Bad Things (2023) ‘Shudder’ Movie Ending Explained:

Bad Things

Bad Things (2023) ‘Shudder’ Movie Ending Explained: Written and directed by Stewart Thorndike, ‘Bad Things’ closely resembles many aspects of Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. The 2023 horror flick is also set in a hotel in a desolate, snowy land. A group of friends visit it for a change from their usual lives. Like the Jack Torrance family in Kubrick’s film, these four women encounter horrors rooted in their pasts. Several visual similarities scream creative inspiration. So, Bad Things feels like a modern retelling of the cult classic with feminist undertones.

Bad Things stars Gayle Rankin, Hari Nef, Annabelle Dexter-Jones, Rad Pereira, and Molly Ringwald. After its premiere at Tribeca Film Festival, it is now available to watch on Shudder. 

*Spoilers ahead*

Bad Things (2023) Plot Summary & Movie Synopsis:

What is Shudder’s ‘Bad Things’ about?

Stewart Thorndike’s Bad Things, streaming on Shudder, is about a group of friends who go to a hotel for a weekend getaway and soon discover that ‘women do bad things there.’ The self-explanatory logline gives us an insight into what awaits us. The film begins with a potentially eerie scene with Ruthie Nodd (Gayle Rankin) walking through the snow with a chainsaw. She approaches her car and uses it to remove a block in front of the wheel. 

Afterward, they go to the Comley Hotel with her partner Cal (Hari Nef), and their friends, Fran (Annabelle Dexter-Jones) and Maddie (Rad Pereira). Ruthie inherited this place from her grandmother. While her mother wanted to sell it, Cal wanted to make it hospitable for people and resume working. 

The Dark Past

Throughout the course of the film, the script reveals the dark secrets of their pasts. Maddie mentions that Fran thought she had cancer. Maddie invited her to tag along because she felt bad for her. Ruthie occasionally sneaks a peak at lecture videos by Ms. Auerbach (Molly Ringwald). Cal tries to sway her mind to be the hotel’s proprietor. In the past, the hotel had encountered the deaths of five fashion model joggers, which gave it a bad reputation. Cal decides to stay with Ruthie even if she has a history of cheating on her. She believes Ruthie is going to propose to her soon. 

Brian (Jared Abrahamson) arrives in the middle of their conversation. He feels bad that Ruthie’s mother did not keep the promises she once made. On the other hand, Ruthie’s texts to her mom are left unanswered. In the middle of that night, she wakes up because of some noise. Turns out, it was just an open door. Once she closes it, she walks up to a room with loud music. Ruthie ends up thinking she is meeting her mother while it’s just Fran.

Subsequently, Fran manically decides to dance, in the middle of the night, because of her mood swings – due to the trauma of her recent injuries. Once Ruthie helps put band-aids on her cuts, they end up kissing each other. That’s when Ruthie receives a couple of texts from her mom. 

Fran’s Visions

The next morning, Ruthie tells Cal that her mom’s texts mentioned that she isn’t coming. Fran wakes up in her room to notice two joggers outside the hotel. She walks up to the lobby with a bunch of guests. A girl cryptically mentions, ‘ Sometimes, you can’t feel your fingers.’ The next moment, Fran realizes that the lobby is actually empty. She calls her friends for help. While Cal and Maddie offer her comfort, Ruthie stoically mentions a plan to call an Uber for her. Unlike others, Ruthie does not show any sympathy for Fran’s pain. She also does not want to make a big deal about what happened between them the night before. 

Bad Things Ending
Bad Things – Photo Credit: Shudder

Cal alludes that the 9/10-year-old girl Fran saw is Ruthie, left by her mother in the hotel to survive independently. While Fran occasionally sees the joggers, Ruthie watches Ms Auerbach’s videos. She walks up to Suite 324 on her own. Cal finds her there and asks her what she is up to, considering her strange behavior. She wants Ruthie to be more honest about her emotions. Fran understands how hard Ruthie’s mom’s death would have impacted her. (So, who texted her? Did she imagine those messages?) Ruthie does not have any good memories of the hotel. It keeps her away from considering running it. 

The next morning, Fran wakes up to several texts from Ruthie, asking her to come find her. Fran walks out of her room to find joggers in the hotel and the young girl in a room. She starts panicking and looking for others. Fran believes she is there to save Ruthie, aka the young girl she sees. Cal thinks Fran is only trying to get attention, especially Ruthie’s. While Fran keeps making them feel terrified about the hotel, her friends drop her off at a train station and return. She starts screaming once she realizes what happened. 

