Greg Pritkin’s newest film will take you on a roller coaster ride with unpredictable plot twists. The Mistress (2023) falls into the above-average category and discusses the realism of how our thoughts can control our lives. The characters are portrayed perfectly by the actors in their respective roles. John Magaro’s portrayal of Parker is a bold move, as he adds a decent yet suspicious dimension to the movie, making everything even more eerie.
The cinematography also helps this modern film evoke a throwback vibe. Not every horror-thriller film will intellectually engage you, as opposed to simply gripping you emotionally, and that’s where “The Mistress” stands out.
Even with a limited budget, everything still turns out to be quite spectacular. The plot revolves around a newlywed couple who move into a century-old house to start a new life together, only to find themselves trapped in a terrible nightmare. Now, let’s delve into its summary and explore how the film ingeniously overturns the ending and alters perceptions, making it a must-watch.
The Mistress (2023) Plot Summary and Movie Synopsis :
The story opens with a newlywed couple named Madeline and Parker, who are moving into their new home. The house is over a hundred years old, and the history held within the walls makes the couple more interested. Despite the house’s time-honored beauty, Madeline can’t shake the feeling that it might be haunted.
They have a gifted neighbor named Dawn, who came to the couple willingly as soon as they moved in. She tells them she’s feeling positive energy from the house and claims she’s connected to the spiritual world. Meanwhile, Madeline was not really impressed and was even more relieved as soon as they left the house. Despite the love between Madeline and Parker, there are still unresolved differences between them.
Madeline proudly keeps mentioning that her husband’s nonfiction work is a bestseller. Meanwhile, Parker feels pressured to produce another successful draft for his agent, Rob. He’s experiencing difficulty in coming up with ideas and connecting with his next topic, causing him to ignore Rob’s phone calls. Besides his writing, Parker has always loved photography and is excited to discover a hidden plate camera in their attic.
He even took over the basement and made it into a darkroom. While his wife Madeline admires him greatly, the only problem Madeline has with Parker is his smoking habit. Madeline has always dreamed of starting a family with Parker, and when they have kids, it’s important for him to quit smoking due to its health risks. Every time Madeline brings up the idea of starting a family, he laughs it off, clearly indicating that he has no plans to have children.
They focused on renovating their new home to enhance its stunning interior. When Parker finds the hidden plate camera, he starts experiencing paranormal phenomena and seeing ghosts in the house. He develops the picture he found in the camera and sees a woman in the photograph, and he is mesmerized by her beauty. The picture is over a hundred years old, just like the number of years the house has stood, and the idea that no one had seen it until now gives them shivers.
While Parker becomes busy and intrigued by the people who lived in their new house in the past, his agents keep nagging him about the deadline. Luckily, Parker’s subject agrees to meet at a donut shop. The subject doesn’t show up, but Parker talks about his experience with a homeless person. Madeline and Parker host a housewarming party, and Dawn shows up again without the couple inviting her.
Madeline can sense that Parker is interested in Dawn, but she chooses not to overthink it. When Parker is alone with their friend Davey, he shares how his previous relationship before Madeline traumatized him. He dated a woman who developed an unhealthy obsession with him after they broke up. She used to call and text him non-stop. His ex’s name is Gina Santorelli, and she became more desperate, resorting to stalking him wherever he went.
It reached the point where Parker had to call the cops on her. However, she managed to vanish before the cops could even come to her. But things got worse one night when Parker caught her hiding under his bed. After that incident, Gina was detained in a psychiatric ward for a month. Even though she was detained and Parker had a restraining order against her, he was still afraid of her. Parker’s fear of being found by Gina worsened over time.
But this time, Parker’s obsession with Rebecca (the woman in the photograph he developed from the plate camera) increased dramatically when he discovered a pile of letters. Madeline sees one of the letters during the housewarming party, and the friends start to understand Rebecca. Rebecca was one of the people who owned the house together with her lover William Woodruff. The letter reveals everything about their affair and Rebecca’s desire to declare her love for William.
As Parker develops an obsession with Rebecca, it also makes him even more overly suspicious and concerned about being followed by his stalker. It comes to the point that he keeps a baseball bat next to him when he sleeps, just in case something happens. Madeline is a costume designer, and when she learns about Rebecca, she decides to dress like her and take a similar shot using the plate camera. After a tiring and eventful morning, Parker seemingly sees a woman outside their house.
