How it Ends on Netflix: Soundtrack, Cast List, Ending Explained

How it Ends is Netflix’s big summer blockbuster featuring some top talent and is no doubt going to give Netflix a lot of buzz. The reviews are in, the movie is available and we’re going to take you through everything you need to know before and after you watch How it Ends on Netflix. This includes the full cast list and where you’ve seen them before, the soundtrack, some theories on the ending and some tidbits of information regarding the movie.

Before you watch ‘How it Ends’

Directed by: David M. Rosenthal (See This Movie, A Single Shot)
Written by: Brooks McLaren (Rambo: New Blood)

What’s the movie about?

This is a pretty standard world ending movie where Theo James plays, Will a lawyer who is up with his girlfriends parents to get permission to marry her. A series of events take place which sees Will and his soon to be father-in-law having to trek across the West coast to rescue Sam.

How it End Review Scores

At the moment, there’s only a handful of critic reviews available for How It Ends. This is partially because most critics didn’t get to see the movie until Friday. User reviews seem fairly down the middle with it averaging 5.2 on IMDb. Most of the criticism lies with a weak ending and some flawed character development which is fair.

Brian Tallerico from Rogerebert.com has the harshest review for the movie saying “The interminable slog of Netflix’s “How It Ends” had me thinking about endings in general. How it felt like the close of this film would never come. How we so commonly return in cinema, especially lately, to visions of the end of the world. How the actual ending of this film is an atrocious cheat. Trust me, you’re better off not even beginning.”

Forest Whitaker starring in How it Ends

Forest Whitaker starring in How it Ends


After you watch ‘How It Ends’

Cast List

Actor/ActressPlaysKnown for
Theo JamesWillDivergent Series
Kat GrahamSamanthaThe Vampire Diaries, 17 Again
Forest WhitakerTomRogue One, The Last King of Scotland
Kerry BishéMegArgo, Red State
Nicole Ari ParkerPaulaBoogie Nights, Remember the Titans
Grace DoveRickiThe Revenant
Lanie McAuleyLizaTravelers
Mark O’BrienJeremiahHalt and Catch Fire

Soundtrack

The soundtrack for How It Ends is relatively short as it relies on the original soundtrack throughout for its tension. Here’s a full list of songs featured in How It Ends on Netflix.

  • Last Exit to Brooklyn – Dr. Steven Trip and Lawrence Sam Goldings (Original Soundtrack)
  • How to Lie With Statistics – Dr. Steven Trip and Lawrence Sam Goldings (Original Soundtrack)
  • Is It The End Again? – The Death Set

Ending Explained

One common comment about the movie is that the movie fell very flat at the end without explaining anything. After 2 hours, you’d think they’d at least explain as to what’s actually going on. We’ll do our best to fill in the gaps below.

What caused the event?

Jeremiah has the theory that it was a bomb that went off and then a virus attacked America. He states that it’s because of his background in software engineering that he knows this to be the case. Will shrugs off his theory and then later decides to kill him. We’ll come onto this weird relationship in a minute.

On Reddit, the best theory going is that the event is caused by a supervolcano and/or a pole shift. There are several indications that these two are the best theories. The supervolcano would explain the huge ash clouds the final eruption at the end. In case you didn’t know, the whole west coast of America sits on a fault line so its likely that these bursts come from that.

To explain some of the other events including the weird weather patterns, the northern lights that Will saw at the cabin, the spinning compass, you have to look at the pole shift hypothesis. This means that the Earth’s magnetic poles reverse. This would’ve caused the electrical grid to go out, it’s also cited that it would change the axis of the Earth hence why the geostationary satellites stopped working and would also create other calamities such as floods and tectonic events.

Why did Will shoot Jeremiah?

We know Jeremiah and Sam developed a “bond” throughout the duration of the movie as he helped her escape Seattle. Jeremiah lures Will away from the cabin with the express goal of killing him because he doesn’t like the fact he’ll now be edged out. Will uses his final bullet to kill him.

What happened to Ricki?

Who knows, she was never mentioned again after she cleared off after killing the people who robbed them.

Does Will and Sam survive?

We don’t get to see if Will and Sam survive the incoming ash cloud but we do see that it begins slowing down. So probably.

Will there be a sequel?

Netflix movie sequels are few and far between with Bright being the only major movie to get a sequel. We can’t envision there being a followup movie especially considering the reviews.

Have we missed anything? Let us know in the comments below whether you enjoyed this movie or thought it was a steaming pile of doo-doo.

Kasey Moore

Kasey Moore is the founder and editor-in-chief of What's on Netflix. Kasey launched the site in 2013 after growing frustration with finding content on Netflix. He has an in depth understanding of the release cycles for Netflix and has developed tools to make navigating Netflix easier. Resides in Norwich in the UK.