Yardbarker Review: The Cabin in the Woods

20 facts you might not know about ‘The Cabin in the Woods’

A lot of horror movies are by the book.. Scary dude in a mask. Spooky haunted house. Cats jumping out left and right. One thing you definitely can’t say about The Cabin in the Woods is that it’s by the book. It takes so much from the world of horror and twists it ever so slightly into something fresh. Whether or not you enjoy it, you have to acknowledge that. Here are 20 facts you might not know about The Cabin in the Woods.

It was the director’s debut


Drew Goddard had just made his name in film by writing the script for Cloverfield. That got him a chance to direct a movie, albeit a low-budget horror movie. The Cabin in the Woods marked his first directorial effort. He hadn’t even directed TV at that point.

Goddard cowrote it with an old TV compatriot


Goddard cowrote the script with a guy who knew a think or two about balancing horror and comedy: Joss Whedon. In fact, Goddard had worked with Whedon on Whedon’s shows Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel before his big movie break.

The screenplay came together quickly


It didn’t take long for Goddard and Whedon to complete the script for The Cabin in the Woods. Some scripts take months, if not years, to finish. This screenplay? Goddard and Whedon finished it in three days.

The movie comes from love (and hate) for the horror genre


Whedon has called The Cabin in the Woods a “loving hate letter” to the horror genre It was built out of an affinity for old-school slasher ficks but also a contempt for the rise of “torture porn” movies that proliferated in the 2000s. It was an attempt to have fun but also to criticize the wave of sadistic horror films that had flooded the market.

They shot in Canada


The move was filmed in Vancouver, which is a good area to choose for a movie called The Cabin in the Woods. It also helped them in another way. While the underground facility was all a set, they used the British Columbia Institute of Technology’s Aerospace Building for some establishing shots of the complex.

‘Cabin in the Woods’ was delayed for a while


Goddard started shooting the film in March 2009,finishing that May. It was originally scheduled to be released on Feb. 5, 2010. However, MGM ran into financial issues. In fact, they would end up selling the distribution rights to Lionsgate. The Cabin in the Woods would finally be released in theaters on April 13. 2012

The delay helped one actor become a star


A horror movie being made on a cheap budget tends not to exactly have a big-name cast. The kids at the centre of The Cabin in the Woods were not known names when the movie began filming in 2009. It also would have been the case had it come out in 2010 as it was supposed to. However, a then-unknown Australian actor named Chris Hemsworth portrayed Curt, the “jock” of the group, in the movie. In 2011, he starred in Thor. Thus, by the time The Cabin in the Woods actually came out in 2012, Hemsworth was a legitimate movie star. In fact, The Avengers came out a month after The Cabin in the Woods.

It was all hands on deck for the special effects team


Basically every movie monster you can think of shows up in The Cabin in the Woods, including at least one merman. According to Oscar-winning makeup artist David LeRoy Anderson, he and his team at AFX studios had to turn “close to a thousand people” into around 60 different types of monsters. That meant getting a larger space and adding members to the team until 60-70 people were working two to three months to get all the special effects and makeup work done.

A video game tie-in fell through


There was supposed to be a collaboration between The Cabin in the Woods and the 2009 game Left 4 Dead 2 to promote the movie. Downloadable content based on the movie’s settings were going to be made available. Unfortunately, due to the delay, that didn’t happen. The game’s producer Valve didn’t seem too put off by it, though. They let the movie use monsters from the video game to help juice the monster numbers.

There was a lawsuit.


In 2015, an author named Peter Gallagher sued claiming that Goddard and Whedon’s script had plagiarized from his novel The Little White Trip: A Night in the Pines. However, that lawsuit was dismissed a mere five months later.

A spoonful of sugar helps the wolf tongue go down


The character Jules makes out with a mounted wolf head, which is, you know, weird. The tongue of said wolf head was covered in powdered sugar. This both gave it a dusty, old look, but also made it less awful for actor Anna Hutchinson.

Marty keeps his clothes on for a reason


Marty is the goofy stoner archetype, and he’s also the only one who doesn’t jump in the lake. That’s because it turned out the actor Fran Kranz was totally ripped. Not only was that not expected, it would have seemed out of character for the guy who is mostly smoking weed and being “the fool” of the group. Thus, he kept his clothes on throughout the film.

One prop took up a decent chunk of the budget


The combination coffee mug and bong from the film was built to be an actually functional coffee mug and bong. Apparently, that doesn’t come cheap. This prop cost them $5,000 to make.

A horror movie icon worked behind the scenes


One of the people who worked for AFX Studio? That would be Heather Lagenkamp, who is a partner in the business, which is owned and operated by her husband, Anderson. If you are a horror fan, there’s a good chance you know her name, or at least have seen her. Langenkamp played Nancy in A Nightmare on Elm Street.

Sigourney Weaver was second choice for her role


Weaver is the biggest name in the movie, though her role as The Director is small. She’s a fine actor, of course, but also a shout out to her place in horror history as Ripley from the Alien franchise. That being said, Weaver was actually the second choice. Goddard had wanted Bruce Campbell to play the director. Again, a fitting choice, given that he is a horror (and horror-comedy) icon thanks to the Evil Dead movies.



There are all sort sorts of monsters on the betting pool board, such as witches, zombies, Deadites, and so on. Then there’s just the name “Kevin.” This is not a non-sequitur, or even a reference to Kevin McAllister from Home Alone, who knows a thing or two about violence. It’s actually in reference to Kevin, the silent killer from Sin City. He’s played by Elijah Wood in the movie adaptation of the comic.

The opening of the move is intended to feel a little off


While The Cabin in the Woods gets quite gory, and the body count is quite high, it takes a while to get there. The first kill doesn’t take place until 44 minutes into this 95-minute movie, and the very opening of the movie begins with Bradley Whitford and Richard Jenkins’ characters in an unremarkable office space chatting. This was done purposefully, as Goddard and Whedon wanted to confuse the audience and make them wonder if they had walked into the wrong movie.

Goddard was partially inspired by his childhood


Part of the joke of The Cabin in the Woods is that the people working for this mysterious organization that uses monsters to sacrifice humans to stave off the end of the world? They kind of just treat it like a job. This came from Goddard’s childhood growing up in Los Alamos, New Mexico. Los Alamos is, of course, where the United States developed the atomic bomb, and it remained a place where a lot of scientists were working with nuclear technology. The idea of seeing scientists around town living normal lives knowing that their work could end the world stuck with him.

It was a box office success.


The Cabin in the Woods was made for a mere $30 million, which is not a lot for a movie with this much special effects. Perhaps that delay that allowed Hemsworth to become a movie start paid off, because the movie ended up making more than double its budget worldwide at $66.5 million.

The movie was also critically acclaimed


This meta horror comedy apparently struck a chord with a critical audience. The Cabin in the Woods has a 92 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It also got some nominations from awards groups – many of them genre-based. That includes winning “Best Horror or Thriller Film” at the genre-heavy Saturn Awards.

Original article at Yardbarker.

This article has been reproduced for archive purposes, all rights remain with the originating website.

Author: Cider

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