‘Significant Other’ Ending, Explained: What Happens To Harry? Does The End Hint At A Catastrophe?


“Significant Other,” starring Maika Monroe and Jake Lacy, is bound to garner an extreme reaction from the audience. It is visually stunning, but it misses the mark for me. The first half was intriguing, but after a pivotal revelation, it just becomes a silly venture that is funny at times. Ruth and Harry have been in a relationship for six years, and for the first time, they decide to camp together. Ruth prefers the beach over the forest, but for Harry, camping makes him alive. He had been on the trail several times, and he knew that nothing could go wrong (of course, something would go very wrong!). A couple going on a backpacking trip through a dense forest is quite an adventure. We knew from the get-go that something would surely go wrong, but the question was, what was it going to be?

 Spoilers Ahead

Plot Summary: What Is The Film About?

The film begins with alien tentacles attacking a deer. When Ruth and Harry stopped at a shack named “BigFoot” (yes, that is right) to eat, a boy nervously asked them if they had witnessed the red star falling. By the first five minutes, we knew that there was an alien looming in the forest, but what was its intent?

The couple carried their backpacks and headed to explore the Red Ridge trail. Harry was the cheerful one in their relationship. He was always up for adventures, and he had his way of bringing a smile to Ruth’s face. Ruth was anxious about the trek. The forest overwhelmed her, and the lack of connectivity made it worse. Backpacking as a couple can be a tremendously good bonding exercise unless something goes wrong. On their first night camping, Ruth left the tent and felt that a deer was staring right at her. While Harry thought she was overthinking it, Ruth could not get over the eerie feeling. The next morning, Harry walked Ruth to a breathtaking view of the ocean. He expressed his love for her and asked her for her hand in marriage. Ruth had a panic attack when she saw Harry with the ring. She was in love with Harry, but she was against marriage, and even after six years, she had not changed her mind. Harry felt awkward and rejected. Even though he knew how Ruth felt about marriage, he believed that their bond might have changed her. The proposal majorly shifted the temperament between the two. Harry felt it must be the failed marriage of Ruth’s parents that affected the way she thought about commitment. Even though she went to a therapist, she never truly shared much with her doctor and relied on her medicine.

The next morning, Harry went for a walk and mentioned it on a piece of paper for Ruth to note. Ruth tried to contact her therapist, but ultimately, she decided against it. As she was walking around the forest, she came across a deer with its head slit from the middle. The body of the deer was covered in a black substance. Harry came from behind, shocking Ruth. He studied the deer and concluded that it must be some virus that acted on it. While Ruth worried about what mystery the forest was hiding, Harry was relaxed about it, believing that nothing could go wrong. The two discussed their relationship and managed to come to an understanding. They were both in love, but Ruth was not ready to commit herself to marriage. The next morning, Ruth went on a walk while Harry cooked their meal. She came across a flower that she had read about, and while studying it, she noticed a cave. There was fluorescent fluid inside the cave, and Ruth decided to follow it. She came across a fluorescent puddle, and when she turned around, she screamed her heart out.

Why Had Harry Become Indestructible? Does The End Hint At A Catastrophe?

When Ruth had not returned, Harry went out in search of her. He found her standing in the middle of the forest, traumatized. Even though she did not share with Harry what she had witnessed in the cave, Ruth changed as a person from then on. She became more distant and suspicious of everything around her. That night, Harry noticed that Ruth had stepped out of the tent. He looked out for her and spotted her with a knife. She explained that she had heard something and wanted to use the knife to protect herself. Harry slept that night, but Ruth stayed awake. The next morning, Ruth apologized for her behavior and expressed that she wanted to reconsider his proposal. Harry was elated. He agreed to propose to her once again at the same spot. They walked up to the cliff, he proposed to her, and she happily accepted. When Ruth kissed Harry, he stated that it was the most extraordinary feeling he had ever experienced. In the next second, Ruth pushed him off the cliff, his body fell on a rock, and he bled to death.

