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According to Drew Goddard, writer, director and CU alum, the last time he was in The Sink, he had to buy out the whole bar after losing a bet on a CU game. This time, it was under much better circumstances –– to discuss his new film, “Cabin in the Woods.” Goddard, who co-wrote and directed the film, and Amy Acker who plays the role of Lin, sat down with the CU Independent at The Sink to talk about the movie and more.
“Cabin in the Woods” is a horror film set up like any other. Five friends go to an isolated cabin to party and things go horribly wrong. But Goddard, who co-wrote the film with legendary director and writer Joss Whedon, manages to twist and flip the traditional horror movie plot.
Goddard said he wrote the film as a kind of homage to all the great horror films he loves.
“I’m a child of the 80s, you’ll see the influence of John Carpenter and Sam Raimi and all those guys,” Goddard said. “The thing about “Cabin” is, I can honestly say it’s a love letter to the entire genre and there wasn’t a horror film that didn’t influence it one way or another.”
As an alum of CU’s film and English departments, Goddard said he counts professors and film makers Bruce Kawin and the late Stan Brakhage as two of his major influences. The experimental nature of the film program shaped him as a writer and director, Goddard said.
“Never again since I left CU have I had someone say to me, ‘if you take 16mm film and bury it in your backyard after you’ve shot it, it gives it an earthy look and it will let light shine in,” he said. “That’s the stuff that only happens at CU … If you look at “Cabin,” you feel this, you learn to say ‘let’s try it. Try something different …’ That was definitely something CU impressed upon me: don’t be afraid to be weird.”
Amy Acker, who has worked with Goddard and Whedon on projects like “Angel” and “Alias,” said working with them, and in this genre, allowed her to explore her own creativity.
“For an actor I feel like these [supernatural, horror, different] are the most challenging roles you get to play and you really get to do such a wide variety of different parts,” Acker said. “So, there’s not a lot of opportunity on other shows that you get to do so many different things. It’s very exciting to get to work with people who have such great imaginations and are so creative and not afraid to do stuff that other people would be scared of doing.”
Acker said that Goddard and filmmakers like him are a determining factor in what projects she takes.
“Even the parts I’ve taken since then ["Angel" and others] have all kind of been people who love Joss and J.J. Abrams,” she said. “I kind of tend to stick with those people because I think I’m just attracted to those projects. My mom really wants me to do a romantic comedy, though. One day. I’ll probably be a monster in love or something.”
While “Cabin in the Woods” falls into the more fun horror genre then the gruesome and disturbing, Goddard said that it works on a deeper level then just the visceral scare.
“It’s impossible to deny the effect of the times you’re living in as an artist, and we were living in a time of war,” he said. “It was this time of sacrificing youth to appease the greater gods and that was very much what was influencing ‘Cabin.’”
While it may be set up like a collage of all the horror movies already seen, ”Cabin in the Woods” hurls the genre into uncharted territory. Goddard says the movie was a blast to film, and hopefully that will translate on screen.
“I kept saying, if we can’t have fun on this movie, we should just quit the business because we do such crazy things in this movie,” he said. “Like every day you would look at who was showing up to work, and you would go, ‘this is absurd! How did they let us get away with this movie?’”
(Courtesy Lionsgate Films)
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Isa Jones at Alexandra.firstname.lastname@example.org.