‘The Rope Curse 3’ Ending Explained & Film Summary: How Did Kuan-Yu Fight The Thai Demon?


On the seventh lunar month, also called the ghost month, the gate of ghosts remains open, and ghosts and spirits are believed to enter the human realm. The Taiwanese film The Rope Curse 3 unfolds at the Meihuang Hotel, where things start going very wrong after a man commits suicide by hanging. We eventually find out that the man’s wife had also committed suicide a week ago, and their child died of hunger. After losing his family, the man settled at the Meihuang hotel, but evil ghosts tormented him, and his body was possessed. The ghost that killed the man gradually took possession of more human bodies, and it intended to kill seven people to become powerful.

Spoiler Alert

Plot Summary: What Is The Film About?

The Rope Curse 3 primarily revolves around Kuan-yu and his father. Kuan-yu was blessed with the mandate of heaven, making him the perfect candidate to perform as the vanquisher of ghosts and evil spirits, Zhong Kui, in the operas. But his father was completely against the idea because he was afraid of losing his son. After the death of his daughter, the Captain wanted to make sure that he kept his son out of every danger. Performing as Zhong Kui during rituals was an immense responsibility with great risk, and he did not want Kuan-yu to experience it. The Captain was disappointed when Kuan-yu deviated from the traditional performance and added his own steps. After the performance, he was warned that any deviation from the traditional steps could result in complete chaos. The steps were meant to suppress the evil spirits, but if the spirits realized that Zhong Kui was not performing the ritual, they took over the actor’s body. Soon after the performance, a spirit took possession of one of the performers. Kuan-yu’s deceased sister communicated through the performer’s body (or possibly the evil spirit pretended to be his sister) and repeatedly asked Kuan-yu why he did not save her. Kuan-yu had grown up regretting not helping his sister when she drowned. He was a little boy who tried his best to rescue his sister but failed. He lived with the guilt his entire life. Kuan-yu did not enjoy performing at the opera and wanted to move away and find a job. While his father worshipped the Chinese deities, Kuan-yu did not believe in them. He rejected the amulet his father had handed over to him to protect him. Kuan-yu eventually understood the power of the supernatural world.

was the hotel owner’s son dead?

The hotel owner, Wan-hua, discovered the body of Mr. Wu. She lived alone at the hotel with her son, Jui-jui. Sometimes, she visited the godmother of her son, an old woman who lived in solitude and performed rituals and black magic. We could sense there was something wrong with Jui-jui when the old woman mentioned that his spirit was weak and meat consumption could lead to dire consequences. Towards the end of The Rope Curse 3, we discover that Jui-jui had died in a car accident. Wan-hua was drunk when she was driving the car, and it ultimately led to her son’s death. She struggled to recover from the loss, and that was when the old, one-eyed grandma found her. She offered to summon Jui-jui, but she warned Wan-hua that once the summoning was performed, her son’s spirit would never be able to reincarnate. Wan-hua was desperate to be reunited with her son, and she decided to carry on with the ritual. The spirit of her son was trapped in a Kuman Thong, and she treated the idol as her son. Once the idol started to accept her offerings, her visions became more vivid. She had lengthy conversations with her son and played with him. Things finally started to feel normal for Wan-hua, but that was before the death of Mr. Wu. The night she found the stranger’s body hanging from the ceiling, the evil ghost attacked Jui-jui’s spirit. Since the spirit was weak, it was overpowered and the evil ghost started to live in the Kuman Thong. From that day on, her son (the evil spirit) stopped accepting milk as an offering and demanded blood and meat. To satisfy her son’s demand, Wan-hua did as he wanted, and she did not mind killing people as long as she could keep her son close to her. We later find out that the evil spirit was a Thai demon who had descended into the human realm to take revenge on Zhong Kui.

Why is the Thai demon back?

In The Rope Curse 3, we find the Thai demon making a return during the seventh lunar month to teach the ghost vanquisher a lesson. It needed seven bodies to appear in their true form and destroy Zhong Kui. Kuan-yu arrived at the cursed hotel with his friend, Kuei-tsai. They were requested to purify the room where the incident had taken place. Kuan-yu carried out the task without any fear, but the evil spirit started to haunt him once he looked at himself in the mirror and decided to cut off the rope that was used in the suicide. At the very beginning of the film, we are told that there are certain things that one must not do during the seventh lunar month, which include not looking into the mirror late at night, drying clothes at midnight, hanging wind bells, not keeping too many dolls in the house, and not performing rituals. In the course of the film, every rule is broken, and chaos ensues.

Kuan-yu’s father could sense that his son was in danger, and Kuei-tsai’s livestream confirmed his doubt. Dressed as Zhong Kui, the Captain arrived at the hotel, and, using the demon-suppressing mudras and steps, he helped ward the evil spirits away from his son. He offered his son the protective amulet to keep the demon away. Kuan-yu admitted to his father that he believed he was responsible for the death of his sister. The two siblings accompanied their father to the riverside, where he performed a ritual. The siblings were busy playing by the river when suddenly Kuan-yu saw his sister drown in the water. He tried his best to run and save her life, but he could not. Later on, Kuan-yu had a vision where he imagined saving his sister. He was shocked to hear Kuan-ling say that the Thai demon had taken possession of her. It is possible that the Thai demon had attempted to infiltrate Kuan-yu’s vision, and his sister came to his rescue in the most unexpected way. The Captain believed in his son’s honesty and expressed that he was at fault for taking his children to the riverside. He finally taught Kyan-yu the mudras to destroy the demon. Until his last breath, the Captain fought to protect his son, but by then, the demon had already discovered that he was an actor and not the real Zhong Kui.

How did Kuan-yu fight the Thai demon?

Kuan-yu and Jia-min, together, take on the challenge of fighting the Thai demon. They ended up at the old woman’s house, where they found six bodies, including those of Kuan-yu’s father and best friend. The demon had devoured the old woman, and it was searching for the seventh body. Jia-min realized that the Thai demon had taken possession of Kumar Thong and was controlling Wan-hua. The mother was ready to do anything for her son, and she refused to believe that the idol now belonged to a demon. She cradled the idol and decided to kill herself to make the ultimate offering to the demon.

During The Rope Curse 3‘s ending, when the seven lives were sacrificed, Kuan-yu traveled to an alternate reality where the demon came to form. The protective amulet initially keeps the demon away, but the moment it falls off Kuan-yu’s hands, the demon takes charge. To Kuan-yu’s surprise, his father’s spirit blesses him, and he transforms into Zhong Kui. The demon vanquisher resides in Kuan-yu, and with every mudra and step he learned from his father, Kuan-yu manages to destroy the Thai demon.

Jia-min’s support helped Kuan-yu realize that being a heavenly mandate was not a curse but a blessing, and instead of rejecting the power he possessed, he must embrace it and ward off demons who could destroy thousands of lives. Kuan-yu never believed in the supernatural, but the encounter with the evil made him believe in the power of Zhong Kui, and he ultimately transforms into Zhong Kui and accepts the Taoist principles. After the demon was sent back to its realm, Jia-min went on to purify the place. At the end of the film, Kuan-yu accepts his fate and proudly takes on the responsibility of the heavenly mandate of Zhong Kui. He brings a modern twist to the opera performance, suggesting how the new generation will carry forward with the tradition. The gate of ghosts continues to be open, as is evident from The Rope Curse 3‘s end credits scene, where a demon spirit is seen lingering in the mortal world. The curse of the rope goes on to take more lives, and it suggests that a fourth part is on its way.

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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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