- Actor Allusion:
- This isn't the first time (or the second) that Hayden Panettiere's been menaced by a serial killer.
- Larry Fessenden directed and wrote multiple films (and an episode of Fear Itself) about wendigos. And the horror films whose posters show up in the lodge's private theater? All of them were films he produced.
- Mr. Fessenden has a long filmography where characters he's played have died in one way or another, including several non-horror films, as you can see in this montage , as does his character in the game.
- And much like the films he's written and directed, Fessenden's exploration of horror and psychology extends into this game with Josh's possible schizophrenia.
- Frère Jacques seems to follow Rami Malek from television to video games. As do hallucinations of his dead family members.
- Billing Displacement: Peter Stormare is billed second, above all but one of the game's playable protagonists (who is of course voiced by Hayden Panettiere, the biggest star in the cast). In addition to his character Dr. Hill being an NPC, he stops being important to the story about halfway through the narrative, and then disappearing entirely before the climax.
- Brett Dalton is also billed fourth, despite his character Mike by far having the most playtime (and screentime) out of everyone.
- Bowdlerise: The Japanese release of the game censors Josh being sliced in half.
- Creator Cameo: Larry Fessenden, one of the writers, plays Flamethrower Guy.
- Dawson Casting: Played Straight to varying degrees with the eight lead characters, all of whom are meant to be aged between eighteen and twenty. Jordan Fisher, the youngest member of the cast, was 21 when the game was released in 2015, meaning that he possibly was around his character's age while working on it. Meaghan Martin, Galadriel Stineman, Hayden Panettiere and Nichole Bloom were all in their mid-twenties. Brett Dalton, Rami Malek and Noah Fleiss were all about 30, and even with their CGI avatars being de-aged, Mike and Chris in particular still look like guys in their late 20s, not teenagers.
- Homage: This game is built out of homages. See Actor Allusion for aforementioned examples.
- Friday The13th: A maniac is out to punish those indirectly responsible for minors' demise.
- My Bloody Valentine: Extensive use of mines, which have their own backstory.
- Saw: The two "fatal choice[s]" Chris has to make, along with the Psycho's announcements.
- Silent Hill 2: Mike follows the Stranger into an abandoned sanitarium, where he finds an olive-drab M15 military jacket . Yet another Whole Costume Reference is Emily's sweater underneath that leather jacket ◊.
- Silent Hill: Shattered Memories: The sequences with Dr. Hill are ripped straight from the book of this Wii game, which psychologically profiles the player; uses motion controls at the core of its mechanics; AND pits the player against naked pale humanoid creatures lurking in a brutal snowscape.
- I Knew It!: More than one person correctly predicted that Josh was the mastermind and faked his death in the saw trap. Of course, turns out that he's not the real threat at all...
- Public Domain Soundtrack: During her bath in Chapter 5, Sam is listening to Johann Sebastian Bach's "Cello Suite No.1" through her earbuds.
- Relationship Voice Actor: The last game Hayden Panettiere and Meaghan Martin both lent their voices to was the very different Kingdom Hearts series. As variations of the same character, no less.
- Saved from Development Hell: A Survival Horror game that was first announced in 2012, with heavy use of PlayStation Move controls, a plot inspired by teen horror and slasher flicks, and a planned 2013 release date on the PlayStation 3. Two trailers were released... and that's about all the substantial information that was heard about the game for the next two years, the only news being an announcement from the developers in late 2013 that, yes, they were still working on the game. It wasn't until 2014 when it resurfaced at Gamescom as a PlayStation 4 title, having been heavily overhauled from its original design. Move controls have been dropped, while the campier elements were largely replaced with a Darker and Edgier approach and a Hollywood voice cast. It finally came out on August 25, 2015.
- Uncredited Role: Justin Villiers, Will Byles and Pete Samuels developed the story, but were not credited.
- What Could Have Been: This article and video goes into detail on the game's production history, including a number of early builds that have been unearthed.
- The game was originally announced for the PlayStation 3, and would've used the Move motion control system that Sony was promoting at the time. At least one early build also had pass-and-play multiplayer. It was nearing completion when it was decided to retool it for next-gen consoles. The cast was almost completely replaced at that time, with only Brett Dalton returning when the production moved to the PlayStation 4.
- The original version of the game was a fair bit campier; among other things, the main characters were explicitly specified as being teenagers, the opening cinematic implied that they were heading into the mountains to go snowboarding, and Death by Sex appeared in the trailers.note When they moved the game to the PlayStation 4, the developers decided that, if this game was going to be a showpiece for the new hardware, they might as well make a serious horror game. Many of the characters in the final game existed in some form early on, though Mike's name was originally Scott, Emily's was Christina (or Chrissy), Jessica's was Summer, and Josh's was Clayton (and he was also black), and there were also characters named Devin, MJ, Belle, and Emi (who, beyond the name and ethnicity, seemed to have nothing in common with the Emily from the final game). Hannah was originally Clayton's girlfriend as opposed to his sister, with the two of them having broken up that fateful weekend for reasons unknown, while her sister's name was Lex instead of Beth. Unlike the final game, there seemed to be Plotline Deaths, as evidenced when the player is allowed to restart after failing to Press X to Not Die.
- Chris was originally going to be a part of the prank in the beginning of the game, as shown in this video where he hides under the bed with Jessica, but was replaced by Emily instead. In this version of the game, it would make Josh's grudge against Chris more justified (as well as Chris' self-inclusion in guilt with Ashley); in contrast to the final product, in which Chris is the only person besides Sam and Beth to not be part of the pranknote .
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Trivia / Until Dawn