The Fallout Ending Explained

HBO Max movie The Fallout features a devastating ending that disrupts protagonist Vada's recovery and is a lesson on the real nature of trauma.

HBO Max’s The Fallout is an emotional drama film that deals with the aftermath of a school shooting and builds to a devastating ending.

The movie follows survivor Vada, played by Jenna Ortega, and her struggle to overcome the trauma of her experience.

Ultimately, however, The Fallout ends with a tragic reminder that such tragedy can never truly be overcome when acts of mass violence remain so common.

Written and directed by Megan Park, The Fallout impressed critics during the South by Southwest festival last year,

where it won both the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Choice Award in the Narrative Feature Competition.  

The Fallout features an offscreen school shooting in its first 10 minutes, as a shocked Vada hides in a bathroom stall with classmates Mia (Reed) and Quinton (Fitch).

The rest of the movie deals with Vada’s attempts to deal with her experience and move on, as her increasingly erratic behavior begins to worry her family.

However, The Fallout's ending shows how tentative such healing can be after a traumatic event as it grapples with a number of complex themes.