The Thinning Movie Twist Ending Explained

By Klein Felt Posted:
The Thinning, Logan Paul

Audiences are aghast at the shocking cliffhanger ending of Logan Paul's The Thinning movie. 

The YouTube Red original film was released in October 2016. It tells the story of a dystopian future in which the world's nations have to "thin" their populations through a standardized test, failure of which results in execution. 

It stars YouTube creator Logan Paul along with Cobra Kai actress Peyton List and fellow internet superstar Lia Marie Johnson. 

What Happened to Students Who Failed on The Thinning? Ending Explained

Logan Paul as Blake Redding in The Thinning

Nearly a decade since its release, the ending of The Thinning is still confounding audiences.

The film, which centers on a group of students uncovering the conspiracy of a population-thinning effort in a near-future world, follows Logan Paul's Blake Redding. 

Redding is the son of Texas Governor Dean Redding. He tests his father's loyalty to the Thinning test (for lack of a better term) after his girlfriend, Ellie Harper (Lia Marie Johnson), fails the morbid examination. 

Blake then creates a video saying he purposely failed the test in solidarity with Ellie to see how far his father is willing to go. Governor Dean Redding does not relent, though, as he is committed to the depopulation effort. 

This sends Blake and Ellie on a journey, during which they uncover that people are being wrongfully killed during the Thinning, whether they failed or not.

Logan Paul waking up in The Thinning looking delirious

It all comes hurdling toward a dramatic inflection point in the movie's conclusion as the true purpose of the Thinning test is revealed. 

Following Logan Paul's Blake being put to sleep (or, as the audience assumes, euthanized) by way of a mysterious drug, it is made to look like that is it for the teen hero, and the movie will come to a somber end. 

However, as the movie picks up, it is revealed that death is not the end for those who fail the morose near-future test. 

Lia Marie Johnson as Ellie in medical garb in The Thinning

Instead, Blake awakens to find himself in a new environment. Looking around the room, he sees Ellie working away in what seems to be a forced labor camp. 

And that is where the film ends, finally pulling back the curtain on the Thinning test. Death was never the end for these these teens. They are instead being sent into a life of servitude for the evil tech magnate Assuru Global, and the public has no idea.

Was The Thinning Ending Followed Up On?

While being a shocking cliffhanger at the time, audiences would not have to wait long for a follow-up on The Thinning's jaw-dropping conclusion. 

A sequel to the YouTube Red original, The Thinning: New World Order, was released in 2018. It followed Logan Paul's Blake Redding yet again as he navigated the throes of his new work camp surroundings. 

The second movie sees Blake's father (Governor Dean Redding) running for U.S. President while Blake is presumed dead in the Assuru Global camp known as The Worthy. 

Blake and Ellie conspire to escape the camp, hopefully to take down the powers that be and expose the truth of the Thinning test. 

This ends up happening, but things do not go as planned. 

As they escape from the camp, Blake's father takes the president's seat. They pull back the curtain on the truth about the camps, but it is for naught. 

Instead, they are arrested by President Redding's chief of security, Georgina Preston. Preston takes down Blake, Ellie, and anyone else who conspired against his father, vowing to end democracy in the country. 

The second film ends on another (almost nearly as shocking) cliffhanger, as Blake pledges to bring both his father and Georgina to justice. 

This hanging narrative thread was never followed up on, and there are no plans, at least publicly, for a third Thinning film. 

The Thinning is available for purchase on YouTube. 

Read more plot breakdowns on The Direct:

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- About The Author: Klein Felt
Klein Felt is a Senior Editor at The Direct. Joining the website back in 2020, he helped jumpstart video game content on The Direct. Klein plays a vital role as a part of the site's content team, demonstrating expertise in all things PlayStation, Marvel, and the greater entertainment industry.