Bad Things Ending, Explained: Who was the Real Masked Killer?

Directed by Stewart Thorndike, ‘Bad Things,’ is a horror movie that revolves around abandonment and mental health themes. Starring Gayle Rankin, Hari Nef, Annabelle Dexter-Jones, Rad Pereira, and Patrick Klein, the movie pays homage to Stanley Kubrick’s film, ‘The Shining,’ with a dose of Queer representation. ‘Bad Things’ puts the audience into the shoes of Ruthie, and her friends, who decide to spend their weekend at the hotel to escape the hustle and bustle of their life, unbeknownst that their interim abode is not what it seems. If you want to know what happened to Ruthie and her friends, here’s everything you need to know about the ending of ‘Bad Things.’ SPOILERS AHEAD!

Bad Things Plot Synopsis

Ruthie and her friends Cal and Maddie have known each other for a long time. They’ve been through it all – from hearty laughs to navigating the rough patches and the never-ending debates about who’s crushing on who. The group has also been debating to take a vacation together, and finally decides to put the plan into motion and drives to Ruthie’s hotel, which she has recently inherited, to spend a surreal weekend. However, Ruthie and Cal are skeptical since Maddie has also asked her friend Fran to tag along. Ruthie knows nothing about running and managing the hotel and is still mulling over videos to grab the basics. She also hopes to meet her mom, an agent, and the lawyer during the weekend to discuss her newly inherited hotel’s future.

The hotel also boasts a dark history and has witnessed over five deaths in thirty years, and many believe it to be haunted. With each passing day, more and more details about the property started coming to light. During a poolside chit-chat, a story circulated about two models who had gone for a jog one day and never returned. There are more stories of people gone missing, of lives cut short. Ruthie and her friends also meet Bryan, who used to work in the hotel but was later kicked out. Bryan, since then, has been trying to meet Ruthie’s mother to sort out their differences. However, Ruthie hints to him to leave. 

It is also revealed that Ruthie shares a love-lost relationship with Fran and eventually ends up cheating on her girlfriend, Cal. However, in the morning, after receiving a text that her mother canceled on her, Ruthie becomes bitter and asks Fran to stay clear of her, which also begins taking a toll on her relationship with Cal.  Things take a darker turn when Fran starts hallucinating and seeing the ghosts of people who died in the hotel, like the two models who went out for a morning run and a room filled with people who disappeared into thin air.

It wasn’t long until Ruthie herself began having those visions. Fran questions Ruthie and Cal if a little girl with frostbite on her fingers has died in the hotel; Cal replies that something like this happened to Ruthie years ago when she was a little. Her mother dropped her off without informing anyone. Unfortunately, the hotel was empty, and Ruthie had to spend three nights alone, and without electricity in winter, and as a result, she almost lost her fingers to frostbite. Ruthie wants to sell the hotel as soon as possible since it just serves as a reminder of negative times in her life, but her girlfriend Cal believes running a hotel together can mend their broken relationship. 

Bad Things Ending, Explained: Who was the Real Masked Killer?

Fran’s hallucinations become worst, and she begins seeing the models and the little girl everywhere. Scared to the core, she begs Ruthie to leave and threatens to tell the others about last night. However, none of her friends believes her, accusing her of ruining the weekend and trying to become the center of attention. However, Ruthie assures Fran that they’ll leave, but the trio leaves her stranded at the train station. With Fran gone, the trio began partying, drinking, and spilling drinks and snacks all over the hotel.

Meanwhile, Bryan enters the hotel, hoping to see Ruthie’s mom, but instead, he is pursued and murdered by a masked man wielding a chainsaw. After Bryan, Maddie encounters the same masked figure and is wounded. Maddie immediately accuses Ruthie of trying to kill her, but the latter tries to convince everyone that Fran has returned and is trying to get back at them for leaving her at the train station.

Moreover, the video of her cheating on Cal expediates the situation, and Maddie kicks her out of her hotel. Ruthie manages to get inside the hotel and desperately searches for her friends, but there are nowhere to be found. However, she sees the same woman from whom she has been taking hospitality lessons. The woman in red reveals she’s part of her legal team and is here to advise her on the process. The duo is joined by the rest of the team, who reveal to Ruthie that everything has been taken care of and all she needs is to sign the paperwork. However, Ruthie declines the offer and suggests that she has changed her mind and thus won’t be selling the hotel. The woman in red seems a like a mother figure to Ruthie, someone she can communicate her mind to, and she even offers her a hug before leaving.  

In the dead of night, Cal and Maddie are woken up by Ruthie’s screams and run downstairs to see Ruthie standing beside the slashed body of Bryan. Ruthie once again tries to clarify the situation but is dragged and locked inside the room. In the morning, Fran arrives at the hotel, kisses Ruthie, and confesses that she loves her. Unfortunately, while Fran and Ruthie are heading out, Cal hits Fran with a pole, and the latter falls inside the frozen swimming pool.

Meanwhile, Maddie finds Ruthie’s mother’s dead and frozen inside one of the hotel bedrooms. Maddie runs outside with a chainsaw to save Cal, but Ruthie kills both of them. Ruthie returns to the hotel and hallucinates her mother in a room with Bryan, finally concluding the movie. So, in reality, Ruthie was the real masked killer and was the one who attacked and killed Brayn because he was secretly having an affair with her mother, as hinted towards the end. In a way, Ruthie blames him, at least in part, for the uneven relationship between her mother and herself.  Some may even argue that Ruthie is schizophrenic and never really believes she’s too blamed for Bryan’s and her mother’s death. After Cal and Maddie confronted her, she realized she was to blame for everything.

Why did Ruthie Kill her Mother?

Ruthie was always neglected by her mother, and the two rarely saw each other. Ruthie’s mother used to drop her at the hotel so she could enjoy her life. She was careless and sometimes didn’t even bother to inform anyone that she was leaving Ruthie at the hotel. One time Ruthie had to survive three days without food and electricity because there was no staff present at the hotel.

Ruthie survives, and the event scarred her for life. Ruthie tries to reconcile with her mother, but it is all in vain. Her mother never had any time for her and would rather spend time with Bryan than with her daughter. After finally having enough, Ruthie kills her mother. The reason why Ruthie was excited about meeting her mother was because she was in denial and not accepting the true reality.  

Why did Ruthie Decide Not to Sell the Hotel?

Ruthie was in a rocky relationship with Cal and cheated on her several times. However, she somehow stops Cal from ending their relationship by promising her that she’ll work on herself and their relationship. Ruthie later inherits a hotel from her grandmother, and Cal sees it as an opportunity to strengthen their ties by managing it together. On the other hand, Ruthie wanted to sell the hotel since she had no intention of ever running it, thanks to all the bad memories. After consulting with her lawyers, Ruthie surprisingly chooses to keep the hotel instead of selling it in the hopes that the hotel can help her relationship. Perhaps she has realized that her actions are threatening their relationship despite Cal’s undying love for her.

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