So far this year, Netflix has provided viewers with a variety of films to argue and explore.
There’s been a movie for all, regardless of their tastes, from The Dig to The White Tiger. That being said, there have also been films that are in favor of genre hybridity which is much more difficult to categorize due to their distinct approach.
The Block Island Sound is arguably one of these films, and it has been gaining traction since its release on the streaming service on March 11th, 2021.
In the aftermath of a family tragedy, Harry (played by Chris Sheffield) struggles with blackouts and strange events in this 2020 film directed by Kevin and Matthew McManus.
Before we get into the ending of The Block Island Sound, let’s go over the plot up until the final segment.
- The Block Island Sound On Netflix
Tom and his son Harry are fishermen who live off the coast of Block Island, but their peaceful existence is interrupted one day when Tom wakes up on the sea. He discovers a dog tag, which shows a pet has mysteriously disappeared out at sea, and he is visibly shocked.
From here on out, he drifts away from those around him for a few minutes at a time, as well as going out alone on his yacht at night. Meanwhile, Harry is concerned that his father might be suffering from dementia or a condition similar to it.
He collides with a bird one night, and a large number of fish tend to wash up dead on the shore of their home’s neighboring shore. Tom’s behavior worsens, and Harry’s sister Audry, who works for the Environmental Protection Agency, is sent to study the fish with a colleague (Paul).
Tom, sadly, takes the boat out one night and vanishes, only to be discovered washed up ashore dead, battered, and scarred. Tom went out to search for him until he was discovered and encountered a strange presence in the water before returning to the boat later, echoing his father’s experience at the beginning of the film.
Harry starts to feel responsible and, like his father, succumbs to blackouts, while still being confronted with his ghostly appearance, barking out single commands such as “wolf.”
He sees a psychologist, who believes he has electromagnetic hypersensitivity, which means he is hypersensitive to electric waves. While it is understood that the nearby new wind farm will affect him, he refuses to abandon his family home.
Audry agrees to see a patient who supposedly shares some of Harry’s symptoms as the dreams and blackouts get more serious…
- The Ending Explained
After his father has boarded the ferry, Harry takes a dog with him. He is forced to go out to the water, and he, the puppy, and the items aboard are all sucked up into the atmosphere, with just a few of them being thrown back down.
Audry encounters a former patient who seems to understand and know exactly what Harry is going through, claiming that he has been through the same thing. He threatens that at first, “they” would force him to take animals and other things, but that it will soon be humans.
With a voiceover reciting what Audry told her daughter earlier in the film, we come to a close. All along, this was the secret to unlocking the facts. She explains that scientists should justify taking fish from the ocean to work on, because some will die in the process, to benefit all fish in the future. She claims that they observe the animals and that some of them are returned after they have completed their research.
After her mother mentions that the frog she has trapped in a jar on the side is without its kin, the little girl (Emily) insists that the frog she has trapped in a jar on the side isn’t an act of cruelty. Emily echoes her mother’s words, pretending to get the frog to research it as well.
In essence, alien lifeforms above are behaving as biologists, plucking humans from the sea like fish and doing research on them to better understand them. “They like to see what makes us tick,” the patient says.
Audry is one of the fortunate ones who is returned to the water after being investigated by these unknown beings, but it’s inferred that Harry was not.
- Exploration of Versatility
We’re led to assume that the incidents maybe everything in the film. For example, Harry’s conspiracy theorist pal Dale speculates that the strange events may be the product of the government, but it’s also likely that a frightening alien living in the water is to blame.
The Block Island Sound has the potential to be a thriller, a horror, a science fiction film, or a creature feature. It might also be a psychological thriller disguised as a horror film.
Harry is advised at one point to regain care of his life, and the events that he and Tom have been through may be seen as a manifestation of lack of control, whether due to dementia or loss/grief.
It’s possible that the ending is always unclear and it’s never verified what’s behind it all, pulling these victims into the sky.
Similarly, what happens to them is never known, but it is this ambiguity that causes the film to remain and unsettle long after the credits have rolled.
You’re left disoriented, like Audry, batting at the rippling spray, wondering how, when, and most importantly, why.
Netflix has launched The Block Island Sound on its platform, make sure to have a check on it.