Have you ever wondered how long it took the Merman to travel from the elevators to the control room in The Cabin in the Woods? I sure have. After doing an excessive amount of analysis (i.e. pausing to count the number of steps on a staircase), I have an answer that is based on guesswork and actual data. Much like my other posts that center around Michael Myers using his blinker and sharks scheming underwater, I’ve done as much homework as possible to make an educated guess.
If you haven’t watched The Cabin in the Woods, it centers around a bunch of good-looking people being killed to satiate the ancient god’s thirst for sacrifices. Helping the gods are a bunch of office drones who make sure the killing goes off without a hitch. One of the main controllers, Hadley (Bradley Whitford), is fascinated by the murderous Merman who never seems to get picked by the unwitting victims. In true horror comedy fashion, irony strikes when he is killed by the Merman during the film's final act. The following post breaks down the Merman attack.
1. How Fast Does The Merman Move?
After watching and re-watching various clips from the movie, I’ve figured out that the Merman moves at a very slow pace of 41.25 feet every 60 seconds. Basically, it reaches out one of its arms and pulls itself forward very slowly.
2. Where Did The Merman Start Its Journey?
I believe the Merman was one of the first creatures to be delivered by the elevators because it didn’t have to crawl through the insane amounts of blood. It exited the elevator and made its way through roughly 264 feet of corridors on the 100 level.
I came up with 264 feet when I tracked the time it took for the armed guards to reach the elevators. I clocked them doing a 15-minute mile (5280/15 = 352 feet a minute), and I did the math from there. They cautiously walked through the corridors for roughly 45 seconds (264 feet) and I believe their main security station was close to the staircase that the Merman had to go down. Take a look at the video to get a feel for the building:
3. The Merman Had To Navigate Stairs
Once at the stairs, the Merman had to go down approximately 40 feet of steps (we need this deleted scene). Why did he have to go downstairs? In the beginning of the film, Hadley and Sitterson are walking on the 100 level to get some coffee. You can clearly see they have to go down a staircase to get to their golf cart.
Also, during the attack, you will notice the creatures going down stairs to attack their prey. I believe the 100 level was where the elevators released the monsters because during the unicorn attack you see a sign for room 100. I don’t think the unicorn had a chance to go down some stairs, so 100 level it is.
4. How Far Was The Last Leg Of The Murderous Journey?
After they make the trek downstairs, Hadley and Sitterson get into a golf cart and go to the control office. I’m wagering the trip had to be at least 300 feet to warrant taking a golf cart. Since these two guys seem bored with their job and caught in a routine I think they take the cart everywhere out of boredom. Throw in an added 20 feet to get into the large control center and the total jumps up to 320 feet.
5. How Far Did The Merman Travel And How Long Did It Take?
The Merman had to travel 624 feet (264+40+300+20) in order to kill Hadley in a moment of poetic justice and irony. Since Mr. Merman could only move 41.25 feet every minute, the trip took a total of at least 15.127 minutes (+/- 30 seconds). I initially thought the scene played out in real time, but after destroying my soul with multiple, brutal viewings, I began watching the video screens that showed the villains corralling various workers and killing them in Saw-esque fashion.
I am 93.456% certain that 15 minutes was the minimum amount of time needed to make the deadly trip. The Merman didn’t waste time killing anybody else and his 15-minute crawl left plenty of time for professional/mythical killers to horribly kill people via fire, chains and gross surgery.
There you have it — I’ve tracked the Merman’s journey!
What was your favorite kill in The Cabin in the Woods?