Motherly (2021) Movie Ending, Explained: ‘Motherly’ is a Canadian horror-thriller directed by Craig David Wallace and starring Lora Burke, Tessa Kozma, Kristen MacCulloch, and Colin Paradine. At just 80 minutes, it’s fairly short and doesn’t overstay its welcome though, in both the genres that it’s operating, it doesn’t particularly become successful. Despite having a home invasion at its center, there’s hardly anything scary about it and as far as being a thriller, it is woefully lacking in any suspense. There are moments in it when it feels like it is taking the route of Argento’s ‘Deep Red’ or Bustillo and Maury’s ‘Inside’ but in reality, it ends up as a competently acted though highly underwhelming film.
Motherly (2021) Plot Summary & Movie Synopsis:
Kate lives with her daughter, Beth, in a secluded farmhouse. Beth is homeschooled and not allowed to venture beyond the walls of their house or even do much inside the house because of how overprotective Kate is. This is owing to a past trauma that is revealed in bits and pieces. As it turns out, they’re in a witness protection program. The policeman in charge of taking care of them, Hal, is an amicable man who visits them from time to time with food supplies and the likes.
The day of the action of the film is Beth’s 9th birthday. Beth is grumpy as she wants to spend it with her Dad and her mother’s efforts to make it special fall short. Kate’s husband, Brad, has killed himself in prison, as she’s informed by Hal and apparently, he was a monstrous human being. Kate’s recollections inform us that Brad killed their daughter’s friend, Courtenay, who was the same age as Beth, after which Kate turned him in and went into witness protection.
After Hal leaves, following a failed attempt on Kate’s part to sleep with him, two strangers invade Kate’s house. These are Courtenay’s parents, Mary and Lewis, who wish to force a confession out of Kate. After Courtenay’s death, Lewis became an amateur detective trying to figure out what really happened with their daughter as both he and Mary believed Brad to be innocent.
Over the course of his investigation, Lewis realized that there were far too many inconsistencies with the evidence that was found against Brad, hence, concluding that it was really Kate who killed their daughter and he was made the scapegoat. Mary starts torturing Kate with a camera to record her confession, should she concede it. As the night passes, things keep getting messier and Hal gets involved too after an altercation with his wife leads him to return to Kate’s place and inadvertently places him amidst the carnage.
What exactly was the crime?
On a certain day, about two years prior to the film’s setting, Courtenay came over to play with Beth at the latter’s place. As the two of them were playing hide-and-seek with Kate, Courtenay was stabbed to death while hiding inside a closet. After this, the closet was cleaned and Courtenay’s corpse was put in the trunk of Brad’s car, following which the car was driven out and left at some place where it was discovered after a certain period of time, making it look like the murder took place away from Kate’s home. The narrative of the film explains from the beginning that it was Brad who committed this crime. He was then imprisoned and we see Kate even write down the fact that he was a killer on her laptop, which initially seems inane but over time it is revealed that she did it to convince herself of this.
In time, Kate admits to murdering Courtenay and then staging it all to appear that Brad did it, as a way of saving her skin. The justification she provides for this is that since Brad and Mary were having an extramarital affair, which they indeed were, she did this to get back at Mary. The letter Brad left behind prior to his suicide is the first clue that’s provided to us about his innocence as after struggling to understand the horror of Courtenay’s murder, he eventually realized the nature of Kate’s motherly instinct that compelled her to protect Beth.
Motherly (2021) Movie Ending Explained:
In the wake of Kate’s confession, Lewis is about to kill her when Hal arrives on the scene and shoots him. But he’s made aware of the confession that Lewis had on his phone, so when he views it, Kate kills Hal to keep him from arresting her. As all this was going on, Mary struck up a bond with Beth who told her that her mother is mean to her and that she only wants to live with her father. Mary informs Beth about Brad’s suicide and is extremely sympathetic to the child’s state, viewing it as an extension of Kate’s inhumanity, even going to the extent of confusing her with Courtenay in her grief. After Kate frees herself after the debacle in the barn, she goes after Mary, who has, in the meantime, taken on the role of Beth’s guardian.
The two engage in a brawl during which Beth runs off to the barn. Mary follows her after incapacitating Kate and inside, Beth kills her with a pitchfork, without hesitation, and then remorselessly toys with the pitchfork that has impaled her, to hurt her further. Kate reprimands Beth for breaking her promise and it is here that Mary realizes what actually happened. It was really Beth who killed Courtenay. Kate cleaned up the crime scene and incriminated Brad to protect her daughter. As Kate gets close to Beth, trying to make her understand why she can’t kill people or let others know about this, Beth stabs her too, stating that it’s to avenge her father. Following this, she leaves the barn. Wandering aimlessly, in her bloody clothes and the knife in her hand, she comes across a car whose driver initially wonders if she’s lost and as she realizes what must’ve happened, Beth diabolically smiles at her.