Welcome to The Swarm Ending Explained. This will be a fairly quick one today as The Swarm has a pretty self explanatory ending.
I may get into some of the plot holes a little so if you don’t care about that feel free to skip through it.
Obviously it should go without saying that this review will contain spoilers for The Swarm. If you have just finished watching it, that’s fine, I hope you enjoyed it. If you haven’t watched it yet, why not skip this article and check out our spoiler free review of The Swarm? You can then come back and read this article for a nice sense of completion and a pat on the head from me.
Events So Far
Virginie has been struggling since the suicide of her husband Nico. They owned a Goat farm but, since he passed, Virginie has been attempting to raise locust for human consumption.
Apparently this is not going too well. The locust are not reproducing at a high enough rate. Consequently, Virginie has only been able to sell the locust to local farmers as animal feed. This is not an adequate way to support her two children so she is considering selling the farm.
In a fit of rage, Virginie begins to destroy the locust enclosures, slips and manages to knock herself out cold. When she comes around, she notices the locust are feeding on the wounds on her arms. Thinking nothing of this other than “fucking gross!” Virginie leaves the enclosure.
A Thirst for Blood
The next day, it becomes apparent that the locust have been reproducing and, over time, their numbers begin to explode. It is obvious to Virginie that the blood must be the solution so she allows them to feed on her open wounds. I don’t know why she would jump to this conclusion but whatever.
Virginie purchases animal blood to feed the locust as, apparently, they aren’t picky. This immediately takes away some of the gravity of the situation. I bet you thought she would be killing hobos and vagrants to feed to the locusts didn’t you? Well fuck you! That would be interesting and actually very fitting for a horror movie so shove it up your ass.. Take your copious amounts of family drama and mild peril, sit on it and spin.
Apparently the elderly neighbour has a sixth sense because he looks on suspiciously through all this. I am assuming he is thinking “Man, she is definitely letting those locust chow down on her arms! Hope she doesn’t kill humans to feed them later.. or even worse, a random cow”.
Insert Mild Peril
Virginie has exponential numbers of locust but, for some reason, still sells them as feed to the local farms, at a discount no less. What happened to the grander plan here? She is making bank, though, and throws up a number of new tents.
We have a few moments of desperation as apparently the local abattoir has ran out of blood or something. I zoned out a little at this part. This is, obviously, something that would definitely happen. It is certainly not a terrible way of creating some minor horror by having Virginie kill a cow.
I bet you thought she would have to kill hobos and vagrants now to feed to the locusts didn’t you? Don’t be stupid, that would be interesting.. Take your illegally killed livestock. Oh she also feeds the neighbours dog to them at some point. I don’t think a small dog would satiate an entire swarm for very long but hey, the little dog being killed hits right in the feels.
Blah, blah, blah, insert lots of family drama here.. Something something disgruntled daughter, “oh no, she is slashing the nets”..
The locust escape and eat the son’s goat. I bet you thought they would eat the son didn’t you? But that is nowhere near as horrifying as bashing into the windows of the van and apparently eating a goat offscreen. To be fair the randomly wandering goat could have been mauled by a stray dog. No real reason to assume it was the locust. Sure they would have cleaned up the mess but that is sort of what swarms of things do.
The annoying disgruntled daughter storms in on the mum and discovers her feeding the locust with her wounds. She tells the vineyard owning neighbour Karim what is happening. His response is to take them all to his house for a movie night. Wouldn’t a mental health hospital be a little more fitting?
A Grand Finale…ish
Back at the house the suspicious elderly neighbour is looking in the enclosure for his missing dog (which was fed to the locust earlier). While doing this, the neighbour is apparently killed and eaten by the locusts.
An argument kicks of between Virginie and Karim. Karim returns to Virginie’s house and discovers the body of the neighbour inside the enclosure. For some reason he seems to assume this has something to do with Virginie.
I would have thought the natural assumption would be that the elderly neighbour fell, hit his head, died and the locust ate him. This is kind of what insects do in those situations. Karim is obviously a less trusting person so becoming suspicious of the woman he has been trying to nail for the entire movie is the obvious reaction.
