‘Reunion’ (2024) Ending Explained & Movie Recap: Who Murdered Matthew Danbury And Meagan Cooper?

Comedic murder mysteries are such a rarity these days in the crowd of tense, violent whodunit entries that work more like docu-features that Chris Nelson’s Reunion feels like a breath of fresh air, despite not being exceptional in any aspect. The central mystery feels ill-contrived, the characters feel more like archetypes rather than having identities of their own, even though the ensemble of prominent actors is one of the hooks of the movie, and the comedic element isn’t the best you can expect despite the presence of actors like Lil Rel Howery and Jillian Bell. To top it all off, the dialogue writing and certain narrative choices feel extremely dated. However, Reunion still somehow manages to be entertaining enough to keep you glued to the screen for the ninety odd minutes of its runtime. It might not be rewarding at the end, but odds are you will not regret it either. 

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Spoilers Ahead


Who Are the Prime Suspects of Matthew Danbury’s Murder?

As the movie begins, friends Ray Hammond and Evan West are seen attending a high school reunion organized at the home of their socialite friend, Matthew Danbury. It has been a decade since the batchmates have met, and as they get busy catching up, viewers get introduced to a bunch of them, who will play an important part in the narrative later on. Ray is a kind of annoying, chaotic goofball who hasn’t found much success career-wise and depends on part-time jobs to make ends meet. Evan used to be a promising rugby player, but fate interfered, and he had to remain content working as a cop in his hometown. Matthew is a typical rich, obnoxious, sleazy guy; there is nothing much to say about him. Jasmine Park was in a relationship with Evan during her high school years; the duo had a bad break due to Evan’s abandonment issues, and at present, Jasmine is working as a reporter. Vivian Chase was the bullied girl who has become an eccentric animal rescuer, and she goes on an awkward rant by calling out Matthew for his past pranks pulled on her. Amanda Tanner used to have a mean girl streak during her high school years, and she has become a shrewd politician who is running for Congress in the upcoming elections. Aside from the rest of the students, professor Theodore Buckley, who used to be the history teacher for the batch, has arrived at the reunion. With Matthew’s wife, Lisa, being out of town for the weekend, he has arranged the reunion party and is the only member of his family in the house at present. At the party, Evan is teased by Ray and Jasmine about his Tinder profile.

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As people enjoy themselves during the reunion party, two notable incidents take place. Ray tries to goof around with his old flame, Meagan, while she warms up to Matthew, and infuriated, she pins Ray to the ground. A scuffle ensues. After some time, the power goes down, prompting Matthew to check up on the switchboard, and he returns wearing the costume of a high school sports team mascot. As it starts snowing outside, gradually all the attendees leave, aside from the aforementioned group, as they are too drunk to leave the house at the moment and spend the night at Matthew’s house. Upon waking up the next morning, much to their horror, the six remaining attendees find out Matthew has been shot dead, and to make the situation worse than it already is, they find themselves cut off from the rest of the world due to being snowed in, with poor cell reception, and the internet modem deliberately sabotaged. From the clues and lewd texts sent to Amanda and Jasmine by Matthew, they further realize that Matthew was murdered after all the guests went back home, which implies one of them might be the killer. 


Why was Ray considered to be the killer?

This sudden realization leads to everyone starting to shift blame on each other , as they consider all of them to have seemingly had reason to get back at someone notoriously unlikeable like Matthew. Amanda initially blames Vivian, as her eccentric behavior the previous night seemed suspicious to almost everyone present, but the reasoning isn’t strong enough. It is revealed that Evan had a history with Matthew as well, given the fact that his rugby career ended all those years ago after Matthew unwittingly caused him a knee injury during practice sessions. Evan denies holding a grudge against Matthew, and for the moment, the discussion about the killer gets halted. 

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Later, Evan and Ray go to check up on Matthew’s corpse and strangely notice the window to be open and a bullet hole in Matthew’s wardrobe as well. Ray finds an earring that belonged to Meagan and decides to keep it to himself without revealing it to the others. The group decides to look for the gun that was used to kill Matthew, and as they search the rooms, Amanda gets hold of a video tape, which she tries to desperately hide from the others. It contains a video captured by Matthew during his high school years that shows Amanda sabotaging the college election by playing a cruel prank on her opponent, and if revealed to the authorities, it could end her budding political career in the present. Members of the group start pointing accusatory fingers at her now, but Amanda reveals that she was actually being blackmailed by an unknown person through the tapes, and she orchestrated the power cutout during the party under the command of this person. It can be assumed that the person who was blackmailing Amanda might be the killer as well.

As night falls, members of the group decide to safeguard themselves by separately occupying each of the rooms. Jasmine goes to Matthew’s office in the middle of the night to pry some information from his computer and notices a huge amount of money was sent to him by Theodore. However, as she makes her way towards her room, she is chased by the mascot costume wearing killer and gets hit on the head with a candlestick. Her screaming alarms the rest of the group members who treat her back to normalcy, and the next day Jasmine holds Theodore accountable for killing Matthew, mentioning the possible motive to be the loss of his life’s saving, which he had blown on Matthew’s firm. Jasmine reveals that she was investigating Matthew’s dubious hedge fund sources on behalf of the newspaper she works for, which is why she had ventured into Matthew’s office in the middle of the night.

