Bottom of the World (Movie)

Title — Bottom of the World
Available on — Tubi TV, Peacock
Production Country — Canada, United States
Release Date — 2017
En route to a fresh start in Los Angeles, young couple Alex and Scarlett stop over in a sleepy Southwestern town that loosens their grip on reality.

🪶 Story & Synopsis

“Bottom of the World” is a 2017 drama film directed by Richard Sears and written by Brian Gottlieb. The movie stars Jena Malone, Douglas Smith, and Ted Levine. The story follows a couple, Alex (Douglas Smith) and Scarlett (Jena Malone), traveling along Route 66 towards Los Angeles who stop at a mysterious hotel. When Scarlett mysteriously disappears, Alex embarks on a desperate search and finds himself led into the desert by a masked stranger.

Upon waking up, Alex discovers himself in an alternate reality where he is living a different life, yet he retains memories of Scarlett. Struggling to make sense of his new surroundings, Alex is haunted by the memories of his lost love and is determined to uncover the truth behind Scarlett’s disappearance.

Despite the captivating premise and the strong performances by the cast, including Ted Levine, some reviewers have criticized the film for its unsettling and nihilistic tone. While praising the technical aspects like the camera work, they found the characters to be one-dimensional and the storyline lacking depth.

As Alex delves deeper into this enigmatic world, he is faced with existential questions about reality, identity, and the nature of his relationships. The film weaves a surreal and mysterious narrative that challenges the audience to question their perceptions of truth and illusion.

“Bottom of the World” unfolds as a haunting and enigmatic tale that blurs the lines between fantasy and reality, leaving viewers intrigued yet divided in their interpretations of the film’s profound themes and unsettling atmosphere.

🧑 Cast & Crew

Jena Malone, Douglas Smith, Ted Levine, Tamara Duarte, Kelly Pendygraft, Mark Sivertsen, Jon McLaren

Actor Role
Jena Malone Scarlett
Douglas Smith Alex
Ted Levine The Preacher
Tamara Duarte Paige
Jon McLaren Jeremy

💬 Reviews and feedback

Have you ever felt like you’re on a road trip with no GPS, navigating through the twists and turns of a dreamlike reality? If not, buckle up because “Bottom of the World” will take you on a wild ride filled with mystery, hallucinations, and a touch of the unknown.

Picture this: Alex and Scarlett, played by Jena Malone, set off on a journey that quickly spirals into a dark and hypnotic mystery. As they venture through the southwestern desert, they stumble upon a peculiar town in the middle of nowhere. What unfolds next is a tale of a young woman’s disappearance, leading Alex down a rabbit hole of truth-seeking and self-discovery.

The plot of “Bottom of the World” is like trying to solve a puzzle without all the pieces. It weaves together elements of suspense and psychological intrigue to create an atmosphere that keeps you on the edge of your seat. While some may find the narrative to be flawed in its execution, it’s undeniably compelling in its delivery.

Acting and Characters:

  • Jena Malone shines as Scarlett, bringing depth and complexity to her character. Her portrayal adds layers to the story, making Scarlett an enigmatic figure that keeps you guessing.
  • The chemistry between Alex and Scarlett is palpable, drawing you into their tumultuous journey and leaving you questioning their motives and realities.


Richard Sears takes the helm as director, guiding the audience through a maze of illusions and truths. His knack for creating an eerie ambiance adds to the film’s unsettling charm, keeping viewers engaged till the very end.

Cinematography and Production Design:

  • The cinematography captures the desolate beauty of the desert landscape, enhancing the film’s air of mystery and isolation.
  • The production design immerses you in a world that blurs the lines between reality and dreamscape, creating an atmosphere that is both haunting and mesmerizing.

Score and Special Effects:

The score sets the tone for each scene, heightening tension and suspense as Alex delves deeper into his quest for truth. The special effects add an otherworldly element to the film, blurring boundaries between what’s real and what’s imagined.

