While watching The Cabin in the Woods I thought the keeping of ghosts in a glass cabin was inspired by Thirteen Ghosts and even the opening closing sequence of glass cabins also looks similar. Except 13 ghosts have more explanation how they are able to capture ghosts( through glass room with spells written on walls).

Is Thirteen Ghosts the first movie to show that ghosts can be captured in glass rooms or is it also inspired by some other movie?


From an interview with director and co-writer Drew Goddard:

Out of all the horror movies you've seen, pick one that you feel pushed your inspiration more than any other with "Cabin in the Woods".

Drew Goddard:
I don't know that I can pick one. Let me pick three. I'm gonna pick "The Thing", I'm going to pick "Dr. Strangelove", and I'm going to pick "Evil Dead". Let's go with those three.

Those glass cabins are actually elevators, and only glass on two sides.
They move in three dimensions and spin/rotate (which reminds me of the 1997 film Cube)

Glass Elevators

Glass was used so one can see what's inside, not because it has any special ghost trapping properties.


Reading a plot summary of Thirteen Ghosts it seems like the ghosts are trapped by inscriptions written on the glass, so there is nothing specifically important about the glass rooms (please correct). There is no indication in The Cabin in the Woods that the glass rooms had a similar confinement - the use of glass seems unimportant - perhaps other confinement is required for the non-corporeal residents of the facility.

The Cabin in the Woods deliberately pulls on all sorts of standard tropes about horror movies and government conspiracy. Rather than being inspired by the glass rooms from Thirteen Ghosts, it seems like The Cabin in the Woods is rather more inspired by the trope of 'secret government facility' with aliens or monsters held in confinement, usually in glass rooms. As an example of this trope, Monsters v Aliens has such a facility, with most of the monsters kept in glass cells in a very similar arrangements to The Cabin in the Woods.

As TylerShads indicates in his comment - there are many references to other horror stories in the movie, the whole point of the story is to imply that there is some sort of reasoning behind horror cliches. It may be a 'nod towards Thirteen Ghosts, but inspired would perhaps taking it too far.

  • If anything I'd say the rooms in Cabin were just a reference to 13 Ghosts as they were referencing every horror they could at one point.
    – Tablemaker
    Sep 2 '12 at 18:34
  • @TylerShads - it would not surprise me. Shame they did not show any inscriptions on the glass of a room containing a ghost.
    – iandotkelly
    Sep 2 '12 at 18:35
  • The glass rooms keeping different type of ghosts and opening and closing of glass found me similar in both movies, in cabin in the woods it never made clear that how they are keeping different kind of ghosts in glass rooms but its a similar way like 13 ghosts except 13 ghosts have more explanation how they are able to capture ghosts through glass room with spells
    – Ankit Sharma
    Sep 3 '12 at 5:51

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