The Cabin In The Woods hits next month and I couldn’t be more excited to see it again. My review hits closer to release date, but I absolutely love this film. Cloverfield writer Drew Goddard and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” creator Joss Whedon have fashioned a great horror movie. And make no mistake, the film is horror, it’s just got a lot of other stuff going on that makes it special. But it certainly satisfies all of your slasher and gore beats while taking you to many unexpected trailers.
A few weeks ago I hopped on the phone with Brian White (Brick, Good Deeds), who plays Alex Truman in the film. He was keenly aware of how special the experience of Cabin is and can’t wait until the general audience gets a chance to see it. Which happens to be tonight, when the film premieres at SXSW in Austin.
In the film, “A group of friends at a cabin retreat scratch the surface of something so massive and horrific that they can only begin to fathom it as time quickly runs out. If you think you know this story, think again. ‘Cabin in the Woods’ is a mind-blowing horror film that turns the genre inside out.” Chris Hemsworth, Richard Jenkins, Bradley Whitford, Kristen Connolly, Anna Hutchison, Fran Kranz, Jesse Williams and Brian White all star.
Hit the jump for the interview! How did you first get involved in the project?
Auditioning. I think I auditioned seven or eight times. It was a long, involved six months. Joss and Drew would put me in different scenarios and they put me through the paces. When I got called the first time to meet them, they told me they were trying something different and asked me to bear with them. They said it would be worth it and it was. I went through with it because Joss is a genius. And Drew is a genius. We didn’t have a script when we were auditioning, we were going after it simply because it was Drew and Joss. What you might think of them, they’re even better. They’re amazing. And for me it was a different genre. This film is sick.
So you were a fan of Joss’ work on “Buffy”?
Yeah and my boy Columbus is in Cloverfield so I was familiar with Drew and I’d seen his work. And then Joss, “Angel” and “Buffy”, I’m a fan of his writing and his brain. There’s not a lot of well written stuff that has roles for brown people that’s also funny, and it was great to work with Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford. All of my scenes are with them.
This film veers into some different territory, did you ever talk with Joss or Drew about the tropes you were subverting?
I actually had a conversation with Joss and Drew about this. Joss had a binder, a book. They’re both huge readers, scientists really. So I’m not really sure how long they’d been working on it, but it was years. They did all the research they could do on it and were carrying it around in a binder, but there are too many influences to mention. If I were to name one and get it wrong, I’d never hear the end of it. They did their homework and they’ll challenge everybody. Even Tom Cruise gave notes on this, any great mind that’s friends with Joss and Drew got their stamp on it.
And what are some of your favorite movies from the genres that the movie is flipping?
I like Evil Dead. I like Aliens, Poltergeist, The Thing, and The Fly. I love Jeff Goldblum. It’s a wide variety. And this movie is a wide variety as well. It’s comedy, it’s sci-fi, it’s horror, it’s gore, it’s a slasher, I can’t even think of enough adjectives. It’s wickedly wild and smart. It’s Joss and Drew-ish.
Joss and Drew-ish sounds like a good genre.
Yeah man, they’re a good team. They don’t really step on each other’s toes. They work closely together and stay out of each other’s way at the same time. It’s really refreshing and inspiring and it taught me a lot.
This film got caught up in MGM’s financial situation and was extremely delayed. What was it like having this great movie just sit there for so long?
As an actor we don’t really have that much say over a project. It’s not something we focus on that much. You read something and you make a wish list and sometimes you get it and sometimes you don’t. It was unique to be in such a big production in the first place, so the anticipation is the same for both of us, because I’m a fan too. I want to share it with everybody. I’ve been excited since we shot it, and now I’m getting more and more excited the closer it gets to becoming real.
The Cabin In The Woods premieres tonight at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin, TX.