‘Tarot’ Ending Explained & Film Summary: Are Haley And Grant Dead?


For those deeply invested in astrology and believe in tarot card readings, Tarot can be a spooky fun watch. One might as well learn to take their obsession with astrology and tarot down a notch because the problem with Tarot starts when Haley decides to do tarot card readings for her friends.

Spoiler Alert

A group of young adults gathered at an old mansion to celebrate their friend Elise’s birthday. Her best friend, Paige, booked the place, and the fact that it was in the middle of nowhere added a sense of thrill. Grant announced that they had run out of alcohol, and that was when the group of friends decided to snoop around the place in the hopes of finding a bottle or two. As the rule of horror goes, one has to open the door that comes with a strict warning board specifically requesting outsiders not to enter. So, Grant, Haley, Paige, Paxton, Elise, Madeline, and Lucas entered the basement, but instead of alcohol, they came across a vintage collection of astrological items. Paxton discovered a tarot card box when he opened a drawer, and the group requested Haley do a reading for everyone. Haley had deep knowledge of tarot and astrology, and while she was hesitant to use a stranger’s deck of tarot cards, she ultimately accepted the request.

Who was the first victim of the cards?

Using someone else’s deck is considered bad luck, but that did not stop Haley’s friends from getting their reading done. The cards were unusual—they were hand-painted, and they looked eerie. Haley assumed that the owner of the mansion was a collector, but she did not think there could be a supernatural element attached to it. One after the other, Haley predicted the future of her friends using the cards, and she did a reading for herself as well. While it did seem that tragedy would unfold as soon as the predictions were made, surprisingly, the group of friends survived the night.

The next morning, they left the mansion. While driving back home, Lucas won a seven-hundred-dollar scratch card, and for a second, it did seem that the predictions were coming true. Elise took a bath soon after returning to her dorm. She was surprised to see a ladder in the hallway when she stepped out of the washroom, but she did not think much about it. She went to her room when she heard a thud on her door. The dorm was supposed to be empty that night, and Elise decided to find out what was going on (a rookie mistake!). According to her tarot card prediction, Elise’s curious nature would lead her to the unknown, and that was how she found the High Priestess from her 13th card waiting for her in the hallway. Her cards suggested that she was climbing the ladder of success, and Haley warned her to slow down. Quite literally, Elise climbed up the ladder in the hallway to find out what was going on, and that was when she was greeted by the demonic high priestess. Elise was crushed to death using the ladder, and until her very last breath, Elise tried to grab hold of her phone to call for help. Her death suggested that the predictions were taking a literal turn, and in that case, the entire group was in danger.

Who cursed the tarot card?

After losing Elise and Lucas, the group wondered if the deaths were coincidental or if there was a supernatural element at play. Haley realized that every word she had predicted had come true for Lucas; he did end up on the wrong track. Grant was not entirely on board with the theory Haley proposed, but the rest agreed. They searched for similar incidents on the internet, and they came across one name over and over again—Alma Astrom. They tried contacting her, but she was unavailable. So, Haley decided to drive to her house. By the time they reached the location, it was late at night. Alma’s house was in the middle of nowhere, and she refused to entertain Haley and her friends when they knocked. Haley explained their situation, and finally, Alma decided to speak to them.

After hearing the description of the cards, Alma knew that Haley and her friends were in deep trouble. She explained that in 1951, in Mexico City, six people died under mysterious circumstances in two days, and the only common link between the victims was that they all got their horoscopes read at a wedding. A similar case occurred in 1969 in Woodstock, where eight people died in the span of three days, and the common link was that they were reading horoscopes when they were alive. The next time such an incident occurred was in London in 1988. A group of friends went on a weekend trip and had their horoscopes read. Alma was a part of the group, and she was the only one who survived because she had not done her horoscope reading. From then on, she had been trying to track down the deck of cards to destroy them. She had found out that an antiquities dealer had sold them to someone in Manhattan fifteen years ago. According to Alma’s research, in 1798, in Hungary, there lived an astrologer who served a count. He was a practitioner of the occult, and he trusted the astrologer’s prediction because every word she said was always proven to be true. 

