‘The Cabin in the Woods’ Spoilers Discussion

Published 3 years ago by , Updated September 18th, 2012 at 8:08 am,

The Cabin in The Woods Spoilers The Cabin in the Woods Spoilers Discussion

While our readers are already talking about this movie in the comments section of our Cabin in the Woods review, this is the place where you can discuss The Cabin in the Woods spoilers without concerns about ruining the movie for folks who haven’t seen it yet.

If you’re posting comments here, assume that anyone in the conversation has seen the movie – if you haven’t seen the movie, we would recommend you don’t read the comments here until you have. 

We’ve set up a poll below where you can rate The Cabin in the Woods for yourself. Other than that, feel free to discuss the film and all its surprises!


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  1. Heya guys, first time here.

    I saw the post reharding the audience being the “Ancient Ones” and, while an interesting thought, I don’t agree with. To me the Ancient Gods in the films were exactly what they said, and what we saw at the end: Ancient Gods that ruled the earth and were badass.

    To me, the meta-ness comes out of a thing one of the guys says just before the (interrupted) sex scene. The army guys asks why he cares if she shows her boobies, and the tech’s response is “gotta keep the audience happy”. We’re the audience, right? Surely. This “stop the ancient gods” project aint free, somethings gotta pay the bills, and I figured it must be that they’re selling the rituals as horror films.

    It makes sense, think about the a-typical definition of a horror film: Somewhat corrupt, naive characters, fitting various stereotypes, are gradually killed off by something melevolent. This is exactly the kind of framework the rituals are following, and obviously not by accident. If Hemsworth had opened that puzzle sphere, the resulting film would have been about the saw-through-head monster, if the black guy had stared at the ballerina for long enough, creepy mouth-faced ballerina girl would have been the film’s monster antagonist. This theory definitely makes sense (to me atleast) while also letting Whedon and company poke fun at the horror genre and how formulaic it has become.

    In a world where magic and monsters are real but unbeknownst to the public, selling footage of them murdering people as fictitious horror tales would serve as a nice wad of cash on the side to not only support stopping the end of the world, but for a tidy business too.

    Also, I get some joy out of looking back and wondering about the what-ifs of The Shining or IT actuallly being the true stories of previous sacrifices being recorded and sold for entertainment. Such a delicious idea.

    • Interesting concept. I do believe, though, that the audience as the ancient ones is the primary intended metaphor. We are the ones watching, and the characters are performing this ritual to satiate our bloodlust. This metaphor makes the ending all the more perfect. Yes, the world of the film comes to an end when the closing credits roll, but more than that, the survivors’ admonition that it is time for something new to get a chance seems to be a rallying cry for all of the future filmmakers in the audience. The horror genre — as it has existed in the past — is now over. It is time for a new generation of filmmakers to rise up, reject the cliches, conventions, stereotypes, and formulas of the past, and to recreate the genre from the rubble left behind. The hand of the ancient one, then, is the metaphorical hand of this generation of artists, destroying the cabin (the genre’s past), and literally grabbing the camera to take control.

      • My thoughts literally,…couldn’t be said better…

      • Wow you guys are good. Love reading these theories, extremely interesting.

        When I left the theatre I said this movie just did to the horror genre what scream did to the slasher. You can no longer make a horror movie where a guy takes charge and suggests they split up to cover more ground, we likely won’t see a movie about a group of teens trapped in a remote location with a killer stalking and slashing them the same way ever again.

        Loved the movie. A true original. Just wish they didn’t destroy the world so there could have been sequels! :)

    • Oh, btw: The saw-through-head monster is called a cenobite.

  2. Please Help – my movie theater caught on fire!

    I loved the movie and am a huge Whedon fan. When my wife and were watching the last ~3 minutes of the movie, the lights came on and we were told to get out of the building because there was a fire. This happened just as Sigourney and the zombie girl got rolled over into the pit. It actually added to the viewing experience in a pretty surreal way. Unfortunately, we still don’t know how it ended.

    Can some one post in detail what happened next?

