Among all the films I blow my fanboy trumpet for on this site, 2012’s The Cabin in the Woods is my favourite. It’s smart, scary, really funny, and it ends with a smash cut to credits that’s guaranteed to make me head-bang every time. And of course, it’s got that excellently designed, practically achieved werewolf.
Spoiler alert! Photos in this post reveal what happens in the final minutes of the film.
Replies to ancient tweets usually come from spam bots, so on Friday when I saw a thread from 2013 had gained a new reply, I was expecting a chance trade my email address for a “free iPad”. Instead I found a link from ‘L. N.’ that lead me to the creature effects treasure trove Monster Legacy.
Monster Legacy is the kind of site I get stuck on for hours, reading, opening new tabs and clicking on galleries. Whoever runs it does a great job of sourcing and combining the “making of” stories behind the monsters and aliens we see in films. In this case, L. N. linked me to two posts that explore the thousands of hours of design, fabrication and performance work that went into creating the insane menagerie of creatures on display in The Cabin in the Woods.
The werewolf, being one of the star creatures – and a favourite of the film’s most venerable actors – is covered thoroughly. The first post is a gallery of the film’s monsters. There are over 30 werewolf photos, covering design concepts (I’m glad they didn’t go with the scrawny long-tailed version), fabrication, testing, performance and press kit images.
The second post takes a closer look at the origin stories of the film’s most iconic monsters. From that post’s section on the werewolf:
According to David Anderson, “Drew and Joss’ main emphasis was, ‘this Werewolf has to be fast, it has to kick ass, and it has to be all practical.” The Werewolf was designed by Constantine Sekeris, an artist “who is obsessed with Werewolves.” The design process actually started with Sekeris showing Goddard an array of Werewolf creatures he had precedently designed. Due to his experience on Buffy, Goddard had a precise idea of what the Werewolf would look like. “He knew exactly what he wanted to see,” said David Anderson, “and he put Constantine Sekeris through the wringer. Constantine probably did a dozen complete finished looks, and Drew would say, ‘The eyes are too far apart!’ or, ‘The nose isn’t quite right,’ but looking back on it those subtle changes were so necessary.”
Those two posts build on the information found in the Cabin in the Woods Visual Companion, a book I can recommend for fans of the film and monster movies in general.
Whether you want to nerd out over the behind-the-scenes details or just look at some kick-ass practical werewolf suit photos, get over to Monster Legacy and burn an afternoon.