Ruthie’s Fears

Back in the hotel, Cal, Ruthie, and Maddie start celebrating the absence of Fran’s fear-mongering. Ruthie goes to the bar and finds a note to room no 324. Around that time, Brian walks in to offer her a small plant – probably to improve their relationship. He walks up to notice a person in a hooded jacket with a chainsaw. Brian goes to the kitchen, and the person follows him. He runs for his life and hides in a room. Ruthie tells Cal and Maddie back at the bar that Fran is back. Now, she thinks that it’s not safe for them to live there. Neither pays any heed to Ruthie’s claims. 

Ruthie scrolls through online articles about Francesca Colby, aka Fran, and her real estate scam. Meanwhile, Maddie walks to the lobby, where the masked person cuts her arm. Maddie and Cal ask Ruthie if she did that. While she tries to show the news articles about Fran, Cal notices that her phone is dead (then, did she imagine those articles?). Later, Cal sees Ruthie getting closer to Fran. Ruthie keeps acting overly suspicious. So, Maddie changes her plan to leave and locks Ruthie outside the hotel. She and Cal stay back at the hotel. 

Bad Things (2023) ‘Shudder’ Movie Ending Explained:

Ruthie’s Trauma

Once Maddie and Cal lock her outside the hotel, Ruthie keeps screaming. She soon finds a way to get inside and reaches a higher floor. That’s where she sees Ms. Auerbach in one of the rooms. The room has a roundtable with a couple of chairs. Fran wonders how she got inside and then justifies her presence. She opens up to Ms. Auerbach about her regrets and emotional struggles. Ms. Auerbach talks about Ruthie’s apprehension about the sale of the hotel. Then, two men walk in to finalize the sale. Ruthie refuses to go along with it and decides to respect Cal’s decision, who has been taking hospitality lessons just for the hotel. Ms. Auerbach offers her a hug as an emotional support.

Once Ms Auerbach leaves, Ruthie looks around for Cal. Maddie stops Cal from responding to her girlfriend’s requests. She still walks up to Ruthie to find Brian lying, probably dead. So, Maddie and Cal tie Ruthie’s hands and lock her in a room. She still keeps saying that Fran is in the hotel. In that room, Young Ruthie asks her if she can have a hug. Ruthie gets scared to confront her terrifying past. So, she walks inside the bathroom. Suddenly, she sees drops of white liquid dripping down the mirror. After spending the night in the bathtub, she finds Fran next to her. Fran kisses her and says that she came for her. 

Maddie finds a bloodied card to hotel room no 324. While she walks out to find Cal, Ruthie walks out with Fran. Cal attacks Fran from the back, and then Ruthie throws her outside the glass door. Fran ends up dead. Meanwhile, Maddie walks to the room to find an old lady in a red dress – a hint at an older Ms. Auerbach, who probably died in that room. So, she runs out with a chainsaw to scare Ruthie. Instead, she drops the chainsaw and runs to their car with Cal, thinking to escape. Ruthie follows them and kills them with the same chainsaw. Meanwhile, people walk in the background as if nothing strange happened. 

In the end, after killing Cal and Maddie, Ruthie walks back to room no 324. She finds Brian dancing next to Ms Auerbach. So, the script essentially boils down to Ruthie’s fear and unprocessed childhood trauma, reflecting in her adult life, making it impossible for her to move on and sustain a healthy relationship. A number of plot points reveal her imagined scenarios. Since Fran supported what she saw, she felt closer to her. On the other hand, Cal made her look past her terrible past and consider running the past. Despite Cal’s generosity and constant support, Ruthie could not be an ideal partner, leading to bad things happening at the hotel. 

Read More: Everything Coming to AMC Networks (AMC+, Shudder, Acorn TV, Sundance Now, ALLBLK, HIDIVE) in August 2023

Bad Things (2023) Movie Trailer

Bad Things (2023) Movie Links: IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes
Bad Things (2023) Movie Cast: Gayle Rankin, Hari Nef, Annabelle Dexter-Jones, Rad Pereira
Where to watch Bad Things
Akash Deshpande

Obsessed, fascinated, and always nerding out about cinema! You can find me in the corner of a room ruminating over the last TV series I watched.