In a Violent Nature ending explained (including that awesome cameo!)

The new Canadian slasher film has a tension-filled ending worth talking about.
IN A VIOLENT NATURE - Still 7 - Courtesy Shudder
IN A VIOLENT NATURE - Still 7 - Courtesy Shudder /

One of the quietest horror movies of the year is also one of the most talked-about, and for good reason. In a Violent Nature, written and directed by Chris Nash, is a Canadian film following a killer named Johnny who stalks and kills teens and, really, anyone in his way. Sound familiar to Friday the 13th? Yup, there's no doubt that was one of the filmmaker's inspirations for his POV-style "ambient slasher."

At the time of this writing, In a Violent Nature is only available in theaters but will be available to stream on Shudder at a later date. If you've been looking for an entertaining horror movie to watch on the big screen that's full of awesome shots and creative kills, I'd recommend seeing this one in theaters. With a 94-minute runtime, it'll be a quick, fun slasher to enjoy on a hot summer night.

Warning: Spoilers below for In a Violent Nature.

The premise of In a Violent Nature is pretty simple: A killer named Johnny is woken up from the dead out in the Canadian wilderness after a group of friends find his locket. Using shots from his perspective, we watch as he walks through the woods trying to find out who has his locket and killing anyone he encounters on his quest. We learn through a campfire story that Johnny is an urban legend in town, with a character named Ehren recalling the story. Apparently, Johnny died after falling off a fire tower he was tricked into climbing.

After a series of kills, the friends find a park ranger who knows all about Johnny, explaining that the locket was keeping him underground. In the end, there's only one survivor, one of the friends named Kris. After leaving everything behind in the woods — including the locket — Kris runs out onto the road and is saved by a woman driving by. Kris needs to be taken to the hospital for her injured leg, and the final minutes of the movie leave you on the edge of your seat wondering if she'll make it there.

The In a Violent Nature ending is the best part of the movie

Save for one super creative kill in which Johnny uses a hook to turn a woman inside out, In a Violent Nature starts to lull as you get used to the POV shots, but that changes as we get to the ending. As mentioned, Kris is picked up by a woman who is adamant about getting her to a hospital, but there's seemingly something up with her. It's not easy to trust her and the scene is very unnerving as she recalls her brother getting injured in the woods.

The woman explains that her brother was attacked by a bear in the same woods decades ago and almost died, which seemingly prompts Kris to wonder if it could've been Johnny, not a bear at all. She continues to ask the woman questions, and the woman mentions the term "henhouse syndrome," which is when a predator kills more prey than they can eat. With all of the killings Johnny has committed over the years, Kris makes the connection and fears he still has the impulse to continue.

In a Violent Nature 2
In a Violent Nature - Courtesy Shudder /

Kris falls in and out of consciousness in the car ride which alarms the woman driving. She decides to pull over to try and put more pressure on Kris' leg, but Kris is terrified that Johnny will appear. We see a shot of the part of the woods where she left the locket, and now it's gone. Does this mean Johnny is satisfied to have gotten it back, or has this fueled him to continue his killing spree? He has one victim left this time, and that's Kris.

We don't get to see what happens next, with the screen fading to black as Kris becomes increasingly terrified about potentially being in Johnny's reach. I absolutely love the ambiguous ending here, which leaves the audience speculating on a number of things. I can't stop thinking about where Johnny could've gone, and whether or not this woman driving the car has a deeper connection to him or not.

Another awesome part about the ending is that the unnamed woman truck driver is played by actress Lauren-Marie Taylor, best known for her role as Vickie Perry in Friday the 13th Part 2! She's not the final girl in the sequel, but she is one of the central characters who is killed in a memorable scene in which Jason hides in one of the cabin beds and arises to stab her to death. In A Violent Nature marks Taylor's first acting role since 1987.

Check out a recent interview of Taylor talking about In a Violent Nature and the Friday the 13th movies to Fresh Fiction here:

In an interview with The Direct, Nash dished about the film's ending, explaining that "the final 10 minutes are what the entire film is about." Here's his take on it:

"The easiest way to explain it for me was when my editor's parents went to see the film via our editor, Alex Jacobs. His father, Tom, actually plays like Johnny's dad's reflection in the mirror [at the beginning of the movie]. But when they watched the film, and afterward, they were talking about it with Alex, and Tom mentioned, like, in the end, there's a point where our final girl is just like looking off into the woods in, almost a state of petrified fear. And he said he didn't quite understand why she was just standing there or sitting there like looking off into the woods. And then his wife just says, 'Oh, Tom, she's gonna always be looking off into those words.' And I'm like, 'Yeah, that's exactly what it is.' You hit the nail on the head. That's what it's about. It's about the fact that the monster never leaves, even after the film ends. Even if you get away, it's always gonna be there."

Chris Nash

Despite multiple kills and shocking moments throughout the movie, the tension-filled ending is definitely the most memorable part for me.

I doubt In a Violent Nature will go down as my favorite horror movie of 2024, but with the low budget Nash and crew had, they really did an impressive job. If you're a fan of the genre, you'd be missing out if you don't try it.

Catch In a Violent Nature in theaters right now. We'll be sure to update our readers with the Shudder streaming date when it's announced!

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