There’s Something Wrong with the Children (2023) Movie Ending, Explained: What is the bright place? What happens to the Children?

There's Something Wrong with the Children[2023] Movie Ending, Explained

When you have a name like “There’s Something Wrong with the Children” as the title of your horror movie, you are upfront about what the audience should be wary of. Like one would be of Ezra Miller’s Kevin in “We Need To Talk About Kevin,” or of Miller himself, for that matter. Credit to director Roxanne Benjamin and writers T.J. Cimfel and David White, as they still manage to surprise and engross us with this nifty horror flick.

With its bright green title card and synth-pop background score, director Benjamin channels old-school horror vibes. You know, the kind of horror that is equal parts fun and thrilling. The zany direction makes “There’s Something Wrong with the Children” a gripping drama and a survivalist thriller. Part of the credits, at least for the ‘drama’ part, also goes to the cast. Especially, Amanda Crew and Alisha Wainwright shine as the two opposing female figures of the story.

There’s Something Wrong with the Children (2023) Movie Summary and Plot Synopsis:

Everything seems fine and dandy when two couples vacation together amidst the woods. One couple, Ellie (Amanda Crew) and Thomas (Carlos Santos) brought their children with them. Lucy (Briella Guiza) and Spencer (David Mattle) appear to be as playful as any other children of their age. Couple two, Margaret (Alisha Wainwright) and Ben (Zach Gilford), are childless by choice. However, they do enjoy the company of the children. Ben especially seems to be fond of the young boy Spencer, for whom he has bought a present.

The adults spend the night drinking and exchanging interpersonal stories while the children casually play around. One morning, all of them take a hike through the uncharted paths of the jungle. They find the ruins of an old building. The group discovers a deep hole while charting through the broken walls and mossy surface. Like a misshaped, but big, well. The children seemed to have seen something bright and green inside of it, while the adults did not.

After that, something seems off with the children. When Margaret offers to watch the children for that night to ensure Ellie and Thomas get a romantic date night without the children, the children express their desire to return to that place of the ruins. To the “bright place.” Margaret and Ben ignore it, thinking the request is childish. However, the next morning, the children seem to have gone missing.

Panicked, Ben and Margaret search everywhere. Then it occurs to Ben. He takes the hike again to reach the ruins of the “bright place.” There he sees the children. Both of them are standing on the precipice of the hole. Before he could do anything, both of them jumps into it. The traumatized Ben gingerly starts to walk back to the campsite. After reaching there, he sees the children emerging from Ellie and Thomas’ cabin. Completely unscathed.

There’s Something Wrong with the Children (2023) Movie Ending, Explained: What Happens to Margaret?

The children, Spencer and Lucy, begin to act maliciously after their return. It starts with passive-aggressive behavior, and gradually increase the stakes with Ben. They act nefariously in front of Ben while displaying their childish innocence in front of others. It is revealed that Ben has had trouble with mental health and takes mood stabilizers. The children start to provoke Ben in a way so that he gets suspected and ill-treated, even by his partner, Margaret. The adults get into a row over the children. Ben is convinced of the children dying in ruins.

There Is Something Wrong with the Children [2023] Movie Ending, Explained

Things escalate when Spencer takes a shovel, and Ben tries to take it away from him. In the commotion, Spencer seems to be hit and subsequently dies. Everyone, including Margaret, seems to think that Ben has killed Spencer. Ben is thrown outside. He convinces Margaret to go to the ruins with him, where he can show the children’s bodies in the hole. But there are no bodies to be found. Margaret leaves Ben there and goes back to the campsite.

Who are the Children?

When Margaret discovers Ellie brutally murdered, she swiftly learns that Ben is speaking the truth regarding the kids. The seemingly dead Spencer and Lucy, who got rid of Thomas, attack Margaret. The children communicate in a warbled hissing sound to each other. And their shadows have the appearance of an insect. It does seem that Spencer and Lucy died as Ben saw them, and they are now replaced by some alien insect-like creature who could take the appearance of a human—in this scenario, taking the appearance of Lucy and Spencer.

Margaret tries to escape the children, but she meets the now-transformed Ben. Ben also seems to have pledged his allegiance to the “Bright Place.” If it were not for the injured Thomas, who tackles Ben, Margaret would not have been able to escape with the car. But she is quickly stopped on the road by Ben, flanked by Lucy and Spencer. Margaret seems to have had enough and decides to run them over, which is where the film ends. Hinting Margaret is taking the drastic step.

What is the ‘Bright Place’?

Lucy’s card about the serpentine God who eats souls was a premonition of what is at the store. The hole may be the creature or entity’s den, with a bright greenish glow to entice people in. Like a carnivorous plant lures insects. The “Bright Place” is probably not a place but an entity that lured the children.

The children also talked about bees and queen bees. So, if that is a clue, the “Bright Place” is the queen who rests in that hole. She could send her cronies like the children to do her bidding. We did see the children throwing the dead bodies in the hole. Seemingly, feeding something.

Did Ben accidentally kill the children and everyone else?

There is one interesting point. Ben was accused of killing Spencer, and at that time, we were sympathetic to him, as we knew Spencer was lying. However, it is possible that Ben was responsible for the children and everyone else’s misfortune. Even if we ignore it, it was Ben who got them all to venture into the ruins. Ben also did a more direct action. It was he who dropped a stone in the hole to measure the depth. Only after that do the children seem to see the “bright place.”

Maybe the entity was dormant. If Ben did not throw that stone, it would not have risen.

The Theme of Motherhood

The story also features a theme of forced motherhood and parenthood. Margaret and Ellie’s juxtaposition perfectly portrays the dichotomy. Between someone happy with the decision to not have children and someone continuously self-assuring that motherhood is the best thing that happened to her. Like “Lost Daughter,” this film also delves into a similar, if not a less subtle, conversation. About how society still finds it unacceptable that a couple might choose not to embrace parenthood.

Even Ellie, who is a good friend to Margaret, could not accept the denial of having a child as natural. To her, and most people in society, there must be some issue with harboring such desire. That’s why she assumed Ben’s mental health was preventing her friend from becoming a mother. When the truth is, Margaret chooses to be free of that responsibility.

Read More: The 10 Best Horror Movies of 2022

There’s Something Wrong with the Children (2023) Movie Trailer:

There’s Something Wrong with the Children (2023) Movie Links: IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, Wikipedia
There’s Something Wrong with the Children (2023) Movie Cast: Amanda Crew, Zach Gilford, Briella Guiza
Where to watch There's Something Wrong with the Children
Suvo Pyne

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