Monday, April 23, 2012

Review: Cabin in the Woods Visual Companion

SPOILER ALERT - If You Haven't Seen Cabin in the Woods, Click Away!

Cross-posted on

Remember that moment in Cabin in the Woods when you finally realize what the office pool is all about as the film cuts to a white board filled with a long list of creatures and various departments next to each one? Remember how much you wanted to pause the screen and take in all in? But then remember how you realized t's a movie in a movie theater and you wouldn't get to do this until DVD/Blu-Ray release? FEAR NOT YA'LL. Luckily, the Cabin in the Woods Visual Companion hits bookstores today and not only does it have a screencap of the board, but shots of the basement, specific creature designs, discussions about the creatures, and the script itself, which contains creature details. All that's missing to answer all of your creature questions is a detailed diagram of board to basement to creature. Which *will* be on the DVD/Blu-Ray, right Drew? RIGHT, DREW?!?! In fact, Badass Digest posted the photo and there's a pretty fun comment chain going on in response as people break down the creatures - have a looksie

Frankly, that alone would be enough to get me to buy this book, but the Visual Companion is so much more than that. Aside from the massive creature education/explanation, the book offers tons of behind the scenes stills, production photos, storyboards, concept art, models, interviews with actors, production designer, creature designer and more, the entire original script and best of all a THIRTY FOUR page interview with, plus forewords and afterwards from, Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon. Sure, plenty of this stuff you could maybe find in various interviews around the interwebs, but this extensive chat was done right after the film was picked up and goes into incredible detail from pre production through the shoot itself and where they were in post.

Moar after the jump!

This is sort of the film where it ends and you immediately want to see it again. At least, that's what happened to me (so I did, as soon as I possibly could - twice) and everyone I know, but even the second and third times I saw the film, I kept forgetting what it was I meant to look out for, as I got so wrapped up in simply enjoying the movie. A nice perk of the book is getting to come home and think "Okay, wait, *what* was the deal with Marty's weed?" and get the answer, or wonder, "wait, where did that sacrificial blood come from?" then come home and turn to a giant page with a photo of the vat of blood and an explanation on how it works. Oh, and now I know who Kevin is on the board, that the cabin was described in the script as "sparse and antlery" , that Joss Whedon *might* have been slightly inspired by a shirt Drew Goddard bought at Comic-Con, that Goddard's biggest influence growing up was Douglas Adams, and that the Truth or Dare scene was originally the Truth, Dare, or Lecture scene. The book essentially arms you with any information on the film you could possibly need, so when you are involved in casual conversation with movie loving friends who have questions about Cabin, you may be able to answer anything they are wondering about, thanks to one book. 


This actually marks the first time I've received a book for review that I feel compelled to lend to my friends, because (advance apologies for quoting High School Musical), we're all in this together. Cabin in the Woods is special to the ones who love it, to the point that many of us are getting more defensive of this film than we have of any movie in a loooong time. I got into fights with teenagers over Twitter who didn't get it, readers are clamoring for the resignation of Rex Reed, and Film School Rejects just wrote a Boiling Point about how we need to calm down and stop calling people stupid who are calling Cabin in the Woods stupid. But Cabin has quickly become the litmus test for so many of us, as Shaun of the Dead was for me at age 19, as Inception was to a certain extent a couple summers ago. This defense becomes multiplied when our beloved movie doesn't open as well as we hoped it would. So to any of you that are finding this sounding familiar - TRUST ME when I say this book is for you. There is no reason to not buy this. It will make you so happy. 

The only answer I still don't have after reading this book and the script within is what Marty's Super 8 film was supposed to conjure. So if anyone has theories, I encourage you to post below! Which baddie on the board could it possibly be?!


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