Ruth ran as fast as she could until she tripped and fell to the ground. A couple, Ray and Vivian, came across her and helped her up. Since they could not contact the police, they decided to look after Ruth till the next morning. Even though they tried to get information from Ruth, she barely spoke. Just as the couple discussed how strange Ruth was, she grabbed the knife lying around. The couple was scared by her sudden action, but soon they heard a man from the forest. It was Harry, and he wanted to take Ruth back. Ruth ran away from him, and Vivian followed. Ray confronted Harry and asked him to stay away. Within a second, Harry chopped off Ray’s palm. A long, needle-like sharp object extended from Harry’s finger. He was not the Harry we knew from the start; he had alien power and relied on violence. After finding Ruth and Vivian, he killed Vivian, but he could not end Ruth’s life. When he asked her how she figured out the truth, Ruth explained that she had seen Harry’s body that day in the cave. The alien initially took the form of a deer and spied on the couple. When Harry left for a walk in the morning, it followed him and murdered him. His body was kept hidden in the cave in a cocoon. The alien borrowed Harry’s identity and tried to camouflage itself. The Harry replica tried to murder Ruth once again, but it could not. It was because of Harry’s love for Ruth that he could not end her life. The alien now experienced all the emotions that Harry once felt, and love was an emotion that it was going through for the first time. The replica stated that no other creature across the universe experienced love like humans. Unlike other biological needs, love cannot be satisfied that easily, making it a unique sensation. The alien wanted to take Ruth along with it. Earth would eventually be taken over by creatures such as itself, so the alien believed that if Ruth accompanied it to a quiet planet where they could be alone together, she could live an easier life. The replica wanted to help her because it was in love with her. Ruth managed to strike him with a knife and trick him into the ocean. A shark got hold of him, but eventually, the alien was able to get out of it alive. The alien was indestructible; it could grow back no matter how badly the body was destroyed.

The alien caught up with Ruth and injured her. Ruth was held inside a cocoon, the one she had seen Harry in. The replica was unable to kill her, but it could no longer trust Ruth. The alien explained how much it tried to save Ruth, but she was the one who denied his help. The replica decided to focus on human desire and fulfill Harry’s desire to become one with Ruth. Lovers always desire for their souls to become one, and since it was not humanly possible, the alien used its power to allow the union of two souls. The replica started to change in its appearance. Initially, it looked like Harry, but eventually, after the union, it looked completely like Ruth. Now it could feel both Harry’s and Ruth’s emotions together. It could feel Ruth’s love for Harry and the pain she carried in her heart. Ruth knew that she had to use the situation to her advantage. While the alien believed that it could separate Ruth’s pain from herself and help live a better life for her, Ruth stated that it was impossible. Pain is a part of human existence. Ruth reminded the replica of the past that caused her anxiety, how her mother would stay locked in the house and how her father drank himself to death. The replica could feel the pain in its chest. It tried to get hold of Ruth’s medicine, but the bottle was empty. The alien experienced the curse of being human. Filled with self-doubt and self-hate, the alien struggled to keep up with all the emotions it experienced. Ruth had broken free from the cocoon, and the replica begged her for mercy. Ruth helped the replica as it had a panic attack. As the replica was lying down, Ruth got hold of its hand and smashed its head with a stone. She escaped from the forest and got into their car. As she drove back, she turned on the radio, and the replica communicated its message over the radio, stating that it would get hold of Ruth. Ruth simply turned off the radio and left. As she was leaving, hundreds of red stars fell from the sky, indicating that many more aliens would come and take over Earth.

“Significant Other” ends with the certainty that there will be alien domination, and Ruth will probably fail to escape from it. But does that mean that the aliens will also suffer from the multitude of human emotions? Will humans end up spreading both love and panic attacks? And will stress, anxiety, trauma, and depression scare them off forever? We can only hope so!

“Significant Other” is a 2022 Drama Thriller film directed by Dan Berk and Robert Olsen.

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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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