The eleventh season of Supernatural featured the most over-powered threat the Winchester's have ever faced and the closest their world came to ending. #TheDarkness was a real game changer, and her actions have been reverberating all through Season 12.
Every season of the show has been widely influenced by different sources, ranging from ancient mythology to literature, cinema, television, comics books and more. Throughout Season 11, there were some particularly amusing nods to contemporary horror films (from the current decade, more specifically) that I've decided to list here.
5. S11E02: 'Form' And 'Void' Vs. 'World War Z' (2013)
The Darkness was unleashed upon Earth and the first sign of her evil assumed the form of — zombies? Well, at least sort of zombies. People infected by her became rabid and started killing each other while spreading the infection through their blood. It affected people differently; some turned quickly after contamination, others — such as Sam Winchester himself — resisted longer.
Before giving in to the plague, Sam sets out on a mission to find a cure. Shortly after becoming infected, he notices that other zombies cannot hurt him, as if they recognize the evil thing growing inside him.
This episode reminds us of World War Z's final act, which featured Brad Pitt inside a hospital, infected with a disease, trying to find a way of saving humanity from the hideous plague. Even their hair styles are similar.
4. S11E07: 'Plush' Vs. 'Clown' (2014)
Sheriff Donna returns in yet another tongue-in-cheek episode. She calls the boys for help when a killer dressed in a bunny costume showed supernatural strength and hints of possession. Throughout the episode, other people dressed up as different characters — including a clown and a joker — were possessed by a supernatural entity and were trapped inside the costumes.
In Jon Watts's Clown, the lead character gets trapped inside a clown costume that transforms him into a monster. The resemblance is thin when compared to some of the others, but it's there. Another similar trait between the episode and the movie is that the final to-be-victims are a mother and son. The lucky ones had Sam and Dean to lend a hand.
3. S11E13: 'Love Hurts' Vs. 'It Follows' (2015)
In this episode, a nanny — who doubles as the lover of the child's dad — has her heart ripped out of her ribcage by the father. Except that it wasn't truly him, since he was at a dinner party with lots of other people. At first, Sam and Dean believe to be dealing with a shapeshifter, but their investigation reveals the threat to be a qareen, a middle-eastern entity that can assume the shapes of a person's most desired man or woman. The qareen is like a curse, transmitted by kiss. It must kill the last person kissed before jumping to the previous one.
The connection to It Follows is blatant, except it is more of a PG-13 version of it. In the 2015 massive horror hit, a shapeshifting-entity stalks and kill people in a sexual-murderous innuendo. Although never explicit or gory, the sexually transmitted curse was probably too heavy for the show.
2. S11E16: 'Safe House' Vs. 'Insidious' (2010)
A little girl falls into a mysterious coma. Doctors can't explain it, let alone find a solution. The only thing seemly out of place is a hand print on her leg. Episode 16 intersperses an investigation led by Bob and Rufus in the past and a new one led by the #Winchesters, in the present. In both timelines, an unexplained coma with slightly supernatural elements brought the hunters to the same house, where they confront a being called a Soul Eater.
Such creature exists in a parallel world called The Nest, which looks exactly like the real world, but more gloomy and sober. Oh, and the souls eaten by the creature linger in that dimension, wearing fancy clothes and looking like mannequins. So yeah, pretty much like The Further.
In James Wan successful Insidious franchise, there is a parallel dimension that simulates reality called The Further, where the unresting souls linger, like mannequins, at the mercy of a red-faced demon. This one is the biggest influence of them all.
Fun Fact: In Brazil, both Supernatural and Insidious were renamed Sobrenatural.
1. S11E22: 'We Happy Few' Vs. 'The Witch' (2016)
The previous episodes were heavily inspired by the films mentioned; however, the 22nd episode featured more of an Easter Egg than anything else.
Rowena seeks another witch's help in an attempt to survive the apocalypse brought upon them by the Darkness (the entity, not the band). As soon as she encounters Clea, she accuses Rowena of having murdered other witches, mentioning a few names, including one called Thomasin. As most of you might know by now, Thomasin is the protagonist of the extraordinary The Witch. How awesome is it that Rowena killed the most important witch of cinema in this century?
Besides the references listed, the episode also featured a lot of John Carpenter (Assault on Precinct 13th, Halloween, The Fog) and a little bit of Stephen King (The Mist, mostly). Outside the horror genre, the most notable reference was to Dan Gilroy's Nightcrawler in Episode 6, where Metatron is found working as a freelance videographer.
Which other influences have you noticed in Supernatural Season 11?