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As a note: we can't really get into the tropes without spoiling damn near the entire film. No spoilers are tagged below to avoid a page of white.

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     The College Kids 

Dana Polk (The Virgin)
Played by: Kristen Connolly

  • Action Survivor: She goes through some seriously horrific events and manages to emerge for the grand finale. Hadley even admires her will to live.
  • Almost Kiss: With Holden, before Marty interrupts.
  • Apologetic Attacker: To Marty, when she's about to shoot and kill him to save the world.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Dana is a nice young lady, but she was still willing to kill Marty, albeit for the greater good.
  • Break the Cutie: Most of the film, as is typical and expected of the genre, is designed to breed dread in the survivors. Indeed, her death is optional to the ritual.
  • Broken Bird: Deconstructed. Dana being broken so heavily directly leads to The End of the World as We Know It.
  • Combat Pragmatist: If she wasn't she wouldn't manage to go far enough to become the Final Girl.
  • Covert Pervert: After switching rooms with Holden because he decided to reveal the two-way mirror, she watches Holden getting shirtless before having a similar attack of conscience and covering the mirror.
  • Decoy Protagonist: While engineered by the plot to be the Final Girl, it's Marty who does all of the thinking and heroics during the climax of the movie while she mostly freaks out. She starts to pull it together toward the end, but by that point the world is literally minutes away from ending.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Hits this in her last scene.
  • Final Girl: An Enforced Trope. She's "The Virgin", so Sitterson and Hadley push her to survive the longest. But based on her actual situation, she's actually "The Whore" having just had an affair with her professor.
  • The Hero: One of the two who survive their ordeal to the end, and ultimately makes the decision to end the world rather than continue the Human Sacrifice rituals (granted, she did point a gun at Marty after hearing what the Director said on how the sacrifices are necessary).
  • Heroic BSoD: Dana is rendered borderline catatonic after watching most of her friends being murdered and being swung around by the largest zombie. But snaps out of it to push the Big Red Button...
  • Humans Are Bastards: At the end of the film, having learned what it takes to keep the human race alive, she tells Marty that it's time to give someone else a chance.
  • Non-Indicative Name: Despite being referred to as "The Virgin", she's not a virgin, having had an affair with her professor.
  • One Last Smoke: At the end of the film.
  • Suicidal Cosmic Temper Tantrum: Does this to the entire world. It should be noted though that she did point a gun at Marty and had to be mangled by a werewolf to drop said gun (and we only have her word for it when she's bleeding out and about to die with Marty no matter what happens to the world that she wouldn't have shot him).

Curt Vaughan (The Athlete)
"You should read this: Gurovsky. Now, this is way more interesting. Also, Bennett doesn't know it by heart so he'll think you're insightful. And you have no pants."
Played by: Chris Hemsworth

  • The Ace: Curt is handsome, athletic, intelligent and an all-round competent guy. He probably could have led them all out of danger if it wasn't for the various manipulations put in place to stack the deck against him.
  • Badass Biker: If it wasn't for that Invisible Wall, he might have actually pulled off that jump.
  • Dead Star Walking: Chris Hemsworth is the biggest name among the initial Five-Man Band. No way he'll turn out to be the second to die, right? Since it wasn't released until after Thor it's Retroactive Recognition.
  • The Determinator: He gradually turns into this. It gets him killed.
  • Genius Bruiser: He's a great athlete, but also a sociology major with a full academic scholarship. The overseers manipulate him into acting like Dumb Muscle instead.
  • Jerk Jock: Pushed into it, but he's actually more of a Lovable Jock. Even though he fills the role of "The Athlete" for the Controllers, being a Sociology major makes him "The Fool".
  • Minored in Ass-Kicking: He's in school on a full academic scholarship and shows more interest in studies than sports, but he is on the football team and in shape.
  • Nice Guy: He's shown at the beginning of the movie to be a funny, intelligent and all around good guy who's very supportive of his friends.
    • His niceness seems to make him the center of the group. He knows Marty and Holden from different social areas, is dating Jules, who's friends with Dana.
  • Senseless Sacrifice: His attempt to leave for help with a dangerous bike stunt backfires. Hilariously.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: When fighting the Redneck Torture Zombies.

