We’re back with another Horror Movie Ending Explained. This time we will be looking at The Wretched. You can check out our review of The Wretched right here. The Wretched is a pretty fun, middle of the road, popcorn horror. It’s an easy watch and a decent laugh as long as you don’t expect too much.
There are a few questions to answer regarding the somewhat confusing ending, though. We are going to take a look at that right here. We will quickly recap the events of the movie. Obviously there will be spoilers ahead. If you haven’t seen the movie you will probably want to give this article a miss.
The Wretched – Events So Far
So our protagonist Ben, a teenage boy, has moved to a new town to live with his dad. Ben’s parents have recently divorced. There is a little bit of a kid’s Hallmark movie element to The Wretched. Parents have divorced. There’s a new stepmom on the scene. Ben wants his parents to get back together. That sort of thing. I assume Ben is just staying with his dad for the summer. He makes himself useful, though. Taking a summer job at the dock working with his dad.
Apparently, this town is haunted by a witch that lives in the woods. This witch appears to be able to possess bodies. She hunts children but has no qualms about killing adults as well.
The witch has the ability to, not only, possess the body of a person. She can also possess the bodies of animals as well. Interestingly, the witch has the ability to make people forget. This plays quite heavily into the plot. The witch makes people forget about the victims she has taken. Be them relatives, friends, or annoying younger siblings. This is probably a bit confusing for the people who have been made to forget. What happens they notice the people in pictures with them? Are they not concerned by said person’s random shit lying around the house? Whatever, we all love plot holes.
The Wretched – The Witch has Possessed Abbie
So it becomes apparent, rather quickly, that the Witch has possessed Ben’s neighbour Abbie. The Wretched, basically, focuses on Ben’s attempts to expose the Witch and save the people around him. Unfortunately for Abbie and co. By the end of the movie. It is apparent that the witch has killed Abbie’s son and then killed Abbie’s husband Ty as well.
The witch, still possessing Abbie, realises that Ben is attempting to expose her. Obviously wanting to stay incognito. The Witch, not so subtly, warns Ben. Keep in mind this is a witch that thinks nothing of eating children. Why she didn’t kill Ben right there and then is beyond me but whatever.
Ben tells his friend Mallory about what is happening. This prompts Mallory to leave a note under Abbie’s door. She is attempting to provoke the witch. Apparently the witch is a creature driven by revenge? This leads the witch to target Mallory’s little sister. Ben, in a moment of inspiration, realises that this is what the witch is planning. Ben goes to find Mallory so that he can prevent it. By the time he finds Mallory, she has already forgotten her sister ever existed. This indicates that the witch has already gotten to her and taken Mallory’s sister away.
The Wretched – The Witch Possesses Sara
So, the Witch possessed Abbie. It killed Ty and kidnapped Abbie’s child who we later learn is dead. The Witch then made Mallory forget about her younger sister. The Witch kidnapped Mallory’s sister and Ben was unable to rescue her. Ben heads back home where a policeman is chatting to his dad. It appears Ben is in a spot of trouble but the policeman isn’t going to be pressing charges.
Ben hangs out in the kitchen and chats with his Dad’s girlfriend, Sara. Watching her pouring milk into her drink. Something becomes apparent to Ben. He looks at the flowers on the windowsill and notices them dying. It is immediately obvious that the Witch has now possessed Sara. Ben grabs a knife and tries to kill her. Naturally, the policeman and his dad don’t realise that Sara is a witch. They restrain Ben and the policeman takes him away.
Ben is taken off in a police car while his dad and Sara chill and have some wine. Apparently medical attention for knife wounds is overrated? The Witch has now possessed the cop. Keep in mind, she is still in possession of Sara as well. She is dual wielding, I guess? The cop takes Ben to a secluded spot and attempts to put six warning shots in his back. Somehow, the cop actually manages to overcome the witch’s power. He shoots himself rather than Ben which, given how annoying Ben can be, I was a little disappointed by.
The Wretched – Ben’s Claims Proved to be True
While this is going on. Ben’s dad has decided to check out the next door neighbours basement. He wants to put to rest Ben’s claims that there is something down there. While he is there he notices a whole bunch of suspicious stuff. At this moment, he realises that Ben was telling the truth. Naturally, in perfect horror movie timing, he is confronted by the witch. The witch is still possessing Sara. She is now, however, wearing a stupid looking mask. There isn’t a tremendous amount of explanation for this. I guess the Witch has a sense of occasion? She thought that would look quite scary and not make Ben’s dad wonder “Why has she put that bloody thing on?”.
The witch attacks Ben’s dad. Luckily, just in the nick of time. Ben returns to to the house and shoots the witch. Of course, this isn’t where the movie ends. Ben and his dad escape the house. While gathering themselves. Ben has the revelation that he had a kid brother all along. He is there in photos. His shit is all over the house. Apparently he was also there in nearly every scene up until the Witch took him. He is a living, breathing plot hole. This, ultimately, suggests that the witch must have taken him and made Ben forget he ever existed.