He decides to burn down the enclosure killing all the locust, taking away Virginie’s livelihood and preventing a proper burial for the neighbour. Talking about these things is overrated, just act!
Obviously the swarm of locust escape, they chow down on Karim and chase Virginie and Laura to a lake. Laura hides under a boat but the locust still attempt to attack pushing the boat further under water. Virginie sees this, opens a wound on her hand, covers herself in blood and allows the locust to come after her.
In a moment that reveals just how pathetic of an antagonist the locust are, Virginie ducks under the water and the locust continue to swarm straight into the river, straight to their deaths, and straight into the annals of crap horror movie villains.
The locust are dead, the mum and daughter are safe, and you are sitting there wondering why this appears on horror movie suggestion lists.
So What Happened?
Again, this is fairly straight forward. Locust are pretty terrible when they get wet. They can’t typically escape water with any kind of depth and, if their wings get particularly wet, they are pretty much useless.
Being aware of the fact that locust move in a swarm and will follow each other Virginie offers them her blood soaked body. As the swarm dives, she ducks under the water. The entire swarm of locust hits the water, they are unable to escape the water so we can assume they all die.
I suppose it is a fitting end but these locust have to rank up there with the things from A Quiet Place for shit antagonists. Sure, the things in A Quiet Place can’t stand sound but you still have to kill them. They do a fair bit of damage before that, as well.
The locust in The Swarm have a preference for animal blood and are easily killed in one big group with water. Pest spray would really mess their day up, I am sure. I get it, swarms of locus are problematic but not in the small numbers here. The birds and bats would have a field day with them.
Lots of Plot Holes
Don’t get me wrong, I thought The Swarm was an okay movie but it has a lot of plot holes. This is coupled with a lot of characters just acting in illogical ways. I don’t understand why Virginie would not just sell the farm. Okay she is attached to it because she ran it with her husband but still. Surely her kids should come first? All of her problems could be solved.
The locust need blood to increase their reproductive rate so Virginie resorts to her own blood, animal blood, and then back to her own blood. Why could she not purchase animal blood anymore? Surely there were other places in France she could buy from? We live in the internet age, you can find anything. If you need it for your business, wouldn’t you travel 12 hours to buy it if that was the distance you needed to travel? It’s a weak premise for what turns out to be a significant shift in the plot.
So Much Suspicion
Why was the neighbour suspicious? Of course, raising locust is unconventional but she is not producing meth or holding people captive. Was there any reason for suspicion as opposed to simple disdain for what she is doing? Why would he enter her property to find his dog? Feeding the dog to the locust was pretty stupid as well. Isn’t that the definition of shitting on your own doorstep?
Why would Karim immediately jump to horrifying conclusions regarding finding the neighbour’s body? Would he really burn the tents down with the body still inside? Does this suggests he assumes Virginie killed the neighbour and he is hiding the evidence? Seems a bit of an overreaction.
How in the hell could Virginie allow thousands of locust to feed on her without being eaten alive by them? They overpowered a goat, the neighbour and Karim with no trouble at all. Why did they not kill a small woman?
All of this being said, it’s a movie without nuance. Nothing happens without dramatic overreactions by the characters involved. With a little less focus on the family drama and the angsty daughter, we could have put more attention on the horror. Have characters react a little more naturally and make it so as the locust will only take human blood. That right there would solve so many problems.
At Least There Are No Metaphors
At least it isn’t another metaphorical horror movie, right? I mean, it is just locusts going nuts.
Well, actually, giving it some more thought. Perhaps Virginie allowing the locusts to feed on her is a metaphor. Maybe it is a representation of the blood, sweat, and tears people put into small businesses. Or the things a parent would give up to nurture their children?
Perhaps the people around her being suspicious represents isolation. The isolation that comes when suffering anxiety and depression due to a failing business and having no money. Maybe the goat being killed represents the sacrifices you make to keep a farm afloat. Maybe I should stop thinking about it.
With all of that being said, thanks for reading and entertaining my complaints. The Swarm is not a bad movie, it is just a bit messy.