The blood of The Cabin in the Woods: The Official Visual Companion

This companion to Joss Whedon’s creepy, sci-fi, horror flick, The Cabin in the Woods, gives fans a fantastic inside look at the enigmatic film.

The volume begins with a forward by co-writer Drew Goddard. He explains some of his motivations for creating the movie as well as his sheer awe at even being allowed to make a film like this. A film Goddard sees as a sort of conceit, something he’s made just for his own – rather than for any desire at profit or art, a completely selfish act which has somehow gone un-punished. 

What immediately follows this bit of self-depreciating aggrandizement is the really interesting part of the book: an interview with Goddard and Whedon, which covers, not just Cabin and their involvement in it, but how the film affects the greater context of each of their careers.

There are some gems here regarding the filming of individual, memorable scenes, as well as industry discussion – offering us a look at the genres, especially horror, from the point of view of one of the most popular writers and directors of our time.

The bulk of the book is the script. Indeed, the entire original script for The Cabin in the Woods is included here, interspersed with film stills, notes about script changes, descriptions of set design, and lots and lots of great on-set photos from the filming.

Clearly, getting this kind of inside look at the process of a film’s production is a fan’s dream come true. When you finish reading this script and accompanying notes, you’ll almost wish you didn’t know so much about the film. Especially interesting are the many illustrations in the margins, sketches which show the thought processes and methods behind the many special effects and stunts, none of which were crafted with CGI. 

The lack of CGI is also discussed in the next section, which covers the monster costumes and makeup, how each was created, and includes photos of them all which, in the light of day, seem much less creepy than in the darkness of the film.

The volume closes with an outro from Whedon, describing why he feels horror stories are a cultural necessity.

Overall, there is a lot of really great info here about the film. If you were not a particular fan, I would recommend at least flipping through the cool bits of the book at the bookstore to catch some of the general insights, but if you loved The Cabin in the Woods, then you have to own this book, no excuses. It is everything a fan of the film could possibly hope for in a visual companion.

The Cabin in the Woods: The Official Visual Companion is available now. Follow me on Twitter or Facebook for a chance to win a copy of the book sometime in the next few days.