the call ending explained
Source: Netflix

'The Call' Doesn't Offer the Satisfying Ending It Initially Appears To (SPOILERS)

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Dec. 9 2020, Published 3:45 p.m. ET

Spoiler Alert: This article contains spoilers for the South Korean Netflix film The Call.

Although Netflix offers plenty of great English language content, some subscribers have also explored the array of foreign titles that are now available on the service. One of those titles, a Korean movie called The Call, comes packed with a shocking ending that has left fans of the movie bewildered. Now, some of them are wondering exactly what that ending means for the film as a whole. 

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What is 'The Call' about?

The Call tells the story of two women who find that they can communicate with one another through time via an old cordless phone in a house that they both, at one point in time, lived in. The woman living in 2019 is named Seo-yeon (Park Shin-Hye), and the woman she's conversing with is named Young-sook (Jong-seo Jun), who lives in 1999. Through their communication, the two women are able to help prevent terrible tragedies from occurring in one another's lives. 

the call ending explained
Source: Netflix
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Young-sook prevents a fire that killed Seo-yeon's father, and Seo-yeon returns the favor by warning Young-sook that her mother is going to kill her during an exorcism. When Young-sook turns the tables on her mother and kills her, her path is changed forever. Instead of dying, Young-sook becomes a serial killer, and people in Seo-yeon's present begin to disappear as she murders them. 

Young-sook eventually kills Seo-yeon's father in 1999, and takes an 8-year-old Seo-yeon captive. These events in 1999 change Seo-yeon's present yet again. Young-sook eventually convinces Seo-yeon to find out how Young-sook will be arrested so that she can avoid capture, and then the two confront one another in the present day, where Young-sook is older but has continued killing people. 

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'The Call' seems to end on a happy note.

The film ends with Seo-yeon talking to her mother in 1999 through the phone. Her mother, Eun-ae (Sung-ryung Kim), is being chased by Young-sook, and Seo-yeon encourages her to fight back. The film appears to end with Seo-yeon's mother sacrificing herself in order to kill Young-sook, effectively erasing her from the 2019 timeline. The movie's final moments reveal that Eun-ae is actually alive in 2019, and she is reunited with her daughter in the closing scene.

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Although this ending seems to be happy, a mid-credits scene completely changes our feelings about the film. In that scene, we see that 2019 Young-sook has used the phone to call her younger counterpart. In doing so, Young-sook is able to warn her younger self about Eun-ae's attack and successfully avoid it, killing Eun-ae in the process and erasing her from 2019. 

Then, the scene cuts to a room where a person in a white cloth is tied to a chair and screaming for help. Viewers see the cloth get removed, and discover that Seo-yeon has been imprisoned, presumably by Young-sook. The movie ends here, on a note suggesting that in The Call, Young-sook will wind up taking Seo-yeon as her next victim. 

That dark, depressing ending only gets darker when you realize that Seo-yeon is the only one who knows about the phone and would therefore be unable to change the future yet again. If she dies, Young-sook's future as a successful serial killer is set in stone, and there's nothing that anyone can do to change it.

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