Say you've already watched The Cabin in the Woods. Twice, even. And now you want to relive the genre-busting insanity a whole different way. Luckily, The Cabin in the Woods: The Official Visual Companion, out today, is just bursting with art and information.
Update: Check out a few exclusive pages from the book below.
We've glimpsed monsters that people were not supposed to know about, and learned bizarre details about the making of the film — including a Firefly Easter Egg that you probably missed. Spoilers ahead!
This seriously gorgeous book includes just loads of concept art and production photos, which give you a way better look at the creatures in the film, plus all the millions of other details you might have missed. There are some publicity shots of every creature as well as concept drawings, and you get to pore over every detail of the basement full of creepy relics as well.
There's a complete screenplay with loads of stills, plus little cutaway sections where the actors and designers talk about the process of creating the characters and the locations.
You find out weird little details like who created the painting that Holden removes to reveal the two-way mirror in his bedroom, and how they created the cabin set in two different locations. There are some lines that are quite different from the final script, including Curt being more of a dick. And there's a whole sequence in the bathroom of the gas station that was filmed but cut for pacing reasons.
Also, "Truth or Dare" becomes "Truth or Dare or Lecture" — and Holden delivers an insane lecture about how Marty is in the "womb of reefer" and Curt is popping steroids. ("I eat them like candy," says Curt.)
And then after the screenplay, there's a special section on the making of the film's monsters, which is just insane. Some of the "Merman" concept art looks more like the Creature from the Black Lagoon, actually. And there is tons of concept art for creatures that you probably didn't even see in the film.
Here are some weird things we learned about the making of Cabin in the Woods from the Visual Companion:
- Joss Whedon summarizes the original idea for the movie like this: "You play your normal horror movie — five kids go to a cabin in the woods — and you find out that everything they're doing is being manipulated from downstairs, and eventually they get downstairs and fuck shit up." But part of the genesis was looking at the remake of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre and realizing, "Not only do we keep performing this ritual, but it's clearly degenerating."
- Whedon and director Drew Goddard wrote the movie together in a long weekend. They checked into a hotel in Santa Monica on Thursday night and stayed through Sunday. They had a bungalow with an upstairs and a downstairs, and Goddard sat upstairs and Whedon sat downstairs, and they'd pass pages back and forth. That way, they could be in a bubble for three days and not have to worry about anything except pounding it out.
- Those two guys in the control room are the writers. Says Whedon, "Anybody who thinks Drew and I are not Hadley and Sitterson clearly never met us."
- At one point, Whedon wanted to direct the movie. Before they started writing Cabin, Whedon told Goddard that he'd produce it, and Goddard should direct it. But halfway through the writing process, Whedon walked upstairs and told Goddard, "I kind of feel like I want to direct this now." Goddard was disappointed, but also happy because you couldn't ask for a better director. Afterwards, Whedon changed his mind back, and decided Goddard should direct it, because "I have a problem with dismembering people. And it felt to me a little bit like a step back if I was going to do this."
- Whedon was the second-unit director on the film. And he was on set the whole time, to the bitter end — and then he had to run back to L.A. and work on Dollhouse.
- They wrote bits of fake movie scripts when they were casting the film. There's not a whole fake script, but they wrote chunks of fake movies for the different roles they were casting. For Curt (Chris Hemsworth), they had a "pterodactyl movie." For Holden and Jules' scene together, it was a movie about "tentacles in a Jacuzzi." Marty (Fran Kranz) had "a monologue about something made entirely of claws." A different actor was cast as Truman, but after he got the actual script he bailed out because it was so different from what he thought he'd be doing.
- Some stuff had to get cut from the monster rampage sequence at the end. The Angry Molesting Tree, which you can glimpse in the elevator in one scene, got much more molest-y in another shot, which might wind up as a DVD extra. Also, one of Goddard's favorite monsters was Kevin, a sweet-looking guy who seemed like he might work at Best Buy — until he dismembers people. But Whedon fought to include the Dragon-Bat.
- There are tons of little Easter Eggs. Including, during the monster rampage, a quick glimpse of a short version of a Reaver from Firefly/Serenity.
- They're not ruling out a sequel. Just because the ending is pretty final doesn't mean you can't come back from that, because with these kinds of comedic films, there's always a way, says Goddard.
The Cabin in the Woods: The Official Visual Companion is available now from Amazon.