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Theodore accepts the fact that he hated Matthew, and he did indeed blow his savings on his firm, but he had no role in Matthew’s killing and only attended the party to question him about his own loss. Meanwhile, on the other hand, Ray has been trying to arrange all the pieces of the clues to uncover the true identity of the killer, but no one, not even his friend Evan, takes him seriously. There is also a plot point regarding Vivian’s somnambulism and kleptomania, but narrative-wise, it goes nowhere, so it is not worth mentioning. However, Ray and Evan notice the trunk of a car outside the house is popped open, where they find Meagan’s lifeless corpse, also caused by a gunshot in the head. Ray is distraught by the tragic revelation but feels more frustrated as he cannot fit this incident into the course of a possible narrative regarding the murder mystery. Unfortunately for Ray, it goes straight downhill for him, as Evan finds Meagan’s earring in his pocket, making him a prime suspect for the murder, and the snow footprints leading to the trunk of the car match Ray’s as well. The group members, led by Amanda, start vilifying Ray, ignoring his pleas of innocence. Ray claims that he took Meagan’s earring to clear her name from the suspicion list for Matthew’s murder, but no one believes him. As the majority of the group members vote to get Ray cuffed, Evan decides to accept their decision for the time being to maintain peace, and he ends up cuffing his friend. Evan mentions to Ray that he is certain about his innocence and knows that he will be out of suspicion soon enough. 


Who Killed Matthew Dunbury and Meagan Cooper?

Almost at the same time, cell reception returns to normalcy as Matthew’s wife, Lisa, manages to reach out to the group via landline, and after learning about the horrible events that took place, she brings in a cop with her. Ray was waiting for an opportunity like this as he manages to snatch the gun from the policeman and holds everyone hostage, asking them to listen to his assessment of the entire situation as he believes that he has cracked the case of dual murder.

Ray takes the entire group, along with Lisa and the cop, into a room, and in classic detective story fashion, the denouement begins. Recapping the entire scenario, selecting all the possible suspects, and delineating how killing Matthew at the high school reunion was a pre-planned action, Ray drops the truth bomb by holding his friend Evan, and Matthew’s wife, Lisa, accountable for the murders. According to his assessment, Lisa had returned during the night of the reunion, killed her husband when he went to his room to try on the high school mascot costume, left the window open to let the chill enter the room and freeze the corpse, making determine the time of death difficult, and used the same costume to conceal her identity and flee from the party. Lisa has total access to Matthew’s belongings, which is how she got Amanda’s tape and blackmailed her to cut the power, making her undetected (not captured in surveillance cameras) entry to her own house possible in the process. However, the proverbial curveball being Meagan’s death, which confused Ray the first time, was actually the link that connected the pieces together. Meagan and Matthew were trying to hook up, and Meagan was present in his room when the murder happened. She tried to hide inside the wardrobe, but Lisa shot her to death, and this is where Evan’s connection comes up. 

Ray believes that Evan helped Lisa cover her tracks by sending the lewd texts from Matthew’s phone, hid Meagan’s body inside the car trunk the previous night, and was wearing the same mascot costume to hide his identity while doing so—when Jasmine came face to face with him, and he attacked her in fear of getting exposed. Being a cop himself, it would not have been difficult for Evan to provide Meagan with a silencer muzzle as well. As for the connection between the two, Ray had also noticed that the candlestick, which was used as an assault weapon to hurt Jasmine, was identical to one in one of the photos in Ray’s tinder profile, where he is seen attending a horror-themed convention with none other than Lisa. Also, Ray had smelled the same cologne Matthew uses on Evan, which solidified his suspicion even further. As for the motive, Ray puts it as simply as Lisa and Evan having an affair and wanting to remove Matthew from the equation while taking his wealth for themselves as Lisa would have received as inheritance. Evan tried to frame Ray all of a sudden after the discovery of Meagan’s corpse to cover up all of this, underestimating Ray’s observation and intuitive skills. As Evan continues to calmly deny all these allegations, Ray pinpoints that the two chatted with each other through a game app, and his suspicion proves to be true after all. The frustrated silence of Lisa and Evan confirms Ray’s narrative, and the duo are arrested on the charge of murdering Matthew and Meagan. 

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As Reunion ends, Ray’s skills are appreciated by the rest of the members of the group, as those who had belittled his social and financial standing previously are left amazed by his deductive abilities. Jasmine offers Ray a job at her newspaper; despite losing his best friend and old flame, Ray at least has something to look forward to. The movie ends as the remaining members take a group picture to memorialize their sordid, unforgettable experience. As fans, we would like to see Ray Hammond crack cases like these if a future continuation is considered by the makers later on. 


Siddhartha Das
Siddhartha Das
An avid fan and voracious reader of comic book literature, Siddhartha thinks the ideals accentuated in the superhero genre should be taken as lessons in real life also. A sucker for everything horror and different art styles, Siddhartha likes to spend his time reading subjects. He's always eager to learn more about world fauna, history, geography, crime fiction, sports, and cultures. He also wishes to abolish human egocentrism, which can make the world a better place.

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