‘Shaitaan’ Ending, Explained & Netflix Summary: Is Vanraaj Dead Or Alive?


Shaitaan, directed by Vikas Bahl, promises a lot of things, but in the end, it just becomes one of those forgetful films where there is no authenticity and which brings nothing exciting or new to the platter. I have always believed that horror, gory thrillers, and psychological mind-benders are genres that have a lot of potential, yet the probability of it going wrong and the makers completely missing the target is the highest. In recent times, I believe Rahi Anil Barve and Anand Gandhi, through their epic horror fantasy Tumbbad, have proved that, if done rightly, such a genre could still strike a chord with the audience and make them awestruck. So, let’s find out what Shaitaan has to offer and if our protagonist is able to save his family.

Spoiler Alert & Trigger Warning

How did Vanraaj hypnotize Janvi? 

Kabeer, like every father, was very possessive of his daughter, Janvi, and he kept an eye out for anyone who tried to be too friendly with her. At times, he bombarded Janvi with questions about who she was hanging out with, and if she had a boyfriend, but deep down, Janvi knew that her father loved her so much that he could never say no to her for anything. Janvi had her ways of convincing her father, though Kabeer’s son, Dhruv, very cutely, always warned him that he was walking straight into the trap. Kabeer didn’t leave a chance to tease Janvi, and Dhruv always added fuel to the fire. Kabeer and his wife, Jyoti, had planned to go on a mini vacation to their farmhouse, as it had been long since the family had gone out together. They had no clue what the future had in store for them, and even if they had been told about it, they wouldn’t have believed that something like that could happen to them. On their way to the farmhouse, Kabeer made a pit stop to eat something at a roadside cafe. They met a man named Vanraaj there who very graciously bought tea for them as he saw that Kabeer didn’t have change and the cafe did not accept online payments.

Kabeer, overwhelmed by the kind gesture of the stranger, asked Vanraaj to join them and have food with them. That was probably Kabeer’s biggest mistake, as Vanraaj gave Janvi something to eat, and instantly, the girl felt a strange sensation inside her. She felt like she was in a state of trance, and she agreed to everything that Vanraaj said. While leaving the cafe, Vanraaj gave Janvi some biscuits and asked her to eat them the moment she reached her farmhouse. Janvi was not able to comprehend why there was this urge to listen to everything that Vanraaj said. Jyoti was on the terrace when she saw Vanraaj standing at the main entrance of the farmhouse. She found it very weird, and her intuition told her that something was not right with the man. Vanraaj came inside the farmhouse, and he told Kabeer that he needed to charge his phone and then he would leave. Vanraaj started interfering in the family talks, and Kabeer realized that it was about time he asked the stranger to leave their house. That’s when Vanraaj revealed that he was not there to leave and that he had used black magic to take control of Janvi’s mind, and she would do whatever he said. Kabeer and his wife first thought that Vanraaj was a madman who was just lying, but soon, they realized that he actually meant every word he said. 

Why did Kabeer let Vanraaj take Janvi? 

Vanraaj’s offer was plain and clear: he asked Kabeer and Jyoti to give him their girl, and in return, he would spare their lives. But how could any parent let that happen? Kabeer wasn’t going to say yes so easily, and Vanraaj knew about it. He made Janvi do horrifying things, and for a parent, it was torturous to watch their daughter do such acts of horror. The poor girl was made to eat raw tea leaves, as Vanraaj knew she hated the smell of them. He made her laugh and then asked her to cry, and Janvi, like a robot, did whatever she was asked to. Vanraaj hit poor Dhruv, too, and the little boy started bleeding profusely. Kabeer wanted to take his boy to a hospital, but obviously, Vanraaj was not going to allow that. Kabeer and Jyoti couldn’t do anything because their own daughter was standing like a shield in front of Vanraaj, and the desperate parents couldn’t put her life at risk. The police also came to their house, as Jyoti somehow managed to make a call to them with the phone she had kept in the rice container earlier. But Vanraaj once again had his way as he made Janvi sit on the gas cylinder and asked her to blow the entire house in case her parents said anything to the police. Kabeer had no choice but to tell the police officers that everything was under control.

It was the “Umbra” night (the darkest night), and Vanraaj was adamant about completing his ritual that day itself. Jyoti couldn’t bear seeing her children get tortured, so she went after Vanraaj with full force. Kabeer also pounced on him, but once again, Vanraaj was able to get the better of them, as he asked Janvi to keep laughing until she died. Vanraaj told Kabeer that even if he was killed, Janvi would follow his last command. Kabeer and Jyoti had to stop, and Vanraaj told them they would have to bear the consequences of their actions. He asked Janvi to kill her brother Dhruv, and the parents stood there in shock, not knowing what to do. Janvi went after Dhruv, and after much struggle, she threw him off the terrace. Dhruv was in a critical state, and Kabeer knew that if he didn’t take him to the hospital, then he would succumb to his injuries. That’s when Kabeer and Jyoti made a choice, and they told Vanraaj to take their daughter. It was essential for the ritual that the parents explicitly gave their permission to take their wards, and that is why Vanraaj had to wait until they uttered those words from their mouths. 

How does Kabeer stop Vanraaj? 

Just before Vanraaj left, Kabeer did two things: firstly, he opened the location tracker on Vanraaj’s phone so that he could follow him once he left, and secondly, he recorded his voice when he was saying something. In that voice recording, Vanraaj was saying that he knew that Kabeer wanted him to leave his daughter, and to make her come back to her normal state. Kabeer edited the recording and made it sound like Vanraaj was actually commanding the girl to come out of the state of hypnosis. Kabeer went after Vanraaj, while Jyoti took Dhruv to the nearest hospital. At the end of Shaitaan, we got to know that Vanraaj had more than a hundred girls in his captivity, and he was going to sacrifice their lives so that he could get the power to rule the minds of the entire world. Kabeer reached there just in time, and after a fierce fight, he was able to cut off Vanraaj’s tongue. Kabeer knew that the only way to stop the man was to make sure that he couldn’t utter a word from his mouth. But then Vanraaj also knew that such a situation might arise when somebody would come and stop him. So he had already told the girls to kill the man who did that to him. The girls started charging towards Kabeer, and that’s when he played that audio that he had recorded earlier. The girls came back to their senses, and Kabeer finally got his daughter back. The law enforcement authorities made sure that the kidnapped girls were taken back safely to their houses, and they couldn’t thank Kabeer enough for what he had done for so many families. 

Is Vanraaj dead or alive? 

In Shaitaan‘s ending, we saw Kabeer walking in the same forest where Vanraaj once had his den. Kabeer took a dead mouse and went inside an underground bunker where a man was kept in captivity. We realized that before the police could do anything, Kabeer had caught Vanraaj, and for a year or so, subjected him to torture. Vanraaj’s life had become a living hell, and he survived by eating dead rats. He begged for normal food, but Kabeer didn’t think he was worthy of such compassion. Kabeer told Vanraaj that there was nothing more powerful than the angst of a parent who was made to witness their children being treated in such a horrific manner. Kabeer has no plans of leaving Vanraaj, and I believe the story is still not over. The makers have left the film on a cliffhanger, as maybe they wanted to keep the possibility of a sequel open. Maybe in the future, we get to know what Kabeer did with Vanraaj in the end, but as of now, he is in no mood to show any mercy. 

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Sushrut Gopesh
Sushrut Gopesh
I came to Mumbai to bring characters to life. I like to dwell in the cinematic world and ponder over philosophical thoughts. I believe in the kind of cinema that not necessarily makes you laugh or cry but moves something inside you.

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