- The Cabin in the Woods was a critical and commercial success when it was released, but unlike other horror movies, it never received a sequel.
- Director Drew Goddard’s comments on a potential sequel makes it seemingly impossible that a The Cabin in the Woods 2 will ever happen.
- Other films have replicated a similar sci-fi horror vibe that The Cabin in the Woods delivered.
More than any other film genre, horror is defined, to some extent, by its sequels. In the past several years alone, a half-dozen major horror franchises, including Child’s Play and Pet Semetary, welcomed new entries to the big screen. Because horror films are relatively inexpensive to produce and come with some degree of guaranteed success, sequels are a perfect way to keep a familiar franchise afloat by giving fans more of what they already like. Despite that, one of the most acclaimed horror movies in recent memory, 2012’s The Cabin in the Woods, still hasn’t had a sequel.
Directed by Drew Goddard and starring Chris Hemsworth, Kristen Connolly and Jesse Williams, the film was a critical and commercial success that’s only become more popular since its release. However, The Cabin in the Woods remains standalone, and there are no apparent plans for another installment. So, let’s take a closer look at why The Cabin in the Woods 2 hasn’t happened yet, as well as what any potential sequel could look like.
Updated on October 10, 2023 by Katie Doll: The Cabin in the Woods has developed a cult following since its release over a decade ago. Its satirical take on overdone horror tropes, along with its successful execution of a shocking plot twist makes it an underrated gem in the horror genre. This article has been expanded to commentate on the possibility of a sequel or prequel, with the inclusion of film recommendations similar to The Cabin in the Woods.
How The Cabin in the Woods’ Ending Complicates a Sequel
The Cabin in the Woods is a satirical take on horror that subverts the classic premise of a group of teens traveling to an isolated cabin, where they are picked off, one by one, by adding a shadowy government agency that secretly coordinates the carnage. The organization orchestrates horror “rituals” in order to appease an ancient race capable of destroying Earth if it’s not satiated by genre clichés and gruesome deaths. The film ends with the protagonists exposing that plot, and interrupting the ritual, resulting in the rise of the “Ancient Ones” and the seeming end of the world.
This ending is certainly the biggest roadblock to a sequel, as Goddard explained to Fandango. “Every version of continuing the story undercuts the ending that we had in Cabin,” the filmmaker said, “and I just feel like that continues to be the perfect ending for that movie, and I never want to undercut it.” But while the ending was fairly definitive and made a direct continuation practically impossible, Goddard hasn’t completely ruled out the idea of another Cabin in the Woods.
What Would A Cabin In The Woods Sequel or Prequel Look Like
More than likely, for a The Cabin in the Woods 2 to happen, it would have to be a prequel. Dana and Marty refuse to go through with the ritual, which would’ve saved humanity as long as the “Virgin” (Dana) dies last or survives. Instead, they choose to share a joint and let humanity die because it’s not worth saving. So there’s literally nothing left to tell after the ending. A prequel logistically would make sense, perhaps to depict the ritual in other cultures over the course of humanity. The rituals did become more complicated as time went on, so it would be interesting to see how the rituals evolved over time.
Another possibility is to create a sequel that’s set at the same time as the American ritual in The Cabin in the Woods, but in a different country. The rituals in Japan, Sweden, Argentina and Spain all failed, which meant the American ritual was the last hope for humanity. Seeing how different cultures would approach the ritual, and what initially led them to fail would be the best chance at a The Cabin in the Woods sequel, as there are many opportunities to tell the story through a different lense. It minimizes the chances of failing at bringing something fresh to the potential franchise, perhaps succeeding where Bird Box Barcelona failed.
A Cabin in the Woods Sequel Isn’t Out of the Question
In the more than a decade since the release of The Cabin in the Woods, the horror landscape has changed dramatically. In film and TV, anthologies like American Horror Story, VHS and Cloverfield have become increasingly popular. Thanks to studios like A24 and Blumhouse, some of the biggest releases in horror are arthouse films that break up the monotony of endless sequels and rip-offs.
While those changes would put a return to The Cabin in the Woods in a different context, they could also provide fodder for any potential sequel. But for the moment, Goddard said he doesn’t know what a sequel would necessarily look like. “I’ve learned, tomorrow, that a bolt of lightning could strike and you could think of an idea that does the first one justice,” he said. “But I haven’t quite had that idea yet, I haven’t had the idea yet that makes me go, ‘Oh, we have to drop everything and do that now.'”
Movies Similar to The Cabin in the Woods
With no confirmation that a The Cabin in the Woods sequel will happen, it’s probably best to look to spiritual successors or other movies that further reiterate why a vacation in the woods is a bad idea. At the heart of The Cabin of the Woods was an unpredictable twist that turned the horror movie into a sci-fi world-ender, which thankfully many other movies have put their own spin on.
One said film is Annihiliation, which is weirdly brilliant even with its confusing sci-fi elements. It depicts an all-female team of scientists and soldiers entering “the shimmer,” a foreign zone that is slowly expanding in the world and mutates the genetics of anything living in it. Other movies that combine the horror and sci-fi genre include The Cabin in the Woods, Cloverfield (as mentioned above), Vivarium, Cabin Fever and The Mist. The Cabin in the Woods may be a treasure that will stay in the past, but there’s plenty of love for the movie if the director ever chooses to return to it. If not, the woods will always remain a haunting trope to return to for a good scream.
The Cabin in the Woods is available to stream on Max.
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