ByK. Lee Adams, writer at
Hello, world.
K. Lee Adams

Hello, friends. While lurking on the net recently I stumbled upon an article titled "Scream Vs. The Cabin In The Woods" and I wanted to throw this at you guys. Which do you prefer? The Cabin In The Woods is a great movie, absolute entertainment from start to finish and certainly one of the most unique films to come out of Hollywood in some time. I personally love both of these films but in the end the victor for me is definitely Scream. While both films fall into the self-aware post-modern horror movie sub-genre Scream, in my opinion, is superior for a number of reasons.

Scream has more of an emotional center and I like and relate to the characters in that film better than those in Cabin (who are still fun and interesting but none of them elicited the amount of sympathy and understanding from me that, say, a girl coping with her mother's brutal murder did). And then of course there's the character of Randy, which for a lot of us horror fans who dig this movie probably identify with the most because he's the kid who knows the rules. He is essentially "us". The character of Marty in Cabin is certainly hilariously entertaining but I relate more to the horror geek than the stoner. Ultimately I'd say the biggest reason Scream is superior for me is the execution. Are either of these movies scary? No, but not many films are these days. But I was seven years old when I saw Scream and it absolutely scared me then. Even if that fear has long since faded the film's brilliant Drew Barrymore-starring opening (still one of the best openings to a film ever in my opinion) hasn't lost its power nearly 18 years later. It's still entertaining, suspenseful, brutal and heartbreaking.

For all of Cabin's wonderful scenes only the first one of those descriptions apply to that movie. It's entertaining but there's nothing in the way of suspense or heartbreak to be found. One could argue that in being such a critique of horror Cabin would naturally end up being more a smart comedic film than anything else. But Scream was funny and clever and critical of slasher tropes while still trying and in my opinion succeeding at being a real horror film. I'm not saying Cabin isn't horror, I'm just saying Scream functions as a horror film much more successfully than Cabin does. For all of its laughs and pop culture references Scream still took the deaths and scares completely seriously and as funny a movie as it is it still maintains a sense of melancholy throughout.

Hopefully no one misinterprets this as some kind of knock on [The Cabin in the Woods](movie:30883). It's not. As I said I love that film. But it's just my personal opinion that Scream is ultimately a more loving ode to horror while Cabin, although made by people who clearly love the genre and want to celebrate it, is more about their frustrations with it. And that's great. Certain tropes and scenarios have been going on for too long in horror and it's great to have a movie that examines that and asks what it is we like about these things and this genre. But in the end I'm always going to prefer the film that not only is a love letter to the genre but whose deepest message is one I think is still very important and relevant today: don't blame the movies. Remember the great line "Movies don't create psychos, movies make psychos more creative!"? It's stated by a completely deranged character (which interestingly makes him seem quite sane) but to me is probably the smartest, most resonant line in the whole movie and yet another reason to love Scream as much as I do.

So where do you guys stand? Which movie is superior for you? Do you like both? Hate both? Let me know below and thanks to anyone who reads this.


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