Here are some major spoilers, so if you have not seen the film please click away from this entry 🙂
Ok, in a nutshell, I think the kid is fucked, and the ending is NOT good. Here is why.
The first thing I thought when I saw the dog with the family was “oh *beep* They are not only cannibals, but some of the best”
Why? The boy and the father could BARELY stay alive on crumbs and cans, yet here is a family of FOUR and a DOG looking pretty healthy. The man had plenty of ammo. Even the dog looked happy. Keeping a dog alive is a LUXURY afforded only to those with plenty of food in a world like that. The entire movie emphasized how scarce food was.
The dog would be useful for tracking HUMANS since it seems most other animals have died. They even admitted to have tracked the boy and his father for a long while.
A group that big and that healthy must have stayed alive by being the meanest, cruelest, merciless bunch around. This is how species survive, the ones who are the strongest and baddest survive and breed.
What they probably do/did is follow a small group like the boy and his father, wait for them to encounter other people and them watch from a distance to see what happens. Then when the boy and father leave, they can decide to kill the humans the father and boy encountered and eat them, or if the group is too big and dangerous, they can avoid them.
Notice too in the film when the boy asks the man if he is a good guy, his eyes shift around, indicating he is lying. The children with the man and the woman do NOT look happy.
If they are following the boy and father, why did they not appear when the man lay dying to help the boy then? Why wait until they were SURE he was dead? I think it is because they knew he would never trust them or allow the boy to trust them.
Now if it is true that they are bad-ass cannibals, why didn’t they kill the kid right away? Why make him trust them? My guess: sex. Why else would they keep that many children? Are we sure the children are actually theirs?
I think those that see the ending as happy are more naive than the boy in the movie.
As for the film itself overall, I felt it was solid and give it a 8/10. (I take away some points because I felt it was too long, it could have benefited from tighter editing)