‘The 8th Night’ Ending, Explained – Was Ae-ran The Virgin Shaman?


The 8th Night is a Korean horror/thriller written and directed by Tae-Hyung Kim. The complex narrative and many subplots running simultaneously leave many questions in the minds of the viewers. Without much ado, let’s look at some of the subplots and understand how all the dots connected, leading us to the final showdown.

What was Buddist Mythology?

The Buddhist mythology is the backdrop on which The 8th Night plays. It is said that once, a demon wanted to open the doorway to hell. But Lord Buddha came in between him and his intentions. The demon’s eyes were his source of power. The black eye and the red eye were the personifications of anxiety and agony. Lord Buddha took those eyes, making the demon powerless. But the eyes escaped the clutches of Buddha somehow.

The black eye was caught and put in a casket known as Sarira Casket. The red one tried to run away as far as it could. It moved for 7 days by hiding inside the body of human beings. Once it thought that it had come far enough, then it stopped going ahead. It was then the red-eye realized that it was actually moving on a bridge that had seven steps, running over a water body. It realized that it could never escape the mighty clutches of Lord Buddha. So it faked a surrender and waited inside the casket for the opportune moment.

Why did Professor Kim Joon-cheol want the eyes to meet?

Professor Kim Joon-Cheol was an archaeologist. He had found one casket in the desert and considered it to be his path-breaking discovery. He believed that it was the same Sarira casket in which Lord Buddha had put one eye of the demon. But when the casket went for lab testing, it was found that it didn’t belong to that period, and the forensic data suggested otherwise. The media and the world thought that the Professor was just trying to get some attention and had fraudulent intentions. When his credibility was questioned in the public forum, the Professor became adamant to prove that the casket was real. He had only one way to prove this, i.e., by opening the casket and creating those 7 steps that would act as a bridge to retrieve back and meet the other eye.

How would the black and red eyes meet?

The Professor started a meditation group. It was meant for people who had attempted suicide earlier but had somehow survived. The Professor had a hidden intention, though. He wanted to collect the blood samples of all the people to awaken the Eye of Agony. He created the seven steps that would act as a bridge between the Eye of Agony and the Eye ofAnxiety with those people. The eye would possess those 7 people and then kill them to finally reach its desired destination. Then the demon would rise again and open the doorway to hell.

Was Ae-ran the Virgin Shaman?

Aeran was first seen on the bus stand when Cheong Seok was in the city. The last of the seven steps was a virgin Shaman, which Cheong Seok and Park Jin-soo both believed was Ae-ran. But that was not so.

Ae-ran was a ghost in reality, and the Eye of Agony was just using her to get to the protector of the other casket, which had the Eye of Anxiety. The real virgin Shaman was trapped by Ae-ran in the house. Park Jin-soo intended to kill the Virgin Shaman, as she served the seventh and the last step. If she was killed before the demon killed her, then the eyes wouldn’t be able to meet. But Ae-ran deceived them into believing that she was the Virgin, and that’s why Cheong Seok took her to his monastery to protect her. Cheong Seok didn’t want an innocent soul to die, even if it meant that the demon would rise.

Who was the protector of the Sarira Casket?

Everybody perceived Jin Soo as the protector of the casket that lay in the monastery. But in the end, when the trap is laid, it is realized that Cheong Seok was actually the protector. That’s why the Eyeoff Agony leaves Jin-soo and goes inside the body of Cheong Seok. In the end, we see that Jin-soo makes the sacred Buddhist mark on Cheong Seok’s face with the blood. The demon is forced to move outside his body. And before he could enter inside the body of Jin-soo, Cheong Seok kills him with the ax and thereby not allowing both the eyes to meet.

‘The 8th Night’ Ending Explained – What happens to Ae-ran?

In the end, it is seen that Cheong Seok goes to the desert and buried the casket. Ae-ran is standing there with chains around her legs, incapacitating her freedom. The spirit of Ae-ran was chained to the demon after she sacrificed herself to lure the Virgin Shaman. She is the adoptive daughter of the Professor. She was forced to make that sacrifice in a way as she was looking out for her father. Cheong Seok frees her spirit, which was stuck on earth and not able to make the journey to the heavenly abode.

The 8th Night is a 2021 South Korean Horror Thriller Film written and directed by Tae-Hyung Kim.

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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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