Luis Bunuel's The Exterminating Angel is a cynical and macabre satire on the slow and deteriorating breakdown of human civilization, as Bunuel takes several wealthy bourgeois guests and purposely traps them all in an over populated room, which is similar to using mice to conduct a social experiment. At first these guests stay civilized, level-headed and continue using good etiquette, but Bunuel will slowly have them mentally break down and turn on one another, which will reveal their true animalistic instincts and have them pathetically lose whatever dignity they originally thought they had. Bunuel believed most people were hypocrites, especially the wealthy and comfortable, which is primarily who he enjoyed focusing on tormenting throughout his films, presenting the cruel, bleak and destructive views of human existence.
Bunuel describes The Exterminating Angel as "the story of a group of friends who have dinner together after seeing a play, but when they go into the living room after dinner, they find that for some inexplicable reason they can't leave." We as the audience are forced to accept that for whatever reason or so whether it's psychological or imagined and unfortunately for them there is no way they can break free from this invisible prison that Bunuel has created for them. They're also many scandalous themes in The Exterminating Angel that revolve around such themes as the disruption of the bourgeois social order, the mocking of myths and religious beliefs, and the stripping down of a human beings spoiled, comfortable necessities, to unleash the savage beastial instincts that brew deep inside every one of us, in which we all try our best to repress. Bunuel also makes things more incoherent for the audience with his use of repetitions and inconsistencies of several scenes, and contradictions in the narrative.