“I’ve got to go with ‘The Thing,’ even though it’s a little obvious, Carpenter is just such a huge influence on me – and particularly this type of film. And specifically, this is why I also looked at ‘Hot Fuzz,’ because both the 'The Thing' and 'Hot Fuzz' are just such beautiful movies," he said. "There’s a real sort of elegance to how they’re composed and how they’re shot, so those are two movies I watched with my director of photography, just to get a sense of color palette and camera movement, because it’s all just so well done.” Goddard had much praise to heap upon Wright, quipping that, “Edgar is just so good -- I definitely felt that sort of need to just rip him off.”
As for the lineage from “The Thing” to “The Cabin in the Woods,” Goddard explains, “I got in an argument with a friend of mine as to whether or not 'The Thing' counts as a cabin movie in general, because it is a small amount of people trapped in one place, which I feel like all great cabin movies, that’s what they are. It’s just about isolation and paranoia, that's why ‘The Thing’ was very much at the soul of ‘Cabin.’ ”
Though for those of us already initiated into the cult of “The Cabin in the Woods,” we know there’s a funnier, more subversive side to all the horrific happenings of the film, and surprisingly, Goddard took on the influence of Stanley Kubrick’s seminal Peter Sellers-starring war satire “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb” for that side of things. The mysterious corporation raising the redneck zombies from their graves, and wreaking havoc upon the weekend of the film’s five leads is seen through the War Room-like setting of operators Steve (Bradley Whitford) and Richard (Richard Jenkins).
“One of the things I love about ‘Strangelove,’ is the sense of seriousness they take to the ridiculous. It was very much something I wanted our crew to watch, because Kubrick is so good – and Peter Sellers in particular is so good -- at never breaking, even though there are ridiculous things happening around him. He’s very good at keeping within the moment, and it was crucial for Bradley and Richard to have that feeling that ‘even though this is about to get absurd, we need to keep our characters at all times,” Goddard explained.
We can certainly see how that came into play during the monster mash of the film’s third act. While many critics drew comparisons to “The Truman Show," Goddard says, “I saw ‘The Truman Show’ in theaters when it came out, but I haven’t seen it since. I liked it, but I barely remember it. I see why people say that though – because we both deal with cameras recording live. It was much more about ‘Strangelove’ to me, because even the control room, if you looked at the way it’s designed, there’s things about it that harken back to the way the War Room in ‘Strangelove’ was designed.”