‘V/H/S/85’ Endings Explained & Shorts Summary: Who Was Behind The Killings At Lake Evic?


V/H/S/85, which is the sixth installment in the franchise, is made of six stories set in the 1980s. David Bruckner’s Total Copy shows a group of scientists experimenting on an alien that looks like a boy by making it watch everything about North American culture that’s available on television. Mike P. Nelson’s No Wake is a classic “Vacation Gone Horribly Wrong” story where a group of people are attacked by an unseen assailant at Lake Evic. Gigi Saul Guerrero’s God of Death takes place during a massive earthquake in Mexico and sees a cameraman and a rescue crew come across something ancient. Natasha Kermani’s TKNOGD has a performance artist lament about the harm that’ll be caused by virtual reality. Ambrosia, which is also by Nelson, features an all-White family celebrating an initiation ceremony. Scott Derrickson’s Dreamkill deals with a serial killer who sends videotapes of the crimes he’s about to commit.

Spoiler Alert

‘No Wake’ Summary And Ending Explained

Rob, Robin, Kelly, Drew, Kevin, Anna, and Jared reach a fictional camping spot called Lake Evic. Rob finds a sign warning tourists not to swim in the lake but scoffs at it because lakes are meant for swimming in them, unless there’s something toxic in it. Rob also finds a dead animal near a section of the shore of the lake that seems to have been scorched by fire or that the land has been infected by something. All of these telltale signs suggest that everyone should get the hell out of there. But since this is a horror anthology, they do the exact opposite and go skiing in the lake. Well, Anna and Jared hang back, and the rest go for some water skiing. After spotting a truck near the camping site, they decide to head back. However, that’s when somebody starts shooting at them with a sniper gun. They all take multiple shots at the body and the face and die. That’s not where the short film ends, though, and it seems like we are going to see who this assailant is.

Instead, at the end of No Wake, something bizarre happens, and Rob, Kelly, Drew, Kevin, and Robin come back to life. Their injuries are still open, and they are bleeding, but they aren’t dying anymore. They notice someone has written the Roman version of seven on their RV and apparently butchered Anna and Jared. Since Robin and Jared didn’t come back to life, the rest of the group tries to figure out why that’s the case. They come to the conclusion that it’s the water. The lake is like a Lazarus Pit, and it has the power to turn a mortal into an immortal being. Since Robin and Jared didn’t go into the lake, they died. The rest were touched by the water, so they lived. Robin assumes that Rob must’ve caught the license plate of the truck of the mysterious assailant. They promise to get to this individual and inflict the same kind of eternal torture that the attacker has subjected them to. The anthology short is a classic subversion of the slasher movie trope where a serial killer turns a dream vacation into a nightmare for no reason because, instead of just dying, the victims of the killer’s violence come back to life. The power that was in the hands of the killer has now been transferred to the prey. And now they can get their revenge. The hunter becomes the hunted. In addition to that, it presents a rather grotesque version of immortality where your body will be susceptible to wounds that won’t heal, but you’ll continue to live.

‘God of Death’ Summary And Ending Explained

Luis is the cameraman at Lucia De Leon’s news channel. While recording a session, the studio is hit by a massive earthquake that kills everyone in the building, except Luis. A rescue party, whose members are Eddie, Miguel, Karla, and Javier, break into the studio and start making their way downstairs to safety. But the tremors and the shaky condition of the building force all of them to go beyond the ground floor and into the basement. During this process, Javier is gravely injured, and Karla is forced to put him out of his misery. Then, they continue to go deeper and deeper into the building, and that’s when they start hearing odd noises. Finally, they reach an underground temple that has skulls in its walls and a statue of Mictlán. Eddie gets possessed and tears out his own insides. He kills Miguel. An ancient deity appears behind Eddie and kills him. Then, it goes after Luis and knocks him out. Karla is the one who manages to get away. And just when it seems like the whole ordeal is over, Karla reappears and sacrifices Luis’ heart to the deity.

At the end of God of Death, Gabriela Maldonando, the news reporter who is played by the director of the anthology short, Gigi Saul Guerrero, informs the audience that the earthquake has decimated Mexico. Now, during the altercation with the titular god, the words Mictlān, Tenochtitlan, Wall of Tzompantli, Ixpuztec, Nextepehua, Tzontemoc, and Mictlantecuhtli are mentioned. In Aztec mythology, Mictlān is considered to be the underworld, while Mictlantecuhtli is considered to be the god of the dead. According to Mesoamerican and Aztec lore, Tzompantli is basically a wooden rack where the skulls of prisoners of war were kept. And Ixpuztec, Nextepehua, and Tzontemoc are just synonyms of Mictlantecuhtli. From what I can gather, this is an old-world versus new-world scenario. Karla is probably not a big fan of capitalism, consumerism, and the influence of North American culture on Mexico, which is a running theme in V/H/S/85. So, she wants to raze this new world and build it anew with the help of the god of death. Going by the news report, nobody is aware of Mictlantecuhtli’s resurrection. But if the god has returned to his full power, destruction is inevitable, and it’s only a matter of time before he takes the country back to its roots. However, is it a good idea to regress in order to protect one’s tradition? Isn’t it better to educate people about their past while being progressive? Well, by the looks of it, fanatics think otherwise, and everyone else has to face its repercussions.

