‘Demonic’ Ending, Explained – Was Carly Alive?

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Science Fiction Horror film, Demonic, follows Carly, a young woman who unleashes an evil demon after uncovering a decades-long rift with her mother. The film is shot in the middle of the pandemic and is written and directed by Neill Blomkamp

This article will attempt to understand what the film is about and what the ending is meant to symbolize. 

Read More: ‘Demonic’ Summary & Review – Poor Attempt at Mixing Inception with The Exorcist

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Warning: Spoilers Ahead! 


‘Demonic’ Ending

After much revelations and cliched twists, our protagonist, Carly, reached her childhood home in a final attempt to save her mother (who she’s spent the last few decades hating and decides to rescue without any apparent motivation). However, Carly and Martin find dead black ops exorcists, one of whom gives them an anointed dagger to kill the demon. Carly finds her mom in what appears to be the same simulation machine but now equipped with ominous candles for the whole exorcist experience. She decides to enter the simulation because the power of love (I think?) is more potent than trained black ops specialists with full tactical gear. 

She enters the simulation and starts looking for her mother. Meanwhile, Martin is attacked and killed by an unseen entity. Carly meets her mom, who only wanted to see her one last time before dying. Carly is ejected from the simulation as her mom dies and finds herself alone with her dead mom. She makes amends with the corpse and then proceeds to look for Martin. After some tedious looking around, she grabs some of that priestly tactical gear. She uses it to enhance her search, which leads her to Martin’s car in flames that she couldn’t spot earlier for some reason. 

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After further looking around, Carly finds Martin chained to a wall. He tells her it’s a trap, and she spots the demon. As all great protagonists would do, she runs away, leaving Martin behind. Now revealed to be in possession of the head priest (whose name I can’t remember, but it’s the one with the branded cross), the demon comes and stabs Martin while also telling him how he likes to burn people, lol. 

The demon priest finally catches Carly, proclaiming her to be his new home, but she stabs him with the holy dagger (gasp). However, only the priest dies, and the demon takes possession of Carly’s body. The demon seems quite pleased with itself and studies the holy dagger. Carly momentarily regains control long enough to stab herself, forcing the demon out of her body. The demon burns away, and Carly survives. In the closing scene, Carly places flowers on her mother’s grave. 


What It All Means – Ending Explained

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The last act sees Carly visit her childhood home, where there’s an exorcism gone wrong. Bodies of the black ops team are lying scattered around the house. She finds her mother in a room prepared for the exorcism, with her being attached to the simulation machine. Carly enters the simulation, where her mother says one final goodbye to her before she dies. When Carly returns to the real world, she finds that the demon has possessed one of the black ops priests. She manages to get hold of a holy dagger, which she uses to finally kill the demon, but the demon possesses her. In a final attempt, she stabs herself, finally killing the demon and ending the cycle. In the end, she seems to be the only survivor of the film, the world now cleansed of this evil demon. 

As mentioned earlier, Demonic could’ve been an excellent metaphor for the pandemic. The demon could’ve been the virus, Therapol could’ve been a stand-in for the medical community across the world that’s racing to vaccinate the world,  and the characters could’ve been the commoners dealing with the pandemic. The mother, in the end, wants to see Carly one last time before dying – an easy parallel to all those unfortunate souls (may their souls rest in peace). They passed away from COVID without being able to say their final goodbyes. Carly and the other characters being possessed could’ve been an easy stand-in for the high infection rate of the virus. The demon possessing Carly could’ve been her being tested positive, and her stabbing the demon could’ve been the vaccine jab. 

Unfortunately, all that I’ve mentioned in the above section is just a whole list of ‘could’ve beens’ that is negated by the film’s convoluted plot and cliched twists. This film’s plot had many potentials, but the lack of development has left us with a forgettable mess that’s not worth watching even once. The ending is a positive one but feels hollow and unearned. Maybe the film is hopeful of the pandemic ending soon, but only after it’s killed a lot of our loved ones? Yeah, that’s not a good ending, to be honest.


Demonic is a 2021 Horror Film written, co-produced, and directed by Neill Blomkamp.

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Ronit Jadhav
Ronit is an independent writer-filmmaker from Mumbai who has spent the last decade making a one man-film- crew out of himself. His most recent feature – a zero-budget film he made single-handedly during the lockdown in May 2020 – is a testament to that claim. His debut film – a micro-budget indie feature made in less than $500 – was released on Amazon Prime (US & UK) in 2019. He is constantly working on honing his skills while fighting existential crises.

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