‘Skeletons In The Closet’ Ending Explained & Film Summary: Is Valentina Dead Or Alive?


Skeletons in the Closet is a new supernatural horror film on Shudder that probably wanted to do and say a lot but ended up being a complete mess. The film is centered around an American family finding themselves in terrible financial stress as the young daughter Jenny falls tremendously sick. In order to save their daughter and relieve themselves of the financial duress, the couple seeks help from the supernatural. It is genuinely difficult to determine what is worse in Skeletons in the Closet—the plot, the performances, or the screenplay—and the film should be avoided by all serious fans of the horror genre.

Spoiler Alert

Plot Summary: What is the film about?

Skeletons in the Closet begins on an important day for the family at the center of the story, as the man of the house, Mark, is expecting a promotion at his workplace. A significant raise in his salary is also obviously part of the deal, and both Mark and his wife, Valentina, are very excited at the prospect of this betterment. The couple has a young daughter, Jenny, who has been asking for a puppy as a pet for quite some time now. Seeing that their goldfish has died, Mark promises to get a dog for the girl. But things do not turn out as expected for Mark, as he is hit with a very different reality upon reaching his office. He had thought that his boss had asked for him at the office to discuss the promotion, whereas, in reality, he was actually getting fired. The boss simply mentioned some financial difficulties for the company, because of which Mark was being let go.

On the other side, things get even worse for Valentina and young Jenny as some mysterious occurrences take place at the house. Valentina starts seeing a ghostly apparition of a woman dressed in a white veil roaming around her daughter, and then this unnatural appearance keeps getting in the way of her profession as a nurse as well. Valentina is extremely religious, as she often visits the local church and seeks help from the priest, Father Francisco, and has faith that God will solve all her problems. However, as Jenny feels sick and has to be taken to the hospital, Valentina is informed that her daughter’s cancerous tumor is back and is rapidly spreading across her body. The only treatment that can save the girl requires a difficult surgery at the earliest, but one that is extremely expensive as well. Although Valentina does not reveal the grave extent of Jenny’s illness to Mark, she does inform him that their medical insurance will no longer cover the surgery. With their faith in God and the Church wavering and facing a severe financial crunch, Mark and Valentina decide to seek help from the supernatural.

How does Mark get hold of the money for the surgery?

Mark does not initially tell his wife about the sacking from his office, and the man still decides to buy a puppy for his daughter, despite having just lost his job. As Valentina had already expressed doubts about whether they could afford to have a dog much earlier, when he still had his job and was expecting a raise, the wife would surely be terribly angry now. This is why Mark keeps the dog a secret from his wife, almost playfully, but the brevity of the whole situation changes when he learns about the surgery that Jenny requires. Mark meets up with his elder brother Andres, asking for some help regarding the matter, and surely enough, the brother gives him the contact information of a dangerous moneylending mobster. Andres had been imprisoned in the past, meaning that he had always had criminal ties, so he suggested that Mark go to Miguel.

Despite knowing that the moneylender is quite vicious and cruel, Mark has no other option since no bank would lend him fifty thousand dollars at such short notice. He goes over to the bar where Miguel runs his business, and the goons at the place repeatedly warn Mark to not cross the line, both figuratively and literally. Miguel listens to the request, cutting it short by saying that he does not care about the worries of his borrowers, and agrees to give only half of the amount. Mark pleads for the entire fifty thousand dollars, even agreeing to pawn his equities, but Miguel only gives him twenty-five thousand. He even demands an excruciatingly high rate of interest of thirty percent, but once again, Mark has no choice. He takes the money and leaves the place, only to realize within a few days that he has landed his family in more trouble.

Miguel sends a few men to Mark’s house directly, intending to threaten the man that if he does not pay up in time, then his wife and daughter will be harmed. Andres also warns his brother about the horrific nature of the moneylender and his personal history of having hurt people at the drop of a hat. Thus, Mark not only fails to get the full amount of money for his daughter’s surgery, but he also manages to add another trouble to their already struggling lives. As a last resort, he visits a psychic store on Andres’s suggestion and meets with a fortune teller called Madam Futura. The elderly woman starts to read Mark’s past, present, and future through fortune cards but is quickly overwhelmed by it, as she admits to having never seen someone with such devastating tragedy all over their fate. She then suggests that Mark meet with another man named Luc, who has the mysterious ability to change one’s future for the better, and not just read it. Convinced that the supernatural can genuinely help them, Mark takes Valentina to the new psychic that night, not yet telling her where they are going.

Who is Luc?

