Red Dot ending explained – who’s behind the rifle?

February 11, 2021
Jonathon Wilson 0
Features, Netflix

It should be obvious from the title Red Dot ending explained, but this article contains MAJOR plot spoilers.

Netflix’s Red Dot is a film that takes some surprising turns and veers into rather challenging territory, so it’ll doubtlessly be the kind of thing that prompts a fair amount of discussion among those who found it in the thumbnails, watched expecting one thing, and were shocked to get something else entirely. The final act is properly deranged and contains a good helping of developments, so we’ll do our best to explain what went down and why.

Red Dot begins as — and remains for about an hour — any old thriller. The couple at its center, David and Nadja, are hoping to repair their damaged relationship by venturing out into the mountains of Northern Sweden for a skiing trip. Nadja is pregnant, though as we see when she confides in her kindly neighbor, Tomas, she isn’t sure if she and David are ready for a child of their own. At first, we’re to assume this is because their relationship is on the rocks, but as things progress we see that Nadja’s reservations are intimately tied to the film’s plot. 

Almost immediately after arriving at their remote destination, David and Nadja aggravate some racist local hunters, who leave vile graffiti on their car. Nadja can’t help but retaliate, so when their tent starts to be plagued by the tell-tale laser sight of a hunting rifle, she and David naturally assume that the locals are out for revenge. These early sequences are tense but, we think, predictable. David and Nadja’s dog, Boris, is beheaded and left in their tent, and they’re chased through the wilderness by the shooter. During their escape David is badly injured, and begins hallucinating, seeing visions of a little boy in a yellow jacket. This is perplexing to the audience but not, it seems, to Nadja. We’ll learn why later.

In the meantime, David and Nadja find shelter and call mountain rescue. Their supposed salvation turns out to be one of the hunters, Jarmo, so they flee and eventually shoot him with an emergency flare. Later, they stumble upon another local, and David stoves his head in with a rock. Neither of these people seemed all that much of a threat, and when David and Nadja finally happen upon their final destination, we learn why.

After asking the man in the house, Einar, to call for help, things take a swift left turn. David and Nadja barricade themselves in a room that contains various surveillance photographs of David and Nadja in their apartment, as well as a framed picture of the little boy that David has been seeing in the wilderness. It’s here we learn that Tomas, their neighbor, is the one who has been hunting them. In a flashback set immediately after the prologue in which David first proposed to Nadja, we see them get frisky in the car and accidentally knock down that little boy, Tomas’s son, who was out flying a drone with his father. Rather than turn themselves in to the police, they fled, but thanks to the drone’s camera, Tomas was able to identify them, eventually ingratiating himself into their lives by moving across the street and befriending them. This trip, we learn, was suggested to David by Tomas so he could take his revenge. 

Tomas’s original plan was to shoot them, but having been foiled by the storm, he comes up with a much more sadistic idea. He wants David and Nadja to feel the same pain that he has, and so, holding David at gunpoint, he tells him to drill through Nadja’s pregnant belly with a power tool. If he doesn’t, he says, he’ll shoot Nadja, so both mother and child will die. If David does what he’s told, at least he has a chance of saving Nadja. Of course, David isn’t able to go through with it, but just as Tomas is about to shoot them, Jarmo arrives unexpectedly. In the confusion, Tomas shoots Jarmo, Jarmo shoots Einar, and David and Nadja are able to flee.

This seems like their chance at salvation. But David, having been kneecapped by Tomas on top of all his other injuries, can’t go any further and implores Nadja to flee. She does, but stumbles on the rifle of the man David killed earlier, and returns with it to try and save David. Just as it seems she has the drop on Tomas, she’s shot dead by an unseen marksman who turns out to be Tomas’s heretofore unseen wife. With the love of his life and his child now dead, David begs Tomas to kill him, but he leaves him alive to live with the pain. The ending Red Dot is not for the faint-hearted, and the film itself is certainly not for lovers of dogs or children. 

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