The Cabin in the Woods [Blu-Ray] Drew Goddard

The Cabin in the Woods [Blu-Ray] Drew Goddard
Drew Goddard and co-writer/producer Joss Whedon have assembled a collection of special features as meticulously detailed and packed with sardonic wit as their affectionate deconstruction of the horror genre. Out of respect for the brilliant plot twists that gain in thematic resonance what they lose in surprise upon repeat viewings, I'll keep the story points to a minimum. A deliberately archetypical group of students take a trip to the titular cabin in the woods. Hilarious satire and pointed chaos ensue in creative and unexpected ways that call out the bloodthirsty voyeurism of audiences and opposing worldviews of idealism and cynicism. Suffice it to say, there's as much to chew on as there is to be entertained by. On to the exceptional bonus content! "We Are Not Who Are" is a first-rate look at the making of the movie, with uncommon attention to the challenges of the elaborately orchestrated project and raw footage of the director in action. Whedon and Goddard discuss the idea's initial conception during their time together on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, explaining the specific pressure they put on themselves to write the script quickly once a window of opportunity opened. In both this feature and a commentary track, the co-writers engage in self-deprecating verbal sparring and riff on non-sequiturs in equal measure, with candid anecdotes about pushing such an atypical vision through the studio system and insightful examinations of story structure, pacing and other tricks of the trade. "Marty's Stash" shows off the elaborate paraphernalia created for Franz Kanz's scene-stealing stoner, while "Hi My Name is Joss and I'll Be Your Guide" is a tour of the cabin set led by the geek guru himself. "An Army of Nightmares" covers the extensive practical makeup and special effects so integral to the film's third act and "Primal Terror" does the same for the VFX, with Goddard expressing, one of many times, that his naivety as a first-time director led him down many difficult creative paths that ended up being very rewarding. "Wonder-Con Q&A" sees the writing duo field audience questions after a screening, succinctly and with good humour addressing inane inquiries and thoughtful story probing alike. Finally, "It's Not What You Think" is an enhanced viewing mode, and the only feature to fall short of greatness. The individual clips of cast and crew interviews, location design and other behind-the-scenes bits are just as interesting and funny as everything else on this excellent disc, but the lags between extras beg for a function to skip ahead. That's a pretty minor quibble when we're talking about a fantastic package for the most insightful and entertaining horror comedy ever made. (Alliance)