‘Susuk’ Ending Explained & Film Summary: Is Laras Dead Or Alive?


Another month and another new Indo-horror on Netflix. I suppose there’s a charm in the old-school use of dance choreography, fake blood, and prosthetics in horror; however, these particular films on Netflix aren’t oozing with charm at all. I do appreciate learning something new in Susuk, i.e., the titular concept of charm needles.  It’s an interesting theme, but the execution is below par. For some reason, at the end of the day, it’s always about lust in these films, and I find it rather distasteful. I guess the desire to be beautiful trumps all in women, and the desire for women trumps all in men is the conclusion we could draw from this film, but I digress. Susuk tells the story of sisters Laras and Ayu. They’ve been estranged for a little while, presumably because of the nature of Laras’ work. One fine day, Ayu receives a bunch of calls from her sister that she doesn’t answer. On a voice note, Laras tells Ayu that she plans on quitting her job; however, Ayu doesn’t seem to believe this and ends up ignoring the voice note while being a fantastic makeup artist. Unfortunately, something awful happened that night, leaving Ayu regretting that moment forever.

Spoiler Alert

What Happens to Laras? 

Laras is an escort, but she’s tired of it and wants to quit. When she visits a man to end their arrangement for good, he decides it’s personal and becomes violent. He tells her if he can’t have her, then no one can, and throws her out his window. Laras suffers greatly from the accident. Laras’ friend Arman and her sister Ayu are immediately with Laras in the hospital. The doctors say there’s a slim chance of her surviving her multiple injuries, but there’s something Ayu should know. Laras has multiple metallic needles inside of her body. The doctor doesn’t really know what to do about them. Ultimately, they think Laras is dead and they stop monitoring her vitals. But, to everyone’s surprise, Laras wakes up and starts to shake violently. Seeing as the doctors can’t really help Laras, Ayu and Arman take her back to their small village. Apparently, the man who was seeing Laras was a politician, and he would go on to get in some trouble for what he did, but we never really find out. 

What is Susuk? 

Susuk is what they call “charm needles,” a way of keeping oneself beautiful and desired for a long time. Laras is heard saying in a video that she doesn’t want to wear makeup every day and work hard when she can simply wear “susuk.” Ayu didn’t really take this seriously, but Laras ended up doing it anyway. Laras and Ayu’s mother used to be a makeup artist too, but rumor has it that she had susuk as well. Seeing as things are really bad in Laras’ case, Ayu asks a local shaman to help them out. According to Mr. Rahmat, people practicing Islam should not be doing susuk. He also says that those who wear susuk suffer more during accidents and sickness. Mr. Rahmat tries to remove all of the susuks in Laras’ body, but there’s a power too strong in them. Laras lashes out and scratches him in the face, so he storms out, calling it black magic. The next day, he’s found dead, and Ayu can’t help but think it’s because of her sister. On the other hand, one of the villagers named Seno, who was in love with Laras, is trying to tarnish her name because she always said no to him and ended up becoming a sex worker in Jakarta. 

For many days, Laras’ condition gets worse, and at night, Ayu sees strange things. It’s almost as if something is trying to give her a message. Ayu finds another man named Pras, who is an expert at dealing with susuk. Laras’ condition quickly worsened, and one night, Arman and Ayu took her to Pras. He manages to remove all the susuks except for one really strong one. According to him, the susuks are keepers of jinns. What is used to cure somebody, if overdone, can also become a curse. What we can deduce is that the susuk left in Laras carries some sort of evil spirit that is trying to take over her body. I guess since Laras was mistreated, she thought negative things, and those negative things manifested into this evil susuk. 

What Happened to Laras and Ayu’s Mother? 

