In a Violent Nature Ending Explained by Director: What Does That Stare Mean? (Exclusive)

By Russ Milheim Posted:
In a Violent Nature killer

While many might not have made it past the viral yoga kill, those who have seen the ending of In a Violent Nature may be wondering what exactly those closing scenes mean.

While slashers are a dime-a-dozen these days, director Chris Nash brought a unique take to his latest entry in that category. The horror film plays out almost exclusively from the perspective of its terrifying killer as he hunts his helpless victims after they disturb his resting place.

What Happened at the End of In a Violent Nature

Ending of In a Violent Nature
IFC Films

Most of In a Violent Nature unfolds like many slashers do, with its leading killer brutally killing nearly the entire cast or characters. True to the genre's tropes, fans seemingly get one survivor: Andrea Pavlovic’s final girl, Kris.

She is among the last two left alive, with the second being her boyfriend. 

In his brave (but admittedly very foolish) attempt to lure Johnny away from Kris, her boyfriend tries to get the killer’s attention. In return, he gets an axe to the face—leading to Johnny smashing up his body like a pinata.

While the idea was for Kris to actively enact a plan to end Johnny once and for all, the gruesome scene unfolding before her leads her to quietly place down her gas tank and Johnny’s necklace and run for her dear life.

She may impaled by a sharp stick on her way, but Kris eventually makes it onto the road. Lucky for her, a truck comes down the road and even stops for her.

Frantic, she gets in the car, begging for them to go. As the car starts going, everything starts to feel safe.

The woman in the driver’s seat, played by Friday the 13th Part 2’s Lauren-Marie Taylor, tries to get information from Kris about what happened, but all she will say about it is that an animal did it.

This leads to the driver telling Kris a tale about how her brother had a similar freak experience about 30 years ago with what was believed to be a bear.

This leads to an impactful quote from the woman about why it all happened in the first place. "Animals don’t get too caught up on reason."

Eventually, the woman decides she must pull over again to help Kris, who is close to passing out. Kris begs frantically for her not to, but she doesn't listen.

Kris is terrified that Johnny will appear out of nowhere to claim his next victims. However, nothing happens despite longing stares into the woods and some suspicious flies.

Instead, audiences are treated to one final shot, which sees the camera pan down onto the gas canister Kris left behind. Interestingly enough, Johnny’s mother’s necklace is no longer draped over it.

Director Chris Nash Explains Ending

Ending of In a Violent Nature
IFC Films

In an exclusive interview with The Direct’s Russ Milheim, In a Violent Way Director, Chris Nash helped break down the ending of his latest horror film.

Nash first elaborated on how, for him, "the final 10 minutes are what the entire film is about" and how the actual ending scene didn't happen "until the third or fourth rewrite:"

"Well, I feel like the final 10 minutes are what the entire film is about. I had this idea of what I wanted to see. And what I wanted these like stringent rules of this experiment to be. But it wasn't until the third or fourth rewrite that scene even came [and] existed. And when I did write it, I quickly realized, like, this is to me, anyway, this is what the entire film is about. If there's any point to what we created, it's in that last coda."

The filmmaker shared how an experience with how some friends interpreted the film does a great job representing what he wanted to come across on screen:

"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."

When asked point blank if audiences should believe that Johnny was able to follow the duo down the road that far, Nash bluntly teased how "[he doesn’t] know" and that "we’re really gonna have to wait for the box receipts."

The Direct pressed on if a proper sequel could be in the cards, to which Nash admitted that he has "no idea at this point," though it’s clear the team isn't closed off to the idea:

"No idea at this point. This was originally going to be a one-and-done kind of experiment. But, the more that it seems to be finding an audience. Shannon, Peter, and I were thinking a lot more like, okay, if we were going to do a sequel, if we were going to do something else and continue exploring within this world we've created, what would we do?"

"We’ve definitely come up with some ideas," the filmmaker went on to tease:

"And we've definitely come up with some ideas where we feel like we're still paying tribute to the original, but not retreading the exact same style and format and everything, but still kind of keeping in this world of slashers where we're not smugly criticizing it, but trying to embrace it as much as we can."

What’s Next for In a Violent Nature’s Johnny Killer?

Johnny in In a Violent Nature
IFC Films

The potential for more movies is there.

By the time In a Violent Nature ends Johnny has not been killed or stopped in any fashion. At best, he has been temporarily satisfied by reclaiming his mother’s necklace from the reckless campers.

And, despite Kris getting away, horror fans know that these people never truly get away from the killer. Just look at Scream’s Sydney Prescott, who has been terrorized by a Ghostface for five films now.

While a classical sequel could be made, Chris Nash could also go in a different direction and instead follow the perspective of an entirely different sort of killer. Imagine filing the POV of a Freddy Kruger-like dream stalker or a bloody-thirsty alien hunting down the crew of a spaceship.

The possibilities are quite literally endless!

In a Violent Nature is now playing in theaters.

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- About The Author: Russ Milheim
Russ Milheim is the Industry Relations Coordinator at The Direct. On top of utilizing his expertise on the many corners of today’s entertainment to cover the latest news and theories, he establishes and maintains communication and relations between the outlet and the many studio and talent representatives.