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In Our Time, In Our Blood

Fandom: The Cabin In The Woods
Subject: Slasher Movie Tropes
Title: In Our Time, In Our Blood
Warnings/Notes: Made for the tropes challenge at waywardmixes. Warnings for violence and gore, character death, language, drug use and some sexuality. Also, this mix spoils the whole movie.

The Cabin in the Woods is an American horror comedy film that examines and deconstructs common tropes in the slasher film genre. I can’t really discuss the tropes without spoiling the whole movie. Sorry. Also, I will be linking to TVTropes frequently. So tell a friend you’re going/set a timer/take a ball of yarn to mark your way; I don’t want you to get lost in there.

Smells Like Teen Spirit by Think Up Anger ft. Malia J
Load up on guns, bring your friends
It's fun to lose and to pretend
She's over bored and self-assured
Oh no, I know a dirty word

Hello, hello, hello, how low?
Hello, hello, hello, how low?
Hello, hello, hello, how low?
Hello, hello, hello!

With the lights out, it's less dangerous
Here we are now, entertain us
I feel stupid and contagious
Here we are now, entertain us

I'm worse at what I do best
And for this gift I feel blessed
Our little group has always been
And always will until the end

American college students Dana Polk, Holden McCrea, Marty Mikalski, Jules Louden, and Curt Vaughan go away for a weekend to an isolated cabin in the woods. Beneath them a sinister organization full of cynical employees monitors their every move and prepares an arcane ritual that requires five archetypes. Below them other forces are watching.

Get Some by Lykke Li
Don't pull your pants before I go down
Don't turn away, this is my time
Don't make demands, I don't take none
Just say a prayer that it gon' get done

Don't pull your pants before I go down
Don't turn away, this is my time
Like a shotgun needs an outcome
I'm your prostitute, you gon' get some

Like a shotgun needs an outcome
I'm your prostitute, you gon' get some

Jules Louden (The Whore)
While normally an intelligent (she’s pre-med) and caring (she initially plays the role of Team Mom, worrying over Dana’s recent break-up with her professor and Marty’s habit of driving while blazed) young woman, the operators treated her blonde hair dye with a slow acting toxin that “slows cognition and increases libido”. Marty notes that her sexy dancing and lewd behavior is very out of character. The operators need her to embody the slutty “dumb blonde” slasher movie role so that she can fill the Whore archetype and they can justify killing her first (the Zombie Redneck Torture Family attack her while she’s having sex). (“The whore, she’s corrupted. She dies first.”-The Director.)

Blood Makes Noise by Suzanne Vega
I think that you might want to know
The details and the facts
But there's something in my blood
Denies the memory of the acts
So just forget it Doc
I think it's really cool that you're concerned
But we'll have to try again
After the silence has returned

'Cause blood makes noise
It's a ringing in my ear
Blood makes noise
And I can't really hear you
In the thickening of fear

Blood makes noise

After the first kill of Jules, the operators really turn up the heat as the Zombie Redneck Torture Family (The Buckner’s) attack the rest of the characters at the cabin. They pipe in stupidity-inducing drugs and use hypnotic suggestions to guarantee the victims make poor decisions.

Curt insists that they shouldn't split up under any circumstances and moments later a gas is released through the vents. “This isn't right. We should split up. We can cover more ground that way.” Only Marty is incredulous. “Really?!” Marty was also the only person who objected to reading the incantation in the journal they found in the creepy abandoned basement. (“Ok, I'm drawing a line in the fucking sand here. Do not read the Latin!” Read it, says a controller’s compelling voice.) Not long after, Judah Buckner attacks and pulls Marty out through the window and drags him away screaming.

After Dana stabs Matthew Buckner with a knife, Sitterson (a controller) flips a control switch that applies a small electric shock to the knife handle so that Dana drops it without noticing. The college kids are already terrified but the controllers manipulate them into making worse decisions to suit their narrative.

