Crushing Life in the Anthropocene? Destroying Simulated "Nature" in The Cabin in the Woods

Michael Fuchs


The Cabin in the Woods (2011) is a highly self-reflexive movie that is aware of its generic roots. In particular, the film struggles with the meaning of “the woods” in the horror genre. Cabin’s central twist in this respect is that the titular “woods” are not untamed nature, but rather a place of artifice. Cabin’s woods are not uncanny because they are far removed from “civilization,” but rather exactly because they are part of it. The film’s emphasis on the artificiality of nature suggests that the concept of “nature” is exactly that—a concept, a cultural construct, loaded with meaning. The film’s ending envisions the end of that discursive construct—but for that to happen, humankind must vanish.


Horror Film; Anthropocene; Nature; Hyperreality; Simulation

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