AUSTIN, Texas -- In the closing credits for "The Cabin in the Woods," one line jumped off the screen: Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph/2009 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; reprinted with permission.
Yet viewing the horror film just moments before -- admittedly, with eyes covered and senses assaulted on several occasions -- delivered many memorable visuals but no recollection of a newspaper.
The next day, with director and co-writer Drew Goddard cornered in a quiet corridor of the Four Seasons Hotel in Austin, Texas, he couldn't come up with where it might have appeared, either.
He thought perhaps the newspaper in question -- the front page of the Aug. 15, 1945 Sun-Telegraph that declared: "PEACE: Shooting Ends in the Pacific" -- might have been used in "Cabin's" scene of a cellar filled with mementos from the lives, tortures and deaths of the Buckner family, a creepy prelude to carnage to come.
"Maybe it's because I'm such a lifelong Steelers fan, I just had to give a shout-out to Pittsburgh in there," Mr. Goddard said. "I grew up in New Mexico, and in New Mexico, the closest thing to a home team is the Dallas Cowboys. My dad loved Dallas. So, I hated the Cowboys as a contrarian, and when I was a kid, it was the Steelers beating the Dallas Cowboys all the time. So I became a huge Steelers fan."
Mr. Goddard at first wanted to talk about the "heartbreaking" end to Hines Ward's career. "I trust the Rooneys," he said, "but attention must be paid."
That was a good cue to return attention to the matter of the moment, "Cabin," with its deep-rooted mythology and an explosive resolution to a mystery of epic proportions.
The mystery of the Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph remained unsolved, but perhaps Jesse Williams, who plays smart, sensitive Holden, provided a clue when he talked of all the stuff collected in the cellar under the cabin.
"There was something in the back corner of the cellar ... I don't think the camera saw half the stuff that was down there ... but in the corner in the back was this whole like medical office with old wheelchairs and rusty medical equipment and hooks and spreaders ... and I was like, I don't want to be in that film."
First Published April 13, 2012 11:30 AM