Antlers (2021) Ending Explained

antlers ending explained - brainless pen

Antlers (2021) is a supernatural horror film directed by Scott Cooper and stars Keri Russell, Jesse Plemons. The theme of the film is taken from Nick Antosca’s short story “The Quiet Boy”.


Antlers Movie Ending Explained in Detailed

* * * Spoiler Alert – If you haven’t seen the movie yet, turn back now! * * *

The movie starts with an aboriginal woman who is reciting from a fable about a legend Wendigo. The fable states that Wendigo represents an evil spirit that is born for mankind’s backsliding.

The scene changes in small-town Oregon of Western US. A young boy Aiden is sitting inside a van truck. He is waiting for his father Frank Weaver who is working inside a mine. The truck is in front of the mine and it’s quite empty because it is an abandoned mine. Frank and one of his friends use the mine as a methamphetamine drug lab. At entering they find many ingredients hanging from the rooftop of the mine as those seem like for shielding from an evil spirit.

Frank and his accomplice start working but after some time they start hearing unusual noises. They look around the cave but nothing suspicious is there. Suddenly an unknown creature attacks them. As well as being unknown, it is equally invisible.

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Aiden Weaver hears screaming and howling from inside the mine. As a result, he moves inside the cave to call his father and is also assaulted by the mysterious creature.

Frank & Aiden survive the encounter and return home with severe injuries. But their conditions become worsen day by day. Frank coughing so hard and splitting up black bile. He starts guessing something terrified is awoken inside them so he sets up a locked room and tells Lucas that no matter what they should secure them inside the room. He also warned not to free Frank & Aiden by any means. Lucas is Franks another son and Aiden’s older brother. Since his mother is unalive, Lucas has to take all the responsibilities them.

julia in classroom noticing lucas
Julia is in the classroom listening to Lucas’s story.

Two weeks later.

Lucas is roaming the city and collecting roadkill animals. He also brutally slays some small animals and stores them in a bag. After that, he returns home. Lucas stands before the locked room and hears something forcing from behind a door, screaming furiously. He throws corpses from the bag and something pulls that inside the darkness.

The scene changes to Julia Meadows who is Lucas’s school teacher. Julia noticed Lucas is now a little bit changed from before. Lucas’s drawing becomes dark and creepy as like he draws some kind of strange monster and much blood around it. The atmosphere of the drawings is so gloomy all the time. Julia assumed that Lucas is being abused by his family and that is the reason for his inner darkness and fear. Therefore, she decides to help him out of the situation.

In Lucas, Julia sees her past. She also suffered reviling from her father. She became an alcoholic and suffered from depression. After her father’s suicide, she moved to her brother Paul in Oregon and takes the job of the school. Paul is the sheriff of the town.

Julia discusses with Paul and school principal Ellen about the suspicion of Lucas. But they both denied strongly so she determined to move ahead on her own. The next day Julia follows Lucas and reached his house. It is sable and looks like no one lives here. Julia becomes so curious and moves near to a window. She doesn’t detect anything but hears peculiar noises. She returned from the spot.

paul lucas julia

A few days later, Lucas tells a story in his class about three bears. They are a big bear, a little bear, and a baby bear. One day big bear and the baby bear got sick so the little bear had to take care of them. The story affects Julia and after school, she starts walking with Lucas. She starts talking about him. When she asked about his family Lucas leaves and asks Julia not to follow him next time.

antlers movie gore scene
Transformed corpse. A gore scene from Antlers movie.

Warren Stokes is the former sheriff of the town. He is passing the mine and finds the half-eaten remains of Frank’s friend along with some kind of antlers. Warren informed Paul, and he visits with fellow officer Dan.

Paul tells Julie about the murder and also revealed his assumption that the murderer might be Frank. Paul also says that he knew Frank was a drug dealer. But never thought that he would be such violent.

Julia again discusses with Ellen about Franks family and asks her to talk with Frank for Lucas. Ellen agrees and goes to Weaver’s house. Frank kills Ellen here and feeds on her. After that Frank goes under a painful transformation and something more monstrous emerges from his body. It almost destroyed his human body and turned into a horrific horned creature.

You see Lucas is now bullied by another schoolboy Clint. Suddenly the transformed monster comes to the spot and slayed Clint in an instant. The incident makes Lucas terrified and he flees at his home. But he discovers that both of his father & brother are gone.

Ellen & Clint are reported missing to Paul. Consequently, he goes to Weaver’s house to investigate and recognize Ellen’s car outside. He enters the house and becomes shocked when discovers the half-eaten Ellen’s dead body and exhausted Frank is lying there. Franks’s body looks like a large piece of human meatballs. Lucas is there too, alone. Aiden left no sign for tracing. Then Lucas is taken to the hospital.

