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Book Review: The Cabin in the Woods Official Visual Companion – Author Joss Whedon

This book is a companion piece to the film Cabin in the Woods. It contains the original screenplay, interviews with members of the cast and crew, and a section that takes a look at some of the monsters, zombies, and other murderous creatures that appear in the film.

When I heard about Cabin in the Woods a little over a year ago I was pretty curious about it. I have always been a fan of Joss Whedon’s work and was stoked about seeing the film even though I didn’t have a clue as to what it was about. I did a little research on it and didn’t really find anything helpful online that let me know what the plot was going to be. Hell, even after the first trailer emerged I still didn’t have any idea what it was about and I was more confused than ever! When I finally heard what it was all about I was skeptical. Yes, it sounded original but at the same time it sounded like Whedon was trying a little too hard and that it was surely going to be a huge cluster f*ck as a result. I didn’t end up seeing it in theaters even though a lot of people I knew did and loved it, but after checking out this book I really regret my decision because it looks like I really missed out.

This companion piece is pretty amazing and is something that every fan of the movie will without a doubt want to own. There is a little something for everyone here and I think that the people who loved the movie will love it. It starts out with a pretty cool foreword by co-writer and director Drew Goddard who discusses some of the thoughts running through his head while he was making the movie and how happy he was with the end result. We then have a lengthy interview with both Goddard and Joss Whedon who discuss elements such as how the idea for the film came about, writing and polishing the script, casting the characters, etc. I thought that the interview was interesting as it is obvious that both Whedon and Goddard put a lot of time, effort, and genuine love into the film, which you don’t see very often anymore when it comes to most movies (especially the crap that Hollywood keeps cranking out).

I have always enjoyed reading screenplays, so I was very happy to see that the original, uncut script was included in this book. Since I haven’t seen the actual movie I don’t know how much ended up making it into the final cut, but there is a section where Whedon states that they didn’t really change anything major while they were doing rewrites on it. I found the script to be very interesting and entertaining, and I thought that the dialogue was top notch, which is almost always the case when Whedon is responsible. As I read it I found myself really digging the characters and not wanting them to die. Hell, I even liked two of the characters that are pretty much the “bad guys” as they are likable and their interactions with each other (and other people) are priceless. Just going by the screenplay I would have to say that Marty is probably my favorite character, but that could change after I eventually see the movie when it hits DVD and I see how well the actor playing the part brings him to life. I also hope that last half hour or so of the final cut of the movie is close to the original screenplay as it is pretty much a blood bath with all Hell pretty much breaking loose and people getting killed off one after the other in a bunch of really awesome ways.

The final section of the book is devoted to taking a look at all the monsters that show up in the movie (why didn’t I know that there was a werewolf-and a pretty damn tough looking one at that-in this film? Had I known I would have totally seen the movie at the theater) and they are all look very impressive. Aside from loving the way that the werewolf looks I thought that the merman was pretty awesome as well. From what I could tell from the pictures it doesn’t look like a lot of CGI was used to create the majority of the creatures, which is always a good thing in my opinion as I think that CGI looks terrible.

I was highly impressed with this companion piece. As I said earlier it made me want to see the movie, and I am really looking forward to it being released on DVD and On Demand soon. This book is sure to be a collector’s item so if you are a fan or the movie (or know someone who is) then I highly recommend that you grab a copy of it soon.

Book Review: The Cabin in the Woods Official Visual Companion – Joss Whedon

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