Behind The Scenes Saturday: The Cabin In The Woods

Welcome to Day 16 of Spooky Season!! Today’s Behind The Scenes post is dedicated to The Cabin In The Woods! This movie brought a fresh take on the typical cabin in the woods trope and gave us a situation that was both terrifying and hilarious! So, get your thermal mug/bong ready, do not read the latin, and enjoy these fun facts!

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  • Marty’s (Fran Kranz) famous thermal mug/bong cost $5,000 to make and it was actually functional as a mug and a bong.
  • During the scene where the main characters jump in the lake, the only person who doesn’t jump in is Marty. This is because Fran Kranz was absolutely ripped in real life. He was in better shape than the other actors, which would’ve been totally out of character. The writers of the film joked that Kranz was like muscular Jesus. Kranz had to wear baggy clothing to help with the illusion that he was lankier.
  • For the scene where Jules (Anna Hutchison) French kisses the wolf’s head on the wall, the dust on the wolfs tongue is actually powdered sugar. The sugar not only gave it a dusty look, it made the scene more tolerable for Hutchison.
  • The script for the movie was written by Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard in just 3 days. They locked themselves in a hotel room over one weekend and didn’t leave until they finished the script.
  • The failed rituals we see in the other countries are all referencing various horror classics. The Kyoto ritual references the movie Ringu, the Buenos Aires ritual references King Kong, the Stockholm ritual references The Thing, and the Madrid ritual references Dracula.
  • According to the director, Drew Goddard, the scene that audiences reacted to the most was the scene that the Merman appeared in.
  • There’s a scene where Ronald The Intern (Tom Lenk) is trapped in the utility closet, and he holds up a sign that says, “Help me. I’m in the utility closet. A dragon bat has my scent. I’m Ronald the Intern.” Drew Goddard wanted to zoom into the sign so audiences could read it, but it was impossible.
  • Due to the initial studio’s bankruptcy, the film was shelved. The writers of the film had little faith in its success, until Lionsgate viewed the film and wanted to pick it up for release.
  • On the whiteboard of monsters, there is a name that just says Kevin. Kevin is referenced to Elijah Wood’s demented character in the movie Sin City.
  • If you’re wondering what the latin that Dana (Kristen Connolly) reads from the diary, it’s been stated that the translation reads, “Pain outlives the flesh. Pain raises the flesh. Pain ignites the spirit.”
  • The being with the golden sphere, who obviously is a tribute to Pinhead from the Hellraiser series, is credited as Fornicus, Lord Of Bondage And Pain.
  • Overall, there are over 60 different kinds of monsters created for the film.
  • This was Drew Goddard’s first film. He was given a rocky start as the first scene he had to film was at the gas station, where the characters meet Mordecai (Tim DeZarn). The set at the gas station was unexpectedly covered in snow, so it proved difficult to film, considering the film doesn’t take place in the winter.
  • Fran Kranz went all out to prepare for the role of Marty. He attended a 2 hour joint rolling session, and a separate bong lighting session: all taught by experts.
  • Drew Goddard was extremely uncomfortable with filming Jules’ nude scene, because he was brought up a Catholic. Anna Hutchison, however, was very consensual and professional about the entire thing. She assured Goddard that her being topless wasn’t a big deal at all.
  • One of the reasons the release of the film was delayed was because the studio wanted it to be in 3D. As we all know, the idea of making the film 3D was eventually scrapped.
  • Heather Langenkamp, the star of A Nightmare On Elm Street, was part of the makeup crew for this film! Her husband, David LeRoy Anderson, is a professional SFX artist!
  • Speaking of David LeRoy Anderson, he’s the one who played the floating head monster in this film!
  • The car that Marty drives in the beginning of the film was the same type of car that Drew Goddard drove in high school. Like Marty, Goddard also had the habit of locking his doors and leaving his windows rolled down.
  • A majority of the scenes set in the control room were filmed in an actual office building. Many of the scenes had to be filmed at night, when the building was mostly vacant.
  • Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard liked Jeepers Creepers, so they considered Victor Salva to direct this film. Considering Whedon’s own problematic past, it doesn’t surprise me at all that he would want someone like Salva attached to the project. Eventually, Whedon and Goddard agreed to have Goddard direct and Whedon to produce.
  • Maya Masser, who plays Mother Buckner, stated that it took at least 8 hours to apply her makeup for the film. During her first day of filming, it took at least 4-6 hours.
  • The entire scene where Jules and Curt (Chris Hemsworth) were in the woods were filmed indoors.
  • The Kyoto segment was almost cut from the film.
  • Drew Goddard initially wanted horror legend Bruce Campbell to play The Director. However, Campbell was unavailable at the time, so the role went to Sigourney Weaver. Whedon was thrilled to have a well-known horror legend for the role. Weaver was also thrilled to star in a movie that featured a werewolf.
  • The film’s lighthearted beginning was intentionally made that way by Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard. They wanted to confuse the audience into thinking they walked into the wrong movie.
  • When we see the whiteboard of monsters, we see Deadites and the Angry M*l*st*ng Tree written on it. These are obvious references to the Evil Dead franchise.
  • The studio wanted to completely cut the celebration scene in the office. Joss Whedon tried to convince Drew Goddard to cut it, but after he saw how upset Goddard was about cutting it, Whedon told the studio heads that they weren’t cutting anything.
  • The blood that shot out of the Merman’s blowhole was a last minute addition.
  • Joss Whedon have stated that the characters of Sitterson (Richard Jenkins) and Hadley (Bradley Whitford) were based on himself and Drew Goddard.
  • Jamie Lee Curtis was also considered for the role of The Director.
  • As Dana and Marty sit as the world is crumbling around them, they are actually sitting between The Fool and The Virgin symbols that represent them.
  • This is a rare occasion in the horror genre where every single person in the world dies.
  • The security guard (Brian White) is named Truman. He is named after the main character in The Truman Show, in which the main character’s life and fate is also controlled by people.
  • Richard Cetrone plays the werewolf in this film. He also portrays a werewolf in the Underworld franchise.

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