‘Founders Day’ Ending Explained & Film Summary: Who Became The Mayor Of Fairwood?


Erik Bloomquist’s Founders Day is a messy horror slasher comedy that misses the mark. The film attempts to be political, but it fails to say anything profound. The mayor election kept the townsfolk busy in Fairwood, a quintessential American small town. While Mayor Gladwell spoke about consistency, Harold Faulkner promised to bring about a change. Politics kept the adults entertained, while the teenagers were busy making elaborate romantic gestures. Harold’s daughter, Mellisa, and Allison Chambers were in love, but sadly, Allison had to move to Raleigh for further studies. Mellisa struggled to accept that this was the end of their love story, and she begged Allison to stay. The frustration was evident on Mellisa’s face, and quite unexpectedly, a car approached the bridge, and a stranger in a judge’s costume got hold of an enraged Mellisa. Allison helplessly watched the stranger in a mask batter and kill Mellisa, and all that she could do at that moment was run for her life. With a mass killer roaming around, the town needed a leader to ensure the safety and protection of all citizens—but who would it be? Gladwell or Faulkner?

Spoiler Alert

Was Adam one of the killers?

Adam was lost after the sudden disappearance of his sister. He was quite close to Mellisa, and the entire incident affected him deeply. It was eventually assumed that Mellisa was murdered, even though her body was not found. His former lover, Lily, sympathized with his situation, but she was afraid that her present boyfriend would find her behavior a little too friendly. Lily was Mayor Blair Gladwell’s daughter, and it was assumed that their relationship did not work out because their parents were competing against each other in the election. Adam was disgusted to see his father engage in an argument with Allison’s father, Thomas Chambers. Harold never approved of his daughter’s sexuality, and he blamed Allison for the incident. Adam had lost faith in his father, and he sought comfort in Allison. She was the only person Adam could openly discuss his feelings with. Allison thought it would be better for them to be around people, and once again, Adam struggled to keep his feelings in check when he met Lily. Even though it was Adam who broke up with her, they seemed to still be attracted to each other. Something was stopping Adam from being with Lily, but the reason behind his decision wasn’t apparent. Adam stayed that night at Allison’s place, which we would later find out was a calculative move.

Lily stayed back at the theater to clean up after the party, and she texted Adam, expressing how she was still hopeful about their relationship. Lily heard strange noises, and when she felt threatened, she attacked with her pepper spray, only to find out that it was Britt and Tyler trying to prank her. Just when Lily thought she had dealt with the problem, the real killer showed up. The killer attacked her with pepper spray, and she was left temporarily blind. The masked stranger repeatedly struck her and ultimately slit her throat. While Lily was killed at the theater, Adam told Allison the reason why he broke up. Mellisa had seen Lily and Rob make out behind the movie theater when she and Adam were together. Adam never told her that he knew about their affair, but he could not get over the betrayal.

On Founders Day, Ron came across Lily’s body in a trashcan, and the entire town went into a state of mayhem. The police had reason to doubt Ron, and to avoid an arrest, he ran for his life. The killer next targeted Britt and Tyler, who were serving detention at school. Allison also happened to be at school, and she overheard someone scribbling on the board with chalk. She followed the sharp noise and was shocked to see Adam wearing the costume and writing the signature lyrical note that the killer left. With the gavel in his hand, Adam followed Allison. Since she had found the truth, he believed he had no choice but to kill her. Allison ran out of the school premises and found her father waiting for her. Adam had grabbed hold of her, but thankfully, Thomas came to his daughter’s rescue. Adam was brutally murdered, and Thomas did not face any legal action because it was an act of self-defense. But it was obvious that Adam was not the only killer. Allison was with Adam when Lily was killed, so someone else must have been spilling blood. Adam never considered the fact that he would get caught, and as he choked on his own blood, all that he could say was that this was not how it was supposed to end. Too late, Adam!

Was Mellisa dead or alive?

The twist at the end of Founders Day was revealed when Allison finally found the second killer at her home. After realizing that Deputy Miller was lying about her father’s whereabouts, Allison knew she could not trust him. Ron was with Allison at the time, and he shot Miller dead when he attempted to attack him. Allison could not trust Ron as well, and she left him stranded at the bridge and drove back home. She soon realized that the killer was already in her house. She grabbed hold of a torch and a pair of scissors. The setup was eerily romantic, and the killer left Allison a note asking her to look underneath the bed. The second Allison saw the mask, she stabbed the killer, but as it turned out, the killer had dressed her father in the costume to fool her.

