'Into the Dark': Christmas nightmare Pooka's ending reveals more than Wilson's past and mysterious accident
The story is about a simple man, desperate and out of luck on the job front, who decides to take up an offer to put on a rabbit costume for kids' parties
It has been three days since Hulu's latest anthology horror, 'Into the Dark,' released its third episode Friday and viewers are still ruminating about doubts and questions, the ending of the Christmas nightmare 'Pooka' left unanswered. Not all though, because there are some who have been able to comprehend what the episode conveyed with its signature social satire, based on the most popular festival of the month. But for those still reeling with confusion, here are some explanations.
To start off with the basics, 'Pooka' comes as the third monthly installment of the anthology show, and much like the show's pattern, it is based on the biggest festival of the month. And, much like Blumhouse Productions protocol, it showcases a psychological horror with dollops of social satire, making the episode about the titular creepy rabbit costume based on a kids' toy every bit hilarious, yet eerie to watch.
The story is about a simple man, Wilson (Nyasha Hatendi), who desperate and out of luck on the job front, decides to take up an offer to put on a rabbit costume for kids' parties. Initially, things go perfectly for him. He has a job, a girlfriend, and life is pretty decent. But soon the nightmare begins as mysterious murders start happening around town and somehow this wretched costume seems to always be in the middle of things.
This leads to a psychological debacle for Wilson, who isn't sure if it's the costume that's evil and haunted, or if it's just his mind playing tricks on him. Sadly, there can be no explaining the ending of the episode without spoiling it for those yet to see it, but here's what happens.
As Reddit user IFartMagic would like to point out, "It isn't literal. The movie takes place all in his head with bits of reality. Him meeting his wife and kid are real, and the crash." Then how does one explain what 'Pooka' showcases? Hint: "Think of it as backwards. The crash happened and it sent him into a nightmare akin to 'A Christmas Carol'".
The user continues, explaining: "He was even practicing lines for that play in his audition. Pooka was like the guide showing him. All the messed up stuff was his minds way of trying to explain it away. The Pooka craze was real and that's why at the end there was one on the ground, and it kept repeating 'look at all the pretty lights' because it was the last thing it heard - and repeated through the movie because it was the last thing he heard."
So, the episode is pretty much a horrifying flashback that leaves one questioning "what the f*** just happened?" And that's what makes 'Pooka' exceed the expectations and standards set by its preceding episodes 'The Body' and 'Flesh and Blood', which also featured intelligent satire.
"Bits of reality kept popping into his nightmare as they do sometimes, like faces, the flashing cop lights, Pooka obviously, etc.," added the Reddit user. "His neighbor had a drinking problem and is implied when she jumped out the window the cop said, 'I think we're looking at who did this' and mentioned her drinking - he probably heard him say that in real life while laying on the ground (she didn't actually jump out of the window)."
But the sequence of events occurring in the episode leaves ample scope for speculation open and not just on the emotional pain front. "He was an abusive father and husband," remarked user drowsycactus. "They went to get a tree one last time and on the way he was speeding. There was another woman who was driving who may or may not have been drinking and they collided and everyone but him died in the accident. He moves away to get away from everything and he starts a new job as Pooka. He has split personality disorder (his disorder makes him more violent) and he slowly feels like he's becoming Pooka."
User drowsycactus also noted that quite possibly, Wilson has no clue about his delusional frame of mind. It is totally lost on him that he is taking people from his past and infusing them into his current life situation. "He's in such a bad place mentally that he doesn't realize he has been putting the people from the accident sprinkled into his life (the neighbor was never really there, his girlfriend was already his dead wife, etc.)" They are people from his past who aren't alive anymore - meaning his current girlfriend is actually his dead wife, whom is now a figment of his imagination.
This would explain why her house is owned by new people now, and the user also shed light on the fact that nobody was looking into the car accident thoroughly enough to point out Wilson himself was just as responsible for her death, as the drunk driver that hit them was. "No one looking into the car accident or they would have seen he was speeding as well which is why he seemed to feel guilty."
So, 'Pooka' is a series of unfortunate events, but all in the fictional headspace of Wilson trying to make sense out of the circumstances he has become a victim of. As another Reddit user BiiBiiBlogs explained, "The entire film is Wilson’s way of coping with the loss of his family for what he did. He 'moved away to get away from the pain', living through some extravagant fantasy with all those involved in car accident."