Netflix’s ‘Monster’ 2024 Ending, Explained: Why Was The Indonesian Film Made Without Dialogue?


The new Indonesian thriller film streaming on Netflix, Monster has a plot that is rather common and might even be considered overdone to some extent. The story follows the horrific journey of two young siblings who are kidnapped on their way back home from school and have to try and escape the villainous perpetrators holding them captive. While the plot, and therefore the narrative, are simple enough, it is the execution that works in favor of the film. With hardly any dialogue, which probably makes it all the more unique, Monster can be an enjoyable and intense watch overall.

Spoiler Alert

What is the Indonesian film about?

Monster begins in front of a usual school in the city just as it gets over, with children preparing to head home after a long, and possibly tiring, day of academics. The only oddity in the whole scene is a black car driving through the area at a slow pace, and it is initially not an odd presence either. With school just having gotten over, the car seems like that of a parent who is eager to collect their child. However, the man in the driving seat appears to be interested in something else, and as he drives by, he seems to be scanning the area, almost as if looking for targets. A young girl and a boy, evidently siblings, prepare to head home on their shared bicycle and eventually end up on the road in front of the black car, forcing the latter to brake hard. Although the driver complies, his eyes spark up with vile pleasure upon seeing the kids, and a wicked smile appears on his face. 

The children do not pay heed and simply go about their usual way, cycling towards their destination without realizing that the black car is following them. The situation gets more suspicious when the car keeps tailing the kids, even through narrow back alleys and shortcuts away from the main road. Eventually, the siblings, named Alana and Rabin, reach a video game arcade shop, which they often visit for some entertainment. They try their hands at the claw crane game, with the brother, Rabin, being the first to play it. But unable to pick up any of the toys in the machine, he frustratedly walks out of the shop while Alana, who is a year or so older, now tries her skills. In a few minutes, she realizes that her brother, who had stepped out, has not returned inside, even to call her. The girl runs out onto the alley and calls out her brother’s name, only to spot a bearded man in dark clothes putting something inside the trunk of the black car.

Alana immediately understands what she is facing and is sure that her brother is in trouble inside the car’s trunk. Before she can exit the alley or scream for help, though, the man runs towards her and takes her captive as well, putting her inside the same trunk. Although the kids try to shout for help throughout the entire journey, their hands, legs, and mouths being tied with tape makes it almost impossible. Some time later, the car finally arrives at a house, possibly on the outskirts of the city, and the bearded man carries away Rabin first, leaving Alana in the trunk. When Alana bravely manages to cut open the ties on her hands and mouth, she can finally make a desperate plan of escape, but only after she can rescue her brother. 

Why are the children kidnapped?

In some ways, Monster has a sort of video game appeal, where the protagonist is stuck inside a small, enclosed area, the house, from where she has to escape all while avoiding the kidnapper. Throughout this process, little Alana also explores the house, entering some of the rooms in a desperate attempt to find some means of escape, and it is in this manner that the viewers are given some background information about the whole scenario. The kidnapper is a man named Jack, who seems to be working with a bigger group, while another woman named Murni, possibly his lover, is his closest associate. Jack and Murni stay at the same house and share the responsibilities associated with their criminal enterprise. It can be guessed that while Jack handles most of the work inside the house, along with bringing their victims to the place, Murni is more involved with the business responsibilities in the outside world. 

Right after dragging young Rabin into a small room on the first floor of the house, Jack takes a few photographs of him, which is evident from the flashes seen from outside the closed door. These photos can be used for two distinct reasons: either to keep track of the victims that they kidnap and harm in the house, and so, in a sense, a perverted record of their misdeeds, or to show some clients how their latest victims look. Jack and Murni are involved in a series of horrific crimes against children, and it is very possible that child trafficking is on the list. They seem to have ties with gangs that sell off children, and the initial photographs are probably for this very purpose. Later on in the film, Alana finds a stack of photos of children in the house, all of whom had been victims of the couple, and this further proves their perverse nature of keeping a record for themselves. 

While exploring the house, Alana enters a room that has a camera set on a tripod in front of a bed, which is set up with some aesthetic lights and backgrounds. It is very evident from the setting that the couple runs a child pornography ring as well, and this specific room is used for that very purpose. Whether they are the ones running the whole crime or whether they have ties with other people, and to what extent these ties are, have not been explained in the film. However, it is clear that extortion and possibly films of torture are also part of their business. While it is possible that the couple sometimes targets adult women and men as well, with regards to the pornography ring, this is not suggested by the film, as all the victims seen are children. Therefore, Jack, being a perverted man with the most vile desires, is confirmed.

