Beauty and the Best

Cabin in the Woods

Cabin in the Woods: Visual Companion Guide - Mini Review

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Reviews of this movie abound on the net. Obviously, Cabin in the Woods has been christened the holy grail of horror movies by fan boy types (including me). Ironically, the Visual Companion Guide - which covers just about every facet of the movie you could imagine in great detail - somewhat detracts from the fun of it all because it’s so self conscious (exploitative?) about the geekdom factor.

That said, I would still highly recommend this book to anyone who liked the movie. The prelude interview with Joss Whedon and Drew Goodard (director) is unusually honest. For example, Joss talks about how one actress they both liked refused to do the nudity required for the Jules character (p. 22). He goes on to state that her stubborn refusal to show her boobies was one of his and Drew’s more “uncomfortable” moments in the casting process. (The role eventually went to Anna Hutchison.) The whole section comes off as a subliminal dig at whoever this actress is from the director of the 3rd highest grossing movie of all time (e.g., The Avengers).

There is also an interesting little bit about how they had to fire the first casting director because of a lack of simpatico (p. 20). I find stuff like this fascinating for some reason. I’ve always disliked those interviews where the cast and crew of movies say they got along great. (Yawn.)
Cabin in the Woods Visual Companion Guide Image

Update: Just a brief note about the Cabin in the Woods Blu Ray special features - they rock! Much more enjoyable than the Visual Companion Guide just because this type of information is best conveyed through moving pictures and audio. The extras are WAY more extensive than the iTunes Extras, including at least three more features. Drew and Joss, while somewhat “self-congratulatory” (as described by Joss himself), are very entertaining in both the Wonder-Con interview and the audio commentary. Interesting factoids include: 1) Sigourney Weaver was concerned about the Werewolf having someone to sit with during a lunch break while shooting, 2) the gas station was actually someone’s home, and they had a confederate flag in the window that made Jesse Williams uncomfortable, 3) Twilight was being shot in the same forest as Cabin in Canada, at the same time, 4) even after working with Chris Hemsworth on Cabin, Joss made a call to Kenneth Branagh to see how he was to work with on Thor before casting him in The Avengers (yikes!).

The one thing I do find especially interesting about Cabin is that Drew and Joss repeatedly emphasize the practical effects in this movie (over CG) and yet any credibility they had built up in that regard is blown by the somewhat cheesy looking CG effects in the infamous elevator mayhem scene which you forgive because it’s such a fun scene. But I do recall thinking, “Gawd those effects looked CG!”

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