Meeting His Parents Takes a Horrifying Turn in Charlie Kaufman’s I’m Thinking of Ending Things

That dog will never leave my mind.
Image: Netflix

Meeting the parents is always scary, but most of our experiences probably didn’t feature a family, or situation, quite like this. In the first trailer for I’m Thinking of Ending Things, the latest film from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’s Charlie Kaufman, a young woman meeting her boyfriend’s family finds herself at the point of no return.


Netflix has unveiled the first trailer for I’m Thinking of Ending Things which is based on the novel by Iain Reid. The film stars Jessie Buckley as an unnamed young woman who takes a road trip with her boyfriend (Jesse Plemons) to meet his mother (Toni Collette), father (David Thewlis), and...unusual dog on their family farm. Unfortunately, they find themselves stranded because of a snowstorm, which makes her plans to break up with him much harder to accomplish.

As they struggle to survive the storm (and each other), strange things are happening: other women are telling her to stay away from the farm, dogs can’t stop shaking, and she finds a picture on her boyfriend’s wall that looks exactly like her as a child. What is the deal with this family, and what part does our protagonist play in their story? Only one way to find out, and it probably won’t be good.

It’s all enhanced by Kaufman’s direction, which gives the whole thing a strange, almost supernatural vibe. No surprise, considering he’s the craftsman behind such films as Being John Malkovich, Adaptation, and Anomalisa. Surreal horror is this guy’s bread and butter. For those who’ve read the novel, you know exactly what direction it will take by the end (and probably can’t wait to see how Kaufman adapts it). Everyone else, the surprise will be well worth the wait.

I’m Thinking of Ending Things debuts on Netflix September 4.

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Video Editor and Staff Writer at io9. My doppelganger is that rebelling greeting card from Futurama.


John Cooley

Honest question I have to ask myself; even if I have the 2 hours needed to watch this, do I have the remaining 470 to unpack?

I still get shivers when I think about the time I tried to piece together Synecdoche New York into something comprehensible. Not that I ever regret watching Kaufman movies- I just have a built in level of trepidation toward them now.