Jules Louden (The Whore)
"Soviet Economic Structures"? "Aftermath of the Cul-..." No! We have a lake! And a keg! No more learning!
Played by: Anna Hutchison

  • The Chick: Compared to her more academic female friends, she embraces her emotions more freely. This is enforced by the Controllers, who have been working to dull her mind and send her libido into overdrive for a little while before the film starts. Though the Controllers set her in the role of "The Whore", she's actually "The Scholar" of the group. Her major is Pre-Med.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: She gets decapitated by the Buckners offscreen in front her boyfriend Curt.
  • Deadpan Snarker: In a lot of her earlier dialogue, she responds to Marty's taunts with sarcasm.
  • Death by Sex: Enforced by the technicians, who aerate pheromones into the environment whenever it would be convenient.
  • Decapitation Presentation: Father Buckner throws her bloody, decapitated head at Dana.
  • Dumb Blonde: Enforced; she's neither naturally dumb (being a pre-med student) nor blondenote . The blonde dye she uses is poisoned by people from the Organization, dampening her intelligence.
  • Hard-Drinking Party Girl: She's brainwashed into becoming this, prompting Marty to wonder why she's doing sexy dances all of a sudden.
  • Lovable Alpha Bitch: She's not normally the Alpha Bitch, and is loved by everyone who knows her. Dana in fact refuses to leave the cabin without Jules until she gets confirmation that she's dead.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Enforced by the technicians; it's pointed out by Marty that she normally doesn't act like this.
  • Slashers Prefer Blondes: Having dyed her hair blonde at the start of the film, she's locked as the first victim. Notably Kristen Connolly is a blonde and she dyed her hair red to play Dana.
  • Team Mom: Her original role, considering her disapproval with Dana's affair with a professor. Unfortunately, the Controllers already were altering her into a Dumb Blonde Ms. Fanservice before the film starts, so only hints of this appear.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: She's the first of the group to die, although we do get forty minutes with her.
  • Who Wears Short Shorts?: As the gang's Ms. Fanservice, she of course wears short shorts for most of her screen time.

Marty Mikalski (The Fool)
"Statistical fact: Cops will never pull over a man with a huge bong in his car. Why? They fear this man. They know he sees farther than they and he will bind them with ancient logics."
Played by: Fran Kranz

