ANTLERS*CUT TO THE CHASE*
NOTE: This spoiler was submitted by Jeremy
The film starts with an indigenous woman reciting a fable about the Wendigo, a malevolent spirit borne from mankind’s damage to the earth.
Oregon – A young boy named Aiden Weaver (Sawyer Jones) is in a truck belonging to his father Frank (Scott Haze). Frank goes into the mine where Lucas believes he is working, but it is just a meth lab that Frank is operating. He enters with his partner and finds several items hung up from the ceilings used to ward off evil spirits. The two men hear a low, growling noise and are soon attacked by an unseen creature. Aiden overhears and walks over to call to his father.
Three weeks later, Julia Meadows (Keri Russell), is giving her class a lecture on fables. She calls on Aiden’s older brother Lucas (Jeremy T. Thomas), but he doesn’t give her an answer. He is frequently taunted by a kid named Clint Owens (Cody Davis). At home, Lucas is seen in his room as something is pounding from behind a locked door, snarling ferociously. He also kills animals like skunks to bring home and feed to the entity.
Julia goes home where she is met by her brother Paul (Jesse Plemons), the sheriff. Julia is a recovering alcoholic still suffering from traumatic memories of her and Paul’s father abusing them, with strong implications that he raped Julia before she ended up leaving the house and left Paul with their father.
Lucas shares a story in class about three bears representing himself, his dad, and brother. Big Bear, like Frank, struggled to provide for Little Bear and Baby Bear. Little Bear saw that Big Bear and Baby Bear got sick, so he has to take care of them. Julia shows concern for Lucas and later follows him as he walks home alone. She invites him for ice cream, but as she presses a bit too much about his home life or family history (his mother passed away), Lucas leaves and asks Julia not to follow him.
Back at home, Lucas continues to care for Frank and Aiden on his own. Frank is affected by whatever attacked him in the mine, and Aiden is suffering from a sickness as well. Frank is becoming more feral as he only feasts on rotting flesh.
Julia expresses concerns to Paul that Lucas is being abused, as well as school principal Ellen Booth (Amy Madigan), who suggests that she not pry into Lucas’s home life. Julia stops by the Weaver house to check on him, only to stop when she hears a low growling noise.
Former sheriff Warren Stokes (Graham Greene) finds the half-eaten remains of Frank’s buddy in the woods. He reports it to Paul, who relays it to Julia. Paul mentions having busted Frank for drugs before but never suspected he might do something violent.
With her concerns growing, Julia suggests to Ellen that she go to the Weaver house and speak to Frank. Ellen does so and enters the house when she finds it unlocked. She comes across Aiden, only for Frank to attack and kill her, eating part of her as he does so. This then causes him to undergo a painful transformation, and something more monstrous emerges from Frank’s body, leaving him as merely a husk of flesh and bone.
Lucas is walking through the woods when he is confronted by Clint, who earlier harassed him at school because Lucas put dog feces in his backpack. When Clint goes to harass Lucas again, he is attacked and killed by the monster, prompting Lucas to run back to the house.
After Ellen and Clint are reported missing, Julia and Paul go to the Weaver house to investigate. They, along with officers, find Ellen and Frank’s corpses, and Aiden is nowhere to be found. Lucas is taken to the hospital. Clint’s remains are later discovered.
Julia and Paul visit Stokes at his home and show him drawings that Lucas made. Stokes takes out a book detailing the indigenous people’s legend of the Wendigo, who came to life after a man from long ago tasted human flesh, turning him into a monstrosity. The Wendigo jumps from host to host and can only be killed as it tries to feed.
After Lucas is discharged from the hospital, Julia informs him that Frank is dead. He runs home against her words to find Frank and Aiden. Julia and Paul go with fellow officer Dan Lecroy (Rory Cochrane). Upon arriving, Dan finds Aiden in a box looking more sick and infected. The Wendigo impales Dan with its antlers. Paul finds Dan and is attacked and slammed into the wall by the Wendigo before it pierces his arm. Julia finds Paul and takes his gun to go after Lucas and Aiden.
Julia enters the mine where the Wendigo has taken the boys. It is feeding on a bear with the boys near it. Julia fights the Wendigo and is wounded, but Lucas helps fight it by sticking an active flare in its side. Julia stabs the beast repeatedly until she is able to pull its heart out. Unfortunately, the Wendigo passes onto Aiden, who begins glowing red like Frank did before turning. Although Lucas doesn’t want Julia to do it, he has no choice, and with great remorse, she stabs Aiden to death to prevent his transformation.
In the morning, Julia tells Paul she will look after Lucas for the time being. As she walks away with the boy, Paul begins coughing hard and spits up black bile, meaning he is now infected as well.
A monstrous entity from indigenous folklore, the Wendigo, infects a drug addict named Frank Weaver and his youngest son Aiden. Older son Lucas lives alone and has to feed his father roadkill and other animal carcasses while keeping him locked away.
Lucas’s teacher Julia Meadows shows concern that he might be abused. Her sheriff brother Paul helps investigate after three people are found murdered by the Wendigo. Frank transforms into the beast and takes the boys away, but Julia and Paul follow. Paul is injured but Julia kills the Wendigo and ultimately must kill Aiden to prevent him from transforming as well.
Julia takes Lucas in for the time being, but Paul turns out to be infected and on his way to becoming a Wendigo as well.