The horror/comedy film “The Cabin in the Woods” currently has an 89% “fresh” rating on movie website rottentomatoes.com. Not bad for a movie that took three years to be released following its completion. One of the stars of “Cabin”, Fran Kranz (pictured above), stopped in Philadelphia this week for the film’s press tour to share his enthusiasm for the movie that he says is definitely “classic” yet part of a “hybrid-genre.”
Raised in southern California where he attended high school with the likes of Jake Gyllenhaal and Jason Segel, Fran Kranz had early ambitions of becoming a professional actor. With roles in the cult surrealist drama “Donnie Darko”, “Training Day”, and “The Village”, Kranz eventually made his way into the fan-friendly kingdom of writer/director/TV mastermind Joss Whedon. After starring in two seasons of Whedon’s series “Dollhouse” on Fox, Fran earned a lead in the Whedon-scripted, Drew Goddard-directed “The Cabin in the Woods”. When the film finished shooting in 2009, it was shelved after MGM had to halt the release process following the studio’s financial troubles, the same ones that prolonged production on the latest James Bond flick.
Kranz says friends told him to forget about “The Cabin in the Woods” after a while, and that its chances of ever being released were virtually zero. “A lot of people didn’t think it was coming out…when I talked about it my friends would be like: ‘Fran, Cabin’s not coming out’…I was the crazy person who kept talking about ‘Cabin in the Woods’.”
It appears that Kranz’s faith in the project has paid off, and now the film is on a roll of gathering praise following the premiere at Austin’s SXSW Festival in March. The movie’s appeal likely originates from its spirit of homage to classic horror films like “Evil Dead” and “Night of the Living Dead”, two films which deeply inspired the filmmakers, according to Fran Kranz. “We wanted to be part of the canon of horror films, and I think we pulled it off.” He says with a laugh: “It’s one of the great horror films in my opinion.”
If you don’t want to see Fran in a slasher film, albeit a very funny one, see him right now on Broadway in Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman”, directed by Mike Nichols and co-starring Phillip Seymour Hoffman. Kranz says that his silly stoner character Marty in Goddard’s film and his onstage persona Bernard in Nichols’s production “couldn’t be more different roles,” and that Miller’s play is “one of the best jobs I’ve ever had.”
“The Cabin in the Woods” also features Chris Hemsworth, now best known as “Thor” from the Marvel film franchise. The movie finally hits theaters this Friday, April 13.
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