The Cabin in the Woods (review) recently took the SXSW Film Festival by storm where it was selected as the Opening Night Feature Film for the entire festival. It’s funny, bloody, and scary. Our readers should eagerly lap this one up starting on Friday, April 13.
I was lucky enough to conduct several interviews with many of the creators and participants in the film. Up first are veteran actors Bradley Whitford and Richard Jenkins. I was only allowed 10 minutes, one-on-two with the gentlemen, and asked not to reveal any key plot points of the film. This made an organized and cohesive interview near impossible, but I think you can still get the gist of what’s going on.
Hit the jump to check it out. It’s finally out. Are you guys excited about it? Do you even remember anything about the movie?
Bradley Whitford (BW): It is shocking to see it all put together because it became kind of abstract over a couple of years. But, it was a really great experience making it. I think we were all just anxious to see the result.
Can talk about the set up of your characters did in the movie? Without giving away too much, of course.
BW: Couple of lunch pail guys who have just a very important job to do.
Do you have any favorite horror films?
Richard Jenkins (RJ): Really old Sci-Fi, I think it would be Sci-Fi. The Thing. The original The Thing. The Howard Hawks original. I remember growing up and being terrified by that one. Also, it’s funny. The dialogue is very sharp and funny. And I also loved Them.
There used to be a television show in Chicago called “Shock Theater” on Saturday night at midnight and they showed all the Dracula movies or the Frankenstein movies or Abbott and Costello meet Frankenstein. I used to love that stuff. And then why all of a sudden did we stop going to horror movies? I don’t know.
That’s an interesting question. Especially with this film, which dissects horror and peels back the layers and shows all the ugly innards of what horror has become.
BW: I certainly recognized that while reading the script, what was being dissected. So to speak.
Do you think that is applicable to non-horror films as well?
BW: One thing we both responded to when we read this, which is the result of guys like Joss (Whedon) and Drew (Goddard), putting themselves in a situation that is so rare, where you have two really smart writers who literally say – If we could write anything, what would we write? And, I think, yeah, there is a frustration [with certain tropes].
Part of what is exciting about this movie to me is that it’s so fresh. It’s not homogenized, pasteurized, studioized. Ironically at the same time it’s a very tightly structured movie.
I find it interesting that the film’s publicists are saying it’s not really a horror movie, but it is a horror movie and it’s excellent in that realm alone. If you came into it blind and had no history of horror, you would think this is a great horror flick.
BW: Right. But then you get sort of a, I almost used the word “deconstruction.”
RJ: And they do it right before your very eyes. The beginning, about his first scenes that were in the golf cart. Now that’s brilliant. The way they wrote that. That’s exposition. Not so much exposition, its telling you about the people, who they are. And the way they do it is so different than most movies. Most movies would say – You know, I have three children and you have four and its, its what? But, it comes out of the daily talk. The chatter. And when I read it, that’s the first thing you would read and its like you go, I’m on board with this. Nobody writes like that. I mean very few people write like that. You can smell this stuff a mile away when you see it. And they don’t need to know any more about either one of them.
NOTE: Edited for spoilers.
RJ: Everybody gets our names mixed up, by the way.
BW: Like the credits in the movie are wrong?
RJ: Not the credits in the movie, on IMDB the credits are wrong.
Transcription by Leah Allen.