- "An endless array of elevators. Monsters in every single one. It's the CostCo of death." - Script's description of the cube prison.
Monsters are a large collection of various entities, which include everything from ordinary humans, animals, abominations, legendary and/or supernatural beings.
Appearance and Characteristics
The four major types of such creatures are:
- Supernatural - These monsters possesses qualities and abilities not conforming to known laws of science.
- Psychopaths - These monsters are psychopathic or otherwise violently insane humans.
- Folkloric Creatures - These monsters have their origins in folklore, legends and myths.
- Common Phobias - These monsters are the embodiment of various common fears and phobias.
Minor types include:
- Undead Humans - These are deceased humans that have been brought back to life in an undead state.
- Demons - These monsters are demonic creatures from the biblical Hell.
- Extraterrestrials - These monsters originate from some world other than Earth.
- Giant Animals - These monsters are animals that are larger than normal, sometimes larger than the laws of nature would allow in the real world.
Many monsters can fall into more than one category, such as Kevin (psychopath/common phobia), The Doctors (common phobias/undead humans) and Reavers (undead humans/psychopaths). While most monsters correspond to certain tropes, some are more specific, if not original, like Jack O'Lantern, Sugarplum Fairy, and Dragonbat.
To fulfill multiple horror conventions, each of the monster's appearances differ between them. It is clear that every monster is kept in thousands of identical transparent cube prisons roughly the size of a standard elevator, so the monsters (each) would be small enough to fit inside them, despite some of them appearing too large for the volume of a cube (like the Kraken, Giant, and the Angry Molesting Tree).
Their behavior varies, some of them attacking wildly (i.e. Man in Transparent Tarp) while others remain calm and collected (i.e. Ku Klux Klan), as shown when some of them tried fruitlessly to escape their cubes while others calmly waited to be released.
While temperaments may differ, they all have a single, solitary goal in mind: kill every human being they see. They lack an actual will of their own, completely ignoring their situation, the surroundings and each other (unless they are monsters that operate in groups like The Dolls, The Scarecrow Folk, and Mutants), and are focused solely on their dark task. Despite their inherent violent and evil nature, they are never seen in conflict with each other, as seen when the Dragon Bat ignores a helpless human in front of it, because another monster was already advancing on him.
Their methods of killing range from suffocation, stabbing, burning, tearing, beating to death, slow torture and biting. While the book describes what they do as simply feeding themselves, they may not need food for sustenance, as they are never seen being fed or otherwise provided for in their cubes, and those who eat simply eat for the sake of eating (like the Giant Snake and the Zombies). Their mortality and vulnerability to injury varies, as the Clown was shot three times in the chest to no visible effect while Marty was able to kill a Mutant in Hospital Gown with a single headshot. As all of the monsters were effectively contained and could be captured by Facility staff (the job of the Wranglers), it can be inferred that even the immortal monsters could be somehow disabled, either through conventional means or through some contrivance that draws from their fictional nature.
The origin of the monsters is never fully explained in the film, although it is suggested that they predated human existence. When Truman remarks that they are "something from a nightmare", Lin responds "No, they're something that nightmares are from. Everything in our stable is a remnant of the old world . . . courtesy of you know who." As the mere existence of some of the Monsters violates the laws of biology and physics, and since none of them seem to have the usual physical requirements of organisms (completely isolated indefinitely in their small cubes), it would be logical to assume that they are all creations of the Old Ones and are sustained by the power of those dark gods, even the monsters that have real-world analogues and which manifest no supernatural properties.
Many fans theorize that the monsters are actually the pets of the Ancient Ones, and are waiting to be set free to re-unite with their owners. They also believe that some of the monsters ultimately helped in getting Dana and Marty into the Facility for the express purpose of being released from their cells during The Purge. Though it is possible some (or all) of the surviving monsters were killed when one of the released Ancient Ones destroyed the Facility, it is equivalently speculated a majority of the monsters may have survived given their supernatural, magical or undead nature, likely aiding the Ancient Ones in bringing about the destruction and/or suppression of mortals or the end of existence itself.
List of Monsters
Monster Listed On The White Board
- Alien Beast - The Bio Med Department bets on this monster.
- Angry Molesting Tree - The Wranglers bet on this monster.
- The Bride - The Digital Analysis Department bets on this monster.
- Clowns - The Electrical Department bets on them.
- Deadites - The Story Department bets on them. Based on the creatures of the same name from Evil Dead.
