The Cabin in the Woods–a sly meta-commentary on the entire horror film genre–is one of my favorite films of the year to date. The DVD recently came out, allowing me the opportunity to indulge in a bit of filmic archaeology: an attempt to unearth as many of its many, many monsters as I can. The infamous betting board listed quite a few, but numerous others were glimpsed during the film and still more showed up only in behind-the-scenes footage.
My sources for this series of articles include the DVD, the Visual Companion (highly recommended) and The Cabin in the Woods wiki. The “system purge” sequence of the film is so fast and furious that it was difficult to get clear screencaps; in some cases I’ve had to resort to book scans and various websites.
(Okay, heads up. Total spoilers ahead. If that bothers you, do not read the rest of this post, much less the forthcoming parts two and three.)
To begin, I’m going to run down the whiteboard list in order.
Prominently featured in the movie, the werewolf moved fast enough that it was hard to capture him in focus. Here he is from the Visual Companion.
The facehugger-esque creature leaps out of an elevator onto one of the soldiers. The production photos from the Visual Companion give a better view.
Seen on one of the monitors vomiting on a victim. Marty shoots one in the head. Photo from the Visual Companion.
Dana and Marty see one in the holding cells. During the purge, it whooshes down a hallway.
You don’t have to look very hard to find lots of zombies participating in the rampage. Photo from the Visual Companion.
I’m presuming that’s the creature below, seen in a screengrab from the DVD’s behind-the-scenes feature. Part of this scene shows up on one of the monitors, but all you see is its foot.
Clowns are scary. And this one is impervious to bullets.
During the elevator attack, one of these flies overhead and rips out a soldier’s soul. Photo from the Visual Companion.
As far as I know, these never appeared on-screen. Unless you find the above witch sexy.
Any number of miscellaneous horrors might fit under this heading. See the forthcoming Part Three.
aka Fornicus, Lord of Bondage and Pain. He’s a piss-take on Pinhead from the Hellraiser films, complete with puzzle ball.
Angry Molesting Tree
Another specific film reference, this one a callback to the tree-rape scene from The Evil Dead. It pulls one of the soldiers into an elevator. The torrent of blood that ensues is also reminiscent of the Evil Dead films.
Note that he’s a combination cobra/rattlesnake!
Also an Evil Dead reference. I haven’t positively identified any, but deadites are close enough in appearance to zombies that it’s hard to be sure.
Ah, the legendary Kevin. Director Drew Goddard swears that he’s in the film. However, since he’s supposed to be a blandly-normal person (who can exsanguinate a victim in a second) he might be hiding among the office workers.
I’m not sure that he appears on-screen, but here’s a shot from the behind-the-scenes featurette.
Not sure about this one. The Cabin wiki thinks it’s the gauze-covered, skinless creature below. That doesn’t explain the sledgehammer it’s wielding. You can see it hammering on the sides of its cell. Later it’s visible on one of the monitors.
“The Bride” could also be a Kill Bill reference, suggesting that something in the cabin’s basement might summon Uma Thurman.
That’s the left column of the whiteboard. Come back next Monday for Part Two, when I tackle the right column!