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. We saw it as a fairly middle of the road popcorn horror that is a decent laugh and fun for a quick watch as long as you don’t expect too much.
Obviously there will be spoilers ahead so if you haven’t seen the movie you will probably want to give this article a miss.
Events So Far
So our protagonist Ben, a teenage boy, has moved to a new town to live with his dad. It would appear Ben’s parents have recently divorced; there is a little bit of a kid’s hallmark movie element to The Wretched. I assume Ben is just staying with his dad for the summer as he appears to take a summer job at the dock working with his dad.
We learn that this town is haunted by a witch that lives in the woods. This witch hunts children but has no qualms about killing adults as well.
The witch has the ability to possess the body of a person or animal. It also has the ability to make people forget. This plays quite heavily into the plot as 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 when they notice the people in pictures with them and have all of the person’s shit lying around the house but, hey, we all love plot holes.
The Wretched Ending
So The Wretched features our protagonist Ben attempting to expose the witch that has taken over the body of his neighbour Abbie. By the final few scenes it has become clear that the witch has possessed Abbie, killed Abbie and her husband Ty’s son and then killed Ty as well.
The witch, still possessing Abbie, realises that Ben is attempting to expose her so, not so subtly, warns him. Keep in mind this is a witch that eats children so why she didn’t kill him right there and then is beyond me but whatever.
Ben tells his friend Mallory about what is happening which prompts Mallory to leave a note under Abbie’s door in an attempt to provoke the witch. Naturally the witch is a creature driven by revenge so this leads the witch to target Mallory’s little sister. Ben realises that this is what the witch is planning and goes to find Mallory so that he can prevent it. Of course, by the time he finds Mallory, she has already forgotten her sister indicating that the witch has gotten to her.
It becomes apparent, a little later on, that the witch has possessed Ben’s dad’s girlfriend. Ben is taken off in a police car while his dad and the dad’s girlfriend chill and have some wine. Obviously the witch has possessed the cop and the cop takes Ben to a secluded spot and attempts to put six warning shots in his back. The cop actually manages to overcome the witch’s power and shoots himself rather than Ben which, given how annoying Ben can be, I was a little disappointed by.
While this is going on, Ben’s dad has decided to check out the next door neighbours basement to put rest to Ben’s claims that there is something down there. While he is there he notices a whole bunch of suspicious stuff, realises Ben was telling the truth and, in a moment of fantastic timing, is confronted by the witch. The witch is disguised still as his girlfriend and is wearing a stupid mask because apparently that would look quite scary and not make you wonder “Why has she put that bloody thing on?”.
The witch attacks Ben’s dad just in time for Ben to return to to the house and shoot the witch. Of course, this isn’t where the movie ends. Ben and his dad escape the house and Ben has the revelation that he had a kid brother all along and the witch must have taken him and made him forget.
Ben realises he has to go to the witch’s lair in the woods to rescue his brother and maybe even a few of the other kids if he has a few minutes spare.
Ben heads off to the woods with Mallory, enters the witch’s lair and rescues 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 but, luckily, Ben’s dad is hurtling towards them in his SUV and more than willing to smash his son, and anyone else in his path, into a tree to get the final kill on the witch. The witch dies, the kids are safe, and Ben’s dad unlocks a new skin for his character for that last kill.
And a Small Twist
So I guess this is the part of the film that might confuse a few people. Everything is wrapping up, Ben is off home with his parents who are apparently hanging out together again (because this horror movie definitely needs a Disney ending to please the 8 year olds that might be watching), the doggo is fine, Ben gets a kiss off of Mallory and everyone looks happy and unaffected by what has happened.
Mallory puts the flower she is wearing behind Ben’s ear. Ben gets in the car, they drive away and Ben 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 and is about to chow down on a whole boat full of kids. I guess the witch possessed her before it was hit by the car?
A Bit Messy
I find the whole plot of this movie a little bit on the messy side; there are a number of odd ways of pointing things out.
For example, we get a flashback sequence to show how Ben’s brother was there pretty much the whole time. Sort of a reverse High Tension twist. I guess this was the only way they could have done things but knowing he was there during the events but we never saw him feels a bit lazy.
It’s not really a twist when you present the movie in such a way as to never reveal to the viewer that Ben’s brother was there. We are simply seeing the events as Ben remembered them, not in real time. 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 little bit lazy.
So Many Questions
I am going to get a little nit-picky here so stick with me. I know it’s a bit sad because this is just a fun little summer horror flick but whatever.
With regards to the final scene. Mallory randomly picked the flower from a bouquet that had been, seemingly, given to Ben’s dad as a “get well soon” gift; Mallory even reads a “Get Better” card to confirm this. Mallory didn’t know where this bunch of flowers came from. She didn’t know it was fake, it’s not like she picked it specifically to trick Ben. None of the other flowers in the room died when Mallory was near them. Who the hell gifts a fake bunch of flowers as a get well soon gift? 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 and a reason for the audience to feel smart.
Aside from all of that, why didn’t the witch kill Ben early on in the film? She has no problem killing adults so why not kill the one person who knows you exist? There you go, Ben is dead, the witch feasts on the neighbour kids, the movie is over.
Bah, it was all just a bit lazy. Anyways, thanks for reading and keep an eye here for more reviews and more horror movie endings explained.