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2 YEARS

'Cabin in the Woods': Horror Vet Wes Craven Touts Joss Whedon's Long-Delayed Film

Genre buffs turned out on Tuesday as the Lionsgate movie made its highly anticipated Los Angeles debut on Tuesday night.

Cabin in the Woods Girl Attacked Porch - H 2012
Lionsgate
Kristen Connolly as Dana in "Cabin in the Woods"

Hollywood was finally able to see Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard’s long-delayed horror movie, Cabin in the Woods, on Tuesday night when Lionsgate screened the pic at downtown’s L.A. Live.

The movie has a tortured history: it was made by MGM in 2009 and scheduled for release in early 2010, but it was then delayed and slated to be converted to 3D. MGM’s going into bankruptcy further delayed the release until it was purchased last year by Lionsgate, which ditched the 3D conversion and gave it an opening date of April 13, 2013.

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At the screening's after-party, held at a former turn-of-the-century power plant that is now a swank bar called The Edison, Kristen Connolly, one of the stars of the movie, called the delays “frustrating.”

But Goddard, a screenwriter making his directorial debut with the movie, said he kept the faith. “When you see heavyweights like The Hobbit and James Bond dropping beside you, due to MGM’s bankruptcy, it makes you feel better that it’s not about us, that it’s about bigger problems,” he said. “We knew we could come out sooner or later.”

Cabin is riding a certain amount of buzz from the movie’s world premiere at Austin’s SXSW film festival, where some called it a “game changer” in the horror field.

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While that remains to be seen, there was a certain sense of baton-passing, or at least a feeling of a new member being inducted into the close-knit family of horror moviemaker. The premiere brought out Wes Craven (Nightmare on Elm Street, Scream), Joe Dante (Gremlins), Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead), Scott Derrickson (The Exorcism of Emily Rose), Daniel Stamm (The Last Exorcism) and Patrick Melton (Saw IV, V, VI).

Craven, who directed influential horror movies as well as self-referential “meta” horror movies (such as New Nightmare and Scream), gave a bloody thumbs up for Cabin.

“I thought it had a fun, meta feel and a lot of quotes to films of mine and my friends. But it also went off in its own direction,” he observed.

He added: “It’s not the last horror movie but it may be the last horror film of this kind. And that’s good. It will challenge people to do something totally different."

E-mail: Borys.Kit@thr.com; Twitter: @BorysKit

Additional reporting by Sophie Schillaci.