‘Gone In The Night’ Ending, Explained: Does Kath Find Max?

Eli Horowitz’s directorial debut “Gone in the Night,” which had its world premiere at the South by Southwest Film Festival in 2022, tries to give us a baffling experience throughout its thriller expanse before the film’s hasty ending. But it’s obviously not something that blows your mind. The film’s star, Winona Ryder, may be the one and the only reason you choose to watch it, only to be disappointed later. Because of the effort, this film tries to give in its first half, which is quite dubious and engrossing, you may waste your little time on it. But the ending awaits to furrow your brows, not the way a mystery thriller should, but with the question, “why so rush?” So without further blabbering, let’s find out how this interesting story of the couple successfully messed up at the end.

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Spoilers Ahead


Where Does Max Go With Greta? 

From the scene of driving through the dense forest, the movie starts to give us a sense of dread, and we see the protagonists, Kath and her boyfriend, Max. It seems that they are moving towards their destination with a passion for adventure. But when they reach their reserved cabin in the woods, it’s almost dark; they find a car already parked there. Kath gets out of the car as Max questions the guy standing in front of the cabin, and we see him talking to the stranger about the cabin reservation. The man replied that he and his girlfriend had already been there earlier. Suddenly, his girlfriend comes out of the room, granting them permission to stay there at Night. Max wants to spend the night there anyway, despite Kath’s objections. But for the sake of his unnecessary adventure addiction, Kath has to agree. The stranger and his girlfriend introduced themselves as Al and Greta. While unloading the luggage from the car, Greta and Kath learn about each other’s ideologies of life, which have their own differences. But the atmosphere starts to get a little steamy when Max finds a “Couple Board Game” inside the cabin. We see over-excited Max’s child traits that seem incompatible with Kath’s matured mentality. Al wants to play the board game, and Kath agrees as well. At least she has no choice. At the beginning of the game, we come to know stuff like that Kath was actually Max’s teacher and much older than him. But when the game continues, Greta starts flirting a bit too boldly with Max, which we see Max enjoying quite a bit. Very naturally uncomfortable, Kath goes to bed under the excuse of being exhausted.

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But the next morning, as soon as Kath wakes up, she finds out that she is still alone in the room, which raises doubts in her mind. We find the entire house deserted as a suspicious Kath comes out of the room and starts looking for Max. Kath gathers courage and walks towards the forest. After some distance, she sees Al sitting. When asked about Max, Al said that they both ran away. Al finds Greta and Max having sex in the morning, causing them to run away when they confront him. Kath breaks down and asks why. Al tells her why he doesn’t want to tell the truth. Maybe Al indirectly taunts Kath about her aging, but a heartbroken Kath walks out without saying a word. Her heart gets broken to find out that Max is untracked with Greta. Scared and sad, Kath rushes to flee the forest in her car.


Is Kath Going To Find Out About Greta?

As Kath grows irreverent about the fugitive Max, she also becomes apathetic about her love life, as we come to know from her conversation with her friend. But Kath’s inner instinct, along with her friend’s advice, makes her want to know more about Greta. We see Kath somehow becoming obsessed with Greta to find out why her boyfriend left her and went after some random younger woman. Out of curiosity, Kath tries to contact the owner of the cabin on the phone, but on talking to the owner, she wants to collect Greta’s number on the false pretext of returning her a book, which the owner naturally does not allow for the sake of protecting the customer’s privacy. A few days later, when the owner comes to Kath’s plant shop looking for the non-existent book, Kath hesitates but finally comes clean and tells him the whole story. Sympathetically, the owner, named Nicolas Barlow, tries to stand up to Kath, but Kath and his conversation at the cafe are interrupted by the arrival of a stranger, and we learn that Barlow was actually the man’s partner in a biotech startup. Later, that was purchased by GlaxoSmithKline, so Barlow left them and started living a secluded life. While their budding connection grows stronger, Kath and Barlow search for Greta and arrive at a punk music club where Greta confronts Kath. Greta apologizes to Kath in an implausible manner. But after accidentally seeing Max’s sleeping face on Greta’s phone wallpaper, Kath comes back heartbroken. Talking to Barlow on the way back, Kath learns that Barlow’s father died of a genetic disease called synaptic hypertrophy, which Barlow fears is in his genes. So he gave up his professional career to lead a simpler life.

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What Actually Happened To Max?

