The Puppetman Ending, Explained: What Happens to Michal?

Brandon Christensen’s ‘The Puppetman’ is a 2023 horror movie featuring a stellar ensemble including the likes of Caryn Richman, Angel Prater, Jayson Therrien, Michael Paré, Alyson Gorske, Zachary Le Vey, and Cameron Wong. At the heart of the story is Michal, a young woman terrorized by the crimes of her father and a malevolent entity that lives inside of her. Charlie, one of Michal’s closest friends, becomes obsessed with her father’s case, leading to a tragic suicide and the beginning of the evil’s influence over Michal’s life. 

‘The Puppetman’ offers a unique take on the horror genre, infusing elements of both supernatural and psychological horror. The movie brilliantly intertwines both horrors from the past and the struggles of the present to explore the consequences of an evil force’s influence on its victims. Want to know how Michal and her friends deal with the evil that follows them around? Here’s everything you need to know about the ending of ‘The Puppetman.’ SPOILERS AHEAD! 

The Puppetman Plot Synopsis

The movie begins with a flashback, and we see David (Zachary Le Vey) trying to kill his wife, Patricia, under what appears to be some kind of mind-control. David desperately tries to control himself but unfortunately ends up plunging a knife into Patricia’s chest. David was later arrested for murder when the cops barged into his house. The cops also found David’s daughter, Michal, locked up inside a cage. It appeared that she hadn’t seen sunlight in months. The public dubbed David “The Puppetman,” condemning him for killing his wife in cold blood. However, David always maintained his innocence, claiming that something else was in control of his body. Following a decade-long legal battle, David was sent to prison and is now awaiting his execution date.

Even after a decade, Michal (Alyson Gorske), David’s daughter, still has nightmares about the night her own father murdered her mother. Like all the others, Michal too believes her father is guilty, and all those claims about possession and something else controlling his body are nothing but a plain white lie to avoid the death penalty. Charlie (Angel Prater), one of Michal’s friends, plans a party to get drunk and wasted before they leave for vacation. Unlike Michal, Charlie is obsessed with the “Puppetman” and keeps reading about the case despite Michal requesting her not to do so.

Charlie also has a dossier full of videos that show Michal waking up in the middle of the night and drawing a strange symbol while dragging her bloody fingers on the wall. Not to mention, Charlie even told Jo (Anna Telfer), Glenn (Cameron Wong), and Danny (Kio Cyr) about Michal’s past and sleepwalking episodes, even though she promised to keep it a secret. Things take a dark turn when something sinister seizes control of Charlie’s body and makes her jump off the roof.

Detective Al (Michael Paré) arrives at the scene and questions Michal to understand the reason behind Charlie’s suicide. Michal mentions that before Charlie jumped off the roof, she noticed a familiar look in Charlie’s eyes—an expression reminiscent of what she had seen in her father’s eyes the night he murdered her mother. Failing to make any sense of Michal’s statement, Al allows her to leave. Things start to get downhill from there. Michal completely isolates herself in her college dorm, blaming herself for Charlie’s death. Not to mention, the murder of crows willingly killing themselves by crashing at her window further fuels Michal’s fears. She even tries throwing herself off the roof while sleepwalking, but fortunately, Danny intervenes and saves her in the nick of time. 

Michal receives a strange call from Ruby (Caryn Richman), asking to meet her and the gang. Ruby is a psychic and believes there’s darkness living inside Michal, and Charlie died because she could see it. Glenn, on the other hand, believes that Michal is to blame for Charlie’s death. Ruby reveals that Charlie visited her earlier and had requested her to help Michal. Ruby tries convincing Michal that whatever happened to Patricia wasn’t her fault and she should stop punishing herself for the same. Ruby asks the group to sit in a circle and call forth Patricia’s spirit to help Michal get closure. Unfortunately, a different spirit possesses Ruby, stating that Michal has killed Charlie.

The same night, Michal begins sleepwalking again and writes “Let it Die” with her flood. Upon waking up, Michal once again starts blaming herself, saying she’s the one who told Charlie to jump off the roof. Like Glenn, she, too, is starting to acknowledge that she’s behind everything. But why? Michal is convinced that death follows her everywhere she goes. Years ago, when Michal was placed under foster care, she found her foster father hanging from the tree.

