For those of you who’ve been living under a rock for the past year or so, Until Dawn is a PS4 video game that hammers the idea of Butterfly Effect and the consequence of choice. If you haven’t played, or seen a playthrough of this game and want too, there are spoilers. I will shamelessly be talking about every aspect of the game that is linked to every plot hole I’ve noticed from all the playthroughs I’ve seen.
Now, plot hole number one is, in my opinion, the biggest plot hole and also is the easiest to have been fixed. In the beginning, when Beth and Hannah fall off the cliff, they both look very dead, hence both having the dead, open eyes and are both unreactive (for example, no getting up, gritting, groaning, etc.). However, throughout the game, it’s revealed that Beth was the only one to have died in the fall, and Hannah survived for about 30 days before she ate Beth and continued to live as a wendigo.
If Hannah’s eyes were closed when the game shows the sisters, then it would’ve been just as shocking when the reveal came but would’ve also been more believable. Once the game showed that Hannah was undoubtedly dead through the eyes, then they couldn’t sell to me that the main wendigo was her. They fixed this when they tried to fake-sell that Josh was dead, but that shock isn’t, in my personal opinion, as important as the shock that Hannah survived the fall, buried Beth, kept a journal for 30+ days, then ate Beth and became a wendigo when she was desperate for food.
The next thing is Josh’s prank altogether. Like everyone playing, Josh forgot who was responsible for the prank that initially made Hannah run out and never be seen, or heard from again. In the beginning of the game, Jessica, Emily, and Mike set up the prank while Sam disagreed with it and was reluctant to join, Matt only recorded it, Ashely just followed along to be a part of something, and Chris was passed out drunk with Josh. Later in the game, Josh admits that he only put together the fake “saw traps” for revenge for his sisters. However, his main victims are only Ashely and Chris. True, he kidnaps Sam, or he tries to if you successfully escaped him in your playthrough, however, he doesn’t really do anything with Sam aside from an attempt to catch her and, if he succeeds, tie her up in a separate room/part of the basement.
Josh’s real victims should’ve been Emily, Jess, and Mike (that’s not just because those three are my least favorite characters who I wish would’ve/could’ve died first) because those three were directly responsible for humiliating Hannah, however, at no point in the game, could Josh get revenge on them, or make them feel remorse (aside from a throw-away line from Jessica). In fact, Josh doesn’t do anything to anyone other than Chris, Ashely and just has one scene with Sam, the three who had the least to do with the initial prank that he’s getting revenge for.
Following that logic, the game hammers in that every choice will have an equal and justified consequence. You shot the squirrel, a bird attacks Sam. You hit a bird with a snowball, Mike gives Jessica dirty looks. You kill a deer (or is it a caribou?), Matt is pushed off the edge of the cliff and, unless you perfectly hit all the quick time events, he dies. However, Jessica is dragged off very early in the game, and you almost forget all about her by the time you play as her again.
Yes, you can say that she paid her dues and got just punishment for the prank, making the slim argument that it was Hannah who dragged her out the window and prolonged her death to be slow and painful as revenge (she can recognize Josh, so why not she recognize Jessica?) however this is a very slim argument. Mike paid his due by being the hero, taking control, and putting the survival of the group above all else. Emily paid her due by discovering the wendigo and informing the rest of the group about them, also by calling for help through the radio. Jessica, however, contributes nothing to the group, is easily forgotten, and the story would hardly change no matter if you save her by getting to her in time or not. She made a decision to humiliate Hannah, and the only justice she served was getting ripped out a window and dragged away by a wendigo, possibly Hannah herself.
Let’s talk about Mike for a second. Like I said, Mike put the safety of the rest of the group on his shoulders. However, he is invincible! If he does die, his only death animation is so lame. Hannah cuts him with her wendigo claws and throws him across the room, and…he lost the ability to move and burns with the wendigo (if Sam’s still alive, she burns him with the lodge, if she dies, he lights a match and burns it himself). I’m not saying the means of his death are bad, he dies saving all his surviving friends. He goes out on a good note, dies a hero. However, through the whole game, he constantly goes into danger and cannot die. He goes into the sanatorium, which is a literal nest of wendigos and is able to physically fight them off. That is simply not possible and inconsistent. Either keep him out of danger until the one time he can die, like how Sam doesn’t even see or is directly attacked by a wendigo until the last scene, or allow him to die and be interchangeable like everybody else.
Lastly, I want to talk about the clues that build the backstory of the wendigo spirit being unleashed, and the miners, and the sanatorium, even the totems. Those items mean nothing to the characters, therefore they won’t go miles out of their way to find these clues even though the player may want to. They might glance at them as they go down their path and keep it in mind, maybe bringing it up later. The lines in the basement perfectly sum up this knit-pick.
Mike: “There had been a cave-in. In the fifties I guess, and these miners got trapped down there. Some of them survived, but…like…fifteen of them didn’t make it. There was a reporter and I think he figured out there had been some big cover-up going on. I found these plans. They knew the mine was a death trap, but they let the miners keep working anyway. And…I’m not sure what it means, but I found this chair with dried blood all over the place…like somebody’s been tortured.”
Emily: “Michael, I’d like to maybe focus on how we’re going to get the f*ck out of here please?”
I’m just saying, It’s not realistic that Mike, or any of them, would even care beyond curiosity when they have their own lives and each other’s lives to worry about. However, this isn’t the case with all the clues. They would be interested in items that they personally recognize, like Hannah’s locket and Beth’s watch.
That’s about all my knit-picks, but if I find more, I’ll write a continuation knit-pick blog. For now, I’m done standing on my soap box. Have a beautiful rest of your day.
Wanna play Until Dawn yourself? The story is still very enjoyable even with all the problems staring you in the face. The game is available on Amazon with all the gore, unnerving atmosphere, and the jump scares galore. Don’t have a PS4 or just need a controller? Well, Amazon’s got those too, so snatch a game, pick up a PS4, grab a controller, and get that extra pair of pants ready to change into.