    Many Thanks,

    • DWS. The virgin and the fool just lay back, and let the world burn. “Humanity. Heh. Time for something else.” The movie ends mere hearbeats later with the hand of the elder god rising up, destroying the ritual chamber (don’t really see it, but the kids are assumed to be killed in the debris), then destroying the cabin above, presumeable as the god pulls itself up from the bowels of the earth to conquer the world. The hand smashes the camera and the title screen comes up just before the credits.

      Personally, I thought it was the best way for the movie to end. With humanity.

      • Loved the ending too! I was wondering for a moment if the Director was going to count as the Fool and somehow appease the Ancient Gods with her death, and was glad they didn’t go that route. My only complaint is the giant arm of the Ancient God was too human-like. I thought it should’ve been more “tentacle-y”. As in Cthulu. Otherwise, perfect ending!

        • “I thought it should’ve been more “tentacle-y”. As in Cthulu.”

          I think the choice of a human hand fits the actual-humans-are-the-gods metaphor way way better. A tentacle doesn’t help serve that end at all.

  3. I enjoyed the film immensely. Thanks to Jen and Skyp1e for that Evil Gods = The Audience interpretation. Going along with that, I guess that makes Sigourney Weaver as “The Director” not the director of a para-military operation, but the director of the horror film that’s being made.

    I, too, was curious as to what exactly went wrong in 1998. At first I thought that might be a reference to Scream (woman loses her virginity and yet lives, “the fool” survives at the end), but Scream was 1996. The best suggestion I have seen is that it was a lackluster year for American horror films in general, and that it was the year that Ringu came out and J-horror began to take away America’s platform.

    I like how the film challenges you to think about what it is that you like about horror movies and why. The five victims are all likable and intelligent on their own; the operatives (i. e. the filmmakers) have to manipulate them into their stereotypes to appease the evil gods (i. e. the audience). So why do audiences seem to crave (and filmmakers deliver) unlikable characters that are shallow stereotypes? Why must “the whore” (the woman whose sex is shown) die first while “the virgin” (the woman whose sex isn’t shown) is the last one standing? What’s with the rise of torture porn and seeing characters extensively tormented and punished?

    There was even a small part of me that wanted Dana to shoot Marty at the end and save the world. That part of me was miffed when they instead decided to let the entire world end. But I realized in retrospect that the film got it right. A world where one friend has to betray another friend who has done nothing but risked his life for her, just so a cruel and malevolent force can be appeased, isn’t a world worth saving.

    I hope Cabin in the Woods marks the beginning of the end of that kind of horror story and the dawn of films which dare to break those molds and deliver something better.

    Also, thanks to Skyp1e for that Scooby Doo = Virgin joke. Best laugh I’ve had since seeing Cabin last night.

    • I think Paranormal breaks the mold somewhat despite its similarities to Blair Witch Point of View camera work.

  4. I thought the hand was “Hades” being unleashed to the world.

  5. Hey everyone,

    Do you remember in the beginning when the Virgin is looking at her sketch book at a sketch of a man and saying something about a past relationship with him (was he her professor?). Was this important later on in the story? Or do you think it was just to build her character? I was wondering if I missed something, like if this connected to something else.

    Also remember at the end when the Virgin says, “I don’t think [the jock] even has a cousin.”. Are we supposed to assume that the jock just lied about having a cousin or that he was hypnotized or something?

    • I think the virgin sleeping with her professor, the jock actually being very intelligent, the whore actually being a decent, funny, normal person, etc. were all put in there to deconstruct how we viewed them as “stereotypes.” It also served to make it that much more bizarre and out of place for us watching when then start to devolve into their chosen stereotypes.

      I liked all the little things they added in, like how Curt always had a football in his hands even when pumping gas. The whore wasn’t blonde until right before the trip.

      And I don’t think Curt lied. I think he was convinced he had a cousin. That could have been done through lies and set-up, or through drugs like the one they used to make everyone think it would be better to split up.

      • When dana says that she don’t think the jock even has a cousin. Then you can assume that the ‘agency’ had somehow put the idea into his head and put the five onto the designated path. They already had access to the five people and we know this when the agency speaks about tampering with the blonde hair die to make Jules less congnitive.

