Brightwood Movie Suggestion and Crazy Ending Explained

Brightwood Movie Suggestion and Crazy Ending Explained
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Brightwood Movie Suggestion and Crazy Ending Explained. You come here to find new crazy movie suggestions. You are here because you like to THiNC. You enjoy indie movies, and you can’t find enough of them through your standard Hollywood based suggestion feeds. So that’s where THiNC. comes in. We bring you the best mindjobby films that will have you going – wait, what exactly just happened? Did you see what I just saw? Because, that was crazy!

And today, we’ve got another one for you! Brightwood is the indiest of all indie movies possible. But it’s a glorious idea, with glorious characters, gloriously rendered and articulated, even as they downwardly spiral. Better yet, I’ve been in contact with the brilliant mind behind this indie masterpiece, and hope to have an interview with him published in the next week or so. Can’t wait.

Firstly, a minor warning: this movie has a few over the top bloody moments. I personally didn’t think they were a big deal, but I’m starting to wonder if my brain has been completely and totally enured to most bloody chaos in films. Who knows. But there, you’ve been warned all the same. Secondly, this is an indie’s indie movie. You have one lake. Two actors. And some really clever sci-fi mechanisms. Throw in a dash of sound design? And voila, this thing is running full tilt. It’s literally the perfect THiNC. film, and you are going to love it. I’m sure of it. And if not… here’s a horrible Marvel movie for you to watch instead.

If you’d like to watch this movie – and you would – here are a pile of ways… but whatever you do? Do not keep reading this post until you do. You are forbidden and bound by the laws of all things Indie Film Culture to not continue without renting, purchasing, watching… got that? Great.

Brightwood Movie Walkthrough

Let’s walkthrough this movie, so that we are certain we are all on the same page, and then we’ll break it down and see if we can’t make sense out of what this movie might be trying to say… sound good? Great. (Yeah, no, you are right, I’m not waiting for an answer from you… that is something of a rhetorical device… and I’m going to do it regardless. Take that. Trust me though, you’ll be happier for it in the end.)

This movie is the simplest of movies that you will ever consider. A couple… out on a run. But it is the most complicated movie you’ll see for a while because we know that this particular couple has a LOT of backstory going on that we don’t know much about. Jen (played by Dana Berger – Orange is the New Black, and Elementary) and Dan (played by Max Woertendyke – who, cough, was in Succession?? Amazing.) are not having a good day… last night they were at an office party and Dan basically was flirting with all the women at the party, or at the very least, wasn’t being respectful. Jen is in no mood, and all she really wants to do is to get a run in. But her slower husband is complaining about pretty much everything under the sun. Then Jen decides she going to “do the hill,” and loop the pond a couple times. This one little decision sets off a chain reaction of chaos that neither saw coming.

Brightwood Movie Suggestion and Crazy Ending Explained - a movie so regressively brilliant it might just explain marriage, the universe, and everything.

The couple separate, Jen deciding she’s going to circle the loop, and would eventually catch back up with Dan. Dan begins to stroll, thankful for the respite. But somewhere along the circuitous route, Dan begins to hear a throbbing pulse. A really disconcerting sound. Soon after, Jen runs past where the “no swimming” lake sign is, and where the path out of the lake should be. But it’s gone. There’s nothing there. ??? How can that be? There was a path out just minutes ago. When the duo are reunited, neither are able to figure out what is going on. Is it a prank? It’s a prank. Has to be a prank. Has the “no swimming” sign been moved? What is going on? And all the while, the duo continue their argument about Dan’s inappropriate behavior the night before. It’s obvious that Dan has no real idea what Jen is going on about… and it’s also obvious that Jen is fully aware that Dan has no real idea what she is going on about.

The unhappy couple continue in a fairly predictable pattern of banter as they try and figure out what has gone wrong here at the lake… until they begin seeing things. First Dan seems to be run into by another jogger, but immediately after, the runner has disappeared. Wait… wasn’t there someone there just a millisecond ago? Apparently not. Then, there, in the distance, is someone on the path… but they run and disappear. What is going on? Are they slowly losing their grasp on reality? Which is when Dan and Jen first see themselves. Not like, philosophically, or metaphysically… I mean literally. They are right over there —>

And that is when the movie takes its turn… and becomes something of a Hunger Games meets Battle Royale. And by Battle Royale, I mean, the literal, extra-gory, Japanese movie, wherein a class of disobedient, and disrespectful students get put on an island, and the last student living will be allowed off the island. You know, the original, granddaddy of them all? Brightwood follows in Battle Royale’s path as we begin to see Dan getting clubbed in the head. Dan97, knocking out another Dan12?, and Jen97?, stabbing him with a stick to finish him off. But it all began with a single, seminal encounter… the duo walk up to a man, standing there in a clearing, with his hood over his head. They still don’t know what is going on… they don’t know really if they are trapped, or if someone is playing a joke on them. And when the hulking man turns and begins murdering Jen violently, we watch as Dan runs for his life.

