The Ending of the Movie The Humans Explained

The Ending of the Movie The Humans Explained
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The Ending of the Movie The Humans Explained. I’ve never experienced anything as mind-blowingly subtle, and equally unnerving at the same time before. A movie that is filled with nuanced characters, amazing acting, and a sublime screenplay that is so realistically authentic as to drag itself down a morass of introversion and ghost-filled passage ways. It’s funny, I hopped on a plane today, and say The Humans was available to watch, and thought… oh yeah, writing up that ending was challenging. I wonder how I tackled it. So, I flipped open the site, and shockingly, I hadn’t done a write up on The Humans before. WHAT???!? Did I write it up in my sleep? Did the site eat it… sort of like the ghosts in the walls of this movie? Do I now have monsters that roam freely in the space that comprises my website?!?


But, as far as I can tell, I never successfully completed a write up for this one. Heck, I don’t even see a stub of a write up in my notes, my notebooks, my site… anywhere. Did these humans skitter their way into my brain and hoist them all away, letter by letter? Anyway… I re-watched the movie, enjoying it even more the second time as I knew what the atmospheric chills and the things that go bump in the night would produce at the end of the day. So, here we are, having the “opportunity” to, ‘once again’, attempt to crack the nut that is The Humans’ ending. Good times!

The Cast of The Humans

Primarily, you need to know that The Humans was a play first. And the dialogue is so tight, and so accreted, that I was really curious how the screenplay accounted for this extra bit of direction. And sure enough, Stephen Karam accounted for this. So, what he does in the script is, he uses a / to indicate that the next person to speak is to begin there. See look, I’ll show you. Below you can see that while Deirdre is speaking, Erik is to begin at the / in Deirdre’s line. Also when a line is in brackets, it’s a non-verbalized line.

And to say that this cast worked out really well together, is an understatement. Basically they handled this machine gun, downtrodden dialogue perfectly. They cut each other all the correctly wrong ways. If you know what I mean. They were aligned at perfectly misaligned right angles to one another… was that more clear? No. This cast was perfect in how they sabotaged each other constantly. Better. Steven Yeun – who you know from Nope, and I,Origins, plays Richard. Richard is dating Brigid, who is played by Beanie Feldstein, who you know from Lady Bird, and Booksmart. And Aimee? Brigid’s sister? She’s played by Amy Schumer – who has been in a number of movies, but whom you probably know from her stand up? Maybe? Oh, and Richard Jenkins who you know from The Shape of Water – and many other things – plays Brigid and Aimee’s father. All in all, every single person in this closed box movie has some serious acting chops.

The Humans Movie Walkthrough

The movie opens on Thanksgiving. Incidental? Arbitrary date? Probably not. As we open, Deirdre, and Eric Blake visit daughter Brigid’s home in New York City. Also, with them, is Momo, Brigid’s grandmother who has severe Alzheimer’s and is prone to babbling as the movie progresses. Also joining this cast of characters is Aimee, and her boyfriend Richard. Richard, a Philadelphian, who is a lawyer. Oh, and the final character in this movie is the apartment itself. The apartment is very “small,” very rundown, with water issues, steamy/leaky pipes, water damage inside the walls, really horribly faulty wiring, etc., etc. This apartment is so distinct, and so unique, that it warrants to be called out as its own character here. The house even goes out of its way to talk to the characters of the film throughout the 108-minute run time, through loud bangs, groans and other noises. The apartment is so much so a character, we’ll have to talk more about this at the end of this write-up.

Deirdre and Eric worked hard to leave the city, and now have a single family home and they can’t imagine why anyone would ever move back into the city. Worse, the parents are hurt that they have gone back to the city, but more importantly they have left their parents. Abandoned them even!

The opening of the film is watching as the characters deliberately explore the apartment space, room by room. And as they go, we learn from Richard about an important comic book called Quasar. It’s so important that he walks us through it to explain that there are “monsters” on another planet wherein they tell horror stories about The Humans. Why? Because they are telling terrifying stories about weird and strange characters that warn of strange and weird mannerisms, which detail out concerning characteristics to be afraid of. And the apartment continues to move and express itself throughout the movie. For example, coats falling off hangers. Doors open, doors close. Lights go out, or come back on, all by themselves. And even Momo, in her wheelchair, moves all on its own as well. Regardless, eventually the family gets into the work of getting ready for Thanksgiving dinner. I would like to point out that the family is most probably meeting Richard for the first time.