  • Acquired Poison Immunity: An example of this happening unintentionally. The Organization's chemistry-team forgot to account for Marty's home-made bong (as it was disguised as a coffee mug) when they tried to lace his stash with the intelligence-dampening drugs. As a result, Marty was given a constant, but only minor dose of the drug, which allowed him to build up some resistance against the mind-controlling drugs, leading to him gradually getting more and more clear-headed and see through the Organization's deception.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Saving Dana at the end of the movie.
  • Break the Comedian: Characterized by the Organization as "The Fool," and fits the role through a mixture of whimsical rambling and dedicated bong-smoking. Being put through the wringer gradually eats away at his humour, until he's too traumatized to even employ it as self-defence mechanism. For good measure, the ending destroys what little idealism he possesses, leaving him in a position in which he could be able save the world - but thanks to everything he and Dana have suffered, he doesn't think it's worth saving anymore.
  • The Coats Are Off: Word of God is that the reason he dresses in many layers and isn't shirtless in the lake scene is because Kranz was in as much shape as the other leads, and they wanted him to seem weaker. When he gets his Big Damn Heroes moment, he's stripped to form-fitting clothes showing off a more muscular physique for his transition into The Hero.
  • Combat Pragmatist: His weed smoking bong isn't only an instrument to get him high but also a very efficient weapon of choice to save Dana.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Despite being high for the entire movie, he was the only one to actually win a confrontation with the Buckners.
  • The Cuckoo Lander Was Right: Marty was surprisingly on the money about a lot of things even before they started to go to hell. Apparently, his pot has made him mostly immune to the controllers' attempts to control him.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Likely due to being an Erudite Stoner.
  • The Fool: Marty is called this by many, but he surprisingly fits into the Tarot archetype beyond just being a hippie stoner—he manages to succeed where others fail, often by pure luck. Shoehorned into being "The Fool" by the Controllers, he's actually "The Virgin", having never gotten over his love for Jules. This is re-enforced by him being one of the last survivors with Dana, the False Virgin.
  • Get a Room!: Tells this word by word to Holden and Dana.
  • The Hero: More or less becomes this by the film's third act, throwing the movie Off the Rails and foiling the organization's plot.
  • Hidden Depths: He's shown to be astoundingly philosophical during the final scene. Before that he proves to be both great at thinking on his feet and a surprisingly adept fighter. In fact, his introduction presents him as being close friends with Curt, the guy with a full academic scholarship for sociology, so they likely met through class.
  • Improbable Weapon User: He used a bong as an improvised weapon, twice. Offscreen, he uses a trowel to dismember a zombie.
  • Killed Offscreen: Subverted. He's incapacitated and dragged offscreen by one of the Buckners to be killed, and the Controllers assume he died a gruesome death. It turns out that they really should have made sure, because during that time he dispatched the zombie, found an entrance to the Organization's HQ, mucked up the tunnel's demolition by fiddling with the wiring, and went back to save Dana from Pa Buckner. No offscreen inertia here, folks.
  • Not Quite Dead: He seemed to have died, until his Big Damn Heroes moment when he saves Dana.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: When one of the Buckners attacked and apparently killed him, he had not only survived, but neutralized the zombie by dismembering him with a trowel, offscreen. And of course this was a surprise to everybody, including the people in the Control Room.
  • One Last Smoke: He shares a blunt with Dana while waiting for the world to end.
  • Only Sane Man: Marty keeps cautioning the group against actions like reading the mysterious Latin. His pot-smoking has made him Properly Paranoid as well as resistant to the mind-altering chemicals used by the villains — mainly due to a mistake on their part.
  • Spanner in the Works: He singlehandedly ruins the entire Ancient Conspiracy simply by staying alive until sunrise. Not to mention he saved Dana, and helped unleash a whole lot of ironic death upon the controllers, mostly due to dumb luck.
  • The Stoner: Always seen stoned and never taken seriously, though he happens to be the most sensible person in the whole film.
  • Stoners Are Funny: Which serves as a Red Herring; you think he's the Plucky Comic Relief when he's actually The Hero.
  • Straw Nihilist: Becomes this in the end when he is unwilling to die to save the rest of the world. He knows he'll die anyway if the ritual isn't completed & the Ancient Ones are allowed to rise, but he's willing to drag the rest of the world down with him. He claims it'll be better for the world to 'start over,' but the Director already explained that there will be nothing left to restart After the End.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Although, even after encountering the Buckner zombies, Marty finds a hidden camera and concludes, "I'm on a reality TV show!" But it's a Justified Trope, really. Imagine being assaulted by what appears to be zombies and then discovering a hidden camera in your in room. The logical conclusion would actually be to assume that it all is a part of some weird Candid Camera Prank.

Holden McCrea (The Scholar)
"Do I lose points if I tell you I'm having a really nice time?"
Played by: Jesse Williams

  • Badass Decay: Invoked. He's in college on a full athletic scholarship for football, and is in amazing shape. The organization forces him into the role of the Hollywood Nerd, sidelining his physical prowess. Although the Controllers made him "The Scholar", he's really more of "The Athlete".
  • Covert Pervert: When he finds a two-way mirror that gives him a view of Dana, he lingers for a moment to enjoy watching her get changed before having an attack of conscience and letting her know.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Especially in the novel, where Holden is still alive, and in pain, after being stabbed in the neck as he drowns.
  • Danger Takes A Back Seat: How he dies.
  • The Generic Guy: Almost no personality. Intentional since he's introduced as a jock who's forced to become a Hollywood Nerd.
  • The Glasses Gotta Go: Inverted. He starts wearing reading glasses after the intelligence-enhancing drugs begins to work on him, and it is implied that he was compelled do so to make him look more intellectual and nerdy to fit the role designated to him.
  • Hollywood Nerd: Intentional. Unlike the others who are drugged into becoming dumber, Holden is made smarter and having his memory enhanced to make him fit the role of the Scholar.
  • Lovable Jock: Less so than Curt.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Very little screentime and personality. Notable in managing to pull this off while lasting an hour in the movie.


