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The Cabin in the Woods (2012) Poster

Trivia

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The movie's opening was a deliberate attempt by filmmakers Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon to confuse the audience and make them think they walked in to see the wrong movie.
When Jules kisses the wolf head on the wall, the wolf's tongue is covered in powdered sugar to give it a dusty look and to make the scene tolerable for Anna Hutchison.
During the lake scene, the only student not to jump into the lake is Marty, who remains fully clothed on the dock. This was partially due to Fran Kranz noticeably being in as good, if not better, shape than the other male students. In the commentary for the film, the writers joke that he was "ripped like muscular Jesus" and assert that if Marty were shown being that fit it would ruin the character. This is partly also why Marty wears baggier clothes than the other students.
The thermal coffee mug/bong was a fully functional mug and bong as portrayed in the film, the prototype of which cost $5000 to make.
Much of Drew Goddard's inspiration for this movie came from his own upbringing in Los Alamos, New Mexico, a place filled with scientists and co-workers all going about their business and living seemingly routine and ordinary lives even though they were building nuclear weapons that could potentially destroy the entire world. He talks about this in DVD special features interviews and commentary.
Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard wrote the script in just 3 days.
Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon wrote the screenplay for themselves after both came off failed film projects. They locked themselves up in a hotel room in order to challenge themselves, and wrote almost the entire script in one weekend.
The being with the golden sphere is named in the credits as "Fornicus, Lord of Bondage and Pain".
The Latin that Dana reads from the diary is: "Dolor supervivo caro. Dolor sublimus caro. Dolor ignio animus." It means: Pain outlives the flesh. Pain raises the flesh. Pain ignites the spirit.
During production, MGM saw the dailies of a scene where Chris Hemsworth instructs his friends. On the basis of his performance, they signed him on for Red Dawn (2012). Two days later, Hemsworth was also chosen to play the lead in Thor (2011). Both Red Dawn and The Cabin in the Woods would eventually be delayed for several years when MGM went bankrupt, and were finally released a year after Thor.
Kevin, one of the monsters in the white board, is a tribute to the Elijah Wood character of the same name from the movie Sin City (2005) and the original Frank Miller graphic novel.
Fran Kranz received extensive prop and behavior training in order to capture the stoner persona of Marty. He received a two-hour joint rolling session and a separate bong lighting session from expert consultants. In addition to the famous travel-mug bong, a number of more subtle marijuana paraphernalia appear in the film. These include Marty's stash, his secret stash, a smaller pipe, a 'tulip-joint', and a joint kept in the pocket of his pants. The prop crew even designed the film's own brand of rolling papers, 'Smiling Buddha' papers.
After the film was shelved due to the studio's bankruptcy, even director Drew Goddard and producer Joss Whedon had little faith in it, until Lionsgate saw the finished film, loved it and picked it up for release.
The scene where Curt asks Jules about the textbooks, "What are you doing with these? Who gave you these? Who taught you about these?" and she answers, "I learned it from you! Okay? I learned them from watching you!" is a take-off on a 1987 Anti-Drug PSA where the father confronts his son about drug paraphernalia and gets a similar answer.
The film's release date was postponed because the studio wanted to convert it to 3D, despite objections from Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard. These plans were eventually scrapped, and the film was released only in 2D.
Jamie Lee Curtis was considered for the role of "the director" it ultimately went to Weaver.
Screenwriters Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon had considered several directors, including Victor Salva, as both men liked his Jeepers Creepers (2001) and its sequel. Goddard was actually hoping to direct himself, until Whedon also stated the desire to direct his own screenplay. Finally, Whedon allowed Goddard to do the honors while he produced the movie.
Won five 2012 Fright Meter Awards, including Best Horror Movie, Best Director, and Best Screenplay.
One of two films featuring Chris Hemsworth that had been filmed in 2009, but not released until 2012. The other being Red Dawn (2012).
Drew Goddard's directorial debut. His first day as a director was the scene at the gas station, which proved to be an immediate challenge since the set was unexpectedly covered in snow.
The car that Marty (Fran Kranz) is driving is the same car that director Drew Goddard drove in high school. Goddard also had the strange habit of locking the doors without rolling up the window.
Maya Massar claimed that it took 8 hours to apply her makeup for the character of Mother Buckner the first time. She noted that after the first application it still took between 4 and 6 hours to apply her makeup for each day of filming.
Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.
The wolf head's tongue was made of silicone and was removable.
The entry date in the book they read from is April 4th. That is the same setting as the first chapter of the George Orwell novel "1984," also about extensive ill-intended camera surveillance.
The film was originally scheduled for release in Australia on the 12th of July, 2012, but was pulled by its distributor, Roadshow Films, in late April. Already incensed by the delayed release, the news of canceling its cinema run altogether prompted backlash from fans who filled Roadshow's Twitter and Facebook feeds with angry hate mail calling for reconsideration.
