The Halloween season is all about watching spooky movies, and while some viewers are satisfied with the more family-friendly plots in Hocus Pocus, Beetlejuice, Hubie Halloween, and the Halloweentown franchise, there are plenty of others who want to watch something that will give them nightmares.
Cadaver is the latest film to be added to Netflix's extensive collection of horror flicks, and it will keep viewers on the edge of their seats.
The Norwegian thriller takes place after a nuclear apocalypse that few survived. Leonora (Gitte Witt), her husband, Jacob (Thomas Gullestad), and her daughter, Alice (Tuva Olivia Remman) are invited to a local hotel for a charity celebration, which includes a theatre show led by famous director Mathias Vinterberg (Thorbjorn Harr).
The family soon learns that the play is taking place all around the hotel, and that the only way to tell the guests apart from the actors is to wear masks.
But, those in the audience soon begin to disappear, and Leonora realizes that something is very wrong with the event.
Like many horror films, the ending of Cadaver leaves some things open for interpretation. Keep reading for the breakdown of the Cadaver ending explained. SPOILERS are ahead.
What is 'Cadaver' about? SPOILERS.
At the beginning of the film, Leonora and her family are tempted to see The Hotel play because they are promised a warm meal (which has become a luxury in their post-apocalyptic world). The survivors are doing all they can to continue living, but Lenora and Jacob are constantly fearful of what could happen to their daughter.
During the event, the guests are advised to investigate the hotel because various mini-plays are going on in each of the rooms.
While all of the guests are roaming the hotel's hallways, Alice is separated from her parents. Leonora begins to see visions of her daughter while she is looking for her, and she fights with Jacob because he had been reluctant to attend the event in the first place.
Leonora stumbles upon the cadaver room, and she finds out that Mathias has been killing the guests to eat them since the food supply is otherwise very low.
She rejects Mathias' offer to join the other actors. Jacob is then killed while trying to rescue Leonora from the cadaver room.
Though Leonora thinks that her daughter has also been taken to be eaten, she later learns that Mattias wanted her because she resembled his late daughter. At the end of the film, Alice walks down the hotel stairs, unharmed, to rejoin her mother.
The 'Cadaver' ending explained — what does it mean?
While Leonora initially thinks that her daughter's descent on the stairs is another figment of her imagination, she realizes that's not the case when she can hug Alice.
Miraculously, Alice isn't harmed at all, and Mathias was telling the truth about why he picked her to come to the show.
"He asked me if I wanted to be in their play," Alice tells her mom.
In a heartbreaking moment, the little girl then asks where her dad is.
"It's just us now, Alice," Leonora responds.
The camera then pans to the various locations around the hotel that have been affected by the play. A photo of Alice and her father is visible on the floor, and Mathias' body is seen hanging from the ceiling of the cadaver room.
Leonora and Alice step outside, and they leave the hotel behind them. As they walk through the streets, they see multiple dead bodies from the apocalypse, and they realize just how dismal it is. The city has no life to it anymore.
In the final seconds, Leonora looks back at the hotel, which is the only building that is well-lit among the others in the gray landscape.
Her face is hard to read, and it's unclear if she's rethinking her decision to leave the hotel and its cadaver concept behind, or if she's glad to put the incident behind her.
The film then fades to black, and the audience doesn't get to find out whether Leonora will return to the hotel, or stick it out in the abandoned city. It's unknown if she and Alice will be able to survive on their own — or if they'll soon become cadavers as well.
Cadaver is available to stream on Netflix now.