Arctic Void Ending, Explained: How Did The Passengers On The Ship Disappear?

Set in the sparsely populated region of the Arctic Ocean, ‘Arctic Void,’ directed by Darren Mann, is a mystery thriller film that revolves around an incident that forces three men down a spiral of psychological horror. Traveling through Svalbard, childhood friends Ray Marsh and Alan Meursault find themselves alone on a tourist ship with their mysterious new co-worker Sean Tibbets after a freak accident wipes the other passengers out of thin air. After finding shelter in a nearby town, the three men must work together and find a way to escape from this nightmare before it consumes them whole. If you’re curious to see where this unfortunate adventure leads Ray and Alan and what secrets it uncovers about Sean, here is everything you need to know about the ending of ‘Arctic Void.’ SPOILERS AHEAD!

Arctic Void Plot Synopsis

Shortly after landing at Longyearbyen, Svalbard, nature travel show host Ray Marsh and his close friend and director/producer Alan Meursault meet with their cameraman, Sean Tibbets, and board a tourist ship. Captained by Jim, the vessel is a mixed bag of Canadian scholars, German tourists, and other sightseers, who all eagerly partake in Ray and Alan’s filming. Although Ray freely socializes with the people around them, Alan is more reserved due to the recent problems his work travels have caused in his marriage.

Flippant about the same, Ray continues to be his carefree self and snoops around their new cameraman’s belongings. While doing so, he discovers a bulky box with headphones and recordings of unusual whale-like noises. During their tour, the group witnesses an uncanny event in the sea when an adult seal goes against its nature and violently kills a baby seal. Shortly after, a power failure occurs, and Sean witnesses a crowd of people disappear out on the deck.

Soon, Alan and Ray also realize that their fellow passengers have disappeared, which gravely distresses Alan. However, Ray tries to look for a solution, trying to communicate with someone over the radio to no avail. Eventually, they spot a port town in the distance, and the trio abandons the ship on a raft, traveling toward civilization. Nevertheless, once they enter the settlement, like the ship, it too turns out to be woefully scarce of other people. While exploring, Ray discovers several wound marks materializing on Alan’s skin, leaving him extremely out of sorts.

After leaving Alan to rest in an empty building, Ray and Sean go into the town to look for resources. Meanwhile, the former contemplates his demise, sorrowfully reminiscing about his kids back home. As Ray and Sean survey the surroundings, they come across a hotel with a single room that somehow still has electricity and heating. Ray finds a hot bowl of soup ominously lying around but decides to overlook it. Once Ray brings Alan back to the hotel room, the latter pulls out a camera he found on the ship deck and looks through the footage. The camera belonging to the group of German tourist girls recorded Sean’s presence on the deck when everyone disappeared.

Earlier, Sean had lied about being in the dark about the mass disappearance. As such, the recording proves that the strange man has been hiding a secret from the start. However, due to his worsening condition, Alan cannot share the discovery with Ray, who goes out looking for more fuel for their raft. Alan tries to confront Sean, but the other man lulls him to sleep by making him listen to the ominous whale recording noises. Nevertheless, Ray eventually finds out about Sean’s deception and goes out to confront him.

Arctic Void Ending: Who is Sean Tibbets?

Ray and Alan travel to Svalbard to film an episode for their show, exploring the culture and tourism of the area. However, their usual cameraman’s visa gets canceled at the last moment, leading to them hiring Sean Tibbets for the job. Therefore, neither of the men knows much about Sean and only learns more about him as the situation unfolds. Still, Ray and Alan put their trust in him from the start. Consequently, the knowledge that Sean lied about the life-changing incident on the ship instantly makes them suspicious of him.

Shortly after Ray discovers the same, he gets the truth out of Sean. Some nameless organization that works from the shadows used the tourist ship to test their new sonic weapon experiment. The organization exposed the passengers to a vibration that no one could hear, which attacked the neural function of their brains. As a result, once the hum exposure crossed a barrier, it vaporized every passenger from the boat, leaving only Ray, Alan, and Sean behind.

Initially, the organization contacts Sean and hires him to observe the experiment and record video evidence of its after-effects. They also equip him with a satellite phone so he could contact them for extraction once the experiment finished. However, Sean’s phone isn’t functional after the power cut, thus effectively stranding him in this ghost town. In the end, Ray decides to work with him regardless of the new information, knowing the only way out is through collaboration.

How Did The Passengers On The Ship Disappear?

Although Sean reveals their fellow passengers vaporized due to overexposure to a vibrational humming sonic weapon, he doesn’t have specific answers about said weapon’s mechanism. Nevertheless, the film does give some insight into the same earlier in the story. On the tourist ship, Alan meets a couple of Canadian scholars exploring Svalbard to learn about the area’s aquatic food source. Although the scholars are here to gather information about opening a fish hatchery, they seem far more interested in the area’s geomagnetic storms.

According to the students, solar storms cause a disturbance in the Earth’s magnetic field, which leads to geomagnetic storms. An example of such a disturbance is aurora borealis, the northern lights. These disturbances in Earth’s magnetic field lead to electrical corruption in its surroundings. In theory, a big enough geomagnetic storm should be able to affect electricity on Earth severely. While the students share this information with Alan, he’s left with an unanswered question about what would happen to human brains during an intense geomagnetic storm since they’re electric.

The inclusion of this scene suggests the technology used by the sonic weapon could have a connection to the same since the weapon only targets the brain and the neural function. Moreover, the mass disappearance is also marked by a power failure, thus pointing again toward the weapon’s connection to electricity and potentially to geomagnetic storms too.

Still, since the weapon is sound based, the same can be used to counteract it. Therefore, Sean’s box of weird noise recordings safeguards him against the deadly vibrations and prevents him from vaporizing with the rest of the passengers. Since Ray and Alan sneakily hear the recordings early in the trip, the weapon also fails to vaporize them. However, unlike Sean, Ray and Alan can only hear the sounds once. Moreover, Alan gets significantly less exposure to the sounds, which leads to his steadily deteriorating health.

What Happens To Ray And Alan?

Even though Ray manages to discover the reason behind everyone’s mass disappearance, it does nothing to help him out of his current predicament. Therefore, Ray plans to use their raft to travel to another town and find shelter there. However, Alan is hardly able to make it through that trip alive. Although he tries to make Ray see the same, Ray refuses to accept such a fate for his friend and is determined to help him. Still, Alan records a message for his family on his phone and hands it to Ray for safekeeping. Regardless of their adverse situation, Alan believes Ray will survive this.

However, soon an opportunity presents itself that might promise everyone’s survival. While Ray and Sean prepare the ship for their travel, Sean gets a message from his anonymous employer on the satellite phone. With a confirmed extraction, Ray and Alan wait in hiding while Sean goes out to talk to the rescue party and inform them about the show makers and their survival.

Nevertheless, things take a violent turn soon. Alan’s condition worsens, and soon he convulses in Ray’s arms. Still hidden in the building, Ray watches his best friend die. Meanwhile, Sean gets shot by a sniper, who soon turns his sights on Ray. As a result, a firefight breaks out between Ray and the unnamed sniper while a phone eerily rings in the background, which gives way to the film’s end.

Although we never see Ray die on-screen, he only has a single gun with limited shots. Moreover, even if Ray manages to overpower the sniper, he still won’t stand a chance against what’s next to come. The organization, likely the people behind the final phone call, wants Ray dead to ensure no evidence about the sonic weapon is left behind. Since the organization is much bigger and more powerful than Ray, it’s safe to assume that Ray, like Alan and Sean, meets his end on the town as another casualty in a conspiracy cover-up.

Read More: Is Arctic Void Based on a True Story?