The blood spewing out of the merman's blowhole was a very late idea that made it into the film. The director jokes that the blood shot out for nine minutes, but only the last ten seconds of this shot were actually used.
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The Evil Dead (1981), 1984 (1984), Resident Evil (2002), Cabin Fever (2002) and Saw (2004) are considered influences behind the film.
The song playing at the office celebration party is "Roll with the Changes" by R E O Speedwagon. As the big screen in the background shows the last woman being slowly killed, the lyrics sing: "if you're tired of the same old story...".
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After finishing work on the film, Anna Hutchison would join the hit graphic TV series Spartacus: Blood and Sand (2010) in it's 3rd and final season.
After production was completed on the film, Chris Hemsworth returned as Thor the God of Thunder in The Avengers (2012) which was directed by Joss Whedon and it was Hemsworth's 2nd collaboration with Whedon.
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The indiscernible signs Tom Lenk holds up on the monitor were intended to be visible and read "Help me. I'm in the utility closet. A dragon bat has my scent. I'm Ronald the Intern." Drew Goddard attempted to zoom in and make them readable to the audience but it simply was not possible.
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None of the scene with Jules and Curt in the woods were shot outdoors.
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Both Anna Hutchison and Chris Hemsworth were in soap operas. Anna Hutchison played Delphi Greenlaw in Shortland Street (1992) and Chris Hemsworth played Kim Hyde in Home And Away (1985).
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When Mordecai is on speaker telling Sitterson and Hadley about how the group did not heed his warning, Sitterson and Hadley are also not heeding his warning, laughing at Mordecai's unwavering seriousness.
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Writer Joss Whedon and director Drew Goddard created over 60 different types of monsters that were created specifically for The Cabin in the Woods.
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Shooting the scene where Hemsworth gives the group instructions (before crashing his motorcycle into a forcefield) marked the moment Goddard knew that Hemsworth was going to become a movie star.
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The first day of filming was at the gas station location where the group meets Mordecai, The Harbinger.
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Many of the scenes that take place in the control room were shot on location in an actual office building. As such, the production team had to shoot many of those scenes at night when the location was vacant.
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The film's main female protagonist is called Dana. Sigourney Weaver was known for playing Dana Barrett in the Ghostbusters films.
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The line "Let's get this party started" is spoken three times: once by Sitterson as he and Hadley prepare to unleash hell on the group, once by curt immediately after and once by Dana as she hits the Purge button on the console to unleash the demons.
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The Kyoto ritual subplot faced being cut.
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The scene where Jules (Anna Hutchison) makes out with the wolf head took a multitude of takes.
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Heather Langenkamp underwent the pseudonym of Heather L. Anderson for production.
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Drew Goddard's film directorial debut.
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Lionsgate was so behind the film that it re-convinced Goddard and Whedon that it was a good movie.
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After MGM saw the dallies of the instructions sequence of Curt to the others following Jules' demise, they signed Hemsworth to their "Red Dawn" remake. And then two days after that, the actor landed the role of Thor.
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The Harbinger (Tim De Zarn) was cast using a scene that had him fighting with a vending machine over a dollar while remarking on some pretty big, and kind of out there, existential ideas.
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According to the director, the scene that tested highest with audiences was the Merman sequence.
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The film's final scene, written by Whedon, is meant to be his version of the "You always were an a**hole, Gorman" scene from James Cameron's "Aliens."
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Drew Goddard was extremely uncomfortable directing Anna Hutchison's nude scene. Goddard attributes his high level of discomfort with nudity to his Catholic upbringing. But the director says that Hutchison was purely professional and actually comforted him by suggesting that taking her top off was not a big deal at all.
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Several of the control room screens had to be manually synchronized. The sequences that take place in the underground control room feature a bay of monitors. Since the film was not made on a gigantic budget (by Hollywood standards) someone had to manually sync all of those monitors, rather than using green screen. Drew Goddard cites that as one of the most difficult aspects to pull off but also one of the most rewarding.
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Heather Langencamp (Nancy in Nightmare on elm street) serves as one of the members of the actual make up crew that created the different nightmare creatures. Her husband is an SFX artist
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Joss Whedon was the screenwriter of the science fiction horror film Alien Resurrection (1997) which starred Sigourney Weaver, who plays The Director in this film.
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Chris Hemsworth filmed the role of Curt about a year before Thor came out.
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Actors had to audition using scene specifically written for each character.
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

In the shot showing all the creatures in their elevator cells, you can briefly see a Tank, Witch, Boomer and a Hunter, four of the special infected from the Left 4 Dead (2008) game series. Their cameo was included to coincide with a planned tie-in expansion pack for the games where players would have to fight their way through the woods, cabin and facility from the movie. Unfortunately, the tie-in was canceled when MGM's financial problems hit.
