In the movie The Cabin in the Woods from Joss Whedon, we see at some point that many (if not all) facilities around the globe have failed (given out by the big red "FAIL" on their screen).

I'm wondering if every facility are there to appease the same gods and either facility requires a success, so in the end everything depends on the success of the one depicted in the movie. Or, does only this facility is there to appease these gods, and others serve different purpose (I would highly doubt that as they also refer to the events there as "sacrifices", requiring casualties). Meaning the failures of other facilities do not actually end in "the world's in flame" kind of bad Monday.

Is there anything out there favoring one or the other?

2 Answers 2


As Brett has pointed out already, the gist is that they run these scenarios at multiple locations in an effort to better achieve their goal: appeasing the sleeping god(s) for another year. Why risk failing with one when you can spread out your chances of success across multiple attempts?

What should be mentioned, though, is The Cabin in The Woods is basically a critique of the horror genre in its entirety, and not just for American horror films but foreign ones as well. More recently the genre as a whole has been seen as dead; nothing is terribly scary anymore, too many horror movies rely on cheap jump moments, so everything has just sort of grown stale for many audiences.

The purpose of the other locations was to highlight this fact: even foreign markets haven't been able to "revive" the horror genre, to the point Whedon seems to feel they've failed outright. The way the Japanese team's scenario ends, with the little girls gathering around and singing a song to turn the demon into a frog, is Whedon's way of saying everything just ends up being cliche and formulaic.

As such, it's up to the Americans to come in and save the day, or at least that's what Whedon would have you believe.

Naturally the team in the US still fails, but the reason they fail is they still tried to stick to a "tried and true" formula. What happens, and what makes the movie truly pay off, is breaking the central characters out of the genre tropes and bringing them into the real world, along with the horrors that were saved for them in the fake one.

In the end Whedon had to destroy the world of horror films that's been built to forge a newer one, whatever that may be.

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    Nice analysis! I'm bummed that you have more thumbs up than I do, but thanks for the mention. :) May 8, 2015 at 19:03

The sense I got, after watching it twice, is that all the facilities have the same objective. If one of the facilities achieves the objective then the gods are appeased. (This has to be done annually.) Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford even act smug after finding that everyone else has failed but them, so they'll be the ones to save the world when their sacrifice succeeds.

The sacrifice ceremonies at the other facilities do seem very different than the ones at The Cabin, though. Especially those Japanese school kids!

EDIT: I think Richard and Bradley even explain to the new military guy that all the facilities have the same goal, and once one of them succeeds then all the other ceremonial sacrifices can get called off.

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