     The Organization 

Overall Tropes

  • Anti-Villain: What they do to the sacrifices year after year is absolutely horrible. But if they don't do it, the world will be destroyed and far more people will die. That said, the staff at the facility seem to take an undue amount of satisfaction from watching the kids get slaughtered, but this could be a coping mechanism.
  • Corporate Warfare: The Organization has a private army in their employ. The soldiers are numerous and armed to the teeth, but it does them little good against the monsters...
  • Punch-Clock Villain: The Organization as a whole. Pretty much all of its employees bare no ill-will whatsoever towards the unfortunate co-eds (at least until Marty and Dana begin to become a gradually more serious problem and then even an active threat to them) and, and in fact largely treat the whole situation with the same professional distance as pretty much any other average Joe would treat their boring day job. But that is not to say that the employees are entirely without scruples, in fact, it is made clear that they are all painfully aware that what they are doing is deeply Dirty Business, but they know it is the only way to keep the whole of humanity safe from the wrath of the Ancient Ones.
  • Killer Game Master: Their profession is to railroad unwitting sacrifices into a no-win scenario, manipulating every aspect of their environment and mental state so they never even realize they've been set up.
  • Necessarily Evil: There aren't many multiple murderers with an argument as solid as theirs about the consequences of not doing what they do.

The Director

Played by: Sigourney Weaver

  • Affably Evil: She's very polite when she explains the origins of the sacrificial ritual to Dana and Marty, while trying to goad the former to kill the latter.
  • Big Bad: She is the direct cause. She leads a team to make sure a rite of sacrificing a specific group of young people following rules and stereotypes of horror movies is done correctly. All because to appease the fury of the Ancient Ones and prevent an End of the World scenario.
  • Iron Lady: She's the headstrong leader of the Organization, having directed the sacrifice of countless innocents in previous rituals to save the world from the wrath of the Ancient Ones.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: She only appears in person near the end, but she's responsible for everything. She almost manages to convince Dana to kill Marty, which would have saved humanity, if not for the werewolf attacking Dana right at that moment.

Gary Sitterson
"Calm down. Watch the master work."
Played by: Richard Jenkins

  • Affably Evil: He must sacrifice the college kids to prevent an End of the World scenario, but he's a very cool co-worker you can talk with.
  • Bald of Evil: Not much of a difference compared to the others, just one likely connected to his age.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Commonly unleashed upon failed scenarios, specially with the Japanese ghost's failure.
    "FUUUUUCK YOU! Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you, fuck you!"
  • Consummate Professional: Be it overseeing the day to day grind of appeasing the elder gods with ritual sacrifice or running like Hell to jury rig a remote tunnel collapse with two seconds to spare, Sitterson takes it all in stride.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Once you have seen it all, there is not much to take seriously.
  • Dirty Old Man: His work includes following the Death by Sex horror trope, so he willing or unwillingly has to watch two youngsters having sexual intercourse. Not so unwillingly.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Accidentally done by Dana when he escaped through the tunnels. That was the most merciful death an Organization employee could have instead of being devoured or tortured, although also perhaps the most directly karmic.
  • Karmic Death: He is accidentally impaled by one on the victims of the scenario he was overseeing.
  • Mission Control: He's among the folks controlling the cabin setting the kids are staying in.

Steve Hadley
Played by: Bradley Whitford

  • Be Careful What You Wish For: All he wanted was to see a merman in messy action, not to be face smashed by him.
    "Oh, come on!"
  • Deadpan Snarker: So much that his last words are snarking with disbelief at his ironic bad luck.
  • Death by Irony: After spending the entire film wishing he could see a merman, Hadley is finally done in when a merman enters the control room and chews his face off. Hadley is pretty aware of the irony, too; his last words are "Oh, come on!"
  • In-Universe Nickname: "Aquaman," used around betting time as a reference for Hadley's desire to see a merman in action.

Daniel Truman
Played by: Brian White

  • Audience Surrogate: He feels lots of pity about the kids. Also, as a new recruit in security, he gets his answers responded about how the Organization works.
    "Monsters, magic..."
  • Bald of Awesome: By the end he had the chance to show it.
  • Covert Pervert: During Jules' sex scene, Truman can be seen making a few discreet but noticeable glances in the direction of the screens. He also is notably holding a clipboard in front of his crotch in that particular scene
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: He gets disemboweled by the Scarecrows but luckily his grenades cut it short and gave him a merciful demise.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Inasmuch as a Punch-Clock Villain can have one, anyway.
  • Naïve Newcomer: Despite getting the job, he doesn't know very much about how the Organization works until Wendy and the others gave him an explanation.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: He isn't happy with the Organization's line of work but he still accepted working there.
  • Taking You with Me: He turned the Scarecrows into stacks of hay, which is by all accounts impressive.
  • Token Good Teammate: Of all the Controllers, he's the most reluctant one to lead the kids to their doom.