Among the possible choices on the facility's betting board are the following: Werewolf, Alien Beast, Mutants, Wraiths, Zombies, Reptilius, Clowns, Witches, Sexy Witches, Demons, Hell Lord, Angry Molesting Tree, Giant Snake, Deadites, Mummy, The Bride, The Scarecrow Folk, Snowman, Dragonbat, Vampires, Dismemberment Goblins, Sugarplum Fairy, Merman, The Reanimated, Unicorn, Huron, Sasquatch/Wendigo/Yeti, Dolls, Zombie Redneck Torture Family, The Doctors, Jack O' Lantern, Giant, Twins, and Kevin.
Immediately after an early preview screening with fan Q&A, the first question Director Drew Goddard was asked was, "Will there be a sequel?" To which he responded, "Have you seen the ending to my movie?"
During the elevator ride scene, when Dana realizes they have chosen their own creatures to hunt them, she is looking at what appears to be a Cenobite - a creature known from literary works and films by Clive Barker. The Cenobite wears a black latex-like outfit and has multiple saw blades inserted into its skull. It also holds what is known as "Lemarchand's box" in the form of a spherical puzzle - similar to the one Kurt was trying to solve in the basement. The most famous Lemarchand's box is the Lament Configuration, which appears in Clive Barker's Hellraiser (1987) film and its sequels. The Lament Configuration serves as a gateway that summons the Pinhead along with other Cenobites from Hell, to punish those who solved the puzzle.
On the white board in the control room when the staff are taking bets on the victims potential killers, both "Deadites" as well as "Angry Molesting Tree" are listed. These are obvious references to The Evil Dead (1981) and its sequels, most of which also took place at a cabin in the woods.
During the rampage, one of the monsters that is briefly visible is a Reaver, a member of the fearsome tribe from Whedon's cult TV show Firefly (2002), although they were not clearly seen on screen until Serenity (2005).
According to producer Joss Whedon, the role of The Director was always intended for an actor well-known by the audience, preferably from horror movies, and he was thrilled to have Sigourney Weaver in the part. Weaver, in turn, was excited to finally be in a film that featured a werewolf.
Body Count: 69.
Among the various possible monsters on the control room white board, one of them is just listed as "Kevin." Although Kevin is never seen, in the tie-in book The Cabin in the Woods: The Official Visual Companion co-writer Drew Goddard said that Kevin was meant to be "a sweet-looking guy who seemed like he might work at Best Buy--until he dismembers people."
If you look very closely when they first release all the monsters, there is a Flying Purple People Eater (as per the classic novelty song) in the upper left hand corner of the screen, near the ceiling.
Just as the gods approach the surface, Dana and Marty are sitting between the monoliths of The Virgin (representing Dana) and The Fool (representing Marty).
A full 44 minutes elapses before the movie's first kill.
In the tie-in book The Cabin in the Woods: The Official Visual Companion, Joss Whedon says that Hadley and Sitterson represent the writers of this movie, Drew Goddard and Whedon himself.
When the camera pans out and reveals all the monsters in their elevator cells, towards the top right there is a cell containing what appears to be a giant kitten.
The scene of the Merman feeding on a victim and releasing the blood through its blow hole was done by hooking the creature up to the largest container of fake blood they could find. The shot had to be filmed in one take, as the set would be covered in the fake blood afterwards (reinforcing what Sitterson said about them being difficult to clean up after).
When Hadley releases the blood on the Fool monolith, the office suffers a slight tremor, indicating that the gods are aware that he and Sitterson were wrong in assuming the Buckner zombies killed Marty.
The studio wanted the majority of the office celebration scene cut from the movie. Producer Joss Whedon managed to convince director Drew Goddard to do it, but it upset Goddard so much that Whedon finally called the studio to inform them that they wouldn't cut anything.
The big hand which you see coming out and destroying the cabin in the final shot is of the Greek Titan God 'Kronos'.
The films ending is similar to the Buffy The Vampire Slayer episode "Primeval"(4x21), in which a hoard of demons are released from their cages in a government facility and end up killing the majority of the staff.
In the dialogue between Sitterson and Hadley about the Buckner family ("they are zombified backwoods idiots, but they are OUR zombified backwoods idiots") spoofs a famous quote from a 1948 Time Magazine article regarding Nicaraguan dictator Anastasio Somoza ("he might be a son of a bitch, but he is our son of a bitch").
The second Joss Whedon-Drew Goddard project featuring murderous scalp-happy Indian Spirits, the other being Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Pangs (1999). Both feature native American Indians with ceremonial Indian knives used to kill a victim which slits a victim's throat, slices off their left ear and then starts to (before cutting off-screen) scalp the deceased victim.
The security guard is named Truman, perhaps a reference to The Truman Show (1998), another film with a control room, an observed life, and a singularly trapped character.
In the end the whole world is destroyed and all humans are dead. So basically every character in the movie dies, including all the extras in the background. This is a rare accomplishment even for a horror movie.

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