Movie Review: How It Ends (2018)

How It Ends (dir. David M. Rosenthal, 2018) – After a mysterious event sends the world into chaos, two men set out on a desperate drive to find their missing family.


How It Ends itself is as much of a disappointment as how it actually ends.



An unsettling disruption cuts short a call between Will (Theo James) and his pregnant fiancé Sam (Kat Graham). Flights are soon cancelled, cell services down, and the power, out. As an apocalyptic event seems to edge closer, Sam’s father and ex-marine Tom (Forest Whitaker) wastes no time and sets out on a perilous drive with Will towards Seattle, where Sam was last seen.

The rescuers are on poor terms. But they soon reconcile in favour of survival, while coming to face the uncertainty of the unknown disaster ahead. Above all, they embattle the dangerous desperation of humanity, when ass hysteria quickly elevate thefts to murders.

In this, How It Ends steps into familiar territory, but does little more than its genre neighbours have done before. Competent visual effects and outstanding cinematography keep it from being labelled a b-grade disaster movie, though they remain inadequate to make any lasting impact.

How It Ends
“Where are we heading?” “Straight-to-video.”

After all, cinematic apocalypses are never as interesting as the characters who survive them. Sadly, neither Theo James nor Forest Whitaker carry the role of intrigue, their surly to-be in-laws remaining aloof for petty reasons and earning no pathos in their eventual predictable bond.

The midway entrance of Ricki (Grace Dove) introduced brief relief from the miserable men and their day-long scowls. Guilt corrupts her initial sense of adventure even in dire straits, her questions of morality making for more compelling material than Will and Tom’s familial drama, even as a trope.

How It Ends
To date, Theo James is still looking for the ending to this film.

Her fleeting stay that ended abruptly only emphasized the heavy tedium of the remaining minutes. During which, the road towards salvation continues to meander with no real destination in sight.

There is that nagging feeling that the story may have been made up along the way, with little more than a concept at hand. Eventually leaving behind a void with neither strong message nor emotional pay-off, How It Ends is hence with a barrage of frustration, discontent, and complete bafflement.

8 thoughts on “Movie Review: How It Ends (2018)”

  1. Really sounds like a wasted opportunity. Too bad really as I usually love post apocalyptic movies, and the premise for this sounds pretty decent. Considering the cast involved it’s a real shame that this didn’t turn out better. Great post though! 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, it really was a disappointment, given the promise of an interesting character study that is ultimately left unfulfilled. You won’t be missing out if you skipped this one. Thanks so much for reading! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for the review. You reflected my thoughts. I wanted to like this movie but couldn’t connect to it or the characters, which is unusual for anything that Forrest Whitaker is in. And the ending felt like they thought the movie was long enough so just cut it off, or ran out of money and lost the ability to wrap it up.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I couldn’t connect with any of the characters too, and thought Theo James’ was particularly bland. I didn’t care for his story at all. When it all ended, I was disappointed by the absence of the slightest emotional impact. Nevertheless, thanks for suggesting this review! Happy to get back to writing about films once in a while. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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