The new Hulu body horror movie Appendage (2023) is an extended version of the short film of the same name, directed by Anna Zlokovic. The film follows a budding fashion designer whose reality falters as her deepest fears materialize into a horrifying entity growing from her body. Anna Zlokovic uses a psychological allegory, showing how our negative and intrusive thoughts can control our lives, leading to catastrophic moments that may eventually ruin us. It also discreetly tells that recognizing our helplessness and sadness and seeking immediate help rather than succumbing to the dark path leading to a solitary existence is crucial. Importantly, we must avoid self-deprecation and look within ourselves for confidence and self-belief in any endeavor.

However, despite the intriguing plot and theme, the film lacks the essential elements of horror, gore, or the visceral emotions typically associated with body horror. It feels as if the story doesn’t try to evoke any emotional connection with the character or the essence of the film. The manifestation of the character’s fears and self-doubt through the Appendage fails to appear menacing, which left me majorly disappointed.

Nonetheless, here is a brief overview of what transpires in the film and how it concludes. Please be aware the article contains spoilers!

Appendage (2023) Plot Summary & Movie Synopsis:

What is the movie Appendage (2023) about?

Appendage follows the story of Hannah, an aspiring fashion designer. She has a steady relationship with her boyfriend, Kaelin, who was introduced to her by her best friend Esther, her colleague at work. Hannah works hard, but unfortunately, her toxic boss often pushes her to the edge, ridiculing her for not being original enough. He even threatens to fire her if she doesn’t do well.

Hannah suffers from severe anxiety and stress that primarily stem from her possible trauma during her childhood. Her overbearing and controlling parents are no different, especially her mother, who expects Hannah to put on a happy face despite feeling constant turmoil. The constant pressure of doing better and keeping up with the toxicity leaves Hannah on edge, eventually manifesting as stomach pain that often growls and leads to unbearable pain.

What is the thing that causes Hannah’s stomach ache?

When Cristean (her boss) announces that he will pick up designers for his latest show, Hannah is under immense pressure to get selected. Later at Kaelin’s place, when Hannah learns that her boyfriend also comes with baggage, she tries to have a moment with him, but her pain distracts her from experiencing anything. So, she goes back home and tries to work on her design, but her unbearable pain doesn’t let her. She looks at her stomach and sees something moving, almost protruding out of her body. She lifts her top and finds out a talking creature that starts belittling her instantly. Shocked and in complete disbelief, Hannah repeats that this is not real as the creature gets out of her body, making her unconscious. When she wakes up, she finds the creature in her room, so she picks it up and hides it inside the closet. While fixing herself, she sees blood stains on her clothes, which inspire her to redo her latest design.

The next day, Cristean is impressed with Hannah’s attempt and gives her the go-ahead to work on more designs. Esther notices Hannah’s wounds and asks her to visit a doctor immediately. At the clinic, Hannah discovers that she might have a dual DNA chimera – a rare congenital condition involving a person sharing DNA with their fraternal twin. The doctor suggests that this condition leaves a birthmark, and since Hannah has an infected wound around it, she might have to run a few tests.

Why does Hannah hide the creature in the basement?

Later, Esther and Hannah head over for drinks, and Esther suggests that the two quit their jobs and start their own business, working from home. The sudden change in career plans and the prospect of more responsibility causes distress to Hannah. She leaves her friend midway and returns home when her pain distracts her again. Back home, she gets panic attacks as she sees the creature in her room again, manipulating her mind. The creature tells her that Esther and Kaelin might be involved with each other, making her feel unlovable and lonely. It also tells her that even though she has no talent of her own, it can help her if she listens to whatever it (the creature) is saying. However, Hannah takes her shoe and hits the creature, knocking it out, and then takes it to the basement to hide it.

Meanwhile, her mother calls to inform her that they are moving next to her apartment and that she should come for the farewell dinner. Esther and Kaelin come unannounced to invite Hannah to hang out, but seeing them together makes Hannah come up with an excuse to avoid them.

What is an Appendage?

Appendage (2023) Movie Ending Explained - HOF
A still from Appendage (2023)

She then searches about her condition and finds a group with similar issues. In the group, Hannah discovers that Appendage is like a parasite that finds its host and feeds on it, making them weak and vulnerable. The parasite takes advantage of these vulnerable beings and becomes powerful, eventually controlling their host. After meeting the group, she learns from a member that there’s a solution where she will have to inject a serum into the creature that would somehow quieten it. However, there is a side effect that may affect her daily life.

After the meeting, she meets Claudia, with whom she instantly vibes. She invites Hannah back to her place, and the two become fast friends. Back at her place, Hannah injects the serum into the creature, and soon, the side effect takes a toll on her. When Kaelin comes to meet her, he sees her disoriented and spaced out, making him worry. When he wants to know what is happening with her, she tells him about the entire Appendage scene. However, Kaelin doesn’t believe her, which annoys Hannah, who then asks him to leave.