The character of Luc in Skeletons in the Closet is written as a mysterious fortune reader who has the supernatural powers to alter one’s fate. He can be consulted at the same fortune shop as Madam Futura, but is available only at night, when there is nobody else at the place. The room where the man conducts his business is also incredibly creepy, as it seems to be on the edge of an empty void, and he does have the power to take his customers into the said void and scare them with various apparitions. Luc can get his clients directly back to their bed at the end of the sessions with him, which is evident from Mark and Valentina waking up in their own house, as if from a nightmare, right after going to Luc’s office. The man gives the couple a simple solution for their problem, saying that they must write down their desires on a piece of paper and submit them to him the next night.

When the couple returns to the place the next night, Luc’s abilities make Mark vanish for the time being, as he instead talks with Valentina. The man obviously can read anyone’s mind and their intent, and he realizes that Mark is not really strong enough to do anything to save his daughter. Thus, he chooses Valentina as the one to make the sacrifice, saying that the couple needs to give up a life in exchange for her daughter’s, which would be saved if they agreed to the deal. Although the deal does sound extremely dubious and dangerous, Valentina decides to seal the deal with a few drops of her blood, and this deal naturally comes back to haunt the couple within some time.

The characters in Skeletons in the Closet are left coarse enough to not realize who Luc is, even though the man keeps petting and kissing a snake, and his name is basically the short form of Lucifer. Luc is definitely Satan himself, and the bond that Valentina makes is essentially a deal with the devil. This is why it is secured with blood, and this is also why it returns as a figurative nightmare in the couple’s life. Luc is the main troublemaker in the film’s plot, despite the ghostly lady seeming to be so. He also reminds Valentina of the skeletons in her closet or the dark secrets from her past life, which are pertinent to the present events, and the woman, therefore, tries to recollect what had happened.

What had happened to Valentina during her childhood?

Although Valentina remembers a few flashes of some incidents from her childhood, she can only piece it all together when she meets with Father Francisco once again. When the woman was just a child, she too had gotten cancer, which was sure to kill her within a short time. Her mother, Celia, was also desperate to save her daughter, and so she, too, was ready to do nearly anything in order to do so. The woman’s partner at the time, Santeros, also wanted to save young Valentina, even though it is not clear whether he was the biological father of the girl. Santeros had made a deal with the devil, Luc, in order to protect Valentina, and he was told to sacrifice a life in order to save her. But Santeros seemingly tried a different method, and he had gotten hold of a different woman to sacrifice, possibly a maid or worker at the family’s ranch.

But when Celia got to know of this, she was devastated, as she understood that Santeros had made a deal with the devil, which would have horrific repercussions for the entire family. Celia quickly responded by praying to Santa Muerte and by sacrificing her own life to the Grim Reaper-like patron of the dead. Since then, Santa Muerte has been keeping a watchful eye over the family, and the ghost that Valentina keeps seeing is actually the helpful ghost of her own mother, Celia. Although Celia had killed herself to protect her child, she knew that the effects of the curse left by Luc would come back to cause trouble for other members in the future. It is revealed that Jenny’s cancer was a reason for this very curse, and now, the only way to cancel it would be to sacrifice another life.

When Santeros realized that Celia was about to kill herself, he abandoned his plan and left the barn where the maid was about to be sacrificed. The barn caught a tragic fire, and the maid seemingly died as well, but the promise of the sacrifice made to Luc was not really fulfilled. Although it was believed that Santeros had died in the fire, this was actually not the case, as he now makes a return to the scene.

Does Jenny recover from her illness?

After Valentina’s meetings with Luc, the family’s medical insurance suddenly gets approved for Jenny’s surgery, and Miguel also magically gets back the money he had loaned to Mark. After the surgery, Jenny’s body was found to have no trace of the cancer. Thus, not only does Jenny recover from the cancer, but all of the family’s worries are suddenly gone. However, Luc now starts to make an appearance, even speaking with young Jenny and reminding Valentina that the sacrifice on her part still needed to be made. Thus, at the end of Skeletons in the Closet, Valentina, Mark, and Santeros return to the family’s old ranch house in order to pray to Santa Muerte at the very spot where Celia had prayed to the deity and sacrificed her life. However, Luc also makes his presence felt and brings a scarecrow to life in order to chase down the three individuals, as the devil is still waiting for the sacrifice to be made. This is, in fact, the same scarecrow that chased young Valentina when her parents were delaying the sacrifice.

During Skeletons in the Closet‘s ending, Valentina decides to sacrifice her own life for the sake of her daughter and husband, and she burns down the building while she and Santeros are still trapped inside. Mark survives and lives on with Jenny, but unbeknownst to them, Luc still continues to keep track of them. Luc tells his beloved snake that Mark and Jenny will once again return to him for help, suggesting that the curse in the bloodline will continue and that Jenny’s child will get cancer as well. Hopefully, a sequel to the terrible Skeletons in the Closet will not be made to continue this generational storyline.

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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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