‘I’m Thinking of Ending Things’ movie breaks barriers

Sitting in her boyfriend’s dining room, Lucy hold a drink while her grip on reality lessons. The movie came out on Netflix on September 4 and has been very well rated.

Clio Bruno

Sitting in her boyfriend’s dining room, Lucy hold a drink while her grip on reality lessons. The movie came out on Netflix on September 4 and has been very well rated.

Clio Bruno, Staffer

Amidst the chaos in the world today, new movies are the last thing on people’s minds. That’s why seeing a new well rated horror movie appear on Netflix was a nice surprise. It’s exciting to see familiar actor’s faces in the “recommended for you” section. 

The director, Charlie Kaufman, has the storyline of “I’m Thinking of Ending Things” follow Jake (Jesse Plemons) and his girlfriend (Jessie Buckley) as they visit Jake’s parents. The audience watches as Jake’s girlfriend, going first by Lucy, slowly loses her grip on reality. 

Throughout the entire film, the audience gets glimpses of a janitor working at a high school without explanation as to who the man is. This leaves viewers wondering not only who he is, but how he is involved with Jake and Lucy. 

As the story progresses, Lucy notices the people and environment around her becomes distorted. This leads to not only her confusion but also leaves the audience in the dark. What makes this movie so immersive is that viewers are just as lost as the characters. By watching, one is just as involved in the developing plot as the characters, falling into the same mindset of a muffled reality, one that is just not quite right. 

Although the actual meat of the narrative is easily classified as a psychological thriller, the underlying themes prove to be much deeper than just scare tactics. As the title suggests, Lucy is contemplating the relationship she finds herself in, if she is happy enough to stay and if she has made the right decisions.   

As the movie carries on, the point of view slowly shifts to Jake’s eyes. It follows themes of loss, regret and fear of failure. In particular, the focus is on Jake’s views about his shortcomings and bringing in the janitor’s story relating to his regrets through life.  

Nearly unnoticeable movements, subplots and visuals riddle the movie, leads to the explosive climax, the confusion clearing away for the audience, allowing for the realization to hit. And it hits hard.  

Questions are answered abstractly, through an interpretive dance, involving three dancers modeled after Jake, Lucy and the janitor. Their stories connect in this dance in an unsettling display of character development.  

By the end, the movie proves to be effective in the horror aspect as well as visually very pleasing. The cinematography provides juxtaposition of a confusing, uncomfortable story being made so beautifully. This is also displayed as the arguably most intense scene is also the brightest. The usage of psychological terror rather than gore makes the film worlds more memorable.  

Despite differing directors, the style is very similar to recent psychological movies, such as “Hereditary” and “Midsommar” (directed by Ari Aster.) I believe this is the beginning of a new wave of horror movies. Ditching the gore and returning back to the era of “The Shining.” Using thought-provoking plot lines proves to be a more effective way to truly scare an audience.