The Blair Witch game endings give us hints as to what comes next in the series, but the end of Ellis’ story may not leave fans happy.
Ellis is a veteran of the Gulf War, and as such, he experiences vivid PTSD flashbacks throughout the entirety of the Blair Witch video game. What players may not have known is that depending on their actions, there are multiple Blair Witch game endings, all with their own repercussions for Ellis’ fate.
If you have yet to play the Blair Witch game, know that moving forward, there will be full and in-depth game spoilers.
*Spoiler warning for the Blair Witch game endings*
The first of the endings is one that gamers most likely had on their first playthrough. After fending off the monsters in the forest and killing the Sheriff in the Witch’s house, Ellis will take Carver’s life, along with his face. In the other ending, which is achieved if you ignore the Witch’s orders and leave the monsters in the forest alone, Ellis is killed by Carver. Pretty bleak either way, eh?
Ellis is a man with some deep psychological trauma, and unfortunately, it seems as though his PTSD gets the better of him if he survives, or leads to his death if he doesn’t perish. There isn’t a way for Ellis to live on being the man that he is, and that fact in and of itself speaks volumes as to how the Blair Witch game’s script writers feel about his inability to overcome his struggles.
PTSD is nothing to shake a stick at (that’s reserved only for Good Boy Bullet). Rather, as Ellis’ experiences aptly portray, PTSD is something that can totally rip you out of reality. For Ellis, that means experiencing his worst memories of both leading his men to their deaths, and his subsequent murder of an innocent woman.
Wartime changes the mind, as Ellis’ story goes on to show. He is separated from his wife Jess, as he has emotionally exploded at her one too many times. He’s lost and alone, and that’s before he enters the Black Hills Forest.
For someone suffering from PTSD, not having a light in the darkness is something of real-life horror. While I’m not at all saying that Jess should have stayed with Ellis given their unhealthy interactions, I do feel for the plight of our suffering hero.
Ellis was described as being “damaged goods” by his comrades. He was the “picked last for kickball” type in the army, and after his return to the States, his life didn’t get any easier. He worked as a police officer, but was let go due to his inability to effectively complete his job’s duties.
Bullet should have been Ellis’ light, and for some time, the police dog was. However, the Witch’s forces take Bullet away from Ellis, leaving the veteran with no choice other than to brave the depths of Hell all on his own.
The Witch preys on your weaknesses in an attempt to sway you over to the Dark Side. For Ellis, his worst memories are what cripple him the most. He carries his grief over his deceased war buddies as if it was a fresh wound. While that wound may not heal, the Witch sure isn’t helping Ellis get along.
I’m having some trouble swallowing the above events, because for Ellis, there is no escape, only further madness or suffering. While we can argue that dying is Ellis’ only freedom, it sure does make his trails and attempts at doing good feel like they are all for nothing.
With a horror series like The Blair Witch Project, we can’t really expect any happy endings. In the “bad” ending that I had, Ellis took Carver’s face. Peter was never found, and Jess (who somehow learned of Ellis’ fate), cut off all ties with the veteran.
Ellis’ isolation or death tug at the heartstrings, as they both continue the hopeless tale of the Witch’s influence. Those who are at the mercy of the Black Hills Forest’s curse aren’t ever going to fair well, and no one has plot armor to protect them from that (save for Bullet); not even the tortured war vet.
If there was an ending available where Ellis was able to escape the Black Hills Forest with Bullet, I would be remiss that I didn’t have it as my ending. After searching for a little boy’s whereabouts, the inability to give Ellis a happy ending feels like a hard blow to my self-esteem.
This is all effective storytelling, because it’s getting us all talking about why and how Ellis ends up in any of the Blair Witch game endings. The game answers the following question with a resounding “no”: Is it possible for Ellis to escape the horrors of his past?
For those suffering from PTSD, it is my hope that you are able to find the light and love of the Bullets in this world so as to see you to the other side of your own mind’s horrors.