“When I Consume You” is a horror-drama film that draws more on the psychological side of scariness as it explores childhood fears faced by a heavily disturbed psyche. Following siblings Daphne and Wilson Shaw, it essentially tells the story of Wilson’s efforts to avenge his sister’s death. But all is not as simple as it seems, as dead Daphne returns to constantly talk to Wilson and guide him in his way, and “When I Consume You” ultimately turns out to be an entertaining watch.
‘When I Consume You” Plot Summary: What Is The Film About?
Daphne Shaw is a woman in her thirties living by herself, who seems to be terrified of something in the very opening scene of “When I Consume You.” She bleeds from her mouth and has had a tooth knocked out, and a sinister tattoo on her wrist seems to be linked to all of this, when suddenly, a voice from the outside brings her back to stability. This voice is of Daphne’s brother, Wilson, who happens to visit her often as the siblings are the closest friends to each other. Both Daphne and Wilson suffer from mental health issues owing to the abusive and troubled childhood that they experienced. Both are also a bit distant from the world and society, not by their choice but rather because they are shunned away indirectly as failures. Daphne expresses her desire to become a mother, and she takes her brother along to an adoption center she had been in talks with, but failure hits soon.
The center turns down Daphne’s request, citing her history of extreme drug and alcohol abuse a few years back and also her anger issues. Despite being the eldest of the two, Wilson is way more shaky and socially nervous than his sister, and although he currently works as a janitor, his wish is to become a teacher so that he can help others. Wilson manages to get hold of a job interview as well, or at least he says that he does, but the man is rejected even before he is called in for the proper interview, stating that his one year of college education is simply not enough. Disappointed and saddened, Wilson visits Daphne’s house but does not get any response from her. Entering the apartment, he comes across various pictures and diagrams that make it seem like some sort of occult practice has been performed, and then he finds his sister lying dead with drugs around her.
Wilson’s confused and slow-to-act character walks out of the apartment, scared and tries to walk away, till better senses prevail, and he runs back to help Daphne out. Although he can do nothing anymore, he sees someone run out of his sister’s house and immediately understands that she has possibly been murdered. He runs after this figure, a man with a dark hoodie, but soon loses sight of him on the streets. The police easily rule out Daphne’s death as either a suicide or a drug overdose, but do not have any suspicion of murder.
Meanwhile, Wilson tries on his own to find out who this man could possibly be, as he believes that he has murdered his sister. But the man tremendously struggles to live his own life by himself, let alone find his sister’s assailant, as Wilson needs constant mental support from Daphne to live his daily life. However, now Wilson suddenly starts to feel as if his sister has returned, as her hand appears out of nowhere to dial out a number he needs to call, until one day, he sees Daphne in her whole entirety, crawling out from under his bed, as if she has come back from death.
What Does Wilson Find Out About Daphne’s Murderer?
At first, Wilson wonders whether he is hallucinating and even feels that Daphne is part of his imagination, but Daphne herself speaks out and seems to provide him with all the proof of her real existence. She says that she had been trying to wake up from being dead for the last few days but was not able to initially, and now she wants to figure out the mystery of her own death. Earlier, Wilson had called up the number her dead sister had dialed for him, and had found a box containing Daphne’s personal belongings. He had found mention of something or someone that kept following Daphne everywhere she went, and she had also left behind a map of the place where she would encounter this stalker of hers. Wilson had gone over to the street named on the map and had soon come across a man wearing a hood over his head, who seemed to be the same man he had earlier seen in Daphne’s apartment.
This stranger quickly attacks Wilson and gets him down on the ground, as the brother has always been someone easy to give up to his fate, and then tells him that he had some plan for Daphne which he had carried out, and his next plan was for Wilson himself. The man had the opportunity to kill Wilson then and there, as he even pulled out his lighter to put him on fire, but then decided not to and walked away. Now, Wilson tells all of this to Daphne, as the two decide to work together to find her murderer. Even when they were young kids, Daphne would be the one to protect her elder brother from dangers and situations, while Wilson would be totally overcome by his fears, and now too, it is Daphne who helps him train, albeit not really being alive.
Wilson toughens up with Daphne’s constant support, and they go out one night in search of the assailant. As they reach their intended locality, Wilson is approached by a group of dangerous-looking men who seem ready to attack him. Daphne helps her brother out just in time, and Wilson is left unharmed, but the siblings now express differing intentions. Daphne tells her brother that the man they were following was not her assailant as she did not recognize him, and she asks that they abandon their mission and go back. But Wilson now stresses that the man they have been following is indeed the one they are looking for, and he even asks Daphne to stay out of his way if she is unwilling to help. He once again approaches the gang, and again it seems like he will be attacked, when another man walks into the scene and indirectly stops the attack. When this man lights a cigarette, though, Wilson notices the lighter and recognizes it to be the same that he had seen with the man who had earlier attacked him.