The count and countess were expecting their first child together, and one day the astrologer foresaw that the mother and her unborn child would not survive childbirth. The count refused to believe the prediction, and even after drawing the cards a few more times, the prediction was always the same. Enraged, the count banished the astrologer and her daughter. When the reading came true, the count accused the astrologer of witchcraft and ordered his men to hunt her down. The astrologer was devastated to find the cold body of her daughter—this was the count’s revenge. The astrologer had nothing to lose anymore, and she performed a blood ritual. She sacrificed herself and bound herself to the cards, and it gave birth to the death curse. Soon, the count and his friends were brutally killed, and the astrologer got her revenge. But that was not the end of the story; she cursed the cards and inverted the zodiac, which meant the ones who read using her deck of cards would have to face the worst outcome. The only way to stop the curse was by destroying the deck, and Haley was ready to risk it all to put an end to it.

What happened to Alma?

After witnessing Madeline’s death right in front of their eyes, Haley, Grant, and Paige decide to go back to the mansion immediately to destroy the deck. Paxton was afraid of getting killed, and he believed he would be safe in his room. Haley warned him that his chances of survival were greater if they stayed together, but Paxton did not care. On his way to his room, Paxton came across a jester. Clearly, he was next in line, and every word that Haley had predicted started to come true. Meanwhile, Haley, Grant, and Paige made it to the mansion, and they read up on ways to destroy the cards. They tried to burn it down, but the deck remained intact. Haley realized they needed the guidance of an expert to get rid of it. She contacted Alma, and when she arrived, Haley mentioned seeing the hangman from the card that killed Madeline. Alma explained that since the astrologer had bound her spirit to the deck, she embodied the cards, thereby bringing the final card to life.

Alma’s idea was to separate the astrologer’s spirit from the card, but she lost control after summoning the spirit of the astrologer. The spirit took control of Alma, and she was killed as a result. Haley, Grant, and Paige were shocked to see that the woman who had been studying astrology for decades had failed. They assumed they had no way to escape their fate, and they ran for their lives. While Haley and Grant stayed together, Paige got separated, and she was eventually greeted by the Magician, her thirteenth card. She tried to hide in a box, but she was ultimately butchered to death.

How Did Haley and Grant survive?

Haley and Grant were lovers who had recently separated. They stuck together while running away from the spirit of the astrologer. Thinking that they only had a few hours left to live, Haley confessed that when she fell in love with Grant, she read the cards to foresee their future, and every time she got the same answer—they were not meant to be. Grant commented that maybe they were cursed from the start, and somehow it helped Haley come up with a solution to deal with the situation. She believed that since the cards were cursed, if she read for the astrologer, she too would meet the same fate. Grant did not think it was a great idea, but Haley was ready to take her chance. Even though Haley believed in tarot and astrology, she did not think they must surrender to fate. She had seen her mother fight for her life till her very last breath, and she taught her to never give up.

Soon Haley was chased by death; it had grabbed hold of her by her neck when Grant came to her rescue. They were proving to be the unstoppable Aquarius-Leo couple that Grant had recently read about. While Grant dealt with the demon, Haley tried to make a reading for the astrologer. The devil was about to drag Grant into hell when Haley finally managed to make contact with the astrologer. Haley noticed that all her cards were reversed, suggesting that the astrologer was in immense pain. Her spirit never healed from the trauma that was inflicted upon her. At the end of Tarot, Haley conducted what can be best described as a therapy session to help the spirit heal. The thirteenth card of the astrologer was death, and as Haley had assumed, the curse of the cards played its trick on the astrologer. Haley encouraged the spirit to let go, and somehow it worked. The astrologer finally chose to put an end to the madness and reunite with the spirit of her daughter. The deck was finally destroyed, and Haley and Grant made it out of the mansion alive.

In Tarot‘s ending, Haley and Grant noticed a car approaching them, and they were surprised to see that Paxton was behind the wheels. Paxton explained that his unpredictable moves, as well as a little help from his roommate Todd, helped him escape death. Todd found Paxton stuck in the elevator, and all of a sudden the jester disappeared. The three friends headed back to campus after surviving what was possibly the most horrifying night of their lives.

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Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni has worked as a film researcher on a government-sponsored project and is currently employed as a film studies teacher at a private institute. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Film Studies. Film History and feminist reading of cinema are her areas of interest.

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