The Cabin in the Woods, Joss Whedon‘s 2012 cult horror movie, had a simple premise: what if everything you knew about horror movies was flipped on its head?
Five college-age friends – who fall into the slasher film stereotypes of jock, nerd, slut, virgin and stoner – take a trip to a creepy ass cabin in a nondescript ‘woods’ somewhere. The exact location isn’t specified, but all you need to know is that it’s exactly the sort of place a person might stay away from if they didn’t want to be murdered.
Intersecting this story is the workplace comedy of two middle-aged corporates. They’re in an windowless office at an undisclosed location, riffing about their big project and running the office sweepstakes.
If you’ve never seen the film, then I won’t spoil it for you: go and watch it on your own. And if you have seen it, then you’ll know what I’m talking about when I say the middle act rips out every expectation you have of what is coming, and the third act boots your expectations out the third floor window.
Also – and I cannot stress this enough – Chris Hemsworth is there.
He plays the ‘athlete’, because of course he does. Technically his character’s name is Curt (typical jock bullshit name), but for all intents and purposes he is the athlete. He’s dating the ‘whore’, and yes, those are their official roles for reasons I won’t spoil here. He’s tall and broad-shouldered but not yet with Thor-like levels of swagger, because Thor hadn’t begun filming yet.
The thing is, Cabin in the Woods is an incredible memorable film for its premise, so until a recent rewatch I completely forgot that major Hollywood star and Marvel god Chris ‘I can lift a small car with one hand’ Hemsworth is in it.
2011 was an interesting time for Hemsworth. Thor came out to major box office success and mid-warm critical acclaim, helping launch the Marvel universe into the utter behemoth it has since become.
Meanwhile, MGM studios was trying to shift Cabin in the Woods, after release was delayed a full year so it could be converted to 3D (a true horror) and then again due to “ongoing financial difficulties”. After a surprise screening in 2011, it finally had a box office run in 2012, making a decent $66.5 million worldwide, but a paltry compared to Thor’s $449.3 million.
By the time Cabin in the Woods came out, Hemsworth’s Marvel career was off – he went on to star in The Avengers (2012), Thor: The Dark World (2013), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), Thor: Ragnorak (2017), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), Avengers: Endgame (2019), and will soon be working on a fourth Thor film, Thor: Love and Thunder, slated for a 2021 release.
With the franchise monster of Marvel gobbling up every ticket sale and ounce of media attention, who would remember their Norse god also appeared in little horror flick which struggled to get off the ground? (That’s right, he didn’t even STAR IN IT.) Not me, and hopefully not you either – although if you want to yell at how dumb I am for not remembering this detail, the Facebook comment section is right there, buddy.
Most of Hemsworth’s fellow Cabin in the Woods alumni didn’t exactly go on to have major Hollywood success, either: Jesse Williams (the ‘scholar’) is mostly known for his Grey’s Anatomy work, Kristen Connolly (the ‘virgin’) had a recurring part I literally cannot remember in House of Cards, Anna Hutchison (the ‘whore’) is still working but in nothing I recognise, and Fran Kranz (‘the fool’) most recently had a very small role in Amazon’s Homecoming.
(The same cannot be said for absolute lords Bradley Whitford and Richard Jenkins, who play the middle manager office workers, as well as a SURPRISE CAMEO I WILL ALSO NOT SPOIL. Just so we’re clear.)
But Hemsworth? He has an estimate net work of $90 million, is building some fuck-off huge mansion in the Byron Bay hinterlands, is an ambassador for Tourism Australia, and could live off his Marvel movie for the rest of his life while choosing whatever other roles he damn well pleases. Or choose no roles! Maybe he just wants to surf and hang out with his wife and kids, and we should let this handsome Australian export do that.
I don’t really know how to finish this post except to say: go watch Cabin in the Woods if you haven’t already done so, you absolute moron. And enjoy a pre-Thor Chris Hemsworth in the role it looks like he was born to roll out of bed and play.