What happens in the men ending? The new horror film from Alex Garland – the man behind sci-fi films Ex Machina and Annihilation – is an amazing surrealistic nightmare according to our Men review, so you might have a few questions after seeing the film. We certainly have, so we’ve been thinking about everything that happens in this crazy finale to give you some answers.
Men is the story of Harper (Jessie Buckley) who, after witnessing her husband James (Paapa Essiedu) fall to his death from their apartment building, flees to the country where she longs for a healing and relaxing getaway. Their peaceful retreat is soon threatened by a variety of strange men (all played by Rory Kinnear) who appear to be on an unrelenting mission to make Harper suffer.
So what exactly is going on in Men’s bizarre conclusion? Why are all these men so intent on torturing Harper? And what on earth does it all mean? If you haven’t seen Men, please stop reading now or you will encounter spoilers. Otherwise, read on and let our breakdown of the enlighten you men end.
What does the men ending mean?
At the very end of the film we see Harper sitting outside on the steps. When her friend Riley comes to her rescue, Harper smiles in a typical “good for her” moment. It’s unclear if Harper killed the new manifestation of James, but regardless, This whole process at the end of the men is symbolic of Harper truly breaking free of James’ hold on them, in life and death.
Before we get to that point, however, the long and tortuous finale begins as the country house where Harper is staying is raided and the group of bad men in the village invade their place of healing. It’s a really wild chain of events, but we’ll do our best to get to the bottom of what’s going on.
As the naked stalker reaches through the mailbox and holds Harper’s hand, she stabs his arm with a knife, resulting in his entire forearm being cut in two. This gruesome injury is then seen again and again in the various incarnations of the men who torment Harper.
Harper then has to deal with the crazy boy Samuel, who is playing with the dead blackbird in the kitchen. But it’s the vicar in the bathroom she should really be worried about in this disturbing Cluedo game. This particular character becomes the most twisted of them all, describing the sick, sexual fantasies he had about Harper.
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When Harper kills the vicar and flees the country house, she accidentally hits Geoffrey, her previously pleasant landlord, with her car. She pulls over, which is a mistake, and Geoffrey steals the car before madly chasing Harper, who runs into the vacation home from hell again.
This is where things get really weird. The naked stalker reappears, with green foliage covering its face and thorns protruding from its skin. His abdomen begins to swell, almost bursting, before laying on the ground and giving birth to an adult, small child. And if you thought that was strange, the child gives birth to a new manifestation of the vicar.
The chain of anatomically ambiguous pregnancies doesn’t stop there, however, as the vicar then gives birth to a new version of Geoffrey from a wound on his spine. Geoffrey screams in agony and then shoves a new body out of his mouth, but this time it’s James, Harper’s dead husband.
Meanwhile, Harper slowly walked away from the incredible scenes unfolding before her eyes and led her into the living room. She takes the ax used to cut firewood. Then James and Harper are sitting on the sofa and Harper asks him, “What do you want from me?” James replies, “I just want your love.”
This could be understood as an examination of gender’s inherent needs and expectations in relation to relationships. Men expect women to love them unconditionally, forgive them, and tolerate them no matter how extreme their actions.
Why do all men look the same?
The answer is quite simply the manifestation of the concept of “All Humans Are Equal”. It’s an old sweeping generalization about masculinity that basically refers to the notion that men are the more cruel, violent, and untrustworthy of the sexes. Whenever a man does something wrong, the phrase “they’re all the same” is often thrown around, and the film Men alludes to it.
Throughout the film we see Rory Kinnear as the face of several different characters; Geoffrey, the landlord, the naked stalker, the cop, the vicar, the bartender, a few locals at the pub and even a little boy, Samuel. But why are all these male characters the same?
The connection between James and the various incarnations of men in the village is evident in their graphic injuries. As James falls to his death, he slices his forearm in half on an iron gate and shatters his ankle. The men attacking Harper suffer exactly the same injuries.
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All the men Harper meets either try to help her in a frustrating and condescending way, or threaten to hurt her, or both. These behaviors fit perfectly with the way James, who was a possessive, abusive husband, treated Harper in their marriage.
When compared to the women in the film, Riley, Harper’s best friend, shows nothing but concern for her and desperate to save her. Even the policewoman understands Harper’s fears. This is the complete opposite of her colleague, who shrugs at the idea of the naked stalker being released and even subtly blames Harper for the stalking.
The fact that all the men essentially give birth to each other in the final, harrowing body horror sequence is an indictment of the pernicious cycle of the many issues with masculinity that are as pervasive today as they have been for decades, even centuries. They look the same, act the same, and nothing really changes.
who is the naked man
One of the craziest aspects of Men is the naked stalker who acts as the main antagonist in the film. The meaning behind this character is a bit ambiguous, but basically it comes from the mythology of the Green Man, a pagan symbol of the cycle of life, death and rebirth.
The Green Man’s origins are largely rooted in Celtic legends, but its history stretches well across Europe and beyond, with many different retellings and interpretations dating back to the second century.
Basically, however, the key meaning behind this number is to signal the intrinsic relationship between men and women. The Green Man is the manifestation of divinity in man and symbolic of man’s connection with the female goddess of life and divinity.
However, how this legend plays into the film Men is most likely symbolic of change. In Green Man mythology, this creature heralds the arrival of spring, replacing a long, harsh winter. In this way, the naked man stalking Harper is more a beacon of hope than the threat she perceives him to be.
We first see him as Harper exits the forest, and it’s that encounter that really sets off the feverish nightmare that follows. So it makes sense that Harper would associate this bizarre character with the danger she faces. In reality, he should be seen as the embodiment of her trauma and grief giving way to acceptance and catharsis.
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A symbol of life, death and rebirth, The Green Man, and thus the naked stalker in Men, represents human evolution and the cyclical nature of our existence. We all go through pain and suffering in our lives, but eventually we find a way to get over it and start anew.
We hope that our explanation of the different aspects of the Men ending will satisfy your curiosity. It’s worth remembering that Alex Garland, the film’s director, said, “People are going to have their own ideas about what it’s about and what it’s not about that matter to them.” And that’s the beauty of films like this this, we can all take away our own subjective interpretations of the experience.
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