- Dismemberment Goblins
- The Doctors - The Accounting Department bets on them.
- Dolls - The Kitchen Staff bets on them.
- Giant - The Zoology Department bets on it.
- Giant Snake - The Internal Logistics Department bets on it.
- Hell Lord - Richard Sitterson bets on him.
- The Huron - The Research and Development Department bet on this monster.
- Jack O'Lantern - The Security Force bets on this monster.
- Merman - Steve Hadley bets on this monster.
- Mummy - The Psychology Department bets on this monster.
- Mutants - The Demolition Department bets on them.
- The Reanimated - The Administration Department bets on them.
- The Scarecrow Folk - The DNA Archives bet on them.
- Sexy Witches - The Archives Department bet on them.
- Snowman - The Communications Department bets on this monster.
- Sugarplum Fairy
- Unicorn - The Engineering Department bets on this monster.
- Vampires - The Distribution Department bets on them.
- Werewolf - The Finance Department bets on this monster.
- Witches - The Operations Department bets on them.
- Zombie Redneck Torture Family - The Maintenance Department and Ronald the Intern bet on them.
- Zombies - The Chemical Department bets on them.
Other Monsters Seen in the Film and Behind the Scenes
- American Slow-Walking Creepy Girl
- The Ancient Ones
- Balding Menace
- The Blob
- Boomer - Based on the monster from Left 4 Dead.
- Bullhead Phantom
- Cow Skull Giant - It is seen in the behind the scenes video An Army of Nightmares but is an unfinished version of the Bullhead Phantom.
- Charger - Based on the monster from Left 4 Dead.
- Creature with Patterned Segments of Armor on its Head
- Creeping Shadow
- Cthulhu Creature
- Dark Spirit
- Face Peeler
- Floating Leech Creature
- Flock of Killer Birds
- Four Legged Saddle Creature
- Garden Gnome Boy
- Giant Alligator
- Giant Ant
- Giant Ape
- Giant Cat
- Giant Centipedes
- Giant Crow
- Giant Deers
- Giant Ferrets
- Giant Floating Head
- Giant Insects
- Giant Lizard
- Giant Millipede
- Giant Owl
- Giant Tarantula
- Giant Toad
- Giant Woman
- Gladiator Demon - It was mentioned in The Cabin in the Woods Visual Companion.
- Hell Lord Minion
- The Humanoid
- Hunter - Based on the monster from Left 4 Dead.
- Japanese Floaty Girl
- Killer Robot
- Klu Klux Klan
- The Kraken
- Man in Transparent Tarp
- Mutant Girl
- Mutant in Hospital Gown
- Ogre - It is briefly seen as a mask for one of the finished monster suits in the behind the scenes video An Army of Nightmares.
- Pale Serpent
- Pterodactyls - They are mentioned by Kristen Connolly during an interview where two of them appear in a deleted scene where they chase her character during the Purge.
- Puffy Tentacle Creature
- Rabid Dogs
- Savage with Hatchet
- Slimy Horned Cloak Creature
- Smoker - Based on the monster from Left 4 Dead.
- The Old Man - It is briefly seen as a mask for one of the finished monster suits for the Zombies in the behind the scenes video An Army of Nightmares.
- The Red Fiend - It is briefly seen as a mask for one of the finished monster suits possibly for The Demons in the behind the scenes video An Army of Nightmares.
- The Suffocators
- The War Monger
- Tank - Based on the monster from Left 4 Dead.
- Tentacle Thing
- Witch (Left 4 Dead) - Based on the monster from Left 4 Dead.
Monsters only mentioned in the Novelization
- Boil Covered Monster
- Crack-Skinned Lava People
- Dog with an Alligator Head
- Evil Children
- Exploding Shard Babies
- Fire-Mouthed Woman
- Four Eyed Creature with a Mouth like a Sea Creature's
- Giant Rabbit
- Infant Creatures
- Man with Steaming Pipes in his Chest
- Scorpion Stinger Woman
- Screaming Banshee
- Six-Armed Man
- Snake Pubic Hair Woman
- Three-Headed Child
- Toxic Ghostly Figure
- Woman with a Toothed Vagina
Monsters appearing in the Visual Companion
- Alien Creature
- Fish Man
- Seaweed Creature
- Shark Like Creature
- The Alien
- The Butch
- The Hunter
- The Exterminator
- The Extraterrestrial
- The Magician
- The Pirate
- The Surgeon
- The Viking
- The Witchcrafter
- Vampire Man
- Vampire Woman