Pace and Editing:

  • The pace fluctuates between slow-burning moments of introspection and frenetic sequences that keep you on your toes.
  • The editing seamlessly weaves together past and present, blurring timelines in a way that mirrors Alex’s descent into uncertainty.

Binge-watching Tip: Keep your detective hat handy while watching “Bottom of the World.” Pay attention to subtle clues scattered throughout the film that may hold key insights into unraveling its enigmatic narrative.

As you ponder over Scarlett’s chilling story or Alex’s quest for truth amidst his own unknown reality, ask yourself: How well do we truly know those closest to us? Are we all just wandering through our own desert towns seeking answers?

In conclusion, “Bottom of World” is like stepping into a labyrinth where reality intertwines with illusion. It may not offer easy answers or neatly tied resolutions but it certainly leaves an impression long after the credits roll.

Rating: 8/10

So buckle up, grab some popcorn, and get ready for a mind-bending journey unlike any other!

Pros Cons
Compelling dreamlike narrative Flawed execution
Dark and hypnotic mystery Lack of heart in the storyline
Intriguing plot about a mysterious disappearance Confusing storytelling elements
Strong performance by Jena Malone as Scarlett Unresolved character arcs


  • Bottom of the World (2017) - IMDb

    Strange, non-linear, psychological thrillerBottom of the World is an strange, spellbinding film, because it is one of those rare films that doesn’t contain a blatant plot; there’s multiple unexpected plot twists and shifts where you are held strictly responsible for paying very close attention and attempt devise an idea of what’s actually happening throughout the film. Jena Malone is great at portraying a woman’s spiral into mental anguish brought on by guilt from an act of terrible violence. The underlying religious themes run strong. That’s just my theory.helpful•2311

  • Bottom of the World (film) - Wikipedia

    Bottom of the World(film)

    Bottom of the Worldis a 2017 drama film. It was directed by Richard Sears, written by Brian Gottlieb and stars Jena Malone, Douglas Smith and Ted Levine.


    A couple traveling along Route 66 toward Los Angeles stop at a hotel. When Scarlett (Jena Malone) disappears, Alex (Douglas Smith) begins a search then is brought into the desert by a masked stranger. Alex wakes, only to find himself in a different life although he retains memories of Scarlett.

  • Bottom Of The World Explained (2017 Netflix Film Analysis)

    • – What is Bottom Of The World about in a nutshell?
    • – Plot Explained
    • – Who is Alex?
    • – What has Scarlett done?
    • – Unable to leave town!
    • – Who is the preacher?
    • – Hooded Man The desert
    • – What happens at the church?
    • – What’s the relevance of the rotten pea?
    • – The case with photographs
    • – Ending Explained

    What is Bottom Of The World about in a nutshell?

    The story is about the guilt of a heinous crime committed by Scarlett leading her to become a depressed alcoholic, and finally taking her own life. The entire movie and its characters are presented from within Scartett’s subconscious. Yes, none of the characters in the film is real, they are all figments of Scarlett’s thoughts and feelings.

  • BOTTOM OF THE WORLD | Official Trailer [HD] | # ... - YouTube

⚠️ Explanation (Spoiler)

In the 2017 Netflix film “Bottom of the World,” directed by Richard Sears, the story revolves around Alex’s search for his missing girlfriend in a small town on Route 66. As Alex delves deeper into his quest, the line between reality and illusion blurs, leading to a psychological journey of self-discovery. The film stars Douglas Smith and Jena Malone in the leading roles.

The narrative of “Bottom of the World” is a complex exploration of guilt, redemption, and the consequences of one’s actions. Scarlett, the central character, is haunted by the guilt of a horrific crime she committed – the murder of her cousin Wayne. The characters and events in the film are all manifestations of Scarlett’s subconscious, portraying her inner turmoil and struggle to come to terms with her past.

Alex, who is revealed to be a part of Scarlett’s conscience, serves as a mirror for her inner thoughts and emotions. He represents the part of Scarlett that is trying to confront the dark truth of her actions. In reality, Alex is portrayed as Wayne, Scarlett’s cousin, symbolizing the connection between Scarlett’s guilt and the crime she committed.

