Apr 14, 2017

13 Things You Didn't Know About The Cabin in the Woods

Article By: By Tyler Doupe

With its five-year anniversary on this past April 13, it’s time for fans of The Cabin in the Woods to pull out their Blu-ray copy and revisit the ultimate meta horror flick once again.

When it comes to trivia, there’s not a genre film enthusiast alive that doesn’t know the debacle that led to Cabin in the Woods sitting on the shelf at MGM for several years before LionsGate finally picked it up. But we’ve dug a little deeper and searched through past interviews, DVD commentaries, and more to bring you some slightly lesser known facts about the flick. With that said, we now present to you 13 Things You Didn’t Know About Drew Goddard’s meta masterpiece The Cabin in the Woods.

1. Victor Salva was considered to direct at one point

Whedon and Goddard revealed on the Blu-ray commentary track that if neither of them were able to direct that they had considered Victor Salva to helm based on his work on Jeepers Creepers and Jeepers Creepers 2.

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2. "Cabin in the Woods" was almost released in 3-D

Before MGM’s financial woes caused them to shelve the film (and eventually sell it to LionsGate) there was a big push to post convert the picture to 3-D. Fortunately, the idea was dropped in favor of presenting the picture in 2-D.

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3. The indiscernible signs Tom Lenk holds up on the monitor were intended to be visible

Drew Goddard attempted to zoom in and make them readable to the audience but it simply was not possible. They say: “Help me.  I’m in the utility closet.  A dragon bat has my scent.”  And the next sign reads, “I’m Ronald the intern.”

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4. Drew Goddard insisted that Fran Kranz (Marty) keep his shirt on in every scene.

Kranz was in extremely good shape at the time of filming and revealing his ripped physique would have seemed out of place on a character like Marty.

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5. The film was written over the course of a single weekend

Co-writer and producer Joss Whedon and co-writer and director Drew Goddard holed up in a hotel room over the course of a weekend and pounded out a draft of the script. Adjustments and rewrites naturally followed but the first draft was composed in that hotel room over the course of a few days. Their agreement was that they were not allowed to leave until the script was done.

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6. Heather Langenkamp from "A Nightmare on Elm Street" did special makeup FX for the picture

Langenkamp and her husband own a makeup effects company called AFX Studios that handled FX work for the project. She is credited under her married name, Heather L. Anderson.

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7. The scene where Jules (Anna Hutchison) makes out with the wolf head took a multitude of takes

Goddard says that it took at least fifteen takes to get the scene exactly as he wanted it. He also maintains that Hutchison was an extremely good sport through the entire ordeal.

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8. None of the scene with Jules and Curt in the woods were shot outdoors

The production team hired a greensman to create a set filled with trees and foliage. Every shot in that sequence was filmed on an indoor soundstage.

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9. Drew Goddard was extremely uncomfortable directing Anna Hutchison’s nude scene

Goddard attributes his high level of discomfort with nudity to his Catholic upbringing. But the director says that Hutchison was purely professional and actually comforted him by suggesting that taking her top off was not a big deal at all.

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10. Many of the scenes that take place in the control room were shot on location in an actual office building

As such, the production team had to shoot many of those scenes at night when the location was vacant. 

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11. Several of the control room screens had to be manually synchronized

The sequences that take place in the underground control room feature a bay of monitors. Since the film was not made on a gigantic budget (by Hollywood standards) someone had to manually sync all of those monitors, rather than using green screen. Drew Goddard cites that as one of the most difficult aspects to pull off but also one of the most rewarding.

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12. Sigourney Weaver was absolutely elated to work with a werewolf

The first question Weaver asked director Drew Goddard after arriving on set was when she could expect the werewolf to arrive. She also expressed a great deal of concern regarding whether or not the werewolf would have someone to sit with at lunch. 

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13. Joss Whedon, Drew Goddard, and LionsGate were sued for copyright infringement by an author claiming they stole the idea

Peter Gallagher (no relation to the actor) filed suit against Whedon, Goddard, and LionsGate. The author’s claim was that his novel The Little White Trip: A Night In The Pines directly inspired the screenplay for The Cabin in the Woods. Similarities included characters in both works visiting a cabin in the woods and certain other plot points, as well as character’s names. A federal judge eventually threw the case out, effectively saying that Gallagher’s claims had no merit.  

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