Excerpt from my close reading:
“Another crucial element that Whedon uses to make this argument is the costuming of the main character. This element goes hand in hand with the camera angle/movement to help reinforce the “male gaze” that it may be turned on its head. When the camera is positioned outside the window in the tree, the audience is gazing in and sees Dana in her underwear. She goes about her routine as if nothing is wrong. She goes through the entire scene in this fashion, even when there is an actual male in the room with her – who is finally the one to indicate to her that she has no pants on. Curt, the man in the room, is functioning as the male gaze of the audience. He obviously notices that she is in her underwear but does not comment or protest and instead intrudes on her privacy until very late in the scene. Whedon is positioning himself again in a way that he can point out the anti-feminist sentiments that reside in typical horror genre films.”
Failed Social Feminism Counterpoint: Objectification of Women
Much like in Dollhouse, Whedon uses the objectification of the main character Dana to breakdown feminism and stereotypes analytically. While feminism isn’t the most broad criticism that Whedon is trying to make with The Cabin in the Woods it is used in a similar fashion. He uses the obvious objectification as a critique of the horror film. This use is harmful to social feminist goals and ideals. It is seemingly objectification for objectification’s sake – something the horror film industry does all the time. While trying to mock the trope, Whedon instead perpetuates it.