Wendy Lin

Played by: Amy Acker

  • Deadpan Snarker: She speaks Sitterson's and Hadley's mother language.
  • Exit, Pursued by a Bear: Lin is last seen being dragged into the ceiling by an octopus tentacle.
  • Hot Scientist: The main girl among the facility who's also among the folks controlling the cabin setting has both brains and attractiveness.
  • Not So Above It All: Though she clearly dislikes immaturity among the staff and joins Truman in disapproving of the betting pool, Lin isn't above placing a bet of her own.

"The Harbinger" aka Mordecai

Played by: Tim De Zarn

  • Consummate Professional: He takes the job very seriously, staying in-character and speaking in flowery language even as he contacts the Organization to give updates on the group's movements. He only breaks character briefly in frustration over his co-workers ridiculing him for how seriously he takes his job.
  • Creepy Blue Eyes: He has piercing, bloodshot ice-blue eyes, which definitely helps him in selling his role to the group.
  • Creepy Gas Station Attendant: What he poses as, as a part of the ritual. But he also has the additional task of spying on the group and making sure they reach their destination.
  • Harbinger of Impending Doom: "The Harbinger" is even his job title, and it is the part of the ritual he is supposed to fulfill; the group of sacrifices is supposed to make the choice to go to their doom willingly, so his job is to give them a vague warning about strange and dangerous things happening around the cabin, which the youngsters are supposed to ignore because he just comes across as a somewhat unhinged, weird old man. Ironically, he also turns about to be the Harbinger for his co-workers, as he gravely warns them not to take their job too lightly, because they risk incurring the Ancient Ones' wrath by doing so, as well as of the fact that Marty is much smarter than he seems and could turn out to be a Spanner in the Works, but they just laugh at him and ignore his warnings. Mordecai turns out to be entirely correct about both things.
  • Purple Prose: How he speaks when in-character, which he is most of the time due to him being a Consummate Professional. Sitterson and Hadley relentlessly make fun of and mock him for this.

    The Ancient Ones
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: They sleep until the ritual and they need some sacrifices and presumably milk and cookies before they go back to sleep.
  • Creature of Habit: They demand the same scenario every time to be appeased. If they don't get it, things go crazy.
  • Devil, but No God: It's doubtful that there are any Gods who are satisfied with a romantic comedy scenario.
  • Eldritch Abomination: All of them, whoever "they" are.
  • He Who Must Not Be Seen: Except for a giant human-looking right arm at the end at the end of the movie, we have no idea what they look like.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: It's their fault that the Organization has to sacrifice young people for the sake of their desires and appeal to prevent the end of the world.
  • Hidden Heart of Gold: Big time. If the Organization follows traditional horror stereotypes or any single subversion, aversion, etc. occurs, they will not cause a worldwide apocalypse.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: They are pretty clearly a metaphor for the audience, especially of horror movies.
  • Monstrous Humanoid: The only thing we see of them is a giant human right arm, much bigger than the titular cabin, with dark skin and veins reminiscent of lava.
  • Outside-Context Villain: The Organization, Dana and Marty, and the audience either knew about them from the beginning or eventually learn about them before they strike, but to all the others who thwarted their own rituals, they defeated some unspeakable evil, only to be suddenly killed out of nowhere by some unmentioned Eldritch Abominations.
  • Psychopathic Children: The Controllers have to do exactly what they want how they want it, and if they don't, they'll require lots of milk or else they get it themselves.
  • Walking Spoiler: Moreso than any other character in the film, including the Controllers and even the Director, the very existence of the Ancient Ones is a major twist.

    The Monsters 

Overall Monster Tropes

  • Always Chaotic Evil: If they weren't, what could they be possibly doing there? Justified, for some, because if they weren't depraved they would not have become monsters.
  • Ax-Crazy: The ones who used to be humans became this due to their character. Most sapient ones could qualify anyway though.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: One possible motivation for what they do.
  • Evil Is One Big, Happy Family: Downplayed: there's no real communication between them, and after being released they all rampage through the facility, but they exclusively attack humans and are never seen fighting each other, even the more bestial ones.
  • For the Evulz: Another possible motivation, one often encountered among the more humanoid creatures like the Dolls and the Suffocators.
  • Great Escape: From their point of view, this is what the movie is really about.
  • Kill All Humans: They don't attack each other, only regular people.
  • Our Monsters Are Weird: Those of them who don't represent classic horror archetypes, anyway.