Scarlett’s confession to Alex unveils the gruesome details of her crime, where she tortured Wayne, who was paralyzed from a car accident, before ultimately killing him. The film delves into Scarlett’s psyche, showcasing her inability to fully acknowledge and accept the extent of her heinous act. The town in which the story unfolds serves as a metaphor for Scarlett’s overwhelming guilt, trapping her in a cycle of self-punishment and denial.

The preacher character, appearing on a TV channel in the film, symbolizes Scarlett’s father and the embodiment of truth and accountability. His messages emphasize the importance of facing one’s sins and accepting responsibility for one’s actions, reflecting Scarlett’s internal struggle with her past deeds.

The presence of a hooded man in Scarlett’s subconscious represents her inner turmoil and rage towards herself for the crime she committed. This symbolic figure embodies Scarlett’s desire for retribution and punishment, manifesting as a manifestation of her guilt and self-inflicted torment.

As the narrative unfolds, Scarlett’s descent into her subconscious leads to a confrontation with her inner demons, represented by Alex. The film culminates in a surreal and introspective journey for Scarlett to seek closure and come to terms with her past actions, ultimately leading to a haunting and thought-provoking conclusion.

👪 Parents Guide & Age Rating


Age Rating:

The movie “Bottom of the World” (2017) is not rated by the MPAA, but it contains content that may not be suitable for younger audiences due to its dark, mysterious, and psychological themes.

Parental Guide:

Parents should be aware that “Bottom of the World” is a psychological drama with elements of mystery that may be unsettling for some viewers. Here is a detailed breakdown of the content:

  • Sex & Nudity: The film contains minimal sexual content with a brief kissing scene and some mild suggestive references.
  • Violence & Gore: There are scenes of psychological tension, characters in distress, and some unsettling imagery. While there is no explicit violence or gore, the film has a dark and mysterious atmosphere that may be intense for some viewers.
  • Profanity: Mild language is used throughout the movie, including occasional profanities and some crude language.
  • Alcohol/Drugs/Smoking: There are no significant scenes depicting alcohol or drug use in the film.
  • Frightening/Intense Scenes: The movie has a somber tone and explores themes of reality, perception, and mystery. Some viewers, especially younger audiences, may find the psychological aspects and suspenseful scenes to be intense.

Due to its psychological and mysterious nature, “Bottom of the World” is recommended for mature audiences who enjoy complex narratives and are comfortable with dark themes. Parents are advised to watch the movie first to determine if it is suitable for their children based on their individual sensitivities and maturity levels.

📺 Streaming and where to watch

streaming service extra information
Tubi TV Watch Bottom of the World (2017) for free with ads
Peacock Stream Bottom of the World drama (2017) online

❝ Quotes and Cult

  • The mysterious disappearance of a young woman leads her boyfriend on a journey for truth and perhaps his own unknown reality in this dark, hypnotic mystery that transcends the limitations of traditional narrative.
  • Bottom Of The World is a 2017 psychological drama directed by Richard Sears.
  • The story is about the guilt of a heinous crime committed by Scarlett leading her to become a depressed alcoholic, and finally taking her own life.
  • Alex is a portion of her conscience, her mental confession booth, the man in the mirror.
  • When Alex, Scarlett’s conscience, asks her what the most terrible thing she’s done in her life is, Scarlett ends up bringing forth her guilt for murdering her cousin.
  • I would reckon the town stands as a metaphor for the guilt of her crime.
  • The preacher on the TV channel appears to be Scarlett’s father in real life.
  • Scarlet conjured up a fake mysterious hooded man who was responsible for Wayne’s death.
  • When Scarlett disappears into the deeper crevices of her subconscious, the movie follows Alex, the part of her conscience looking for answers and closure.
  • Alex is trying to assess if he is actually in someone else’s dream.

🤖Bottom of the World Reddit Talks

Bottom of the World: A Mind-Bending Apocalypse

“Bottom of the World” has left an indelible mark on viewers, sparking a flurry of discussions on Reddit. The film’s enigmatic and thought-provoking narrative has ignited a range of interpretations and debates.

