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Spoilers "You've seen horrible things, an army of nightmare creatures. But they are nothing compared to what came before, what lies below."
This article may contain major plot spoilers. Proceed with caution.
Buckner Family Portrait

Left to right: Mother, Patience, Father, Judah and Matthew Buckner, circa the early 1900s.

The Buckner Family (referred to as "Zombie Redneck Torture Family" on the whiteboard) are the group of monsters that were ultimately chosen to kill Curt, Jules, Dana, Holden and Marty in The Ritual. The Maintenance Department and Ronald the Intern are notably shown betting on them, winning the jar.

The Buckners are a family of pain worshipping, backwoods rednecks who, while alive, enjoyed torturing and killing anyone who came by their home. Among the monsters held in The Facility, the Buckners are a notorious unit; said to have a "100% clearance rate".

Physical Description & AttributesEdit

The Buckners are portrayed as rotten, putrid, undead human beings having some level of cognition beyond that of a normal zombie (as proven by their ability to wield weaponry and kill victims in coordinated attacks). Also, they are clearly shown to have a delight for torturing their victims before killing them. Sitterson points out that they belong to a completely different category than normal zombies, perhaps, because of these points.

Their background is exposed as having been a family that lived around the early 1900s and had a religion centered on pain. Torturing and killing outsiders were required by them as a test of their faith. They were also keen to regularly performing torturous activities on themselves as well.

01

The costume design sketch of the Buckners by Shawna Trpcic, from the collection of Ash Grimes.

The Family consists of the following members:

The weapons they used include a bear-trap, hatchet, spear, saw and other implements of torture. The Buckner Family is responsible for the deaths of Jules LoudenHolden McCrea, and The Director.

The family was summoned and awoken when Dana Polk read the Latin passage in the diary of Patience Buckner.

InspirationEdit

Although the Buckner Family is the main monster shown in the film, they are not a particularly original creation. Except for the undead/paranormal aspect, they are almost completely identical to the historical Bloody Benders, a family of serial killers who owned an inn and small general store in Labette County, Kansas and murdered several unsuspecting travelers between 1871 to 1873.

The basic setup of the ritual, however, with people going to an isolated cabin inadvertently resurrecting the dead via latin inscriptions is a definite nod to The Evil Dead. They are also clearly inspired by the Hill People (endemic, anachronic people) from The Hills Have Eyes (1977)Leatherface and his family (ritualistic torture and killing) from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre series and Jason Voorhees (risen from the dead to kill) from the Friday the 13th franchise.

Also, their pain-based religion, with noticeable traits of self-mutilation, seems to be inspired by the Cenobite cult in the Hellraiser franchise. Other inspiration may be the worshipping zombies who appear in the Siren game series: they are very similar in appearance, both use knives and other fieldwork implements as weapons, and both torture and kill each other as well as others who happen upon them.

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