Understanding the WTF Ending in the Movie 'Life'

If you thought the new alien thriller movie Life was just a generic sci-fi horror fest, you would be wrong. Because that would discount its shocking and impressive twist ending. Turn back now to avoid spoilers about aliens with tentacles, Jake Gyllenhaal, and an ending to a horror film you probably won’t see coming.

Spoilers ahead for the movie Life.

While many fans hoped this new somewhat innocuous science fiction movie was secretly part of a Marvel superhero franchise, the truth is, it is in fact, a wholly new sci-fi movie, not connected to any existing popular franchise. But that doesn’t mean there’s not going to be sequels. That’s right, because of the twist ending of the movie, Life 2, could potentially happen.

The last moments of the film find Dr. David Jordan (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Dr. Miranda North (Rebecca Ferguson) hatching a desperate plan to contain the murderous alien being nicknamed “Calvin.” The International Space Station only has two lifepods left, one for Miranda to use to take to Earth, and the other one which David will fly out into deep space, complete with a killer alien passenger. The idea is for Gyllenhaal’s David to die heroically, saving the entire Earth from an alien being that clearly can kill just about anything it wants with impunity.

"Calvin" the killer alien.

Everything seems to work, too. One pod heads off into deep space, and another, serenely drifts through Earth’s clouds, landing peacefully in an ocean somewhere. A relieved feeling washes over the audience, similar to the ending of Gravity, when Sandra Bullock gets her self up onto that beach after escaping from her sinking spaceship. But, it’s all a camera trick. Gyllenhaal’s pod wasn’t the one that went out into deep space. Instead, his comrade’s pod malfunctioned, and she is spinning out of control, away from Earth. Which means, the killer alien is on Earth, in a pod, just waiting to be let out. The final shot of the film tensely shows innocent fishermen approaching the downed spacecraft, getting ready pry it open, and unwittingly release full-on monster terror on the entire population.

So, could this mean Life 2 is just around the corner? Could a sequel to this movie take place in a future version of Earth which is totally dominated by the havoc which the many-tentacled Calvin reigned down upon the humans? Only time, and additional tentacles, will tell.

Life is out now in wide release.

Related Tags