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The Alien Cameo You Forgot About In Cabin In The Woods

"Alien," which was released in 1979, is arguably one of the most influential horror films of all time, and it spawned a franchise that's still relevant today. In fact, a television show set in the universe is currently in development. It's also inspired a plethora of films with a similar isolated, claustrophobic atmosphere, from "Life" to "Pitch Black." While it's completely natural for writers and studios to mimic formulas and concepts that have worked in the past, paying respects is another avenue that some writers and directors take.

In 2011, Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard did just that with the horror-comedy "Cabin in the Woods" — a film that both honored and poked fun at horror movies, particularly the slasher genre. The film was praised by critics (per Rotten Tomatoes) for its writing and for honoring horror movie tropes. Still, even a movie dedicated to the slasher genre couldn't help but fit in a nod to "Alien."

This particular reference came in the form of a cameo appearance from one of "Alien's" most recognizable stars.

Alien star Sigourney Weaver cameos in Cabin in the Woods

Horror movies are no strangers to weird cameos from established actors, and "Cabin in the Woods" is no exception. Toward the end of the movie, "Alien" star Sigourney Weaver makes a surprising appearance as The Director of The Facility. She explains that all the main characters' horrors have been part of an elaborate ritual sacrifice to appease beings called the Ancient Ones. Events unfold, and Weaver's character is quickly killed off, but it's a cameo appearance that seemingly comes out of nowhere.

Weaver's small role in "Cabin in the Woods" is not exactly comparable to the heroic one she portrayed in "Alien," but it is a testament to how much she means to the horror genre at large. "Cabin in the Woods" doesn't really incorporate any of the "Alien" tropes into its satire — unless one counts the isolation of the cabin. Still, when tasked with casting the role of The Director, Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard chose Weaver. Whether this is directly because of her ties to "Alien" or not is hard to say. However, what is clear is that her role as Ripley is one that pushed boundaries (per IndieWire) and changed the horror genre forever.