Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon’s hilariously scary & genre bending The Cabin in the Woods is currently in cinemas wowing fans of the horror genre with its fresh take on the teen cabin in the woods theme.
We enjoyed their love letter to the genre and The Cabin in the Woods is one of the most engaging film of its type in the last decade, at least. Even more so, when I think about the endless string of really dire remakes and carbon copy variations on the theme that we have had to endure.
To really enjoy The Cabin in the Woods one should go in fresh, knowing as little about it as possible about the story. So we haven’t reviewed it but have rather listed 5 reasons to go see The Cabin in the Woods over here:http://www.theestablishingshot.com/2012/03/establishing-shot-cabin-in-woods-review.html
Whilst Cabin in the Woods co-writer Joss Whedon answered fan questions about The Cabin in the Woods over here! We were lucky enough to chat with Director and co-writer of Cabin in the Woods Drew Goddard and one of it’s stars Jesse Williams whilst they were over here in London last month.
Both Drew & Jesse were full of creative energy and lots of laughs and clearly we can expect a lot more from these talented individuals. In the meantime come with us as we visit The Cabin in the Woods with Drew Goddard and Jesse Williams.
Jesse Williams: I was here for two weeks last summer; doing a press tour for Grey’s Anatomy. But I’ve probably only really been herefor a solid three weeks in total as an adult. I’m running around, I've got a bunch of friends here now, so I’m getting to see the city a little bit. I’m going to Stamford Bridge tomorrow for a match. So I’ll find my way there, I’m figuring it out.
Drew Goddard: I've been several times, but this is by far the best weather I’ve ever seen. I feel very lucky!
Craig Grobler: Drew, you have got a huge catalogue of in-genre work, could you tell us a how The Cabin in the Woods ended up on screen, and how you ended up in the driver’s seat?
Drew Goddard: I wrote Cabin in the Woods with my partner in crime Joss Whedon, I sort of started my career working for him on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. We had honed our technique of working together over those years. We just enjoyed working together, so after those shows went away we were just calling each other saying “let’s find something else to do”.
We thought doing a feature would be the easiest thing to do for us, just in terms of our lives. So we started kicking around ideas of what we wanted to do, and we just love horror movies, and we love cabin movies in particular. He had this spark, this initial idea for Cabin with this upstairs, downstairs quality of it. As soon as I heard it, I went “oh yeah, that’s great let’s do that”. We just started meeting, and over the course of about five months we fleshed out the story, and once we had that we said, “alright, let’s write this”. We’ve learnt with Buffy that we never had much time to write because we were always behind schedule and we’d have to write scripts over the weekend constantly. But there’s a real energy that comes about when you do that. We wanted that energy, so we said let’s lock ourselves in a hotel, and we’re not allowed to leave the room until we’ve got a script done. It was very much an experiment, but it worked. We found this nice hotel and just kept writing, from like 7am to 2am everyday, round the clock, passing pages back and forth. And in the end we had Cabin. We sensed we’d written it, but it was every much what it was. It was very much a labour of love; just two guys trying to entertain each other.
How would you guys describe the film to somebody in a non-spoilery way?
Drew Goddard: I would just talk about the genre itself, and how this is our love letter to the genre. It is very much about making the ultimate horror film, or at least what we knew how to do. We just love that horror experience. This came about because we love sitting in the theatre, and feeling that energy when you’ve got the type of horror film that’s fun. And you’re screaming as much as you’re laughing, and when you’re sort of doing both. That can only happen in certain types of films, and we very much wanted Cabin to be that. It’s tough, because we can honestly say that the less you know about Cabin the more fun you are going to have, but you also want to tell people that it is worth their time. So it is finding that balance. Luckily, one of the things that has been nice is that we’ve noticed that people who see the movie understand, and they sort of know what not to do. They sort of do that without us having to ask. I think it’s true of most people, I think most people don’t like being spoiled, and want to spoil, they just want to talk about the things that excite them. I think that is true of not just this movie but of all movies. I feel like we are definitely seeing that happen here, which is refreshing.
Jesse Williams: Yeah, and I think also, the word spoiler is kinda lost, its meaning is kind of amorphous, some people mean it "don't spoil the ending of some sitcom" it doesn't even matter, it's like little pieces to a story where they're not dealbreakers, whereas this I feel that the audience is really, people who've seen it are coming out and saying 'we don't wanna not spoil it for the sake of the director or the writer or the actor, we're not gonna spoil it for the audience, we want you to have the best experience possible' and a throw back to before twitter and the information age when everything was just fun to show off, to flex how much information you had ahead of time. Not "Oh, I got to see it before you, and now I'm gonna f*** it up for you." It's just a little muscle flex, and that's not what this is about, you see that people wanna... Less is more. The first thing about The Cabin In The Woods is don't talk about The Cabin In The Woods.
Drew Goddard: I don’t know, I try not to worry too much about how it will be perceived in the pantheon. We just tried to make the best movie we could. The rest of that is for other people to decide.
Jesse Williams: I think it’s hard to say right now, I mean it hasn’t even come out yet. We’ve seen it in a couple of theatres with people in it. Sure, that’s going to be a by-product, if it makes an impact, that people will make reference to it, so therefore it will have a lasting effect. We’ll start with one, and see if the math continues down that road.
With you directing for the first time, did you find there was a big change in perspective from writing and producing?
Drew Goddard: Well, I certainly can't blame the director anymore when things go wrong, which was the hardest part. Luckily I was really fortunate in my career to work for people like Joss Whedon and JJ Abrams who very much have a feature mentality to the television shows they're working on, and they're very much empowering the writers, and writing in general. Television is a writer's medium. I was very comfortable doing things like talking to actors and working with guts and looking at budgets and all of those things but there is something rather harrowing about stepping on set the first day and realising there's no one else to turn to, that all eyes are looking at you. And that takes a lot of getting used to, but there's also good in that, it's nice when you realise you're in charge.
Jesse, what was it that attracted you to Cabin in the Woods in the first place?
Drew Goddard: No I got away with everything. I really did. Shockingly so, but I got to do everything I wanted.
You can follow Jesse Williams on Twitter over here: http://twitter.com/#!/iJesseWilliams
The Cabin in the Woods is in UK cinemas from Friday 13 April
Five friends go to a remote cabin in the woods. Bad things happen. If you think you know this story, think again. From fan favourites Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard comes THE CABIN IN THE WOODS, a mind blowing horror film that turns the genre inside out.
Produced by Whedon and directed by Goddard from a script by both, the film stars Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Anna Hutchison, Fran Kranz, Jesse Williams, Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford. Lionsgate presents a Mutant Enemy production.
The Establishing Shot: WE CHAT THE CABIN IN THE WOODS WITH DIRECTOR DREW GODDARD AND STAR JESSE WILLIAMS