‘Cabinet Of Curiosities’ Episode 2 ‘Graveyard Rats’ Ending, Explained: What Caused Masson’s Loss?

Guillermo del Toro leads the way by talking about how cemeteries house things that are both pagan and holy. And that the earth conceals both secrets and treasures. He says that for the rodents that live under our feet, it doesn’t matter whether an object is gold or wood, because it is a food source for them. But for humans, wood can be their final resting place, while gold can help them achieve their dreams. “Cabinet Of Curiosities” Episode 2 “Graveyard Rats,” which is based on the short story by Henry Kuttner and written and directed by Vincenzo Natali, follows Masson (David Hewlett), who poses as the steward of the Garden of Remembrance. In case you’re confused as to what he’s talking about, he’s actually referring to a cemetery. But his reverence for the dead is fake because, after spitting empty platitudes on grave robbers, he robs said graves himself because it’s his main source of money. Where does this lead him? Let’s find out.

Major Spoilers Ahead

Why is Grave Robbery Masson the main source of employment?

The only thing Masson is really good at is being a loudmouth. He can talk about how society will crumble and fall if people don’t respect the dead and then proceeds to steal the dead. When he fails to get anything substantial, he can talk endlessly about the existence of grave robbing rats, black churches below Salem, and how his clinically diagnosed claustrophobia is not allow you to dig further into this rabbit hole (or rathole). But since the person who allows Masson to run his cemetery business is not interested in his theories, he gives him a week to come back with a substantial sum of money. Or else he will end up in one of the coffins in his own cemetery. So he rushes to his coroner friend Dooley (Julian Richings) and finds he’s harboring a wealthy shipping merchant whose teeth are gold. However, when he finds out he is going to be buried with the saber given to him by King George, he postpones his plans as he sees an opportunity to steal more from the man after his burial.

In the first 15 minutes, Natali does a fantastic job of establishing what kind of person Masson is, what his core conflict is, and how he thinks he can solve his problems. A little like “Batch 36, “Graveyard Rats” focuses on the lower class of society and the means they must resort to in order to earn a living. Hewlett does a fantastic job of painting a vivid picture of Masson, who is easy to hate because of his motor mouth. But there is a depth of sadness in him because, as he says so well, he does his best with the cards that have been dealt to him. Plus, under the guise of a conspiracy theory centered around rats and satanic cults, Natali alludes to the horrors that lurk in Masson’s path to retribution (yes, religion plays a big part in this short). ). However, before following this particular thread, he and his production designer, set designer, cinematographer, editor, sound designer, music composer, costume designer, SFX artists and VFX artists seamlessly immerse us in the years 1910 Salem and the depressive atmosphere looming over the city.

Is Masson’s body-stealing rat theory correct?

Masson prays to Jesus Christ to have mercy on him and give him the chance to access Winston’s coffin (the merchant) before the rats. He even has a nightmare where the roof of his house collapses and rats start raining down on him. Is it a premonition? Are the grave-robbing rats a figment of his imagination and an excuse he uses to be bad at his job? Well, after performing the last rites of the dead he is about to steal, he returns to the grave under cover of darkness. And it turns out that the rats Masson keeps talking about are real and stealing bodies. Not only that, Masson’s claustrophobia is also very real. That’s why he says a little prayer, sucks it up, and dives into the interconnected underground tunnels to search for Winston’s body and kill the rats. However, after being attacked by a horde of rats, literally shooting himself in the foot trying to kill a rat and actually killing one of the rodents, he notices something unholy: a rat as big as Masson .

Since the overall tone of “Graveyard Rats” is darkly comedic, I think I can relate to that joke where people are asked if they’re ready to fight 100 rat-sized humans or 1 human-sized rat. Because that’s exactly what crossed my mind when I saw this absolute unit of a rat. All joking aside, the preparation for this reveal is incredible. If you suffer from claustrophobia, your breathing and heart rate will increase significantly. The way the camera moves through these tunnels and the angles Natali uses to show the narrow lanes is way too realistic. And while it’s a smart choice to arm Masson with a torch so she can serve as a light source in those dark places, having Hewlett use that torch to light her face is an inspired choice. Because actors usually don’t have to manage the lighting of a scene themselves so they can focus solely on their performance. However, the choice works in the film’s favor, as unmotivated lighting techniques would have broken immersion and distracted your attention from Hewlett’s performance and directing decisions.

‘Cabinet of Curiosities’ Episode 2 “Graveyard Rats” Ending Explanation: Is it the rats or Masson’s greed that’s killing him?

If you think the gigantic rat is the biggest reveal in the short, you’re so wrong. While trying to get away from said human-sized rat, Masson falls into one of the many tunnels leading away from the surface. And he reaches an underground church whose floor is filled with human skeletons. Masson’s greed comes into play when he sees that there are jewels around these skeletons (because rats don’t eat jewels) and King George’s sword therein. After picking them up, he notices a deity (who has a sprawling face, wings on his back, and four hands) on one side of the room and a devotee on the other. He realizes it’s one of those black churches he was talking about. But then his attention shifts to the gold pendant on the devotee’s neck. When he tries to steal it, the devotee wakes up and tries to take the pendant back. In his attempt to get away from it, Masson runs into the giant rat. Left with no other options, he triggers a landslide, which kills the rat and traps the zombie devotee.

Masson manages to get out of this landslide alive and climbs until he thinks is an exit. But it turns out to be just a shiny plate reflecting his torch and the following words written on it: requiescat in pace (which means “may he rest in peace”). The film ends with the grave robbers being tricked by Masson finding his body eaten from the inside by rats. And that begs an interesting question: what really killed Masson? Was it the rats or Masson’s greed? Well, in case it wasn’t obvious, Masson met his downfall because of his greed. He could have waited until Dooley wanted him, took the gold teeth and delivered them to his employer. However, as soon as he learned that the dead had more to offer, his fate was written and he could not have escaped it. The gigantic rat, his minions, the devout zombie, and the Dark Church were just a physical extension of the purgatory (which is an apt analogy due to the constant religious imagery) he had dug himself into.

Now we can go back and forth on what the tunnels and creatures symbolize and whether Masson died when the roof fell on his head and the rest of the movie is something he imagines as his mind and body die under the rubble. But there’s no doubt that “Graveyard Rats” is an absolutely stunning horror movie. The mix of practical effects and visual effects that are used to bring the gigantic rat and devout zombie to life is worthy of all the applause in the world. The same goes for the whole scenography (unless Hewlett was in a real maze of tunnels, which I’m sure it wasn’t) of the tunnels, the underground church and even the rocks falling on Masson. It feels real and tangible. The physical presence of these elements allows VFX artists to use them as a reference and then make changes as needed to improve the viewing experience. And I’m so glad del Toro and Natali are out there, pushing for a mix of SFX and VFX instead of just relying on CGI and VFX. On top of all that, as a fan of 1997’s “Cube,” it was so satisfying to see Natali, Hewlett, and Richings working together again.

Source: https://dmtalkies.com/cabinet-of-curiosities-episode-2-graveyard-rats-ending-explained-2022-series/