    • I think that this was meant to demonstrate that these characters were not at all the stereotypes that they were herded into. Dana had a relationship with her professor. Not only is that ethically questionable for both of them (teachers can’t be fair and balanced about the grade you’re getting when you’re sleeping together), but he was likely a much older man and married (though the film doesn’t say that for sure). In contrast, Jules was in a committed and loving relationship with her boyfriend of the same age. If someone should have been a “whore” based on their sexual lifestyle, it should have been Dana. Instead, the engineers herded Jules into the role of “whore” because she had a more vibrant and outgoing personality.

      Hence Dana’s shock at the end of the movie when Sigourney Weaver informs her of her identification as “Virgin.” “Me, a virgin?” “We work with what we have, dear.” All that “virgin” in modern-day horror movies really means is the woman whose sex is not shown on screen, while a “whore”‘s sex is shown on screen.

      • I read the whole “not a virgin” running joke to be a commentary on what exactly makes a virgin. As this film demonstrates, films often go for the easy archetypes. A pure virgin is one of them. But this girl is different: she might TECHNICALLY be a virgin, but we can be damned sure she’s gone as far as she can go before losing that technical qualification. I’m thinking something Bill-Clinton-esque. So her being in the gray area of virginity goes along with the other characters breaking through their molds.

      • I think that the plot eluded to the fact that every horror movie we have ever seen with a jock, a whore, an egg head, a fool, and a virgin that lives at the end (which is about 75% of horror movies) was actually a previous ritual that they performed. I think this is displayed by the monsters that we were able to recognize from other movies when they were in the elevator. Genius idea.

      • I think that the plot eluded to the fact that every horror movie we have ever seen with a jock, a whore, an egg head, a fool, and a virgin that lives at the end – which is about 75% of horror movies – was actually a previous ritual that they performed. I think this is displayed by the monsters that we were able to recognize from other movies when they were in the elevator. Genius idea.

    • It’s a sketch of Stephen King

    • It’s a picture of Stephen King

    • @Fool

      Yah, actually this organization was messing with them from before the trip. The hair dye Jules used to dye her hair contained chemicals that made Jules act more like a “whore” and I’m sure they gave something to the athlete to make him think that he has a cousin that bought that property. They didn’t specifically mention the jock, but that woman from the organization did mention the hair dye bit…

  6. I agree that the company doing the rituals must be making the rituals movies for entertainment purposes…

    I wonder.. i suppose the ancient gods can manifest all the horror creatures based on humans nightmares, myths, legends, folklore, and they do it for the company, in return for the sacrifices…

  7. What would have happened if the slut put on the necklace or the fool with the film strip?

    • One of the other monsters would have been brought up to kill them. All of the items in the basement were homages to items from classic horror films.

      The puzzle- Hellraiser, obviously
      The book- Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Evil Dead, at the same time
      The film stock- Definitely The Ring, maybe Scream?
      The necklace- probably a reference to something, not sure what
      The music box- probably ballerina monster-related but not sure if it’s a reference to anything

      • I’m nearly positive the music box is from The Silence of the Lambs, there’s one exactly like it in Buffalo Bill’s victim’s room.

        • The music box would have brought the little girl with concentric mouths for a face, which I associated with the betting entry “Sugar Plum Fairy”.

      • I think the film strip was a reference to The Howling–it would have brought the werewolf. If they went REALLY far, it could have also been the Masters of Horror episode “Cigarette Burns.” Since everything else is based on American horror lore, The Ring probably wasn’t being referenced.

        • I was hoping Jason, Michael & Freddy were going to show up or be referenced in some way! :) I know it woulda been kinda cheesy and lionsgate wouldn’t have been allowed, but man would it have made me one happy clam!

