Welcome to our first Horror Movie Ending Explained. Today we will be taking a look at the ending of Josh Criss’s Found Footage Horror Movie Leaving D.C.
I should point out, before we begin, that this is purely my interpretation of the ending. As you may notice, when you get into these types of discussions, everyone has their own opinion. You can read 50 different versions of the same ending based purely on what a person believes happened. This is my interpretation and you may or may not agree. I’ll try not to speculate too much and I’ll try to keep things simple.
Lots of Spoilers
Obviously, I shouldn’t need to say this, but there will be spoilers in this post so if you haven’t watched Leaving D.C. why not check out our review right here? We really enjoyed this low budget horror movie. Fully understanding that Leaving D.C. may not be for everyone as it’s pretty much one guy talking to a camera for over an hour, if you enjoy this type of thing you should check it out.
Leaving D.C. Ending
Before we start, I’ll point out that Leaving D.C. has a mystery element to it and I think Josh Criss wanted to maintain that mystery element throughout the end of the movie. With this in mind the ending is very deliberately ambiguous to keep the viewer guessing. The ending is very much an extension of what has been happening throughout so take that how you will. I am sure if you asked Josh Criss for an explanation on the ending he would tell you it is up to you to decide.
On to the Ending
Ok so we wrap up Leaving D.C. with Mark staring out of the window heavily intoxicated on vodka. If we take a quick recap of what has happened previously, Mark moved into a new home in the woods away from the hustle and bustle of Washington D.C. Since moving, Mark has been bombarded with strange events and is woken every night by the sound of a flute outside his window. He had a visit from a love interest that did not go particularly well, he is sleeping poorly and he is gradually unravelling mentally.
Mark has just found out that the person he had a romantic interest in did not reciprocate those feelings for him and has been seemingly ignoring him. He sent one final message to her indicating his feelings and informing her that he would not be contacting her again.
With all of the above in mind, we have Mark at the window, he has been up all night, he is holding a gun, he is intoxicated, depressed and anxious from the constant strange events surrounding the new house he has purchased and he is distressed due to unrequited love.
Everything is Looking Pretty Bleak
It would appear that Mark finally reaches his limit. In the final moments of the movie he decides to storm out of his house, intoxicated and armed, to put an end to the events one way or another. He walks away from the window, we hear his alarm chime indicating that he left the front door, we hear a moment of silence followed by a gunshot. Seconds after the gunshot the camera moves as if being manipulated by someone, or something, and then switches off.
So What Happened?
We can safely assume that the camera is not being manipulated by Mark as we didn’t hear him come back in, there was no chime from the alarm, no footsteps, no door shutting and no elaborate explanation to the camera.
In my opinion we can assume that Mark was unsuccessful in his attempts to rid the area of the presence haunting him and, perhaps, was manipulated into taking his own life which would explain the single, solitary gunshot. This is, after all, apparently a female entity that wants to always be with the subject of her haunting. Surely, if Mark encountered the entity there would have been more gunshots and he would have returned to the house to explain to the camera what happened? This has been his modus operandai the entire film, after all.
As far as the camera switching off, well, this is just a typical way to wrap up a found footage horror while indicating that the entity was indeed real and now has full control of the situation. This has probably happened to previous residents of the house and will likely happen again.
That’s my interpretation of the ending of Leaving D.C. and, while it’s something of an unsatisfactory end left with a whole load of ambiguity, it is quite typical of Found Footage Horror Movies and fits the genre quite well. Thanks for reading.