The real killer finally showed up, and to Allison’s surprise, it turned out to be her ‘deceased’ lover, Mellisa. Mellisa explained how she not only survived the attack but was the one who came up with the masked killer plan. The siblings despised their father, and they were tired of how he dictated their lives. The campaign and his desire to become mayor had taken away their freedom. She was nothing but a prop in her father’s life, and she decided that it was time that the adults took notice of their pain and suffering. Adam joined Mellisa’s plan when he found out that Lily was cheating on him. He wanted to confront her, but Mellisa pushed him to take an extreme step. Mellisa killed Lily when Adam was at Allison’s place. She later stabbed Blair Gladwell and brutally murdered her father to seek her ultimate revenge. It was evident that Mellisa was not mentally stable, and it was not surprising that even after all that she had done, somewhere deep down she was hopeful that Allison would accept her right back. Allison could not fake her feelings, and Mellisa announced that she had no choice but to kill Allison and her father. But the show was not over yet. There was another player in the picture, and Mellisa wanted him to commit the final murders.

Who was behind the entire massacre, and why?

The puppeteer behind the murder massacre in Founders Day was a high school teacher and council member, Mr. Jackson. It was not surprising considering that he was the only one present in the school during Britt and Tyler’s murders. Even though Adam had killed them, it was suspicious that he was completely oblivious to the incident. Mr. Jackson had molded his players to do exactly what he wanted them to do. Mellisa and Adam hated their father, and after getting heartbroken, Adam was also determined to punish Lily, and all that the teacher had to do was nudge them a little to go to an extreme length for revenge. When Mellisa handed Mr. Jackson the gavel to stab Allison, he instead attacked Mellisa with it. He tried to help Allison escape, but Mellisa was out for blood.

During Founders Day‘ ending, Allison successfully overpowered Mellisa, and she killed her former lover. Naturally, Allison was afraid of Mr. Jackson, but he comforted her, stating that he had no intention of killing her. In the end, Mr. Jackson revealed that he did not have much choice but to indulge in murders to fulfill his dream of becoming the mayor of Fairwood. Killing Harold and Blair was his only way of creating a vacancy in office. But at the same time, he could not murder only the election candidates since that would raise suspicion, so a few teenagers also had to be killed to make it seem random. Deputy Miller and Oliver Hull were also part of the plan, and they too helped Mr. Jackson to the best of their ability. The idea was to save Fairwood, and according to the system designed by the founding members of the town, the longest-standing councilman would take over in case of a premature vacancy. Mr. Jackson was confident that he was a better candidate than Blair and Harold and that he would truly serve the interests of the townspeople. Allison did not have much of a choice. She could either tell half the truth and save her life or risk everything without enough evidence to back her claim, and she ultimately chose the former.

What happened to Allison?

A year after the series of murders, Allison made it to college. Not only was she a first-year student, but she was also elected president of the Student Government Association (SGA). Clearly, there was something about Allison that made her the ideal candidate. Life had taught her enough politics and negotiation, and maybe all of it impacted the way she presented herself. She promised to live up to her duties as president and build a future together. Strangely, Allison’s speech was quite similar to that of Mayor Jackson, perhaps suggesting how the incident had impacted Allison’s life. Allison had made a choice that night—she could either fight for justice or opt for self-preservation and live a quiet life, but even after a year, the memories kept haunting her, and she often caught herself feeling anxious for no apparent reason. Even though she chose the latter, a quiet, happy life seemed almost impossible to Allison.

Who became the mayor of Fairwood?

Mr. Jackson’s plan was successful, and as per the rules laid down by the founding fathers, he was declared the mayor of Fairwood. The good old high school teacher transformed into a suave mayor who made promises like everyone else. Mr. Jackson vowed to prioritize the interests of the townspeople, but from what it seemed, he could not care less. At the end of the day, he played the dirtiest game simply to become mayor by default.

Founders Day‘s ending suggests that Mr. Jackson prioritized himself over everyone else and that he was just like any other cunning politician. Mellisa and Adam were his pawns, and he had no regrets about their deaths. Born into a political family, they were reduced to a role, and it was enough reason for them to feel frustrated, but maybe they would not have thought of murder had Mr. Jackson did not encourage their madness. He was the one who stirred chaos, and of course it was only him who could bring it under control. 

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Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni has worked as a film researcher on a government-sponsored project and is currently employed as a film studies teacher at a private institute. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Film Studies. Film History and feminist reading of cinema are her areas of interest.

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