The Turning Ending Explained | Ending Twists & Turns!


Horror films are very intriguing and can easily pop the heart out of the mouth and increase the blood flow in the veins. Pheww!! For a film to be that good, it must have a heart-popping, mind-boggling story and a proper ending. Why are we saying so, because a very similar ghastly film named The Turning 2020 entered the cinemas with an incomplete ending, leaving the audience to question what the film wanted to portray in the first place? Here I will complete the story with my theory, so fellas The Turning ending explained here.

Based on The Turn Of The Screw by Henery James and directed by Floria Sigismondi, The Turning is a supernatural horror film. Released on January 24, 2020, this entertaining film plots on a young governess of 1994 who takes the job of two kids and later finds herself trapped, either in her mind or in the haunted mansion (failed to explain completely). So, what was this movie all about, as it failed to explain properly and became the source of negative reviews.

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The Turning Ending Explained | A Unified Theory To Explain Everything!

The film suffered huge negative reviews, certainly because of the missing parts that none of the viewers was able to connect the dots with. The film also had an abrupt ending that left the viewers curious, whether the movie was of a horror genre or a sneak peek into the governess’s mind. Though later, it was cleared by the director that it was only the portrayal of governess illusions that was going in her mind. Read the explained plot first so that you can completely understand the film.

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The Turning’s Entire Story | The Ending Has A Headscratching Twist! 

The Turning Whole Story | The Ending Has A Headscratching Twist! 

The beginning of this movie takes the viewers to the scene where a lady is trying to flee from a mansion and is attacked by a ragged man. With the nice suspenseful starting, the scene cuts and shifts focus to Kate Mandell, who takes the job as a governess for seven-year-old Flora Fairchild and his big brother Miles Fairchild at Fairchild estate.

Before she takes the job as a governess, her first visit is to a mental asylum where her mother’s treatment is going on. Although the scene does not reveal her mother’s face, her story is depicted aptly. It informs the viewers that she suffered deadly horror delusions and now spends most of her time in the asylum drawing weird paintings.

After her visit, she heads to the Fairchild estate. Here, she first meets Miss Gross. (the coldhearted caretaker of the estate) She tells her the story of the children she has to take care of. She tells Kate that Flora and her brother Miles witnessed the death of her parents in a car accident, and Flora never left the estate ever since.

When the movie follows her visit to the Fairchild estate, it also clears the concept of the first scene, which shows that something bad has happened in the mansion, giving the viewers a feeling that the Fairchild estate is haunted!

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The Turning Ending Explained | A Unified Theory To Explain Everything.

Now the movie gears up, Kate becomes a very good friend of Flora, and she starts sharing everything with her. Flora tells her that she has never gone to the east wing side of the estate, i.e., a maze. So, curious to see the whole farm, Kate sets her feet to the east wing side where she gets trapped.

When she isn’t able to find her way out, Miles (elder brother of Flora) appears there and helps Kate find her way. Though he helped her, his behavior looked very abnormal, and his face was like he was hiding something very dark.

The next day Kate gets to know that Miles is rusticated from his boarding school because he tried to kill one of his classmates. This fact shocks Kate, but Miss Gross never believes in this and, in the entire movie, works against Kate. After a couple of days, Kate tries to talk to Miles and gets to know the complete truth of what happened. However, all end up in vain as Miles maintains a distance from her. During these days, Kate and Flora’s bond grew more profound, and the kid asks her for a promise to leave her alone.

She tells Kate that her old nanny Miss Jessel left her without saying goodbye, which breaks her heart. Listening to all this, Kate’s heart melts, and she promises to never leave Flora. But soon, things changed, when Kate finds Miss Jessel’s old diary. 

Jessel’s diary explains all the mess she has gone through during the days in the Fairchild estate. According to her writings, she is sexually abused and tortured by the stablemaster Peter Quint. After reading the diary, Kate starts experiencing some bad ghostly dreams of Jessel and Peter (well, it’s a very common thing that happens to most when we see or read some horror movie/story). 

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The Turning Ending Explained | Theory To End The Twist Turning!

Surprised by all the reveals, Kate asks Miss Gross about Peter and Jessel. In return, she tells her that he was a drunk man who died after falling from the horse, and Jessel left the estate and never returned.

Later in the movie, we see a sudden shift in Miles’s nature when he starts to torture her new nanny, Kate. Soon things get out of hand as Miles began to play foul pranks on Kate every day. And that becomes the reason she decides to leave the estate. However, because of her promise to Flora, she drops her plan.