Key to the movie though is a story that Eric tells about a specific dream – a nightmare rather – about a woman with skin that covers the entirety of her face. Her eyes, nose, mouth. We can tell that the thought of the woman scares him to death, even in spite of the way his family makes fun of him about it. And as the movie wheels to a close, we see that, after he reveals his final secret about himself, Brigid runs to the terrace and melts down, and is soon joined by Richard. Aimee leaves for a walk around the block. And Deirdre heads off with Momo in her wheelchair. And Eric? He’s left to pull his things together, but in so doing, gets lost along the way. And as he does, the lights in the basement go out, and systematically traps him in darkness. But eventually, a door is opened as his daughter retrieves him out of his darkened abyss.

The Revelations of The Humans Movie

The give and take of the movie, the push and pull of it all, centers around a set of important revelations. Wait, what? No, really, think back. Each and every single member of the family gives us a revelation about themselves over the course of the movie.

Revelation #1 – Brigid, our host, is the first character to reveal something poignant about herself. She is a musician, and she been having an impossible time trying to find jobs or grants in order to progress in her musical career. Okay. Terribly sad. But nothing horrible here. Got it. She’d ultimately like to head in the direction of an academic career, but, things were not working out.

Revelation #2 – Aimee is the second one to reveal something else about herself. She believes that she is on the cusp of losing her job. She surreptitiously sneaks away to check texts regularly, and it is after this that we learn she is on the brink. But more importantly, Aimee has just recently broken up with her girlfriend, and her father attempts to comfort her but fails. And her deeper issue is that she has an intestinal issue that might cause her to live with a colostomy bag the rest of her life.

Revelation #3 – Deirdre, who doesn’t actually admit anything to her family, as a deeply devout Christian herself, she soliloquies to the audience, and we ascertain that she has a very real issue with her children’s new-found distrust for religion. We see that Deirdre cannot accept them as who they are. Both she and Eric are beginning to fundamentally distrust who they are becoming, and their lack of faith. And because of her spiritual belief, she is ridiculed by her daughters, and even made fun of behind her back… to which Eric doesn’t support her or back her up. This makes her tragically sad as a result… if not even angry. And, even in spite of their deep held faith, it is Eric and Deirdre who are legitimately scared out of their minds by the house.

Revelation #4 – It is Eric, constantly snippish with others, and alternately staring out the window who gives us insight into the fact that Eric probably has the deepest revelation to share. As the movie winds down, he reveals to his two daughters just how bad he and his wife are doing financially. It’s so bad, that they sold off the lake house. And they are currently considering moving to a smaller apartment. But why? Why are they in such dire straights financially? Ah, well, come to find out, Eric has been fired from his job at a Catholic school for having an affair with one of the teachers at the school.

The Ending of the Movie The Humans Explained

First off. The movie was 100% talking… in a much too small apartment, and there were evil spirits in the walls or something… and someone forgot to pay the electric bill to boot. WHAT HAPPENED IN THIS MOVIE? Calm down. Calm down. I got you. Let’s just think about this systematically. As the movie draws to a close – what is happening? Eric is trying to find his things with a lamp. He is frightened by a shadow at the window. Then, he notices water blisters on the wall that are growing, stretching and coming for him. He is very afraid. Leaking pipes, groaning apartment bowels, and faulty lights that portend of an ill will of some sort or other that is out to get him.

Think of it. A Catholic school teacher who is certain that his family is being torn out of his hands by the evil in the world all around him. What better evidence do you need of this than the fact that he was entrapped by Satan in an affair with another teacher at the school. His life is tormented by an evil lurking in the shadows. And so too, here in this apartment, he is POSITIVE that the apartment is a host for unthinkable evil… of demons… of hell spawn… all out to get him. Then, as the apartment lurches at him for one last terrorizing attack……. he sees Brigid’s neighbor, the Chinese lady, walk by the front door. And even though he knows that this wasn’t a threat at all, he is still completely trapped in fear, totally certain that he’s dead. So, what does he do? He prays. He prays completely certain that this is the end. That the darkness of the spiritual world has overwhelmed him for good. There is nothing that he can do.

But then what happens? Well, nothing. Aimee returns and lets him know that she’s waiting for him. Like… are we going, or what? I get it you are having an existential crisis here, but, um. Let’s go.

Do you get it now? Still no? The movie makes it clear that there might be this terrible horror lurking within the apartment. From the jump we are presented with a million excuses to blame the chaos of the movie on supernatural evil. But, at the same time, we are also given plenty of very real world reasons why these things could be happen. The neighbor. The old pipes. The landlord. I mean, remember when, during the day, Eric is FREAKED OUT by the landlord? Yeah. Why? And then later when someone, at night, goes by the same window, Eric loses his s@#$ entirely.

Is this movie a horror movie? Yes, yes it is. But not a horror movie with evil hell spawn and demons. It’s a horror movie about the Humans that keep doing all kinds of craziness. Just amazing stupidity, like blaming the failing apartment on demons or monsters. Does that make more sense now? Great. Glad to hear it.

Edited by: CY