‘TKNOGD’ Summary And Ending Explained

Ada is a performance artist who is against technology and puts up a stage play to advocate against it in front of a very small audience. To be specific, she’s against virtual reality (VR), as she shows someone who is credited as “The Inventor” boasting about the infinite possibilities around the experience of living in a simulation. She believes that the general public has forgotten about the old gods and is only worshiping a techno-god, i.e., the god of technology. But she thinks that this techno-god doesn’t exist, and hence, people should stop supporting this concept. Then things take a weird turn as Ada puts on a VR set to enter a virtual reality and mock this fabled techno-god. After a few minutes of awkwardness and cringe, the techno-god shows itself in the virtual reality and rips apart Ada’s virtual version to pieces. Those wounds show up in the real world, and Ada turns into a bloody mess and perishes in front of the crowd. At the end of TKNOGD, the audience begins to clap, and when the cameraman takes off Ada’s headset, she looks like an animatronic robot because the headset has fused with her brain due to the techno-god’s attack.

Now, you can take this at face value and say that Ada messed with something she didn’t have any idea about and faced its consequences. The audience’s reaction to it is an example of how the line between reality and fiction is becoming blurry. That’s why they are seeing Ada’s death as a part of the act instead of feeling traumatized because they’ve seen someone die right in front of them. They have started to treat everything as a simulation of reality. And if nothing is real, then even death has no weight. Or you can see Ada as a part of The Inventor and the techno-god’s propaganda. Any kind of religion relies on fear to gain popularity. If people aren’t afraid, they won’t pray and beg. If people only believe in themselves, then these false gods won’t gain prominence. That’s why it’s possible that The Inventor has sent Ada to sacrifice herself in front of the general public so that they can fear the techno-god and worship it to avoid getting ripped apart by the deity of the modern world. Based on that final frame, I also think that Ada was an android, and she wasn’t killed by the techno-god. The snapping of her limbs and the moment where she levitated were actually choreographed remotely so that it’d seem that she was being butchered by the entity in virtual reality. That said, we can hope that this’ll have the opposite effect on the general populace, and they’ll shun all kinds of technology and avoid living in fear for the rest of their lives.

‘Ambrosia’ Summary And Ending Explained

This segment answers what actually happened in No Wake. The Wrigley family has arranged some kind of party for Ruth. They believe in something called the VII. They don’t go into detail about its origins, but it definitely sounds like a KKK-esque club. Ruth has apparently taken part in an initiation ceremony where the candidate has to kill seven people in a creative way. Ruth followed the group in No Wake to Lake Evic and then killed all of them with her sniper rifle. The whole family, which includes a little kid, gathers around the living room to watch the recording of that massacre and then congratulates Ruth for her craftsmanship. However, their celebration is short-lived as the police show up at their doorstep. Instead of trying to learn why the police are there in the first place, the whole family arms themselves and starts shooting indiscriminately at the law enforcement officials. Everyone, and I mean everyone, gets killed in the process. Amidst this altercation, the camera falls to the ground and stays on Ruth. As the officers are going through the house, looking for survivors, Ruth miraculously wakes up and starts shooting again. She doesn’t realize what is going on, and since her mother has told her that she shouldn’t get captured, she shoots herself in the head. That doesn’t kill her either, and she is dragged away by the police.

At the end of Ambrosia, we see Robin filling up the water gun with water from the lake. She delivered it to the kid from the Wrigley family (as proven by the RV driving away during the beginning of the anthology short), who then sprayed Ruth with that water, thereby cursing her with the powers of the lake. It’s difficult to ascertain how much time has passed between the incident at the lake and the shootout. We can assume that the undead group tracked down the Wrigleys with the help of the license plate number of Ruth’s truck and then called the police on them. But they took a real gamble by depending on that kid to sprinkle the lake water on just Ruth, i.e., the person who ruined the lives of seven innocent people. What’s going to happen next, though? Well, Ruth is surely going to be treated as a freak because she doesn’t die. It’s possible that the police are going to give her over to the scientists, who will conduct all kinds of tests on her to understand what is her deal. If that happens, then the group has condemned Ruth to an endless life of torture. However, this is America we are talking about. Hence, it’s entirely possible that the police are going to judge Ruth by her skin color and her love for gun culture and set her free. If that happens, then she’s probably going to come for the group because they are responsible for the deaths of her family. It’ll be interesting to see how a one-versus-five battle between undead people plays out.