Little Lion Man by Mumford & Sons
Weep for yourself, my man
You'll never be what is in your heart
Weep, little lion man
You're not as brave as you were at the start
Rate yourself and rake yourself
Take all the courage you have left
And waste it on fixing all the problems that you made in your own head

But it was not your fault but mine
And it was your heart on the line
I really fucked it up this time
Didn't I, my dear?

Curt Vaughan (The Athlete)
Curt Vaughan is on the football team, but he is also a sociology major on a full academic scholarship. He is handsome, intelligent and competent until the operators manipulate him in behaving like a jerk jock. After Julie’s death he becomes determined to escape, find help and bring those who murdered her to justice. However, when he attempts to jump across the ravine on his motorcycle, he crashes into the invisible force field sealing the victims in to the area around the cabin and falls to his death.

Analyse by Thom Yorke
It gets you down
It gets you down
You traveled far
What have you found
That there's no time
There's no time
To analyse
To think things through
To make sense
It gets you down
It gets you down
You're just playing a part
You're just playing a part

Holden McCrea (The Scholar)
Holden McCrea is not really any smarter than any of the other characters, but the controllers have placed him in the role of the nerd and are forcing him to play it. He is in college on a full athletic scholarship for football and in great shape, but the role sidelines his physical prowess. Nerd glasses appear for him to wear and he is suddenly able to remember the Latin he learned back in tenth grade (“Weird, how it all comes back.”) He is even able to calculate the angle of Curt’s jump across the ravine (“You got a smooth run, and maybe a five foot differential on the other side.”) He is killed by Father Buckner (who had been hiding in the backseat of the RV).

Unnatural Selection by Muse
They'll laugh as they watch us fall
The lucky don't care at all
No chance for fate
It's unnatural selection
I want the truth

I'm hungry for some unrest
I want to push this beyond a peaceful protest
I wanna speak in a language that they'll understand
Dedication to a new age
Is this the end of destruction and rampage?
Another chance to erase then repeat it again

Matthew Buckner attempts to murder Dana, but Marty re-appears and blocks the killing blow with his collapse-able bong. He explains that after he was dragged off-screen by Judah Buckner, “Yeah, uh, I had to dismember that guy with a trowel. What have you been up to?”

He reveals that he’s found an elevator and deduces that someone had sent the Buckner family up to kill them. Dana and Marty take the elevator down into the Facility and find monsters like a werewolf and a wraith in adjacent cubes. Dana sees a man with circular saw blades embedded in his head holding a puzzle ball like the one Curt was playing with in the basement. She realizes that the artifacts in the basement each “summon” one of the monsters below. “They made us choose. They made us choose how we die.” She screams with rage and beats the side of the cube.

After they escape into the Elevator Lobby, the Director speaks to Dana and Marty over the intercom. She apologizes for what they have seen and gone through tells them that their deaths are inevitable and necessary to placate the Ancient Ones. They dodge an armed security team and duck into the elevator control booth. Dana finds a big red button marked System Purge and presses it; setting all of the caged on monsters loose of The Facility and the operators. "An army of nightmares, huh? Let's get this party started."- Dana

Not A Virgin by Poe
I just thought you should know, my darlin'
Before we begin
I'm not a virgin anymore

Just thought you should know
Before you let another lie
Get through those crooked little teeth
I don't think you want to start that shit with me

Much better yet
Tell me something dangerous and true
Oh yeah, that looks much sexier on you

Careful what it is you say
'Cause I can see right through you
On a cloudy day and
Darlin' I think you want to play
Dana Polk (The Virgin)
Despite being placed into the role of “The Virgin”, Dana Polk is no such thing; having recently ended an affair with her professor. That might be the reason that the controllers put her into this role; after her recent heartbreak she would be less inclined to have sex on her weekend away (unlike Jules who is in a long term relationship with her boyfriend who is also on the trip; thus dooming her to be “the whore”). The villains explain that they “work with what they have”.