The Wretched – Superhero Ben Rescues The Kids
Remember earlier when Ben tried to rescue Mallory’s sister? He found out where the Witch’s lair was near the tree in the woods. Ben realises he has to go to the witch’s lair to rescue his brother. Hell, he might even rescue a few of the other kids, too, if he has a few minutes spare. No guarantees though. Ben heads off to the woods taking Mallory along with him. Ben enters the witch’s lair and manages to rescue his brother and Mallory’s sister. Unfortunately the neighbour’s kid is already dead because the witch, apparently, eats her victims in order of freshness.
Naturally the Witch is hot on their tales out of the lair. Luckily, Ben’s dad is hurtling towards them in his SUV. More than willing to smash his son, and anyone else in his path, into a tree. He is determined to get the final kill on the witch. Splat, the Witch is dead and, somehow, Ben’s dad survived. Ben and Mallory are fine. The kids are safe and Ben’s dad unlocks a new skin for his character for that last kill.
The Wretched – Mallory is a Witch!
So I guess this is the part of the film that might confuse a few people. The events of the movie are all wrapped up. Ben is off home with his parents who are apparently hanging out together again. Because this horror movie definitely needed a Disney ending?. The doggo is fine. Ben gets a kiss off of Mallory and everyone looks happy and unaffected by what has happened.
Remember when Mallory walked into the office before kissing Ben? She grabbed a flower from one of the bouquets given to Ben’s dad. She then put it in her ear because… err that’s cute, I guess? Well, Mallory puts that flower she is wearing behind Ben’s ear. She then heads off on a sailboat as the only adult watching a bunch of children.
Ben gets in the car and they drive away. Ben, taking the flower and smelling it. Notices that the flower is fake. Remember how flowers would die in the presence of the witch? It’s been one of our “It’s a witch” cues during the entire movie. Big twist, Mallory is now a witch! Not only that but she is about to chow down on a whole boat full of kids. The implication here is that the Witch escaped before being hit by the car and possessed Mallory.
The Wretched – Fun But A Bit Messy
I find the whole plot of this movie a little bit on the messy side. The film uses some odd visual cues and has a few plot holes. For example, we are shown that Ben’s brother was there, pretty much, the whole time. Sort of a reverse High Tension twist. This feels like it doesn’t make much sense. Knowing he was there during the events but we never saw him feels a bit lazy. Couldn’t they have portrayed it like they do in the Sixth Sense? Had the character there in the shots but don’t have any other character acknowledge him?
It’s not really a twist so much as deliberate deception on the part of the director. The movie was presented as if Ben’s brother was never there at all. There was no reason for the viewer to suspect that he existed. It makes me think that the movie depicts Ben’s memories. Not the actual events that took place. Otherwise, we would have seen Ben’s brother all along.
That’s the only way this could work, right? We are watching Ben’s memories right up until the final scenes. His brother was there in most of the movie’s scenes. This is an unequivocal fact. Sure, Ben doesn’t remember him being there but he most definitely was. The only way we, as the viewer, would have not seen Ben’s brother. Is if we were watching the events via Ben’s memory. It feels a missed opportunity for some added intrigue.
The Wretched – So Many Questions
I am going to get a little nit-picky here so stick with me. I know it’s a bit sad. This is just a fun little summer horror flick but whatever. I have a few specific complaints.
With regards to the final scene. Mallory is clearly a witch now. This doesn’t explain the way the movie chooses to portray this, though. We learn that Mallory is a witch due to the fake flower she gives to Ben. But, she randomly picked the flower from a bouquet. How did she know it was fake? These bouquets had been given to Ben’s dad as a “get well soon” gift. Mallory even reads a greetings card to confirm this. Mallory could not have known these flowers were fake. It’s not like she picked it specifically to trick Ben.
Another thing, why did none of the other flowers in the room die when Mallory was near them? The Witch had that immediate effect on flowers. Mallory was now a witch, the flowers should have died. That place should have looked like an abandoned florists within second. Not only that but who the hell gifts a fake bunch of flowers as a get well soon present? What a cheap asshole!
The Wretched – Even More Questions
I’m not done with the questions just yet. Why would the witch leave Ben with a hint that she is still alive? Apparently the witch understands the concept of spite so wants to give one last fuck you? Why would Ben even see anything wrong in the fact that the flower was fake. Why do characters from horror movies never believe in coincidence? Why have I spent so much time writing about this movie?
Either way, it was a bit dumb and just another one of those horror movie winks and nods to the audience. I don’t think it is setting up a sequel. The creators just wanted to put a little twist in. Still, this movie is undeniably popular so why not make a sequel anyway?
The biggest question of all, however. Is why didn’t the witch kill Ben early on in the film? She has no problem killing adults. Why not kill the one person who knows you exist? Talk about a simple solution. Ben is dead, the witch feasts on the neighbour kids, the movie is over.
The Wretched – And That Is That
Bah, it was all just a bit lazy. Anyways, thanks for reading. I have rewritten this article to neaten things up a bit. I am always impressed by the enduring popularity of The Wretched. Keep an eye here for more horror movie reviews, more horror movie endings explained and horror lists. I update nearly every day of the week. Sometimes multiple times a day. It’s always quality content. Not simply copy and pasted horror news and 300 word reviews.