  8. What would have happened if the sloot put on the necklace or the fool with the film strip?

  9. Did anyone else notice when the bets were being taken (and then paid) that it listed all the possible options for which creatures would kill the kids and there was something on there simply called “Kevin”? This made me laugh, but I also have a vague – maybe false- recollection of a boss character from a horror themed video game called Kevin. This ring a bell with anyone else?
    Also, when the monsters get set loose and start killing the staff, there’s a brief shot of a bank of TV monitors that shows several different people being killed, and you can clearly see a guy being held down by a couple of creatures that kinda look like zombies, while a third is projectile vomiting on his face.,

    • I think that “Kevin” was probably “Jason”. All of the classic nods to existing cinematic horror monsters were all just a bit slightly off (for obvious licensing issues plus parodies are more fun than cross overs anyway). So, maybe look for a hockey mask wearing machete totting guy if you see the film again.

      • Favorite one was “Deadites.” Best reference in the film.

      • According to the Movie Novel, Kevin is your average everyday serial killer movie character. Charming, nice, always smiling, and a killer.

      • According to the novel, Kevin is your average everyday serial killer movie character. Charming, nice, always smiling, and a killer.

    • I think “Kevin” is the character from Frank Miller’s Sin City, portrayed in the film by Elijah Wood.

  10. Favorite part: When the mer-man blew blood out his blow hole. That was so sick it was funny.

    I think the unicorn was a reference to Black Christmas. I can’t think of any other famous horror film featuring death by unicorn.

    • You’re absolutely right. The unicorn had to be a “tip of the hat” to the seminal classic “Black Christmas.” I loved it!!

  11. OK can we try and post up a comprehensive list of every monster written on the board and seen in the film?

    (So we can work out which one was summoned by the necklace and film!)

    On the board to my recollection:
    And according to this board also

    Seen in the movie:
    Buckner family
    Giant Snake
    Angry molesting tree
    Lizardman (top left screen of security cameras)
    The Strangers
    Pennywise (killer clown)
    Evil Surgeons (with stitched up eyes)
    Sugarplum Fairy (ballerina, named in credits)
    Fornius, the Lord of Bondage and Pain (Pinhead clone, named in credits)

    King Kong (shown dead and also in one of the boxes)
    I’m pretty sure there was a ginat spider and a man earting plant and an ooze in the boxes.

    Fill in the rest people!

    • “Dismemberment Goblins” were on the board, as were “Weird Aliens” and “Yeti.”

  12. I just could not accept the plot. How long has all this been going on? The technology for the giant holo-deck inside the mountain does not exist. Maybe i am thinking too much, or am i?

    • I don’t think that it was always so tech savy but as shown in the movie people in the 19th century did sacrifices (the buckners and before)

  13. Was I the only one who saw in one of the boxes two “thugs” as one of the horror possibilities?? XD

  14. The only nitpick I had with the ending was the Ancient One himself. Man, I was really hyped up for some Lovecraftian tentacle beasts. Not some God of War rip off. It may have been better if the film wasn’t finally released right after I had been bombarded with Wrath of the Titans trailers and a giant volcanic Kronos for months.

    Nothing but a big, fiery, ashey hand just didn’t do it for me after the 20 minutes of the weirdest, most bizarre creature ensemble ever to slaughter hundreds that I had just witnessed.

    • I kind of agree, but if we’re going with the “the ancient gods are the audience” interpretation – which I am – then a human hand makes perfect sense.

    • Goddard says they did that in a riff of the classic horror movie ending where the hand shoot up out of the grave.

    • I loved the ending even though I agree that it was a bit redundant to see another Titan-like magma-hand. Still badass though.

  15. Does anyone have a track-listing of the songs they used, particularly over the end credits?

    Love the film and there’s no point griping about what you weren’t happy with; it’s Joss Whedon, deal with it!

    • playing over the end credits = Nine Inch Nails – Last

    • As the song has been playing in my head non-stop for the past month, leading up to this film’s release, I was really hoping that the score would at least contain a motiff that referenced the first song in Evil Dead: the Musical; that is, “Cabin in the Woods.” If you haven’t heard the song, go find it and listen to it right now!