Alien Beast

Angry Molesting Tree

The Blob

Boomer/The Witch/The Hunter/The Tank

The Buckner Family

  • Antagonistic Offspring: Matthew, who not only murdered his father but also his brother and sister.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Patience had her arm cut and eaten by her family, forcing her to write the rest of her diary (and wield a hatchet...) with her non-dominant arm.
  • Apocalyptic Log: Patience Buckner's diary, which is also an...
  • Artifact of Doom: Specifically the Latin words at the end of the book.
  • Ax-Crazy: Yup, it's a family trait and proud tradition to kill For the Evulz.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: Apart from the casual emotional abuse and sadomasochism meted out on a daily basis while they were alive, the Buckners eventually went from murdering travelers to mutilating and killing each other. In short order, Pa tortured Ma to death by cutting her belly open and filling it with hot coals; Matthew killed Judah; one of Patience' arms was cut off and fed to the rest of the family; Matthew killed Pa, specifically by mutilating his jaw; finally, he presumably killed Patience.
  • Cannibal Clan: A possibility. They certainly didn't have any qualms about hacking off Patience' arm and eating it.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: A fine pastime for the whole family.
  • Cool, but Inefficient: Matthew Buckner's bear-trap attached to a chain. Ditto Ma Buckner's saw, which is most effective when the victim's being held down.
  • Combat Sadomasochist: All of 'em. Matthew is undoubtedly the worst, however: according to Patience, he is literally aroused by torture and self-mutilation — to the point of getting "a husband's bulge."
  • Danger Takes a Backseat: While his children go about trying to break into the Cabin, Pa Buckner stows away in the back of the Rambler and waits until Holden and Dana try to escape in it.
  • The Family That Slays Together: However they also slay together each other showing that such a family wouldn't last very long...unless they can return as putrid corpses through black magic.
  • Giant Mook: Matthew.
  • The Heavy: Collectively, due to their Artifact of Doom being the one activated. The surviving ones even do some things in the third act.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain:
    • Patience Buckner eventually finds her way down the ritual chamber and kills The Director with a hatchet to the head, before falling to her doom herself. This didn't really fix anything, since her actions inadvertently saved Marty, but essentially doomed him and the rest of the world a few minutes later... but since Marty is The Hero and The Director is the Big Bad, it rather feels like a fix.
    • Previously, Judah's cut hand grabs a soldier that came to finish off Marty, foiling the Organization's first attempt at finishing the ritual.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: They are a "Redneck Zombie Torture Family", incomparable to regular zombies as an elephant is to an elephant seal. Mostly they are Revenant Zombies, clearly retaining their intelligence and motivated by the desire to torture and murder rather than some instinct to eat.
  • Religion of Evil: The "Great Pain", based around inflicting and suffering pain.
  • To the Pain: They practice a religion based around pain.
  • Undead Child: Patience. Albeit one nearing adolescence.
  • Weapon of Choice: Scythe for Father, trowel for Judah, a flail-like Bear Trap for Matthew, hatchet for Patience, and a saw for Mother.


  • Artifact of Doom: Word of God states that the Fortune Teller Machine in the back of the cellar would have summoned the clown.
  • Giggling Villain: All his dialogue is creepy laughter.
  • The Hyena: It may be a dark mockery of a real clown but it would be a mockery of a Monster Clown as well if it didn't chuckle non-stop as if it is programmed to do so.
  • Immune to Bullets: In the film, getting shot three times in the chest doesn't even slow him down; the novel features him easily shrugging off several shots to the face as well.
  • Monster Clown: As pure an example as any.
  • Shout-Out: To It by Stephen King. Also to Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The costume/design used was the same one from Xander's nightmare from the first season.


  • Our Zombies Are Different: Along with regular zombies and "Redneck Zombie Torture Family", the Necronomicon-induced undead.
  • Shout-Out: And some time before the Evil Dead remake in that!