What does Claudia suggest to Hannah?

The following day, Esther notices Hannah behaving erratically, and when she shows concern, Hannah snaps and gets mean about how Esther is always cheerful about everything. Later, we see Hannah hanging out with Claudia and learn that Hannah developed a drinking problem quite early in her life. Her mother became quite indifferent towards her when a near-death experience in a car accident (probably a suicide attempt) led her to 24/7 watch. Hannah confides in Claudia that she is a messed-up person who cannot find her way back. Claudia then tells her that she must try listening to her creature (demon) as it might be therapeutic and work quite well for her. However, Hannah should not let the creature hypnotize her, and this must be their secret.

Back in the basement, Hannah decides to try listening to the creature, who is quick enough to manipulate her thoughts, planting evil ideas about her life. When Hannah tries injecting the serum, she realizes the syringe is empty, prompting the creature to hypnotize her. When Hannah wakes up, she finds the creature gone and heads to her apartment, calling Claudia to inform her about the previous night. In the meantime, Hannah also receives a call from her mother, who gaslights her for ignoring her. When Hannah asks her mother if she had a twin, her mother ignores the question and tells her to pick up food delivery for the guests instead.

What does Hannah find out about the Appendage?

After picking up the order, Hannah heads to her parent’s house, but her mother rails her up for acting weird, making Hannah puke strange black liquid into the food. Seeing her mother more concerned about the food, Hannah cries for help, but her mother tells her to pull herself together. Instead, she tells Hannah that dealing with a child drowning in sadness has not been easy. Hannah doesn’t like that her mother makes no effort to understand her and leaves. After coming back to her apartment, Hannah finds the creature is a full-grown version of herself who hypnotizes her using a tongue-shaped mechanism that allows it to take over Hannah. It turns out that Claudia, too, had undergone the same process and has been replaced by the appendage.

Soon, Claudia and Hannah join the other members of the group, who look like glossy versions of their hosts, and decide to feed not only on their hosts until they perish but also on other vulnerable civilians. The new Hannah decides to impress her boss with her latest designs, which are a culmination of Hannah’s confident and bold personality. It makes Esther curious about her friend’s sudden changes. When, out of the blue, Hannah texts Esther and Kaelin after ignoring them due to a phase of ‘mental illness,’ Esther decides to check on Hannah’s whereabouts. This investigation was prompted when Esther noticed that Hannah did not have the matching tattoo the two friends had gotten together.

Appendage (2023) Movie Ending Explained:

Is Hannah able to regain control over her life from the Appendage?

While Hannah and Claudia go on to achieve their quest, Esther, one day, goes to Hannah’s basement only to find out that her friend is being kept hostage there. Esther takes a very sick Hannah to the hospital and discovers what her friend has been going through. In the meantime, Appendage-Hannah meets Kaelin, who is surprised to see his girlfriend dressed sexy and confident. After spending the night together, when Kaelin goes to take a shower, Appendage-Hannah finds one of her teeth broken, leading her to panic and call Claudia. After checking the basement, Claudia tells Appendage-Hannah that the host is gone, making her vulnerable again. Hence, she needs to find a new host to regain her strength.

 Hannah starts feeling weak at the hospital again, making her realize that the parasite may be the reason behind it. When Esther cannot reach Kaelin, the two women head to his place and find Appendage-Hannah taking over Kaelin, almost killing him. While Esther fights Claudia, Hannah takes a pair of scissors, cuts the tongue of the parasite, and climbs over it, telling it that she will not let the parasite control her. She then kisses the parasite on the lips, which shrinks back to its original form.

What happens at the end of the movie Appendage (2023)?

The ending of Appendage (2023) shows Hannah and Esther rescuing the original Claudia, followed by Hannah confronting her parents about their over-controlling nature that always made her feel unhappy and that they should be okay with her experiencing sadness. The film ends with Hannah and Esther quitting their jobs and living together, working on their fashion business. When Hannah mistakenly pricks her finger with a needle while working out of habit, she belittles herself, causing stress. However, now she knows why and goes to her attic, where the Appendage has shrunk into baby form. She soothes the baby appendage, not letting its negative manifestation overpower her.

Read More: Appendage: Cast & Characters Explained, Plot, Release Date, Where to Watch, Trailer & Other Details


Appendage (2023) Movie Links: IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, Letterboxd
Appendage (2023) Movie Cast: Emily Hampshire, Hadley Robinson, Deborah Rennard
Appendage (2023) Movie Genre: Horror/Mystery & thriller, Runtime: 1h 34m
Where to watch Appendage

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