  16. I really loved the random tree branches that came out of one of the elevators. Love the Evil Dead references.

  17. The giant hand at the end was probably a nod to ‘Carrie’ and the third ‘Evil Dead’ movie.

    • The hand at the end was Kronos, the Greek god and the father of Zeus, Hades, and Poseidon. Sadly Wrath of the Titans was just released so most people will think they used him as a volcanic monster first even though Cabin was made in 2009.

  18. Some of the monsters on the board I caught –

    The Bride (This was probably what the Whore was looking at, the necklace on the mannequin in the white lace dress.)
    The Twins (also seen in the cube sequence, the girls from the Shining)

    The mask the creepy people were wearing was one of the objects I spotted in the basement.

    I also saw a scorpion like robot with a buzzsaw tail, but I didn’t see it on the board.

  19. Could the reference to 1998 be a reference to that crap remake of the horror movie of all horror movies, “Psycho”? Maybe they were taking the piss out of that remake – you don’t mess with the master – Alfred Hitchcock? Hell I don’t know but it’s fun to try to decipher all of this!

  20. What about the fool’s film strip? Did that keep him safe somehow? What monster would he have brought forth? If the audience are the old gods maybe the fool succeeded in his summoning and we are the monsters along with the torture rednecks.

  21. the song over the end credits was a song from NINE INCH NAILS…i just don’t remember which one it was but i think it was off broken or the downward spiral. i used to be an nin whore but while i still love them, just not obsessed any more.

    my question, they mention a snag they hit back in ’97/98.
    what did they mean by that?
    was there a movie back then?
    i was thinking scream but my buddy thought it was referring to the year buffy’s tv show came out.

    any guesses?

  22. This movie is a conglomeration of all the horror characters that was ever film, including a clown. It is too bad that they choose Sigourney Weaver instead of Nancy Pelosi in which case all the evil and horror of this world could once and for all end with this film. This movie is not scary, it is entertaining and the ending is boring.

    • It was not made to be scary but rather a parody of all horror films especially the awful teen flicks that have come out over the past 10 years.

    • Nancy Pelosi? You just HAD to bring politics into this. Grow up.

  23. Yeah, I guessed what 95% of the movie was too…but hoped that the 5% would be what made the difference. And guess what? That 5% is the most important thing that will have me thinking about this movie for a while.

    I think there is one excellent reference that no one has gotten. I may be wrong and this was used in another film the same way, but the title display was exactly the same as haneke’s ‘Funny Games’ was used, a horror film that used the conventions of story telling against itself and constantly made reference to its audience and the archetypes of it’s genre. They are coming, you can shut your ears and close your eyes, but the harbingers of violence and sin will invade your homes, no matter what!!! Aaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh!

    It’s been a while and maybe I’m remembering it odd, but I found that interesting from the start.

  24. Yeah, I guessed what 95% of the movie was too…but hoped that the 5% would be what made the difference. And guess what? That 5% is the most important thing that will have me thinking about this movie for a while.

    I think there is one excellent reference that no one has gotten. I may be wrong and this was used in another film the same way, but the title display was exactly the same as haneke’s ‘Funny Games’ was used, a horror film that used the conventions of story telling against itself and constantly made reference to its audience and the archetypes of it’s genre. They are coming, you can shut your ears and close your eyes, but the harbingers of violence and sin will invade your homes, no matter what!!! Aaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh!

    It’s been a while and maybe I’m remembering it odd, but I found that interesting from the start.

  25. Watched the movie this afternoon and really enjoyed it. It’s written brilliantly and executed beautifully as well.

    My only question is not so much about the ritual in the US but rather everywhere else in the world. We see the clip where Japan was able to “resolve” the ritual and have no fatality. Doesn’t that ruin the ritual since no sacrifice was offered? In which case, the other countries “failed” but failed on what? The monsters of their choosing were eliminated instead of sacrificial candidates? Either of these scenarios I thought, would bring on the destruction of the world since sacrifices must be made? I’m not really understanding this. Can someone enlighten me?


    • Only one sacrifice of a minimum of 5 people was needed a year and because Japan failed the U.S. was the only hope. Only 5 people are needed but each country is a back up to one another and if less than 5 are sacrificed then the monsters are unleashed.