In horror movie terms she is the Final Girl; the last character left alive to confront the killer, the least debauched and usually the most resourceful. Here the operators are enforcing the trope. They push her to survive the longest (the guards are ordered to kill the virgin last) and one of controllers (Hadley) even admits, “It’s so strange, I’m actually rooting for this girl. She’s got so much heart. When you think of all the pain and the punish...Tequila! Tequila is my lady!”(Hadley has a short attention span and a stunning lack of morals). The Virgin has to be the last to die, or the ritual won’t work and the Ancient Ones will rise.

Rabbit Heart by Florence and the Machine
You made a deal, and now it seems you have to offer up
But will it ever be enough?
(Raise it up, raise it up)
It's not enough
(Raise it up, raise it up)

Here I am, a rabbit hearted girl
Frozen in the headlights
It seems I've made the final sacrifice

We raise it up, this offering
We raise it up

This is a gift, it comes with a price
Who is the lamb and who is the knife?
Midas is king and he holds me so tight
And turns me to gold in the sunlight

Dana and Marty make it through the carnage down into the Ritual Chamber, where there are five stone carvings depicting the horror movie archetypes: The whore, the athlete, the scholar, the fool and the virgin. The Director of the Facility appears and tells them that these five sacrifices must be made of appease the Ancient Ones; giant, evil gods who sleep beneath the earth and want to see victims punished for “being young” and “transgressing” (mostly in ways the controllers manipulate them into). The Director tells them that if Marty is not killed to complete the ritual the Ancient Ones will rise and destroy every human life on the planet. Marty says that maybe the world isn't worth saving if it means killing all of his friends. Dana points a gun at Marty, but before she can shoot him a werewolf attacks her from behind.

Fool by Damien Rice
So turn and walk away
I've overspoken
Said all that I can say
I know that I could kneel
And I could cry
I could show you how I died
But what good would it do?
But give the world another fool

Marty Mikalski (The Fool)
Marty is put into the role by the controllers due to being the stoner and deadpan snarker of the group, but he fits the Tarot archetype of The Fool beyond just being a hippie stoner; he manages to succeed where others fail, often by pure luck. The controllers were supposed to dose his pot with the stupidity inducing drugs given to the rest of the characters, but they missed one of his stashes. So the pot makes him resistant to the other mind-altering chemicals the operators are using on the college kids and keeps him properly paranoid. Unfortunately it also stops the other characters from taking his warnings seriously. This makes him the only sane man questioning the situation. When the controllers underestimate him, due to the role they’re forcing him to fill, he becomes the spanner in the works that ruins the ancient conspiracy.

Virgin by Manchester Orchestra
You built this house with your hands
And your time and your blood
We built this up in one day
To fall downward and rust

Mortally wounded, Dana and Marty share a joint. Dana apologizes to Marty for almost shooting him, and Marty apologizes for letting the werewolf attack her and causing the end of the world. Dana tells him she agrees that humanity isn’t worth saving if it has to resort to human sacrifices to survive. They hold each other as the Facility collapses. A giant humanoid arm reaches up through the Facility and bursts out of the cabin at the surface as the Ancient Ones begin to rise.

Download the mix here.

Or listen to it on 8tracks here.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 22nd, 2016 01:28 am (UTC)
What a perfect movie to pick to explore those tropes. I love the explanations for the songs! :D
Mar. 22nd, 2016 11:14 am (UTC)
Thank you, I'm glad that everything made sense.
Apr. 2nd, 2016 05:12 pm (UTC)
I love this! You thought of absolutely everything and were very detailed. I think this is a perfect example of all the tropes you picked. TBH this movie wasn't really my cup of tea, oddly, but I really love your mix for it! :-D
Apr. 4th, 2016 07:12 am (UTC)
Thank you! I'm glad that you liked the mix despite not enjoying the movie.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )


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