After some days, Kate receives some paintings from her mother that have no literal meaning, A weird painting of a lady running with the kid. After seeing the painting, that night, she saw a spirit of Jessel that takes her to a river where she finds Jessel’s dead body. 

Afraid Kate runs from there and ends up in the east wing of the estate. Here she gets a vision that Jessel was murdered by Peter Quint just because he loved her, but in return, she didn’t. When she was getting these visions suddenly, Quint ghost attacked her, but she is saved by Miss Gross, who pulls her outside and closes the east wing door. Now here Gross reveals that she killed Peter because he had a bad influence on the kids, especially on Miles. This conveyed the reason why Miles was behaving very badly in the whole film.  

The Turning Ending Explained | A Unified Theory To Explain Everything.

Experiencing all these ghastly things and knowing that Miss Gross knows everything about Jessel and killed Peter, she decides to take all the children out of the mansion and, in the end, succeeds in doing so. 

Now you must be thinking this is too plain ending and explains everything, so what is all this mess about. But wait for a second!!!! because the twist in the story comes when the scene cuts back to where Kate is holding all the paintings, and these ghostly visions and incidents are just her hallucinations. 

Now, after the day she receives the paintings, she starts to have deadly dreams in which she is haunted by the ghost of Jessel and Peter Quint. The movie ends by showing that she is in a mental asylum. The film cuts to an end showing Kate in a mental asylum where she screams after seeing a strange creature crawling on the floor and making weird paintings just like her mother. 

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The Turning Ending Theory | Everything Has An Answer!

The Turning Ending Theory | Everything Has An Answer!

Now you read the whole story, so are you convinced with the entire movie? The answer would be a big no. If it took you 4 minutes to read the whole story here, imagine the anger and negative reviews it got from the viewers who spent 1hr and 34 minutes watching this unclear movie.

What was this whole movie about? Here is my theory that will make a lot of sense along with the narrative of the film. The story starts in the year 1994 where Peter Quint used to torture Miss Jessel and the kids. Now when Jessel decides to run with the kids, Peter tries to kill her by throwing her in the river near the estate. Though he thought that Jessel dies there, she manages to survive, and from there, she fled, leaving the kids alone.

After leaving the estate, she falls into the trauma that she failed to protect the children. Soon she damages her mental health and ends up in a mental asylum. Here she starts having some deadly illusions. 

Also, when Jessel manages to flee, Miss Gross kills Peter because of his bad influence on the kid, and afterward, Kate took the job as a governess of the kids. Here is the surprising part: our theory says that Kate is Miss Jessel, and in the movie, Miss Jessel is having illusions of her past, and Kate is none other than a lady in her imagination.

The Turning Ending Theory | Everything Has An Answer!

The true thing is, when Kate finds the diary of Jessel, she starts getting visions of herself in the past, how Peter used to torture her and the kids sexually and tries to kill her. Also, if we watch the movie with full concentration, we will notice that the painting that she gets from her mother, of a lady running with a girl, was made by Miss Jessel. It ultimately conveys that she made the painting in a mental asylum and not her mother. (Kate’s mother was not alive)

At the end of the movie, we see Kate in a mental asylum screaming. How did she end up there, and why did she scream when she saw the strange creature? The answer is Kate sees herself in the creature crawling on the floor. The reason why she ended in the asylum suddenly was because she was Jessel.

Now, let me explain the ending; so Jessel imagines a story while sitting in the asylum where Kate goes to the estate, learns about the kids, finds her notebook, and has some visions of her past. Learning about all the truth, she plans to escape with the kids and then succeeds in doing so. Now Jessel is repeating this story over and over again in his mind and is trapped in there. The last scene shows that when she wakes up from the dream, she sees herself unable to protect the kids, i.e., she screams. 

Though this theory explains the whole story completely, there is also another theory associated with this movie. This theory is very similar to the story of the film Shutter Island, i.e., to save the mental health of Jessel; all this was a setup that the doctors constructed. In the end, everything went in vain when Jessel’s mental condition worsened. 

Final Words 

Though the film The Turning has many loose ends, the thing that we can say from this theory is that Kate is originally Miss Jessel, and this story is all about the imagination of mentally ill Miss Jessel, who faces trauma and loses her mental health when she failed to protect the children from Peter Quint. Let us know if you perceived it in some other way!

Antra Koul
Antra Koul
For me, writing is something that helps me escape from reality for a while. Even though I am an Engineer, I find my comfort from chaos while I write. I love telling people about my stories, stories that play in my mind only. When I am writing, there is no limit to how far I can go swimming in this deep ocean of words. Reading and writing are the two things that help in organizing my messed up thoughts in a formative way. Come along on this journey with me as I write and you read the stories that I have to tell!


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