But in between, we question Max’s presence, and to dispel that doubt; the movie starts showing its awkwardly drawn flashbacks with the current story that determines Max’s fate. We see in some flashbacks when Max, with his overenthusiasm, tries to blend in with the standard discussion of Kath’s intellectual circle; Kath kind of bullies her, which frustrates Max. Leaving the meetup under the guise of wine, Max catches Greta and her boyfriend, Al. Intrigued by Max’s delusional eccentricities, Greta invites him to their club, where Max spends most of the evening. Flirtatious Greta invites Max to a music show, after which she invites him to a cabin in the redwoods, and Max agrees. This is exactly how events are arranged, and the aftermath of them we see at the beginning of the movie. But the real story happens the next morning, after Kath leaves the cabin in a panic.


When Kath Finds Out That….

As we now focus on Kath, we see her arriving at Barlow’s cabin with a flowering plant in hand. Barlow seems to be flustered by Kath’s sudden presence, and with a very suspicious vibe, he leaves Kath inside and heads out into the woods. And again, in the flashbacks, we get to know the real story: Greta actually didn’t run away with Max, but they kept Max unconscious. But when the curtain is removed from our eyes, we come to know that Max is actually “the cow” for Barlow. Barlow turns out to be Al’s father, for whom Al cares so much that he chooses Max as a scapegoat to solve his father’s genetic problems. And they want to eliminate his father’s hypertrophy by transfusing Max’s blood into Barlow’s body.

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Coming back from the flashbacks to Kath’s current situation, we get to see the truth flash in Kath’s eyes when she accidentally sees a picture of Barlow and her son Al in that room. Meanwhile, Greta and Al, who are hiding in the forest, come running to find Kath after hearing about her presence. But by then, Kath is out in the forest, and she is sure that some big mystery is there that will or did harm Max. A cargo container was found in the forest, which she unlocked with the key found in Barlow’s room. And upon entering the dark interior, Kath finds Max with a big bag of the blood being transfused through a central line in his neck. The three sinners had already reached there in the nick of time. When Barlow innocently explains his wrongdoing for his hypertropia, Greta reveals more. She says that, according to reports, Barlow never actually had the disease in his genes, but he doesn’t hesitate to do the dirty work to get back to being young. After this revelation, Al points the finger at his father, but eventually, he backs off. Greta did not disclose this information beforehand because she also wanted to be a partner in the process. This time the intelligent Kath draws the conversation’s attention to herself, saying that she too wants to regain her youth, and for that, she will take Greta’s blood. An enraged Greta wants to kill Kath, but Barlow doesn’t. So he manages to knock Greta unconscious with Al’s help. Kath tries to run away with Max during this scuffle, but due to post-traumatic delusion, Max disconnects his central line and dies on the spot due to excess bleeding. In this situation, helpless Kath drops Max and comes out of the cargo container and locks it outside. Max is dead, but Al, Barlow, and Greta are trapped alive in the container.

At the very end, we see Kath coming into the car and rubbing her blood on the wrinkles of her face in front of the mirror. But finally, she enters Barlow’s room and stands in front of the open window to appreciate some natural peace. Getting confused about the horror that had happened in the previous hours. She remains speechless. And so, the solitude of the forest and the loneliness of Kath blend together in the end.


What Happens To Kath In The End?

Although the ending is a strangely failed attempt to unravel all the plot holes together and reveal one big mystery, Kath’s fate still leaves us wondering. Although Kath is portrayed as an honest and brave character, somewhere in her mind, she may have had an internal conflict regarding her age difference with her boyfriend. But in the end, will Kath be able to get out of the forest or inform the cops to arrange the punishment of Barlow and his son? Or will she change her mind and become one of the sinners? Thus, “Gone in the Night” leaves a small hint of potential in such a rushed ending.


Why Does ‘Gone In The Night’ Fail As A Thriller?

Coming to open criticism of “Gone in the Night,” let’s talk about the film’s cuts. Usually, the non-linear screenplay of a story increases the excitement of that movie, but the director needs to know the cuts more clearly. In this movie, we see poor transitions between the scenes, which automatically gives us a feeling of annoyance. The sudden reveal at the very end of the story would be good if we could have connected the previous dots; the climax of the story must have the proper build-up throughout the span of a thriller. Barlow comes off as a very confusingly likable bad guy who fails to connect us to who he is. Winona Ryder’s performance has nothing special to say. But all these mysteries overall pale in comparison to the disappointing ending of the movie. However, it should not be said that this movie is completely unwatchable; rather, it should be watched to take notes on how the story should not be told.

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“Gone in the Night” is a 2022 Thriller Film out on VOD with subtitles.

Poulami Nanda
Poulami Nanda
Poulami Nanda hails from a medical background, yet her journey is to cross the boundaries of medicine and survive in the cinematic world. The surrealistic beauty of cinema and art has attracted her from a very young age. She loves to write poems, songs, and stories, but her dream is to write films someday. She has also worked as a painter, but nothing attracts her more than cinema. Through her writings, she wants to explore the world of cinema more and more and take her readers on the same ride.

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