching the film as supplemental entertainment. There was no innocent scare in the first few minutes of the movie. The innocent scare happened in real life.

The following story is based on actual events from today.

Ghost-Story Carmela

Shortly after hitting play my wife calls and requests water for the kid. A clean cup of course, not one that had previously contained water without a mix of soap. I clean the cup, removing the plastic ring which prevents the water from spilling all over the child. I walk up the stairs in the near pitch black, anticipating popcorn and Joss Whedon humor. But before I make it into the bedroom I hear a noise. A steady noise. A heart-beat. A cow-like heartbeat.

Moocckkk, Moocckkk, Moocckk

I did not recognize the noise. It was electronic but one I hadn’t heard before. It was coming from the other room.

Clearly the computer was making this noise as it was coming from the right speaker. I clicked around and couldn’t locate the program making the noise. I needed to move on and so I shut the computer down.

Moocckkk, Moocckkk, Moocckk

The noise continues. The green light on the speakers are still on so I turn down the volume. No progress. I unplug the computer.

Moocckkk, Moocckkk, Moocckk

At this point there is no non-supernatural explanation I can think of. A creepy noise is coming out of the speakers of my computer without any power. Was the girl from the ring about to crawl out of the computer? I couldn’t really think of a more probable ending to the story at this point.

I hear my wife scream through the walls “I couldn’t get it to stop either” which brings me back to reality a bit, giving me a minute to look at my surroundings and come out of my horror movie haze. A malfunctioning electronic greeting card had been placed under the right computer speaker.

My brother had mailed the kid a greeting card that moo’d in 5 different pitches. Earlier in the evening I serenaded the family with a few songs that could be played on this greeting card. Luckily most of the kid’s favorite songs are in this 5-note range.

After I left the room the card malfunctioned and moo’d a single, robotic pitch at around 70bps. In order to silence the card my wife chose to put the card under some weight in another room. Closing these greeting cards usually silences them so she figured closing it with a permeant weight would silence the malfunction. It didn’t. The weight she chose was my right computer speaker making it sound as if the noise was coming out of the speaker.

We laughed at the innocent scare and what it foreshadowed is yet to be determined.

Cow Secret
“Psst. I have an idea for a greeting card and all of us can be in it!”

So how was “The Cabin in the Woods”? I don’t really know. I was writing this as I was watching it and not really paying attention.


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