Michal’s foster father was a predator and preyed on the girl who was placed under his care. There wasn’t a day when Michal didn’t wish for his death, and eventually, it happened. Now Michal thinks her anger is the trigger, and it somehow forces people to do something they’ll never do in their sane mind. Michal was furious when she learned that Charlie had broken her promise. Charlie spilled the beans about Michal’s murderous father and her sleeping walking episodes and ended up paying the price. 

The Puppetman Ending Explained: What Happens to Michal?

Ruby contacts Jo and gives her a book about the “Cult of Dolos,” convinced it is somehow connected with Charlie’s death. Sadly, the evil spirit forces Jo to kill herself before she can turn any pages. Glenn also falls victim to the evil entity and dies a horrible death in the Gym. Meanwhile, Michal visits her father, David, in prison, wherein the latter communicates that she’s the one who made him kill Patricia. David also babbles about bringing something evil into the world that now lives inside Michal.

Michal learns about Glenn and Joe’s murder and tries to kill herself by walking into oncoming traffic but fails. Next, she tries jumping off the bridge into a freezing river, but once again, she survives. No matter how hard Michal tries, the evil doesn’t allow her to die. Danny brings Michal to Ruby, but the latter confesses that she’s a charlatan and is taking advantage of them. She also presses that there’s nothing wrong with Michal, and she’s perfectly well. But why? In reality, the evil and Michal share the same consciousness, and everything Michal knows, the evil does, too. The reason why it killed Charlie and others was because they found out about the evil’s existence and were planning to help Michal secretly. 

The evil realizes that Danny is planning something behind its back and forces Danny to kill himself by ramming his face into the steering wheel. Michal tries turning herself to the cops, begging them to shoot and kill her. But the evil intervenes and saves her again. Detective Al tranquilizes her and brings Michal to Ruby, wherein she reveals that Michal is the vessel for an evil entity called “Dolos.” Sadly, the only way to save Michal is to transfer the entity into a different living vessel.

The duo makes one final attempt to trick Dolos by trying to transfer it to David. Michal somehow manages to contain the evil for a while and begs her father to become the vessel. Since this is exactly what David has been longing for, he gladly accepts and invites Dolos inside. The movie ends with the authorities carrying out David’s death sentence, ending his life, and so does the evil.

Is the Demon Gone?

Despite Michal’s best efforts to transfer the demon inhabiting her body to David, success eluded her grasp. The malicious entity did not opt for David as its next host. Nonetheless, it cunningly created a ruse to convince Ruby, Al, and Michal that they had triumphed. Michal’s malevolent grin near the story’s conclusion also lent weight to this theory.

The ancient Book of Dolos also affirmed that the demon favored preying on innocent souls, therefore explaining its reluctance to accept David as its next host. Aware that David was on death row and his demise would leave it vessel-less and incapacitated, Dolos chooses to deceive them. The evil created a false ruse so he could roam the world unhindered, cleverly hidden within Michal.

Why Did David Kill Patricia?

David and Patricia were devout followers of the malevolent cult dedicated to Dolos. They yearned for the birth of this evil entity into the mortal realm. The cult’s twisted beliefs drove them to perform a dark ritual, offering themselves as vessels for Dolos. Patricia harbored a fervent desire to bear Dolos within her, but to her dismay, the entity selected her daughter instead. As the embodiment of evil and death, Dolos sought vulnerability, and Michal became the perfect target.

But why did Dolos kill Patricia? Dolos knew about Michal’s past and her festering resentment towards her parents, particularly Patricia, for putting her in a cage. Dolos manipulated Michal’s emotions and exploited her deep-seated anger towards her parents. That night, Dolos took control of David’s body and made him kill Patricia. Dolos didn’t stop there—it extended its dark influence to Michal’s foster father, who had subjected her to years of abuse. Dolos capitalized on Michal’s vengeful desires and forced her foster father to hang himself.

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