After being aggressive and then calmed down by the man himself, Wilson learns that this stranger is a police officer named David Castille, and that he had gotten the lighter from someone else. Castille says that his wife has left him, which is perhaps why the man acts very eccentric at times, and invites Wilson to have a drink with him. The brother tells his entire story to the officer but does not mention that Daphne was his sister, but only refers to her as someone he loved. However, Castille seems to know that Wilson was talking about his sister, and it is this that makes Wilson cautious about the situation. Castille quickly reveals himself to be the stalker and murderer of Daphne, and the two men fight, with Wilson managing to handcuff the officer. However, the man, who clearly has supernatural powers of his own, breaks out of these shackles and injures Wilson gravely. He tells him that when he kills someone with a broken soul like that of Daphne, the soul stays behind till he returns to eat it. Castille now approaches Daphne and seems to consume her soul and body alike.
As Wilson lays injured on the ground, he remembers his interactions with his sister from five years ago. At the time, Daphne was at the heights of her drug abuse phase, and was one night struggling with an overdose on the streets. It was Wilson who had found her in that state and helped her back to his house. There, he had helped her recover, and this incident had brought the two even closer. Wilson remembers Daphne talking about a particular book that she liked the most, and recalls that the same book was inside the box of her personal items that he had retrieved after her death.
Presently, Wilson somehow manages to pull himself up and return to his house, where he goes through the book that his sister had left behind. In this, he finds writings by Daphne, which she had directly written for him, in which she explains the whole thing that has been happening. Daphne, and perhaps Wilson as well, were haunted by a ghastly demon with burning yellow eyes in their childhood days. Every night when their parents would fight, this demon would appear inside their closet and would sit in the darkness and haunt the kids. But this demon returned again to haunt Daphne when she was in her twenties and had an alcohol problem, and would constantly follow her around. Unable to help herself in any manner, the troubled woman sought respite in some dark arts and occult practices through which she believed she too would have the powers of a demon. Reading all of this with tremendous desperation to try and save his sister, Wilson decides to perform the rituals and fight the demonic Castille on his own. During his preparation, a colleague of Daphne’s comes to visit Wilson to pay her respects to the deceased woman, but the brother drives her away and returns to his dazed acts. As the scene is almost set and the preparation has been completed, Castille appears at Wilson’s doorstep, and both men, apparently possessed by demonic spirits, are ready to fight each other.
‘When I Consume You’ Ending Explained: Does Wilson Save Daphne From Evil?
Wilson fights Castille and pins him to the ground in an attempt to save Daphne, who is supposedly within the demon’s body. He shoves his hand inside Castille’s mouth and indeed pulls out Daphne’s soul and body from within. As the sister comes back to life once more, she finally remembers what had happened to her, and Wilson stabs Castille’s chest multiple times with a dagger. However, the demon tricks Wilson into doing so, just as it had once tricked Daphne into attacking it, which ultimately harmed the attackers themselves. When Daphne tried to hurt the demon, she killed herself in the process, and when Wilson stabs the demon with his dagger, it turns out that he has stabbed himself with it. Castille disappears from the scene, and Wilson is almost about to faint out when Daphne encourages him to stay put and walk out of the apartment onto the street. She knows that someone would find Wilson on the street before he died, and that is exactly what happens, and the man is taken to the hospital and saved just in time.
Daphne’s voice then takes over as scenes of Wilson living his usual life after recovering from the incident are shown. Daphne says how her brother survived the incident and has restarted his education, but is still haunted by the demon every day, who visits him, but Wilson now knows not to react. Finally, as Wilson has also been receiving medication for his mental ailments, Daphne knows that it is time for her to bid her brother goodbye, and the spirit of the dead sister finally leaves Wilson to live his improving life by himself.
Despite all the supernatural tropes that nicely play a part in the film’s visuals, the plot itself perhaps remains deeply psychological. The reasons and meanings of both Daphne and Wilson’s fears and hauntings are revealed gradually when the exact nature of their childhood is revealed. The two were largely neglected and left abandoned throughout their childhood, and the fear and trauma from that very age lived on as they grew up. While it is not made clear by the film as to whether there was actually a stalker who would follow Daphne around, there is no reason to believe that he did not exist either. It might be that the woman was indeed followed around and harassed by the police officer, but he was not the one to kill her. It was Daphne’s own fears that consumed her and led her to kill herself, and similarly, it was Wilson’s own psyche that pushed him towards self-harm and led to him stabbing himself. When any strike is made on the demon, it affects the siblings, which clearly suggests that the demon, or the fear of it, is most definitely within them. Although both the acts would seem willing and self-inflicted attempts to kill themselves, inside Daphne and Wilson’s minds, they indeed did not have any other option, which is really a representation of their troubled mental state. Wilson had been imagining Daphne all along since her death, because he had learned to survive only with the help of his sister and did not know life without her. Finally, at the end, as he has started taking medications to ease his mental condition, Daphne ceases to exist as Wilson learns to survive by himself, facing his fear, which returns every day, but the man now knows that he can control it too.
“When I Consume You” is a 2022 Drama Horror Film directed by Perry Blackshear.