Padraig Reynolds’s 2018 ‘Open 24 Hours’ is a horror slasher film revolving around a killing spree in a 24-hour remote gas station. The film stars Vanessa Grasse as its central character alongside Brendan Fletcher, Daniel O’Meara, and several others. Recently out of prison on parole, Mary struggles to find a decent job and ends up working the graveyard shift at a gas station. However, as the night progresses, her clinical delusion and paranoia worsen, and she starts seeing traces of her abusive serial killer ex-boyfriend everywhere.
Mary’s hallucinatory PTSD symptoms help the film build a suspenseful atmosphere where it becomes difficult to tell paranoia from reality. As such, you might be curious about the events that transpire throughout the night. If so, here is everything you need to know about the ending of ‘Open 24 Hours.’ SPOILERS AHEAD!
Open 24 Hours Plot Synopsis
When Mary applies at the Deer Gas Market, an isolated gas station, the owner, Ed, questions her about her ex-convict past. After Mary tells him she was convicted of setting her abusive boyfriend on fire, Ed decides to trust her and assigns her a 10 pm to 6 am shift. Later Mary experiences a flashback episode and hallucinates her ex, James, killing a girl in a bathtub. She also receives a phone call from a woman who claims to be one of James’ victim’s mothers seeking revenge on Mary.
Afterward, Mary’s closest childhood friend, Debby, drives her in the pouring rain to the gas station, where Mary meets Bobby, another employer. Bobby shows Mary the workaround and leaves her his number and the establishment keys. Outside, after Debby gets in her car, a menacing figure in a raincoat attacks Debby with a hammer and drags her body away.
Sometime later, Mary answers a call on the gas station landline from a woman inquiring about the business’s hours. However, after answering the first time, the same woman keeps calling with the same question. Mary freaks out and assumes she’s having an episode. Soon, Bobby comes back to check up on Mary. Bobby asks her about her ex-boyfriend, and Mary reveals that she used to date the local serial killer “Rain Ripper.”
Eventually, Bobby leaves, but on the drive back, the car breaks down in the middle of the road. When Bobby exits his car to fix it, the same person in the raincoat returns and attacks Bobby. Meanwhile, Mary hallucinates an extensive episode about one of James’ victims at the gas station. Later, Mary’s parole officer, Tom Doogan, visits the store after failing to reach her on her home landline. While Doogan is in the bathroom, James appears at the store in the flesh. However, Mary can’t tell reality apart from her hallucinations and refuses to believe James is here.
Mary realizes it was only a vision when she closes her eyes and opens them to find a woman standing in James’ place. Once Mary hears the woman’s voice, she realizes it’s the woman from the phone calls. After the woman and Doogan leave, Mary finds Debby and Bobby’s bodies tied to chairs in the backroom. When she runs back to the store, she stumbles across the same woman. The woman reveals herself to the mother of James’ victim and tries to kill Mary for her involuntary involvement in her daughter’s murder.
Before the lady can kill Mary, Officer Doogan arrives and shoots the woman in the head. Doogan reveals her identity to Mary as Cara Rogers, the mother of James’ final victim, Catherine, a young girl. He also informs Mary that there has been a prison escape and that James is now at large. However, before Doogan can take Mary to someplace safe, James shows up and attacks both of them. When Mary wakes next, she’s tied in a room with Debby, Bobby, and Doogan.
Open 24 Hours Ending: Does Bobby Die?
Before James’ was convicted for his crimes, he used to make Mary watch him kill his victims. As such, James prepares to torture Mary by making her witness his crimes again once he escapes prison. After Mary wakes in the backroom facing restrained Debby, Bobby, and Doogan, she begs James not to harm her friends. Nevertheless, James makes Mary watch as he brutally smashes Doogan’s head into pieces with his hammer. Afterward, James moves on to Debby and suffocates her to death with a plastic bag.
However, a customer walks into the store and interrupts James’ murder spree. James leaves the backroom to investigate, giving Mary the window to free herself from her ties. Bobby points Mary toward a gun in one of the lockers. While Mary retrieves the gun, the customer, a trucker who left his credit card behind earlier, notices the bloody store and calls the cops. Although the cops tell him to wait in his car, the trucker explores the store and reaches the backroom. James stabs the trucker in the neck before he can enter the room with Mary and the others.
Meanwhile, Mary and Bobby wait in the backroom with the shotgun aimed at the door, prepared for James’s return. As such, when the trucker’s body slumps against the door, Mary shoots at him, thinking he’s James. Soon, James turns off the gas station lights forcing Mary and Bobby to try and escape the store in the dark. Outside, a cop car arrives, responding to the trucker’s call. However, before Mary and Bobby can exit the shop, James emerges from the shadows and kills Bobby.
What Happens To Mary?
After Bobby’s death, Mary flees from the gas station and is held at gunpoint by the officer outside. Once Mary tells the Officer that James Lincolnfields is attacking her, the Officer quickly lets Mary into his car and calls the incident in at the station. However, before the Officer can drive off, James shoots him in the head with Mary’s abandoned shotgun. Following the officer’s death, Mary runs away into the deserted trailer park nearby.
Mary takes shelter inside a trailer and finds an old shovel. When James’ comes after her, Mary attacks him with the shovel and runs away. On her way to the gas station, she tries to flag down a car on the road, but no one stops for her. Realizing she has to face off against James on her own, Mary runs to Ed’s office and looks through the cabinets for a weapon. Eventually, his eyes fall on the massive mounted deer heads on the wall.
When James returns to the gas station, he breaks into the office, and Mary runs the deer head through James, impaling him on the antlers. As James dies, he pulls the antlers out of his body and crawls toward Mary. Before dying, he lies at a doorframe and professes his love for Mary. After watching her nightmare finally come to an end, Mary passes out and wakes the next morning. Some time into the future, Mary is working at a hair salon late at night. As she sweeps up the floor, Mary looks into the mirror and notices a similar silhouette in a green raincoat.
Was James Real?
Throughout the movie, Mary constantly experiences hallucinations and flashbacks. Due to the same, she can never tell reality from what’s happening in her head. Her past with James has traumatized her, and she needs medical aid to function. Mary has witnessed numerous women die in front of her eyes without being able to do anything about it. As such, she occasionally sees James’ victims and their final demises numerous times throughout the day. At times, she can’t even trust her instincts and constantly doubts the reality of events happening in front of her.
The first time she receives a call from James, he plays her a song called ‘Raindrops,’ an old practice from when they were together. The song signals that James is about to kill someone that night. However, Mary assumes she’s imagining the whole thing because of her clinical delusion and takes her pills. Similarly, when James visits her at the gas station, Mary sees his half-burnt face but refuses to believe he’s real.
Towards the film’s end, Mary has accepted James as a real person instead of a figment of her imagination. The morning after she kills James, Mary wakes up and finds everyone’s dead bodies at the gas station, including Bobby and the trucker. However, even though the deer antlers are stained with blood, James’ body is nowhere to be found. Mary disregards it all and walks away from the bloodied, wrecked scene.
The mysterious absence of James’ body at the gas station, mixed with his presence in the hair salon a few months later, subtly points toward an unsettling explanation. It is possible that Mary has hallucinated the entire night with James as the villain while all along, she’s the one who has been committing the murders.
Every person who visits the gas station on the night that Mary works there dies— except Mary. The film frames itself in a way that Mary’s paranoia and delusion directly play into the audience’s expectations of the ending. As such, when the movie ends with an open end, it leaves behind two possible endings. One where the events can be taken at face value. Or the other, where Mary’s trauma had led her to imagine James and his actions at the gas station.
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