      • @Jon

        Partially correct, the 5 people thing is only in American culture. Every country has to “succeed” based on what their culture generally puts in their horror movies. I’m sure around the world, more than 5 people died, but none of them accomplished all that they needed to accomplish to fulfill the sacrifice that’s fitting for their culture. But yes, you’re right that only one country needs to succeed in order to stop the end of the world…

        • Which makes sense, if they’ve managed to go ten thousand years or more without an end of the world. Redundancy is important, and enough of it can give you a perfect success rate for a long, long time.

          I found myself thinking about the sacrifices to the Minotaur, from Greek myth… a long, long time.

  26. hello there how is it going??

    • sorry just registering :)

  27. Really liked the movie but I have one question. Sigourney said that they have had these 5 types of people that need to be sacrificed since the beginning of time, (the fool,the virgin, etc) but Japan was just a bunch of school children. Does anybody know the reason, or how that would have worked if they had been killed, would it have still kept the Gods at bay even though they don’t align with the five stereotypes?

    • Different cultures have different ways of keeping the Old Ones at bay. The only thing consistent between all countries is the punishment of youth. The five-archetype sacrifice is distinctly American, like in American horror cinema.

  28. ok, so I felt the need to register just for this finding.

    So the ritual needed 5 people: the whore, the athlete, the fool, the wise, and the virgin. The people working for the Gods changed their personalities using different chemicals and drugs such as the hair dye (with the fool not being affected because of the marajuana he was using lol).

    What was weird however is that they already had those 5 characters without using the chemicals, but they just changed the roles around!!

    the ‘athlete’ (guy who played Thor) was actually a sociology major and the stoner even said that he has never seen him so “alpha maleish”, therefore he was actually ‘The Wise’

    The ‘wise’ (black guy), as the athlete stated at the beginning of the movie when he threw the football at him said he had the best hands in the school or something. Therefore he was actually ‘the Athlete’

    The ‘Virgin’ (ginger) was actually a whore because she slept with her teacher and he dumped her shortly after. She was no virgin. therefore, she was actually ‘the Whore’

    The whore used to have brown hair and I think the stoner said that she was never this slutty. She also made out with the wolf on the wall, which added to the sluttyness. However when they were about to have sex, she seemed like she did not want to do it saying things like “its too dark” or “no lets not do it here, inside instead”. therefore, she was actually ‘The Virgin’

    the fool was actually not a fool at all, he was wise. perhaps the guys who played Thor was suppose to be the fool (maybe a jab to sociology majors) and the stoner was suppose to be the wise… or maybe not.
    Point is, their roles were changed. The athlete was actually the wise, the wise was actually the athlete, the whore was actually the virgin and the virgin was actually the whore. I don’t quite know the significance of this except for the fact that even if the stoner would have been shot at the end, the ritual would NOT have been completed because the order of death was not completed properly.

    sorry for this being long. thought?

    • I think Dana was the fool and Marty the virgin, going by the fact that they were the only two left and that Dana hinted several times that she wasn’t a virgin.

    • The thing about archetypes is that they are exaggerated/”pure” versions, whereas humans aren’t. In other words, none of the kids were perfectly “the jock” or “the fool” or “the virgin”, etc. In fact, the argument could be made that all of them had aspects of each of the archetypes. However, the ritual required those five “types”, represented by the icons in the ritual room. So, through chemistry, the watchers accentuated the various needed aspects to get the “best” five examples of the archetypes they could. I don’t think ultimately it would’ve mattered which character was thrust into which role; as soon as the decision was made (long before the beginning of the film, one would guess), their “fates were sealed”, as t’were.

      • When it is stated that the ‘ritual’ has required or used these archetypes for years, we can trade ‘ritual’ for “horror movie”. Horror movies have used these same character archetypes for years. Yet another dig at the generic and boring horror movies that hit the screen.

    • @Michael

      I apologize now to any Sociology majors out there, but I don’t think being a Sociology major makes him the scholar of the group…