Have you ever watched a movie that evokes emotions you can’t explain and leaves you pondering them hours after? “I’m Thinking of Ending Things” is exactly that. The movie is based on Iain Reid’s psychological thriller novel with the same title and is directed by Charlie Kaufman, whose films are notorious for having a dark underbelly and not appearing as they seem. This is the case with “I’m Thinking of Ending Things,” as the movie starts out simple and sweet, but gets creepier with every passing moment.
The movie begins with the main characters Lucy (Jessie Buckley) and Jake (Jessie Plemmons) driving to Jake’s parents’ house. As they drive through the snow, we hear Lucy’s narration and discover they have only been dating for a few weeks and she is thinking of ending things. She questions why she is going on the trip in the first place and is apprehensive about meeting his parents from the get-go. They arrive at the farm where Jake’s parents live and the mood begins to intensify. When the couple eats dinner with Jake’s mother (Toni Collete) and father (David Thewlis), something feels off to Lucy that neither she nor the audience can place. This only worsens as Jake and Lucy drive home and everything seems to unravel right before our eyes. The sinking feeling that something terrible could happen in the next second is a feeling that remains even at the end of the movie.
“I’m Thinking of Ending Things” will leave you hanging and stump you for weeks on end. With a winding plot-line, it can sometimes be hard to follow. However, this has nothing to do with plot holes or flaws in the story, and everything to do with Charlie Kaufman’s vision. He says in an interview with Collider, “A lot of it is in the script and trying to make the script exist on different levels, not just on one level and not just like a plot-driven thing.”
This vision is triumphant and brought to life in every category. Every actor delivers each line with precision and immerses you deeper into their world. In particular, the actors who play Jake’s parents, Toni Collete and David Thewlis, portray their characters perfectly and are spectacularly terrifying. The score fits every scene precisely and embodies the emotions in each scene that you can’t explain with words. The cinematography ties it all together and portrays Kaufman’s vision without missing a step.
If you are looking for a thriller filled with gory scenes and jump scares, this is not that movie. “I’m Thinking of Ending Things” is terrifying, but requires more analysis than a typical thriller. The plotline may not be straightforward, but the brilliant acting and direction make this film more than worthy of a watch.
Rating: 4.5/5 stars