‘The Taking of Deborah Logan’ is a 2014 found footage mystery horror that follows a young student making a film about an elderly woman with Alzheimer’s. Mia and her crew plan on making a medical documentary about Deborah’s battle with the disorder and how it affects her daughter, Sarah. However, strange occurrences soon make them realize that there are sinister forces at work.
The titular character, in her mentally fraught state, becomes increasingly ghoulish even as the young film crew struggles to make sense of what is happening. As old secrets emerge, a truly monstrous explanation for Deborah’s suffering is hinted at. If you were left with some questions after watching the film, we’re here to help untangle the grisly story. Let’s take a closer look at the ending of ‘The Taking of Deborah Logan.’ SPOILERS AHEAD.
The Taking of Deborah Logan Plot Synopsis
The story opens with Mia and her crew (Gavin and Luis) arriving in the town of Exuma, Virginia, to meet Deborah and her daughter, Sarah. The latter has agreed to let Mia make her mother, who suffers from Alzheimer’s, the subject of a documentary in return for much-needed funds to cover medical bills. Deborah is a distinguished woman who is proud to have run the town’s first telephone exchange in her younger days. However, she now restricts herself to gardening and regularly forgets simple words.
As the crew begins filming Deborah’s day-to-day, they begin to notice increasingly strange behavior. On several occasions, the elderly woman is found sleep-walking and frantically digging holes in her garden, seemingly in a disturbed trance. After Deborah begins hurting herself, she is hospitalized. At one point, a neighbor named Harris visits her in the hospital and agrees to kill Deborah at her own request. However, Harris is mysteriously injured as he attempts to put Deborah out of her misery.
Meanwhile, Sarah and the film crew begin to see signs of paranormal activity in their footage of Deborah. They connect the dots and come across a pediatrician turned serial killer named Henry Desjardins, who was notorious for kidnapping young girls and was apparently trying to complete a ritual that would make him immortal. When Deborah is asked about Henry, she hints that she’s murdered him. It then becomes increasingly apparent that the now feeble woman has been possessed by Henry’s spirit.
The Taking of Deborah Logan Ending: Is Cara Possessed by Henry Desjardins?
The hospital explodes with chaos when it is discovered that Deborah has escaped from her restraints and has kidnapped a young girl named Cara. Realizing that she plans on completing Henry’s ritual by killing Cara, Sarah, Mia, and Luis frantically look for the possessed woman. Gavin, by this time, has abandoned the endeavor and left in fear. When they finally find Deborah in the abandoned mines where Henry’s other victims were found, the ghoulish woman is seen trying to swallow young Cara, much like a snake eats its prey.
In an attempt to release Deborah from his possession, Sarah burns Henry’s remains. She also fires a shot at her mother. The intervention seems to have the desired effect and Cara is rescued even as Deborah slips into a feeble state. A few months on, a newscaster describes the gruesome incident, saying that Deborah is unfit to stand trial. Cara, who has since been cured, is also interviewed by a reporter and the film closes with a close-up of the young girl smiling knowingly at the camera.
The film’s final scene strongly hints that there are still some ominous remnants and that the effects of Henry’s malicious spirit have not entirely dissipated. Cara’s expression at the end seems to reflect some of the aforementioned wickedness. However, what is perhaps most telling about the young girl being under Henry’s influence is that she informs the news reporter interviewing her that she has “secret plans” for when she gets older.
It is also interesting to note that at the end of the film, Cara is cured of cancer. Though not elaborated in the film, this could also be a signal that the young girl is possessed by Henry since the latter wants his subject to live for as long as possible (he was undertaking a ritual for immortality, after all). Cara also seems to be calm and collected whilst under Henry’s control, unlike Deborah, who had violent outbursts when possessed. This is likely because Cara’s young mind is more malleable and easy to control.
Thus, the film ends with the sickeningly creepy notion of a young child possessed by a murderous pediatrician. As Deborah slowly fades away from the effects of Alzheimer’s, Henry takes hold of a new, younger victim and seems to have an ominous plan for Cara in the future.
Does Henry Desjardins’ Plan Succeed in the End? Is Cara Immortal?
The ominous Henry Desjardin’s plan is a continuation of the ancient Monacan ritual that he undertook whilst alive. As part of it, he kidnapped four young girls who were eventually found murdered and partially cannibalized. Before he could abduct the final fifth victim to complete the ritual, he was seemingly murdered by Deborah. Therefore, while she is possessed by Henry, Deborah attempts to kidnap the fifth and final victim, Cara, to complete the ritual.
Since Cara is “saved” at the end of the film and Henry’s remains are burnt, it appears like his plan still isn’t finished. Because Cara isn’t killed, the immortality ritual isn’t complete. However, it appears that Henry has obtained the next best possible outcome.
By possessing Cara, he has found a host who still has many years to complete the ritual for him. In fact, the secret plans that Cara mentions to the reporter at the end of the film seem to refer to Henry’s plan of eventually murdering his last victim and finally attaining immortality. However, at the time that the film ends, Henry’s plan is still incomplete and Cara is not immortal.
Does Deborah Turn Into a Snake in the End?
In what could arguably be the film’s most disturbing scene (and also its horror high point), we get a brief glimpse of Deborah with her jaws unhinged, attempting to swallow Cara whole. The ritual’s connection to snakes and cannibalism becomes disturbingly clear as we see the film’s namesake, in the throes of supernatural possession, attempt to consume the fifth and final victim. However, Deborah is interrupted by her daughter, Sarah, before she can finish swallowing Cara.
Though there is a clear connection between Henry’s ominous ritual and snakes, it is unlikely that Deborah turns into a snake. Instead, the ghastly transformation seen in her (which allows her to unhinge her jaws) is likely a temporary effect of the possession. Partially turning into a snake is most likely a side effect of the ritual in order to allow whoever is carrying it out to consume their victim sacrifices. Thus, Deborah doesn’t turn into a snake and would have probably turned back into her regular physical form had she been allowed to finish eating young Cara.
What Happens to Mia and Her Crew? Are They Dead or Alive?
For a film as disturbing and violent as this, there are surprisingly few deaths. Mia and her crew escape relatively unscathed, as does Sarah. Only the police sheriff is killed, while a few other policemen are injured.
Gavin, realizing he doesn’t want any part of the ominous affair, abandons the project and leaves. Mia and Luis stay on and help Sarah battle the paranormal entity. Despite the obvious mental anguish that they will likely carry for the rest of their lives, the film’s characters make it out alive. Even Deborah, though almost completely incoherent due to the effects of Alzheimer’s, survives in the end.