In many cases, if not all, the children die from all the torture and exertion that they have to face at the hands of the monsters in human form, and the couple has set up a business in this regard as well. Alana is shocked to find the body of a young boy stowed away under the bed in the room with the camera. She then watches with horror as Jack takes away the boy and literally grinds up his body, chopping off pieces from it. It is to be noted in this regard that the body of the boy can be seen moving ever so slightly as it breathes in the scene where Alana hides beside it under the bed. Whether this is a mistake on the part of the young actor playing the part or whether the film wants to suggest that the boy is still alive and has been heavily drugged at the moment is unclear. Either way, Jack makes use of these bodies by chopping them up and packing them neatly inside a cold storage box. He then hands it over to an associate who comes to collect the package at his door. This definitely means that the chopped-up parts from the children’s bodies are transported somewhere, either for consumption or for some other abhorrent reason.

This is the whole criminal ring that Jack and his partner run at the house, and it begins with kidnapping children and bringing them to the house. He then gives the child something to eat, which is heavily mixed with drugs, as Rabin is given a few donuts. The drugs make the child lose consciousness, during which time the videos are shot and some more photos are taken. Jack then kills the child and extracts meat from their body, which is then delivered to some other criminals. A slight loophole in the plot might be the fact that he leaves Alana in the trunk of his car for so long, as that might hurt the child, which he probably would not want for the sake of his business. But then he is also probably unsure as to whether he can handle two children at the same time, and perhaps he waits for Murni to return home instead. Another reason why he does not bring Alana into the house for all this while might also be that the whole operation, beginning with the drugging and ending with the transportation of the meat, has to be carried out with precise timing, which is why Jack puts on a stopwatch timer. In that case, the man who comes to the house with the cold storage box surely drives down to the place only once a day, and so Alana is technically kept away for the next day.

Why Was The Film Made Without Dialogue?

A significant characteristic of Monster is the fact that it is made almost entirely without any dialogue, with the only exception of some characters sometimes calling out the names of others. For the most part, though, there are no dialogues in the whole film, and the biggest reason for this seems to be that there is simply no need for words to be spoken. The plot and the overall setting are quite usual and common, and the makers of Monster acknowledge that as well. When a child is kidnapped and kept hostage at a place, the conversations associated with such a situation are very obvious. The siblings, Alana and Rabin, are too shocked to have any conversation with each other when they finally reunite. The only logical discussion to have at the moment would be making a plan of escape, and they are too young to make any such plan. Neither Jack nor Murni need to threaten the children or call up anyone else, like in the case of a ransom demand, since their intention is to torture and kill them. 

There are a few moments, like when the policeman reaches the house to investigate the emergency call, when the film intentionally mutes out the dialogue with loud sounds from the surroundings, like the TV playing loudly. This is done to not only build the intensity but also to give a feeling of relevance with regards to the characters we see on the screen and root for. The decision to have the entire plot play out without any dialogue also gives Monster a universal appeal in some senses, for the plot about the dangers of two innocent children can really take place in any corner of the modern violent world. In this respect, the decision truly pays dividends for the work and makes it way more enjoyable than any usual presentation.

How Did the siblings Escape?

Since the story in Monster is not necessarily unique, it is almost predictable that the children will manage to survive, and the only drama is with regards to how this will take place. During the first half of the film, little Alana manages to stab and kill Jack with a knife in the kitchen, which is a great but guilt-ridden triumph for her. However, this also leads to her having to hide the body from Murni, who reaches the house in some time. Therefore, the young protagonist has to face off against a villain again, all by herself, and her success in knocking Murni out for some time helps a great deal. 

In Monster‘s ending, Alana is able to reunite with her brother, and she uses the chainsaw to break his shackles. She and Rabin then run out of the house and attempt to ride a bicycle away from the area, all while being chased by an injured Murni. The chase continues till the next dawn when the sunlight has already filled the sky, and the woman makes one last attempt to kill the kids with an ax, only to be shot dead by the police. The police department must have noticed how their officer had not returned from the visit to the house on the previous night, as he had been killed by Murni. Therefore, they arrived at the place as soon as possible and luckily managed to find the children before they could be hurt any further. At the end of Monster, Alana and Rabin are able to escape their kidnappers successfully and are rescued by the police, with the certainty that they will soon be reunited with their parents.

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Sourya Sur Roy
Sourya Sur Roy
Sourya keeps an avid interest in all sorts of films, history, sports, videogames and everything related to New Media. Holding a Master of Arts degree in Film Studies, he is currently working as a teacher of Film Studies at a private school and also remotely as a Research Assistant and Translator on a postdoctoral project at UdK Berlin.

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