Unwelcome Ending, Explained: How Does Maya Save Her Daughter?

‘Unwelcome’ is a horror film directed by Jon Wright based on a screenplay written by Mark Stay. The folklore-inspired movie tells the story of a young couple, Maya and Jamie, who move to the Irish countryside after inheriting a large house from Jamie’s great-aunt. However, trouble soon brews in the couple’s life when they discover the presence of terrifying creatures in the woods. Whether Maya and Jamie survive the deadly circumstances forms the ending of ‘Unwelcome.’ SPOILERS AHEAD!

Unwelcome Plot Synopsis

‘Unwelcome’ opens with couple Maya and Jamie learning they are pregnant with a child after trying for months. However, when Jamie leaves their London apartment to get a drink for celebration, he gets into a conflict with a group of thugs. The thugs later break into Jamie and Maya’s apartment and attack the couple. However, Maya calls the police, resulting in the thugs leaving their apartment. Nonetheless, the altercation leaves a deep psychological impact on Maya and Jamie. Meanwhile, an old woman, Maeve, passes away in rural Ireland.

Maya and Jamie arrive in rural Ireland after the death of Maeve, who was Jamie’s great-aunt. Maeve did not have children of her own and adored Jamie. As a result, she left her house and the surrounding garden to him in her will. Given their traumatic experiences in London, Jamie and Maya feel they could use the change of scenery and decide to move into Maeve’s house in the Irish countryside, hoping to live a quiet life. Moreover, they find the townsfolk extremely friendly. However, the house’s roof is damaged and desperately needs repairing.

At the house, the young couple meets Niamh, Maeve’s old friend, who tells them about the wall in the garden. She reveals Maeve believed the Redcaps, mythical gnome-like creatures also known as the “Little People,” reside beyond the wall. Maeve made a daily blood offering to keep them beyond the garden. Niamh makes Maya promise to continue the tradition to ensure their safety from the Redcaps. However, Maya forgets to make the blood offering on her first day in the new house.

Later, Niamh reveals Maeve had a daughter who the Redcaps took away as payment for their help in saving the life of Maeve’s husband. However, Maya dismisses the rumor as an effect of post-partum depression. Meanwhile, Maya and Jamie recruit the Whelans, a family who runs the local construction business. The Whelans are an odd bunch, with the younger children, Aisling and Killian, stealing small objects from the house while the eldest child, Eoin, stalks Maya and secretly spies on her. After Eoin scares Maya, he is beaten up by his father, “Daddy” Whelan.

One day, a dog lures Maya into the woods beyond the garden of her house. In the woods, Maya discovers a shrine of the Redcaps. While returning home, Maya comes across Eoin, and the two talk as they walk through the woods. Eoin reveals his father is physically abusive to him and his children. However, as Maya tries to comfort Eoin, he misreads her intentions and tries to force himself on her. Maya defends herself from the assault, and he is stage away by a mysterious presence which she later realizes are the Redcaps. As Maya’s due date draws close, the Whelans learn about Eoin’s disappearance leading to a conflict between Maya and Jamie, and the Whelans.

Unwelcome Ending: How Does Maya Save Her Daughter?

In the movie’s final act, Jamie and Maya are forced to accept the reality that the Redcaps are not mythical creatures and exist in the woods behind their house. To make matters worse, the Whelans are searching for their missing family member, Eoin. One of the Redcaps delivers Eoin’s severed head to Maya’s house, leaving no doubt that the creatures exist. As a result, Jamie and Maya are horrified, especially since Jamie had an altercation with Aisling and Killian, which leads the Whelans to their doorstep to search for Eoin.

Jamie and Maya fail to hide Eoin’s severed head, forcing the young couple to escape. However, the Whelans catch Maya, and Jamie is forced to create a distraction allowing Maya to escape into the woods. Maya arrives at the Redcaps’ shrine and, seeing no other option, asks for the creatures’ help in saving Jamie’s life. The Redcaps attack the Whelans and kill them one by one, fulfilling their promise. On the other hand, Maya gives birth to her baby.

In the end, Maya saves her baby from the Whelans. However, the Redcaps take her baby as payment for their help. As a result, Maya follows the Redcaps to their shrine. She is unwilling to lose her daughter, just like Maeve did, and turns violent in her bid to reclaim her baby. Ultimately, despite being traumatized by the violence she experienced, Maya is forced to unleash her primal side to save her baby. She kills a Redcap and the Mother Redcap, which allows her to escape with her baby. Although Maya saves her baby from the Redcaps, she loses herself in the process as she is forced to engage in violence.

Who Is Mother Redcap? What Happens to Maya?

In the movie’s climax, Maya’s quest to save her baby leads her to the shrine of the murderous Redcaps. At the shrine, Maya encounters an elderly woman who is hailed as the mother of the horrifying creatures. However, Maya quickly realizes that Mother Redcap is none other than Maeve’s daughter, who was abducted by the Redcaps years ago. Maeve had requested the help of the Redcaps in saving her husband’s life. In turn, the Redcaps took the baby girl as their payment but did not kill her. Instead, she became the Mother Redcap, and the other Redcaps seemed to follow her orders. On the other hand, Maeve likely made daily blood offerings to ensure her daughter’s survival against the Redcaps.

Ultimately, Maya kills Mother Redcap, seemingly preventing the other Redcaps from attacking her. However, when Maya returns to her house, she is covered in the blood of the Redcaps she killed and possessed Mother Redcap’s skull. According to Anglo-Scottish folklore, the Redcaps dip their hats in the blood of their victims. As a result, the ending seemingly suggests that Maya has become the new Mother Redcap. In the final scene, the Redcaps gather around Maya and seem to be singing her praise. Thus, it is confirmed that Maya has become the new Mother Redcap, ending the story on a horrifying note as the newly minted mother’s quest to protect her infant leads to her succumbing to the devious charms of the Redcaps.

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