During Lucas’ hospital stay, Paul & Julia meets Warren Strokes with Lucas’s drawing. Strokes take out a book and identify the figure. It is an urban legend called Wendigo. It came a long ago when an evil person consumed human flesh. Then the man possessed and makes him a host. Wendigo contains a very scared figure with large antlers. It changes its host and passes one to another. The weakest point of Wendigo is the time of eating. This is the best chance to defeat the monster.

That night Clint is found injured and by his statement, it is now clear that Wendigo is here.

antlers art

The next morning, Lucas is discharged from the hospital and Julia tells him Frank is dead. But Lucas tells her she is wrong. Frank is the monster and he is coming for him. Frank wants to take Lucas & Aiden to the mine and stay there forever.

They are accompanied by officer Dan. When Dan arrives, he exposes Aiden in an open box looking increasingly sick and infected.

Suddenly, Wendigo appears. It strikes Dan with its antlers. Paul locates Dan. The Wendigo also assails and slashes him into the wall before it pierces his arm. The Wendigo grips the boys into the mine.

When Julia sees it is late, she moves to find them all. After arriving at the spot, she realizes what has happened. She takes Paul’s gun and goes after Lucas and Aiden.

Julia steps into the mine. That time the Wendigo is eating a bear as the boys stand nearby. Suddenly it sees Julia and attacks. She becomes injured, but Lucas sticks an active flare into its side to fight them. Julia now counterattacks the Wendigo. The beast is repeatedly stabbed until Julia can pull its heart out.

At that moment Aiden also starts glowing red like Frank before he turned into the Wendigo. Despite Lucas’s wishes, Julia must wound Aiden to death to prevent his transformation, and with great regret.

The Wendigo is executed and Lucas Julia is safe now.

The next morning, Julia tells Paul she will look after Lucas for the time being. Paul accepted with smiles.

Julia & Lucas turn back and walk away.

Paul begins coughing hard and spits up black bile.

The movie ends here.

Read another interesting movie, A House on the Bayou (2022).

Good Points

  • Antlers (2021) really make you feel horror. The monster Wendigo is well highlighted and turned into a gruesome creature.
  • Scott successfully creates a horror environment. He uses specially the combination of blue & red light in the movie. Also, the whole movie is covered with darkness and fog which gives the scenes insanity with a lack of wideness.
  • Makeup & costume is remarkable with the star’s performance. Keri Russell as Julia and Scott Haze as Frank are individually notable.
  • The movie is not only a supernatural horror but also reflects the bad side of child abuse, domestic violence, unemployment, poverty & drug addiction in Oregon.
  • There are a couple of scenes in the movie that is really eerie. One of them is the transformation scene of Frank’s to Wendigo. This kind of detailed and gruesome transform scene creation is deserved good appreciation.
  • Antlers (2021) has a satisfying-unfinished ending which opens the opportunity for a sequel.

Bad Points

  • Scott Cooper tries to combine a native American mythical creature with the unhappy life of town Oregon. In the movie, most people are poor, unhappy, unemployed, and drug addict. But all together those did not mix well.
  • There are a few vital characters who are played by some child. Some of them did well but not an entire movie. Overall, 90% of the cast did their job perfectly.
  • This is a bleak horror film like Babadook, Mama. So, Antlers might find it boring for teenagers.
  • Except for the last 15 minutes, the whole movie is just a classic horror film but after that, the main twist comes. There is no doubt that the ending twist is good but personally, I don’t like waiting for these for one and half hours.


Antlers 2021 is recommended as a ‘memorable watch’ supernatural horror mystery film of 2021 by Brainless Pen.


Original Title Antlers

Other Titles Antlers: Criatura oscura (Spain)

Genre Supernatural horror

Runtime 1hr 39min

Original Language English

Tagline Pray it desires not you.

Directed by Scott Cooper

Written by Henry Chaisson, Nick Antosca, Scott Cooper

Release date October 29, 2021 (USA)

Filming Location British Colombia

Brainless Pen Rating!

Cast of Characters

Actor/Actress Name Character Name Role
Keri Russell Julia School teacher of Lucas
Scott Haze Frank Weaver Father of Lucas & Aiden
Jeremy T. Thomas Lucas Weaver younger boy of Frank
Rory Cochrane Aiden Weaver elder brother of Lucas
Jesse Plemons Paul Town sheriff & brother of Julia
Amy Madigan Ellen Booth School principal
Graham Greene Warren Stokes Former sheriff of the town & a native American

Official Trailer

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