Once Upon a Crime ‘ Netflix’ Movie Ending Explained: Fairy Tales! These are usually set once upon a time in a land far away. The characters in these tales seem to only speak in English, and they never seem to crossover. With the shared universes becoming the norm thanks to Marvel, DC, and numerous other offerings, Netflix has felt that the time was ripe to concoct a crossover. The unique genre is not so much of a novelty as fairy tales have been adapted into Horror films. But a crime mystery is quite new (at least to me).

In Once Upon a Crime (Original title: Akazukin, tabi no tochu de shitai to deau), director Yuchi Fukuda takes Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, the Ball, and the Glass Shoe, the Fairy Godmother, and gives audiences a reason to watch this story with a rather appropriate title. Why, though? We all know how the ‘Once Upon a Time’ stories end…but do we know the ending if it were to be ‘Once Upon a Crime’?

Once Upon a Crime (2023) Plot Summary & Movie Synopsis:

Once Upon a Crime is set Once Upon a Time. The film gets the obvious out of the way quite fast. It begins with the usual words and a storybook with pictures. Netflix’s Once Upon a Crime presents the age-old story of Cinderella wanting to go to the ball and not being permitted to do so by her stepmother. Creative liberties do come in with the renaming of Prince Charming to Prince Gilbert and the infusion of other fairy tale characters like Red Riding Hood. There are other creative calls taken as well

Audiences see Little Red Riding Hood walking through the woods, where she meets a witch (Barbara) and then runs into Cinderella. The two speak and share their thoughts about attending the ball and take the help of Barbara and Tekla, who turn their dresses into ball gowns and their shoes into glass slippers.

The usual story follows where a pumpkin and mouse serve as the carriage and carriage man, but then things take a twist with the ‘Crime.’ The crime comes forth with the discovery of the corpse of the top royal stylist named Hans. Apart from the crime, the change here is that Little Red Riding Hood exhibits shades of grey and deduces things. Is Little Red Riding Hood a smooth criminal or a stunning sleuth? Will she find out who killed Hans? Or did she kill Hans?

Once Upon a Crime (2023) Netflix Movie Ending Explained:

Who is the mysterious figure in black?

The mysterious figure in dark robes is Prince Gilbert’s old flame. She disappears after Hans disfigures her in his bid to snip off her hair. Remi takes this call as she feels she does not deserve to be before the Prince since she is now ugly. This is the situation in the fictional country the film is set in, which values beauty above all else. Remi retains affection for Gilbert as she watches his moves from afar, going as far as to sneak into the castle to provide testimony and exonerate him. She provides an eyewitness account midway into the film that allows the King to believe that his son is innocent of the murder of Hans.

Who is the killer of Hans?

Once Upon a Crime (2023) Netflix Movie Ending Explained
A still from Once Upon a Crime (2023)

Cinderella is the one who killed Hans.

What is the motive for the murder of Hans?

Cinderella killed Hans in self-defense as he tried to cut off her hair.

How does Hans really get killed?

Cinderella strikes Hans hard on the back of his head with a foreign object to save herself and her hair from his devious intentions.

Why does Cinderella frame Margot?

Cinderella frames Margot as she tries to kill two birds with one stone. She aims not to be tortured by her stepsisters and stepmother. Since she had killed Hans in self-defense (it is questionable as his back was turned at the moment), Cinderella had to set up a fall guy to save herself. Hence, she sent out a note to Margot and carried out her plan.

What mistake does Cinderella make?

When Cinderella hits Margot, her blow isn’t powerful enough. This sees her stepsister in a position to regain consciousness. In desperation, the right-handed Cinderella relies on her left glass slipper to strike Margo and knock her unconscious. In her haste, she overlooks the broken portion of her glass shoe heel until too late. When Cinderella realizes it, she opts for a new slipper and refrains from returning to recover the broken piece. This is because she believes that a Palace messenger will call on Hans at a particular time, and she has to be far away from the scene of the crime.

How does Red Riding Hood trap Cinderella?

Little Red Riding Hood drops fact after fact in her attempt to get the truth forward. She talks about Cinderella being barefoot right from the start, exposes the lie about the missing shoes, and talks about the cuts on Cinderella’s feet coming from the raspberry plants. She also uses her discovery and the events from the meeting with Margot to lull Cinderella into a false sense of security.

Detective Riding Hood retains a key piece of evidence, i.e., the broken portion of the heel of a glass slipper. Little Red Riding Hood uses her gift to identify where Cinderella hid the broken shoe. Furthermore, she summons Barbara and Tekla to reveal to one and all that two glass slippers were created. Upon confirming the time (which synced with when Hans died), Red Riding Hood and the group stare at the glass slipper in the royal party member’s hand and the one on Cinderella’s left foot. They both turn back into ordinary shoes after the 24-hour window runs out.

What does Prince Gilbert tell Cinderella?

When she is about to be taken away, Cinderella requests Prince Gilbert to tell her she is beautiful. He looks at her and utters the words, “You are very.” As Cinderella looks at him, he ends his sentence with the word “disappointing.”

Read More: 50 Best Japanese Movies of the 21st Century


Once Upon a Crime (2023) Movie Links: IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, Letterboxd
The Cast of Once Upon a Crime (2023) Movie: Kanna Hashimoto, Yûko Araki, Takanori Iwata
Once Upon a Crime (2023) Movie Genre: Adventure/Comedy, Runtime: 1h 47m
Where to watch Once Upon a Crime

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