Dismemberment Goblins

The Doctors

  • Deadly Doctor: It is safe to say that the oath of Hippocrates is not their motto.
  • Dressed to Heal: Both of them are dressed in bloodstreaked hospital scrubs, aprons, surgical caps, and masks. Close examination reveals that these clothes have been crudely stitched onto their bodies.
  • Evil Duo: They are united by their professional duties.
  • Eye Scream: Closeups reveal that their eyes have been sewn shut.
  • Mad Doctor: It's not established if the Doctors are motivated by scientific curiosity, a misguided desire to help their victims, or pure sadism — it's not even certain if they have any real desires of their own. Whatever the case, regardless of what drives them, they are this trope from beginning to end.
  • Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: Healing is not their intent...
  • Strapped to an Operating Table: During the brief montage of security camera footage, the Doctors are seen getting ready to vivisect a captured technician in this way.

The Dolls


  • Giant Flyer: As big as a human.
  • Hybrid Monster: A huge bat, but with some dragon-like features. According to Ronald the Intern, it has a developed sense of smell. And in the novelization, it breathes fire.

Flock of Killer Birds

Fornicus, Lord of Bondage and Pain

  • Artifact of Doom: A puzzle, almost exactly identical to the Lament Configuration (except it's a sphere instead of a cube).
  • Bald of Evil: He might have bathed in acid.
  • Expy: Of Pinhead from Hellraiser. Like Pinhead, he's a mutilated demon lord dressed in leather who wants to test the limits between pain and pleasure, and has sawblades pushed into his skull rather than pins.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: The BDSM standard clothing;
  • Humanoid Abomination: His love for receiving pain has turned him into a literal and his love for giving into both a literal and a figurative abomination.
  • The Stoic: Hearing helpless screams doesn't mean much for him, especially if he is not the reason and he can't touch them.
  • Torture Technician: "Bondage and pain", after all.

Giant Ant/Ape/Cat/Ferrets/Floating Head/Insects/Millipede/Owl/Snake/Tarantula/Toad/Woman

The Huron


Kiko ("Japanese Floaty Girl")

Killer Robot

The Kraken

  • Combat Tentacles: The only part of it we see is a tentacle capturing a scientist.

Ku Klux Klan

  • The Klan: They look like regular Klansmen, but are probably demonic in nature.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: They dress in KKK robes and one of them is wielding a length of rope.
  • Terrible Trio: There are three Klansmen- two ones dressed in white and one in red. The red one is presumably the leader, as is accurate to how the Klan operate.


  • All of the Other Reindeer: Apparently, the Merman has never been chosen for the Ritual during Hadley's tenure.
  • Artifact of Doom: A conch shell, which has to be blown in order to work.
  • Brick Joke: After desiring to see a merman in action and expressing dismay that it wasn't chosen, Hadley finally comes face to face with it and becomes the merman's first and only victim during the riot.
  • A Day in the Limelight: During the Purge, when it kills Hadley.
  • Graceful in Their Element: In its only scene, the Merman has great difficulty moving on dry land, and was only able to kill Hadley because he'd been knocked to the ground by an explosion. However, judging by the presence of a lake near the cabin, it presumably would have fared better there had it been chosen for the ritual.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: "Dude, be thankful. Those things are terrifying. And the cleanup on them's a nightmare." As shown with Hadley's death, the blood comes out of the blowhole.
  • Mighty Glacier: Due to being an aquatic being, the merman is adapted to operate in the water and relies on ambush strategies to hunt its prey. Due to being on land at the time of the riot, the merman is only able to kill Hadley, who was disorientated by a grenade explosion and caught off-guard when the monster killed him.
  • Our Mermaids Are Different: Sporting a huge fanged mouth, long tangled hair, webbed fingers, a fishtail, and a blowhole, the Merman seems only vaguely human at best. It is also carnivorous and resembles a blobfish after the fish had been taken out of its natural habitat.


  • Alien Blood: When one of them is shot in the head by Marty, it bleeds green gunk instead of blood.
  • Artifact of Doom: Apparently, a large chest of bottles and vials containing unknown substances, complete with an antique gas mask. At present, it's not known if the bottles had to be opened or the gas mask had to be worn (or both at once) in order to summon the mutants.
  • Bald of Evil: Some may consider it not one of the worst parts of their mutation.
  • Hazmat Suit: Most of the mutants wear these, minus the signiature helmets.
  • Institutional Apparel: The few who don't wear biohazard suits — like the one Marty shoots — wear hospital gowns and scrubs.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: During the brief overview of the security monitors, the Mutants can be seen holding a captive down while one of them vomits green slime into his face.


  • The Cameo: Joss Whedon just had to include another of his works!

The Scarecrow Folk

The Suffocators

The Sugarplum Fairy








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