Think about that for a moment. Dan’s wife is being brutally stabbed to death… violently and gratuitously. Blood is spraying everywhere. And his first instinct? To run for his life.

He gets half way around the lake when he realizes exactly what he’s just done. “Oh Jen, I’m coming.” But the damage is already done. The mortal sin has already been debited against his moral account. He’s been weighed in the balance, and he’s been found wanting. There are moments like this throughout the length of the film. Moments of critical clarity that prove that these two? Yeah, they are generally pretty horrible people. Not just in their failures to support one another, but in their natural instinct to murder every other them they run into. I mean, couldn’t they have chatted with themselves and tried to learn something (which is basically the premise of the altar ego’d film, The One I Love), I mean? There are other options… aren’t there?

Brightwood Movie Suggestion and Crazy Ending Explained - a movie so regressively brilliant it might just explain marriage, the universe, and everything.

Ending of Brightwood Movie Explained

Eventually, one of the various permutations of Dan and Jen, they find a tent in area near the lake. They investigate, and they discover, within the tent, a decomposed version of Dan. The two are mortified. What is going on? And then the two are murdered… for lunch. And two of the two longest surviving variations of the couple sit down to eat. I mean, there is nothing else here to eat… the two have devolved to their most base versions of themselves. Cannibals. They’ve become cannibals.

But How Does the Mechanics of Brightwood Work?

I have a couple theories about that great question (thanks me for asking it! hahah.) Let’s see if we can walk through each one and see how credible they are… and then we’ll see if we can get feedback from Dane Elcar and see how far off we are…OK?

Theory 1 – A Derailed Groundhog’s Day

What if Bill Murray in Groundhog’s Day never really figured out the goal of the day? What if instead of perfecting his life, and becoming a better person, he became his most base self? What if Dan and Jen went exactly the wrong direction… instead of restoring their love for one another, they succumb to the entropy of the moment, and become the most horrible versions of themselves? Not realizing that the further they spiral, the further from getting out of this trap possible.

Theory 2 – An External Depiction of an Internal Battle

Or, what if, none of this is real? What if instead of a real impossible trap set at a lake, instead we are witnessing the psychological chaos that is happening between the two of these people? You know what I’m talking about. Whether with a friend, a spouse, a boyfriend… whatever. You have had these sorts of relationships where it is all out battle. It is a very real, and very visceral, hand-to-hand combat sort of experience. No punches are physically thrown. No one is killed. But in your mind there are a lot of bodies getting buried in the backyard. You know? Maybe that is what is happening here. Just a mental depiction of the hellscape of these two, and their horrible relationship.

Theory 3 – It’s Actually a Happy Ending!

Or, what if we are looking at this movie all wrong? Some of the strongest ties we have, or could ever have, come from relationships built in and through adversity. A death in the family, that draws two people closer. A car crash, which pulls a family together in their realization that they could have died… and that they should cherish every second that they have together. So too, we see a relationship that has been newly forged in fire. These two … whichever two we end up with at the end, have struggled, fought, and they have survived. You see them feeding each other (other human flesh, true, quit being such stickler for what “romantic” looks like!) and providing for one another. These two individuals? This duo, if released back out into society will own all. Sure, their neighborhood might get picked clean of all its inhabitants, but there is nothing that will get in their way ever again.

Final Thoughts on Brightwood

So, which is it? Which ending is most perfectly aligned with how Dane Elcar envisioned it? We will have to ask him. But personally? I’m sort of a fan of all three living and breathing simultaneously together. There’s nothing preventing them from all being true. Maybe they should have been kind to one another, and fallen back in love together. And maybe we are seeing an internal headspace war going on here. And possibly, we are watching as their relationship is perfected through adversity. And if I’m right, and all 3 are legit? Then this duo is about to be released. (Which I agree, seems like a stretch! hahah. Would they even leave if they were allowed to go now that they have hit rock bottom? Yeah, probably not. I agree.) Really, ultimately, it’s all about what you think the movie is about. What are your thoughts about what Dane is trying to do here? I want to hear about it in the comments section….

Ultimately though, I wish more indie film makers would take big swings like this! (Man, how this movie has been bloodied in the comments from people who don’t get what is happening here, and the metaphor we are watching play out.) IMDbPro seems to indicate that Dane might have made this movie for something like $10-$20k. I mean, that is amazing. (But it’s just two people, and a lake… You obviously have no idea how hard it is to make a movie… just the fact that the film had to be shot during the same time of day?? That alone increases the complexity by a factor. And the actors aren’t nobodies. Shane Carruth pulled Primer off by using unknowns. Anyway – Great film. Crazy ending. I loved it. And I’m sorry (no, I’m not actually) if your sensibilities were offended by this fun little film.