Unraveling the Subconscious

One of the central themes that has captivated viewers is the exploration of subconscious behavior. Scarlett’s illness and subsequent recovery after taking pills have left many questioning the nature of reality. Some speculate that the entire film takes place within Scarlett’s subconscious, representing her inner struggles. Others believe that the pills represent a form of escapism, allowing Scarlett to temporarily suppress her anxieties.

An Apocalyptic Journey

The film’s depiction of an end-of-the-world scenario has also generated much discussion. The main character’s solitary journey through desolate roads has drawn comparisons to other apocalypse-themed films, such as “The Road” and “I Am Legend.” However, “Bottom of the World” offers a unique perspective, focusing on the psychological impact of such a cataclysm rather than the physical.

Interpretations and Reviews

Opinions on the film vary widely, with some praising its originality and philosophical depth, while others find it confusing and unsatisfying. Those who enjoyed the film often cite its ability to evoke a sense of unease and uncertainty. They appreciate the film’s exploration of mental illness, trauma, and the nature of reality.

Those who found the film lacking often criticize its ambiguous ending and slow pacing. They argue that the film’s open-ended nature leaves too much to the viewer’s interpretation, creating more frustration than satisfaction.

Themes and Symbolism

Beyond its plot, “Bottom of the World” has also sparked discussions about its underlying themes and symbolism. The motel where Alex and Scarlett stay early in the film has been interpreted as a representation of the fragile and transient nature of human relationships. The pills that Scarlett takes are seen as a symbol of both escape and self-destruction.

The film’s ambiguous ending has also led to speculation about its deeper meaning. Some believe that it represents the cyclical nature of life and death, while others see it as a commentary on the futility of human existence.

Overall, “Bottom of the World” has divided audiences with its unconventional narrative and thought-provoking themes. While some viewers find it a profound and unsettling exploration of the human psyche, others criticize its ambiguity and slow pacing. Despite the differing opinions, the film has undoubtedly generated a lively and thought-provoking discussion among Reddit users.

Top discussions

❓ Frequently Asked Questions

What happens in the Bottom of the World movie?

Alex and Scarlett, a young couple on a road trip, stop at a hotel where Scarlett mysteriously disappears. Alex embarks on a search and is led into the desert by a masked stranger. He wakes up in a different life but retains memories of Scarlett.

What is the meaning of the confusing ending in Bottom of the World?

When Scarlett falls ill, the couple stops at a motel in a New Mexico town where strange occurrences begin. The ending explores surreal and dreamlike elements, leaving a sense of mystery and ambiguity.

Where was Bottom of the World filmed?

Production for Bottom of the World started in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, in September 2014. Filming also took place near Gallup and Albuquerque, New Mexico, capturing the eerie and desolate setting of the movie.

What is the central theme of Bottom of the World?

Bottom of the World delves into themes of truth, reality, and identity as Alex searches for his missing girlfriend, leading him on a journey that blurs the lines between consciousness and surrealism.

🔀 Recommended Movie and TV Show

  1. WALL-E (2008) : In a post-apocalyptic world, WALL-E, a waste-collecting robot, embarks on a space journey that will ultimately decide the fate of mankind.
  2. The Day After Tomorrow (2004) : As a series of extreme weather events trigger a new ice age, a climatologist races to rescue his son and save the world from impending disaster.
  3. Armageddon (1998) : A group of oil drillers is sent to space to prevent an asteroid from colliding with Earth and causing mass extinction.
  4. I Think We’re Alone Now (2018) : Following a global apocalypse, a man believes he is the last person on Earth until a mysterious woman appears.
  5. Night of the Comet (1984) : After a comet wipes out most of life on Earth, two teenage sisters discover they may not be alone in this post-apocalyptic world.
  6. The Road (2009) : A father and son journey through a desolate, post-apocalyptic landscape, struggling to survive and retain their humanity.

Wallpapers & Media

🔥 Audience Trends

✨ Discover more titles

✍️ Contribute to this page