In the Earth (2021) Ending Explained

In the Earth (2021) ending explained - Brainless Pen

In the Earth by Ben Wheatley is a horror movie set in a forest in the year 2021 amid a pandemic. It depicts two scientists, Martin and Alma, traveling to a wilderness research location. As they delve further into the station’s secrets, the scientists on board are gradually seduced into the cult’s forest-worshipping rituals and beliefs.

The movie’s ending left a lot of viewers perplexed since it was so dark, mysterious, and unsettling. The overview of the movie, its themes and symbols, the director’s perspective, and the audience’s reaction to the resolution will all be covered in this In the Earth analysis.

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

In the Earth (2021) Plot Summary

In the film’s first minutes, we find out that a global epidemic has wiped off most of the world’s population. Scientist Martin and park ranger Alma go into the woods to check on a research station. They run upon Zach, a forest-dwelling guy who guides them to the train station.

An Account of The Cult’s Forest-Dwelling Rituals and Beliefs

Upon arrival, they discover that the researchers have vanished and a forest-worshipping cult now controls the station. The cult members think the forest is conscious and need them to conduct rituals for its well-being.

As Martin and Alma continue their investigation, they immerse themselves in the cult’s practices. They see a cult member sacrificed to the forest in a ceremony and begin to doubt their own beliefs and sanity.

The Closing Scene of In the Earth (2021)

In the film’s climactic act, Martin is kidnapped by the cult and forced to participate in a psychedelic ceremony. After some time, Alma finds him and saves him, but as they leave the jungle, the cult leader, who has superhuman abilities, attacks them. Many people will walk away from this film, wondering what happened at the end.

In The Earth (2021) Ending Explained

One of the most talked-about features of In the Earth is its finale and with good cause. Many more issues are raised than are resolved by the conclusion, which is complicated and unclear.

After the film, Martin and Alma discover the origin of the enigmatic noise that has followed them the whole way. They find a sect that reveres nature and attributes mystical abilities to the forest.

Martin is kidnapped by the cult and forced to undergo a ceremony in which he is given a psychoactive injection, and a symbol is placed on his forehead. There’s no telling whether he’s been indoctrinated or possessed when he comes to; he’s bewildered.

The scientist, Olivia, dies when Alma returns to the research site after narrowly escaping. She finds out that the noise that has been bothering them results from the forest’s immune system reacting to a human-introduced virus.

After the film, a dazed Martin walks out of the woods with the symbol tattooed on his forehead. When he runs across the military personnel looking into the virus, they arrest him.

The last line of “In the Earth” is vague and susceptible to several interpretations. It makes us ponder the significance of symbols, the limits of our knowledge, and the very fabric of reality itself. It’s a satisfying end that leaves it up to the audience to interpret what they’ve just seen.

Interpretation of The Ending

Several recurring motifs and symbols in “In the Earth” allow us to make sense of the film’s ambiguous finish.

To begin, the film contains several allusions to mythology and folklore. The forest is portrayed as a magical being with life and breath, and the cult’s rituals call to mind old pagan rites. Alluding to the ancient tradition of human sacrifice to placate the gods, the cult sacrifices a member of the forest.

Conclusion Themes

Isolation, irrationality, and the need for a connection to the natural world are all issues examined in the film. Martin and Alma have their demons they need to face, and their excursion into the forest provides them with the perfect opportunity. The forest is portrayed as both a haven and a hell, a place of serenity and hysteria.

Martin is seen lying on the ground, dead or unconscious, with a mysterious symbol scratched into his forehead in the film’s closing scene. Alma is huddled over him, startled and frightened. Like the one tattooed on Martin’s forehead, a sigil is a symbol used in the occult and magic to stand for a particular purpose or being. The sign may indicate that the woods or the cult has permanently marked Martin.

Symbolic and Analogical Analysis

The film may be a metaphor for the perils of nature appreciation and the human need to feel connected to it. This need is perverted and made hazardous by the cult’s rejection of science and reason in favor of ritual human sacrifice in the name of the forest. Going too far into something beyond our control and knowledge may be dangerous, as Martin and Alma discovered on their trek into the forest.

It’s also conceivable to read the conclusion as suggesting that Martin was possessed by one of the woodland spirits or another supernatural being worshiped by the cult. Because of the insignia on his forehead, he may no longer be considered an independent being.

No matter how we interpret it, the last moments of “In the Earth” are intended to be uncomfortable and thought-provoking. It prompts contemplation of humankind’s place in the natural world, the limits of scientific knowledge, and the perils of unfettered faith.

Director’s Perspective

Ben Wheatley, who directed “In the Earth,” has discussed the film’s meanings and symbols. He told Collider that his interest in British folklore and mythology, as well as his experiences as a camper and hiker, inspired the film.

Wheatley has also discussed the movie’s themes of loneliness and the yearning for the wilderness. “We’re part of nature, but we also have a consciousness that makes us feel separate,” he said in an interview with Variety. Therefore, reconnecting with nature is analogous to deciphering our genetic blueprint.

Wheatley has also discussed the movie’s sigil usage, explaining that it was supposed to symbolize symbols’ potency and ability to shape reality. He has said that the emblem on Martin’s forehead stands for the belief that “if you can put something down on paper if you can draw it or write it, then it has a reality.”

Audience Reception

Audiences and reviewers have reacted differently to “In the Earth” ‘s conclusion. The movie has been well appreciated for its symbolism and its thought-provoking ideas, but its finale has been met with mixed reviews.

The critical community is just as split. Some reviewers have praised the film for its boldness and inventiveness, while others have said it moves too slowly and is too confusing to enjoy.

The conclusion profoundly affected many individuals, regardless of whether or not they liked it at the time. Numerous internet arguments and conversations have been spurred by the movie’s use of symbolism and its enigmatic finale, with fans trying to figure out what it all means.

So to summarize,

  • The movie’s symbolism and deep concepts have been acclaimed by several viewers.
  • Several readers have criticized the conclusion for being ambiguous and disappointing.
  • Some have praised the film’s boldness and creativity, while others have panned it for being too sluggish and cryptic.
  • The website Rotten Tomatoes now gives the film a 64% approval rating.
  • Fans have been studying the conclusion to solve the movie’s riddles, leading to many internet arguments and discussions.
  • Many watchers have said they loved the opportunity to put their spin on the film’s finale and were grateful for the film’s openness to many interpretations.
  • Others, though, have found the lack of specificity to be aggravating.
  • The finale of “In the Earth” has affected many people and sparked much discussion and controversy, despite the film’s varied reviews.


The themes of loneliness, lunacy, and the need for a connection with the natural world are all examined in In the Earth, making for an unnerving and thought-provoking horror film. Its open conclusion has been the subject of much controversy and discussion as both fans and detractors attempt to decipher its true meaning.

Whether we interpret the film’s conclusion as a warning against the perils of unrestrained faith or as evidence of the potency of symbols and the supernatural, it is evident that “In the Earth” is a film whose impact will linger long after the last frame has been filmed. Fans of the horror genre and psychological thrillers should check it out.


Original Title: In the Earth

Genre: Horror/ Mystery/ Thriller

Runtime: 1hr 47min

Original Language: English, Latin

Written & Directed by Ben Wheatley

Tagline: Nature is a force of evil.

Release date: April 16, 2021 (USA)

Origin Country: United States, United Kingdom