He’s holding the baseball bat and bravely goes out of the house to check, but he sees no one. Parker finds it so strange that he informs the police about what happened. However, he’s still unsure who the woman he saw was, so they can’t do much about it. Due to all the strange occurrences happening to him, Parker decides to install CCTV cameras around the house to monitor his stalker.
When Parker returns to his study room to work on his new book, he finds “I love you” written page after page. He assumes it’s Madeline’s doing, but things turn differently when he hears music playing in the living room. At the exact moment, the light in the basement turns on. Parker walks into the room and notices a silhouette of a woman. The woman comes closer to him and manages to render him defenseless for several seconds.
After the entire incident, Parker decides to keep it all hidden from his wife. Davey and Janine are having a conversation about how Rebecca is nothing more than just a stalker when her ghost shows up once again. Rebecca seems unhappy about their conversation and renders Davey unconscious. Davey tells them someone has hit him, but it’s too unlikely. Davey offers his gun to Parker to use in case he sees his stalker again. Parker becomes aware of the strange things happening to Davey and eventually commits himself to Rebecca.
Rebecca is deeply obsessed with Parker, and he, too, starts to enjoy her presence. One night, when Parker is alone, he notices a woman breaking into the house through the CCTV footage. He holds the gun Davey gave him and slowly opens the door, only to find out that it’s Dawn. Dawn pleads with him to be on her side. Subsequently, they begin to open up to each other about their deepest and darkest secrets while sharing a glass of whiskey.
Dawn suddenly kisses Parker, and he immediately moves his face away. But he admits that he can’t resist the temptation, and it seems he wants it. Before they can continue kissing, Parker decides to safely store the gun in the bathroom drawer while Dawn is still there. When he returns from the bathroom, he finds Dawn missing and notices that the light in the basement is on.
He walks down to it and sees Dawn’s dead body lying on the ground. He knows it’s because of Rebecca’s jealousy. Then, he proceeds to carry Dawn’s body out of the basement and buries it outside. Parker is full of guilt, but when Rebecca is around, he forgets his morality. No matter how much Parker wants to blame Rebecca for ruining his life, he’s still completely mesmerized by her beauty.
The Mistress (2023) Movie Ending, Explained:
Is everything about Rebecca true?
Madeline notices the papers, envelopes, and ink lying on the ground. It turns out that every letter they’ve read since being in the house has been written by Parker. He developed an unhealthy obsession with Rebecca and began to mimic her. He pretends to be her and writes letters to William. Creating the letters helps him construct a convincing story that convinces people it’s truly authentic.
He was overwhelmed by the pain Rebecca had experienced and began to think the way she did. He had to convince himself to distance himself from Madeline and dedicate himself to Rebecca. It also reveals that he never truly interacted with his subjects; everything was just part of his creation, and he became lost in his own world.
Since he was 12 years old, Parker dropped a stone from a bridge onto a passing car. He might have told himself that his friends pushed him, but he alone chose to kill a stranger. He has lived in psychiatric wards and attended several counseling sessions, yet he still struggles to deal with his thoughts.
Who committed the murders?
The ending of The Mistress shows Madeline running to the attic and seeing her mother partially awake, lying on the ground. Her mother points to the gun that is lying beside her, and Madeline immediately grabs the gun and screams for help from the roof. Parker, who appears as Rebecca, follows Madeline’s scream from the roof and continues to blame his wrongdoings on the character he created. Everyone assumes that Rebecca is behind all the killings that have been happening. The scene where Rebecca killed Dawn turns out to be Parker, just assuming that Rebecca would be jealous if she found her lover kissing another woman. He was also the one to render Davey unconscious.
What happened to Parker and their house?
When Parker finally finds Madeline in the attic and is about to attack her with the baseball bat, Madeline manages to shoot him first, and Parker dies. The police arrive at their house soon after. Everything that has happened is a roller coaster ride for Madeline, and it has left a mark on her. She decides to move out of the house, and the film shows that a new couple moves in and also finds the picture of Madeline dressing like Rebecca that Parker had taken.
His ghost still dwells in that house, and even though he believes he has reunited with his lover Rebecca after his death, he still seeks to disturb the young couple. Similar to what happened to Madeline and Parker, the new couple also finds it intriguing to learn about Madeline. The scene suggests they might also encounter the same fate and experience the tragic story of Parker and Madeline.