The Desperate Hour Ending Explained: Is Amy Able to Save Her Children?

The Desperate Hour Ending Explained

Phillip Noyce will direct the upcoming 2021 thriller The Desperate Hour, formerly known as Lakewood.

Naomi Watts stars as a mother who must race against time to reach her child before the active shooter situation in her hometown end in tragedy. North Bay, Ontario, in the year 2020 served as the setting for the film.

The world premiere took place at the 2021 Toronto Film Festival. As of the 25th of February, 2022, The Desperate Hour had been released in theaters by Roadside Attractions and Vertical Entertainment.

Plot Summary

The Desperate Mother and The Distanced Son

The Desperate Hour Ending Explained

Amy hasn’t fully moved past the death of her husband, so she and her son, who obviously misses his father, don’t get along as well as they should. The absence of Peter seems to be the root cause of the rift between them.

So it seems likely that Amy is his stepmother. Considering that Emily is Noah’s step-sister, Amy’s daughter by blood, this also addresses Noah’s upset state, which may be a result of him missing his mother.

Similarly, Noah treats his anxiety and depression with the antidepressant Lexapro. Amy’s efforts to make Noah feel better may not stem from her inability to juggle work and family, but rather from her desire to draw closer to Noah and prevent him from feeling isolated.

Nonetheless, the step-mother hypothesis appears far-fetched, especially in light of the video showing the four clearly having a great time together when Peter was alive. That Amy loves both of her kids equally is a theme running through the film.

A contemporary issue that contributes to isolation and even depression is explored in “The Desperate Hour” through the lens of Noah’s phone addiction. Due to his social media fixation, Noah decided to film a video informing the world of his father’s passing.

Because he doesn’t know how else to express his sorrow, he turns to social media. Similarly, this is another effect of being depressed. Finally, the impending disaster is foreshadowed when she says she is planning a movie night with her kids.

After the lockdown is lifted, Amy learns that Emily is fine, but that isn’t enough because Emily isn’t with her. Also, she learns that Noah is a hostage. Already widowed, it appears she will also have to say goodbye to her son.

This reduces the film to its most fundamental elements: a mother, her phone, and an ever-increasing sense of dread. Her suffering is compounded when detective Ed Paulson starts asking her questions about Noah.

The Desperate Hour Ending Explained

Amy’s doubts about her own mothering ability are the real cause of her believing Noah is to blame for the shooting, not Noah’s worry.

Since she was unable to reach him, she left him a message in which she readily admitted to being responsible for making Noah “angry about so many things” yet another reference to our stepmother theory.

Specifically, she hopes to improve their relationship. And all she asks is that he cease his actions, if only temporarily.

The release comes when, during “The Desperate Hour’s” closing credits, we see Noah doing another of his Insta Lives, in which he expresses optimism that things are improving.

The Unknown Shooter

The Desperate Hour Ending Explained

It’s too bad the film never fills us in on who the gunner is. His name is Robert Ellis, and we only know that he used to work in the cafeteria at Noah’s school.

Based on what he says in the video, it seems likely that he was the target of constant ridicule from the students and possibly even the teachers, which drove him to extreme measures.

In movies, this is a common justification for bad behavior. Still, we have no idea where he got the weapons. The gunner and his motives are completely hidden.

What happens to him at the end of “The Desperate Hour” is also left a mystery. What’s the deal with him? The release would have been greater with this knowledge.

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A Helpful Lakewood

The Desperate Hour Ending Explained

The film’s supporting cast’s unabashed optimism is a major strength. Amy receives assistance from each person she contacts.

But the tale doesn’t compel them to seek it out. CJ checks to see that her child has arrived safely at school. It’s a huge relief that Mrs. Fisher allows her to communicate with Emily.

Greg, Amy’s coworker who most likely works in the tax department, provides her with the shooter’s contact information.

911 dispatcher Dedra Wilkinson consoles her and helps her calm down. The cabbie gives her his personal phone so she can make calls.

All these good deeds are what balance the film against its weight of panic and bring us a handful of momentary smiles that do work their magic.

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Ending Explained

The Desperate Hour Ending Explained

The film doesn’t reveal if the shooter, Robert Ellis, is dead or alive. At one point, Amy has a conversation with him, during which he expresses his desire for an end to the chaos.

This means that he has had enough of the panic and terror of it all. There are only two possible outcomes to the chain of events he has set in motion: his own death or a life sentence.

From the looks of it, we are forced to think that he is probably shot dead since he has already killed a woman and the police cannot risk it happening again.

If Robert was captured alive, Amy must have gone to meet him in jail. And we would have listened to that conversation with bated breath.


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