We Need to Talk About "THE CABIN IN THE WOODS"
Interview: Kristin Connolly and Fran Kranz
Published: Saturday, April 14, 2012
Updated: Saturday, April 14, 2012 14:04
“THE CABIN IN THE WOODS” has been building up buzz since it premiered in Austin last December, and starting today you can finally see this horror/comedy gem in theaters everywhere. You can read our review here, but the short form is this: go see it. Until then, you can check out our interview with the two main stars, Fran Kranz and Kristen Connelly – no spoilers, we promise.
The Suffolk Voice: So this film has been a long time coming. It’s been on the shelf a few years, and if I remember correctly it was converted into 3-D at one point.
Fran Kranz: I guess so! I don’t really know the whole story.
Kristen Connolly: We’d hear little things from Joss and Drew but we weren’t really involved…
FK: We’re definitely not behind the scenes. We all heard about the 3-D thing, but I think this movie ended up in the right place, with the right people. Lion’s Gate gets it. The poster alone is so different than the first poster I saw – the movie is where it’s belongs.
KC: Plus, if you’ve seen the movie you know it’s not all action. So who wants to watch that in 3-D? It’s silly.
Voice: Exactly, the movies not a straight genre film, it’s a lot more than that. So, when you first read the script, did that blow your mind?
FK: I hadn’t gotten the offer when I got the script. I’m not sure, some of the other actors didn’t get the script until they got the offer,
[Kristen points at herself and mouths ‘me’]
FK: But for me I got the script, and still had an audition left to do, I think. I read once for a casting director, and then again for Drew, then I got the script, then I went in for Drew and Joss. Meanwhile I was working with Joss, so all the waiting and the anticipation… it was like the elephant in the room on the “Dollhouse” set. It was like, “Please God, give me the part.”
And Joss came up to me one day and said “You did a really awesome job with your read; and we want you to read for Drew.” And then I read the script – and it was painful! Because it was one of the best scripts I’d ever read. And I realized what a major opportunity I had. So the idea of not getting the part was so scary; I’d never get over it. I was a mess. But it worked out!
Voice: You mention Drew Goddard, who made his directing debut with this film. What was he like, was it like working with a kid in a candy store?
FK: You would never know he’s a first time director because he has such an encyclopedic knowledge of horror, and of film in general – he just knew what he wanted. Which is the most important thing. It was never a question of experience with him. He had it, he loved it. That was inspiring, to be around people who cared.
Voice: So he surely made you watch a lot of movies for preparation beforehand.
FK: Yeah. I wish I had the full list, because he gave us a LOT. But it was like, “The Descent”, “The Evil Dead”, “Evil Dead II” – I’m not sure he had “Army of Darkness” on there but we watched it anyway – “Halloween”, maybe “Friday the 13th”,
KC: The first one, it was. Or maybe I just watched that myself.
FK: But he gave Kristen and I “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”. And I thought it was a great idea, to highlight friendship in the face of adversity. But “Evil Dead” – we had to watch it. “Cabin” takes so much from “Evil Dead” –
KC: Hell, our DP shot it!
FK: Yeah, our Director of Photography shot it. But when I watched it, I was like, “Oh my god.” I hadn’t seen it before, and it’s the exact same cabin. I was like, “what are we doing?”
KC: It’s such a weird movie. With the evil raping tree. That tree… is upsetting.
Voice: And does this stuff actually help your performance or is it just fun to go through all these great films?
FK: It was fun just to see them, to get into that mindset… and there’s this great history of horror films. It’s a great genre; it’s a part of film. So to get pumped up about what we were doing, about our place in horror… because I think “Cabin” is unlike any other horror movie, it’s sort of raising the bar, I think it kind of transcends the genre. It’s all over the place. So to go back and see classics right before the shoot was really inspiring.
Voice: Drew’s direction certainly did impress me. I notice he went for mostly practical effects over CGI; how does that change the dynamic on set?
FK: There was a lot of people walking around in insane costumes. A lot of that. The lunch tables were bizarre. There’s like a photo, somewhere, and it’s crazy – you’re like “what the hell is this movie about??”
And there was some CGI, not a lot, but that was kind of fun too. Because I had never really worked with that technology, and there’s a lot of new things to learn: there’s the balls, the green screen guys –
KC: There was about a million of those guys.
FK: But there were these silver balls they use to register 3 dimensions of space – and this is way over my head…
KC: But there were also moments when Drew would just point at us and be like, “and…. Pretend it’s shaking!”
FK: [Laughs]. Yeah, but for the most part it was the real costumes. And I think that stuff plays better.