‘Dreamkill’ Summary And Ending Explained

Bobby and Detective Wayne are investigating the case of a serial killer who sends the tapes of his crimes before committing them; as in, the serial killer mails the VHS tapes to Wayne a few weeks before the crime is actually committed. Wayne catches the person who has been mailing the tapes, and it’s Gunther, i.e., Detective Bobby’s son. He talks about buying a video recorder, which he used to record music videos and horror movies. But then it spontaneously started to record the stuff that he was seeing in his dreams. And those dreams were the murders that then happened in real life. Wayne thinks it is a prank, but Bobby says that Gunther is telling the truth. Apparently, he isn’t the only one suffering from these prophetic visions. It’s actually a hereditary thing. As they resume the interrogation, Wayne gets another package. It features yet another gory murder. This time, though, the detectives are one step ahead of the serial killer because they know what the video means, and they know the location where the crime is going to happen. So they get there in order to warn the potential victim. However, before going in there, Wayne confronts Bobby about the lawsuits that have been filed against him. Wayne essentially alleges that Bobby is the serial killer, and he is using this elaborate gimmick to kill all those who are trying to send him to jail for harassment. Bobby kills Wayne because Wayne has spoken the truth. Unfortunately, Wayne trusted Bobby a little too much and probably expected Bobby to turn himself in, and that’s what got him killed.

Bobby goes on his murder spree, and it seems like Gunther sees another dream where he sees Bobby coming back to the police station and massacring everyone. This is where Gunther’s dream version of the events that unfold and the actual version kind of overlap. I am assuming that whenever the camera takes on a more traditional role, it’s the dream version. When it’s in the static, classic found-footage position, it’s the factual version. Either way, it all ends with Gunther killing his father after Bobby kills or injures almost every cop in the precinct. Gunther’s powers, combined with whatever is going on in those video recorders, are obviously a gift because they allow him to warn the police about an upcoming crime. It’s kind of like Minority Report, i.e., the Stephen Spielberg-Tom Cruise film, which dealt with pre-crime. And the conclusion that Dreamkill comes to is that it’s pointless to report a crime before it happens if the perpetrator is never caught. It’s just going to lead to paranoia and put the onus on the one predicting the crimes instead of the criminal. You can say that it would’ve been impossible to nab Bobby if he hadn’t exposed himself. But his criminal record was public knowledge. Everyone overlooked it because he was a family man and a detective. That is what needs to be corrected. Members of law enforcement agencies aren’t above the law. If they are stepping out of line, they should be slapped with charges and jailed. If that happens, then people like Gunther can dream instead of having nightmares.

‘Total Copy’ Summary And Ending Explained

So, this is the anthology short that plays between the aforementioned segments. In this story, a group of scientists (Pike, Gary, Margaret, and Sarah) is monitoring an alien that looks like a boy and consumes information through everything that’s playing on the TV. It’s all fun and exciting until the alien (named Rory) starts to take the shape of Gary. Why is that freaky? Well, Rory is in a room that isn’t accessed by Gary, and it is viewed by everyone through a two-way glass. So, the fact that Rory is taking Gary’s form means that it can see the scientist through the two-way glass. Sarah thinks that this project has already gone too far and they should abort immediately. Due to Pike’s greed and ambition, he doesn’t budge. So, Sarah resigns, but nobody follows suit—not even Gary, even though he is clearly disturbed by this development. One fine day, the situation worsens as Rory appears to be sick. Margaret warns Pike that if Rory is that intelligent, it can be faking its illness to lure in its prey. Pike doesn’t listen to her, and he hilariously sends Gary (who is already anxious that there’s an alien that looks like him) to administer a shot of adrenaline.

Like every alien movie in existence, Rory pulls out a long tentacle with a pair of horns at its end and attacks Gary. Pike and Margaret rush in to save Gary. As soon as they realize that Gary is a lost cause, they let him go and make a run for it. Margaret bites the dust too. When Pike tries to open the exit door that can only be accessed with the scientists’ handprint, it fails to open because of the literal blood on Pike’s hand. He tries to wipe it off and unlock the door, but it still doesn’t work. I think it’s insinuated that Rory has used its mimicking powers to change the key to the locks. At the end of V/H/S/85, Rory kills Pike and the cameraman. It then drags the cameraman and puppeteers him, Margaret, and Gary to make them dance like the women in the workout videos it watches all the time. The moral of the story is that you shouldn’t mess with something you don’t understand. Either burn it with fire or nuke it into space. Humans should stop thinking that they are the superior species in this universe and that they have the right to poke and prod everything that’s around them. And if they do think that they are the best, they have to face the consequences, which are usually death.

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Pramit Chatterjee
Pramit Chatterjee
Pramit loves to write about movies, television shows, short films, and basically anything that emerges from the world of entertainment. He occasionally talks to people, and judges them on the basis of their love for Edgar Wright, Ryan Gosling, Keanu Reeves, and the best television series ever made, Dark.

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