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Cabin in the Woods: Movie Fun Facts and Recap

Five friends go into the woods for a cabin vacation -- what could possibly go wrong?! In exploring the theme of employees going about seemingly benign work tasks and lives while building a monster that could end the world (atomic bomb, anyone?), writer/directors Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard ended up introducing us to the elevator straight to hell (and dragon-bat).

See The Gang's recap (revisited) of Cabin in the Woods, directed by Whedon and Goddard. Starring Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Fran Kranz, Anna Hutchison, Jesse Williams, Bradley Whitford, Amy Acker, and the final girl herself, Sigourney Weaver as "The Director."


Gremlins 2, Horror Virgin episode 140, 2020.



Warning: Spoilers Ahead

  • Whedon and Goddard wrote the script in 3 days. They came off of failed projects and had some time off, so they wrote most of the script in that weekend.

  • The conversation at the end of the movie was reminiscent of Gorman and Vasquez in Aliens.

  • Each of the cities highlighted are supposed to represent different monster themes from different horror films.

  • The travel mug bong was fully functional and cost $5k.

  • Each of the monsters and what departments bet on them:

  • Werewolves - Finance

  • Alien beast - Biomed

  • Mutants - Demolitions

  • Wrathes - No One,

  • Zombies - Chem

  • Reptilians - No One

  • Clowns - Electrical

  • Witches - Operations

  • Sexy Witches - Archives

  • Demons - No One

  • Hell Lord - Sitters

  • Angry Molesting Trees - Wranglers

  • Giant Snake - Internal Logistics

  • Deadites - Story Department

  • Kevin (in a shared universe wtih Sin City) - No One

  • Mummy - Psychology

  • The Bride - Digital Analysis

  • The Scarecrow Folk - Data Archives

  • Snowman - Communication

  • Dragon Bat - No One

  • Vampires - Distribution

  • Dismemberment Goblins - No One

  • Sugar Plum Faries - No One

  • Merman - Steve Hadley

  • The Reanimated - Administration

  • Unicorn - Engineering

  • The Heron - No One

  • Sasquatch/windigo/yeti - No One

  • Dolls - Kitchen

  • The Doctors - No One

  • Jack-o-Lantern - No One

  • Giant - No One

  • Twins - No One

  • Drew Goddard grew up in Los Alamos, New Mexico, which has a considerable science and government industry. It's known as the location where they built the atomic bomb. He wanted to write a story about coworkers going about their day-to-day business and lives even though their work would destroy the world.

  • When she kisses the wolf head on the wall, they covered the wolf’s tongue in powdered sugar to make it look dusty but make it tasty for her. The tongue is made out of food grade silicone.

  • You shouldn’t kiss taxidermy.

  • Originally this movie was produced by MGM. While they were making this movie, MGM saw cuts from a scene where Chris Hemsworth instructs his friends on what to do. They immediately signed him for Red Dawn -- no audition -- based on that scene. What they didn’t know is that he had already auditioned for Thor, which he received two days later. They actually finished filming both Cabin in the Woods and Red Dawn before Thor was finished, but MGM went bankrupt during that time, so neither film could be released. After Thor came out, Lionsgate bought the distribution rights to release both films so that they could bank on the success of Thor.

  • In the end there's a scene where they cut to a screen with Ronald the Intern holding up a sign. Unfortunately, they weren’t able to get a clear shot of the sign, but it says: “Help me, I’m in the utility closet. A dragon-bat has my scent. I’m Ronald the intern.”

  • They tried to film that scene so you can see the sign, but the camera wouldn't focus. Part of the reason is that they didn’t have a budget for green screen, so all of the video screens in the control room had to be synced manually. That means they had to film everything that appears on the screens first, then shoot the control room, and sync all these screens manually so they could react to them. At the time, it would be such a big undertaking to green screen the room, they couldn’t do it.

  • MGM originally wanted to convert the film to 3D, which would have been incredibly expensive. Plus, Whedon and Goddard didn’t want that to happen. While they were arguing about it with MGM, the studio went bankrupt, leading Lionsgate to pick it up years later. It ends up being wildly successful, and it might have saved MGM if they had just released it when they had it.

  • Cabin in the Woods was Goddard's directorial debut. His first day as a director was the harbinger scene. When they arrived that morning, everything was covered in snow. They then had to spend hours blowing the snow away before they could film.

  • The Latin that Dana reads is "Dolor supervivo caro. Dolor sublimus caro. Dolor ignio animus." It means: "Pain outlives the flesh. Pain raises the flesh. Pain ignites the spirit."

  • Fran Kranz, who played Marty, received a 2 hour joint rolling session and a separate bong lighting session from expert consultants (ahem. "Consultants."). They include a ton of other paraphernalia including his stash, his secret stash, a small pipe, a tulip joint, a joint in the pocket of his pants, and the prop crew even designed his own brand of rolling papers: Smiling Buddha Papers.

  • The floating head monster was played by the movie’s special effects makeup artist David LeRoy Anderson who happens to be married to Heather Langenkamp, who also worked doing some of the makeup on this film.



The budget: $30 million (adjusted to $38.2 million today due to inflation).

Cabin in the Woods was released on April [Friday the] 13, 2012. The movie made $42 million domestically and $28.6 million internationally. In all, it made around $70.6 million total (adjusted to around $90 million due to inflation).

Scary Scale:

Paige: 1

Todd: 3

Mikey: 2

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