Supposedly, Laras and their mother’s life story paints almost the same picture. Their mother, too, was very desirable, and she ended up doing susuk. She was with many men at the time, but she ended up breaking their hearts when she decided to get married. She had Laras with the man, but she was also cheating on him and had Ayu. This is why Ayu and Laras have different fathers. Realizing his wife was cheating and the child he had been raising as his own wasn’t even his, the man tried to kill their mother and flee. He was killed by the villagers, but their mother ended up in a vegetative state similar to Laras’. In the same manner, one of the susuks never got out of her, so she was buried in a cage to keep the entity locked. Whatever evil is haunting them, Laras now takes the shape of their mother. Pras is called again to remove the final needle by Ayu’s real father, Damar. 

Damar decides to help Ayu out since he is in love with her mother and is her father. On the other hand, since Arman has always been in love with Laras, the evil tries to seduce him, but Ayu comes back just in time to stop him from doing something stupid and throws him out. Arman gets help from Damar to escape and tells him to protect Ayu and Laras, but Seno has other plans. He gathers all the villagers to throw Laras and Ayu out of the village because they tarnish the name of the place, just like their mother did. Instead of escaping, Arman ends up fighting Seno and gets badly injured by his knife. This angers Seno further, and he decides to go after Damar. 

Is Ayu able to save Laras? 

Before all the madness, Ayu tells Laras that she doesn’t want to be left alone. Even their mother left them, and now she’s leaving her too. She then finds out that Damar is her father. Damar gets Pras to come and try to get the last needle out of Laras. He tells Ayu that Laras is gone; now only what possesses her remains, but he ends up getting butchered by her instead of saving her (oops). With no other choice, Damar tells Ayu and Arman to take Laras to the mother’s burial spot and bury her there, too. I suppose the cage would simply work for the both of them. It’s a spiritual cage, maybe. Seno kills off Damar, and the villagers are all shocked, even though they choose to follow him there blindly. On the way there, Seno tries to stop them, for what joy I will not understand, considering he wanted them out of there. Anyway, he doesn’t stop, and Ayu tells Arman to run him over. The guy still wants to fight and tries to break through the windshield of the car, so Arman drives him into a tree. 

When they get to the burial spot, they find the wrong grave at first, but then Ayu sees a stone with a piece of fabric tied around it. She realizes this might be the thing holding the evil in her mother in the grave. They start digging, but Laras wakes up and attacks them. Arman is killed trying to save Ayu, and finally, Ayu finds her mother, who looks exactly the same as her alive self in the grave. I guess the susuk does work a charm, huh? (jk). Laras somehow changes at this point; she starts to talk like herself and asks Ayu to help her. She even hugs Ayu and tells her that it’s really her, but Ayu can’t believe it. I mean, she killed a bunch of people in front of her, so… Ayu ends up pushing Laras into the grave with her mother. It looks as if all the darkness finally leaves Laras when she’s in the grave next to her mother. 

At the end of the film, Ayu covers the grave and returns to Arman’s taxi that they used to get there. She cleans herself up in the rearview mirror, pretending as if nothing happened, and finally breaks the fourth wall. This could imply that another film might be on its way, or it’s simply to say don’t use susuk? Ayu lost everybody in her life that she loved or even liked because of this one thing, and she probably hates the world now. She’ll probably return to Jakarta and continue her successful makeup artist career, never suggesting susuk to anyone. I guess the susuk unleashes evil only when the person wearing them suffers. However, the film doesn’t really explore this aspect of things at all. Instead, we get to see some fake blood, people biting people, people acting like animals, and weird jump scares that are completely unnecessary for a film like this. I feel like it could’ve been eerie enough if it was simply a psychological thing, minus any of the horror elements that seemingly feel like possessions but aren’t. I still don’t know if there was something possessing both women, if it was just their evil sides showing up, or if, like Pras said, it was some kind of Jinn. But I’m no expert in Indonesian horror, so take what I say with a pinch of salt, or maybe a bowl of it. 

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Ruchika Bhat
Ruchika Bhat
When not tending to her fashion small business, Ruchika or Ru spends the rest of her time enjoying some cinema and TV all by herself. She's got a penchant for all things Korean and lives in drama world for the most part.

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