Starring MacKenzie Davis ( Terminator: Dark Fate ), Finn Wolfhard ( It ), and Brooklynn Prince (The Florida Project), and directed by Floria Sigismondi (?) and Produced by Steven Spielberg and Dreamworks, The Turning is – in the lack of a better word – a rather weird movie, to the point that once you reach the end, you stay like 10 minutes on the bench of the movie theater, waiting for an explanation of what really happened in those last minutes. And precisely for that, to understand what happened in this movie, we suggest you to keep reading.
1 ^ Does The Turning have a post-credit scene?
If you were perhaps hoping that The Turning had a post-credit scene where something about the whole movie was getting explained, well, I’m sorry to inform you that no, there are no post-credit scenes after seeing the unique ending of this movie.
2 ^ What does the ending of The Turning mean?
As in many movies, to understand The Turning’s tangled ending, you have to look closely at the beginning.
At the beginning we see a very curious scene. A blonde woman, who will later be identified as Miss Jessel, escapes from a big beautiful manor in her car. Once she arrives at the gate, she has to get out of the car and open it. But when returning to the car, inside is the horrifying figure of a man, who later we identify as Peter Quint.
The funny thing is that next, we see that same image within the eye on a clearly deteriorated face, with little light on. But the image suddenly changes to the same eye, but in a fresh face, and full of light, a face that we later see is Kate’s.
This change of images is the explanation offered by the director to understand that in reality everything we see in the film is simply a hallucination of Kate’s sick mind.
3 ^ Where is Kate, then?
The end of the movie, in the dry pool room, implies that the person Kate identifies as her mother is a reflection of what she really is. Kate is crazy, and she is in an institution for the mentally ill. Two important facts here, the date of the death of Kurt Cobain, on April 5, 1994, and also the nice place where Kate goes to visit her mother.
The death of Kurt Cobain was 25 years ago, curiously the age difference between MacKenzie Davis, who plays Kate and Joely Richardson, who plays Darla, her mother. This confirms that the scene in which Kate visits her mother is actually a hallucination where she is seeing herself, but her mental state hides it under an extremely well crafted hallucination.
4 ^ What really happened to Kate? Did the children, Miles and Flora, really exist?
An additionally strange fact about Kate’s scene with her mother is how good those facilities look. Literally, it can be said that it is a madhouse for the rich, and if we connect with the fact that Darla is a representation of Kate’s current state, we can conclude that Kate was once rich. And therefore her hallucination is based on events in which she was part of the family, not a simple governess.
Kate’s hallucination has very key elements: marital fights, rapes, resilience and children. If we mix all these elements, we can deduce that Kate was actually the wife of Peter Quint, and that he, abusing of his money and his status kept her in a kind of gold cage from which she could not leave, and did not have any autonomy. And also, a golden cage where she was constantly raped by her husband.
The point is that at some point, Kate must have had children, which must be the same as she sees as the thoroughbred children: Miles and Flora, and after seeing how Quint tried to turn Miles into a version of him – drinking liquor in the night, going with prostitutes – and Flora in a version of her – submissive, who never leaves the house – she tried to take them away, and that was where something went wrong.
The fact that in the hallucination it is mentioned that Flora’s parents died at the gate, implies that it was there where something horrible happened, and the scene where Flora asks Kate to stop the terrified car is the key. Kate, the real one, trying to escape from her husband, who was probably chasing her in another car, crashed into the fence at full speed, causing the kids to die and most likely her husband too. This is the event that caused his madness.
This feeling of guilt is reflected in the way in which in the hallucination, at various times, Miles and Flora seem to hate her.
5 ^ Why is Kate scared at the end?
She is scared, because when she sees her mother in the final scene, she finally realizes who she really is, and finally remembers what happened to her family, that Miles and Flora were not being stalked by a ghost, but by their own father and that they died when she was trying to escape from a husband who was turning their lives into hell.
6 ^ And what does Kate’s tattoo mean? Why it is so important?
Kate’s tattoo, the snake that bites its tail, is a symbol of infinity. Kate, insane and seized by guilt, will live the same hallucination, again and again, in which she will try to change the situations, the characters, to try to save her children, to achieve that moment in which she escapes with them in her car, is never going to happen.
In other words, Kate will never leave the asylum where she is locked.
7 ^ What is the meaning of the movie, then?
Seen from this point of view, the film is a story that warns about the dangers of toxic masculinity, and even worse, of this type of masculinity framed in an environment of exaggerated privileges and power, which can emotionally destroy any person, by point to drive anyone to madness. An interesting twist to the novella on which the film is based, the work of Henry James The Turn of The Screw. Title that curiously implies a deep connection with madness.
Do you think this theory is accurate? Do you have any other? The comments section is open, just below. If you liked the article, share it on your social media, meanwhile see you in the next session of Ending Explained, here in El Sabanero X.