Here Before: the movie’s ending, explained

Here Before

Filmed in the vast landscape of Northern Ireland, Here Before was released on March 7th, 2021. Let’s see what its plot twist is.

Spoilers ahead!

New occupants in the neighbourhood

A new family arrives to reside in the house adjoining Laura and Brendan’s. While Laura is tending bushes and soil, a young girl named Megan comes over and talks to her. She forms a sweet maternal bond with her.

The next day, she even drops her home from school since her mum was late. Enroute, Megan comments that she’s been here before- to the school and the graveyard they were passing. This confuses Laura as the graveyard is where her daughter is buried.

More coincidences and speculations

Many more incidents happen which start to trigger Laura’s grief of her daughter’s death- something left subtly there but vague at the beginning. Her son Tadhg is getting affected by her behaviour and actions. She seems curious- not obsessing. Especially considering the family was new to the area.

The whole first half hour of the story showcase the little girl knowing much about Laura and her deceased daughter Josie, making Laura wonder if she is actually a reincarnation in some form. In the scene where on the road where Josie died, Megan says Brendan was singing.

You see, Josie died in a car accident which happened because of icy roads and while Brendan was driving. That has left an impact on their relationship- even if they’re trying to fix it. And this revelation by Megan, and later finding it to be true by confronting Brendan, Laura seems to be at a loss.

But is she really paranoid? In her own words, “she knows she sounds crazy as she could hear herself” proves she is conscious of how absurd she sounds. She tries staying away from Megan for her and her son’s sake, but when that isn’t possible, she decides to pursue the truth.

The silent and dramatic ending

When she needs space, Laura tells Brendan and he goes to his mother’s house. Laura finds out a box in her son’s dresser with pictures and CDs of Josie. At the bottom is an envelope- addressed to Lauran and Brendan with a note by Megan saying she wishes they could be friends. Inside is a picture which spirals Laura. The picture is of Brendan and Marie together.

Laura breaks into the neighbour’s house and goes to Megan’s room- finding pictures and even a CD of Josie. As Marie- Megan’s mom- comes, Laura confronts her. In a parallel scene, Megan is meeting with Brendan and tells him that she’s his daughter, and she’s been saying those things to make Laura happy and because she likes her.

At the house, both ladies get into yelling, Laura accusing Marie of using her daughter to make her seem crazy. Marie denies and says she just wanted Megan to know her father- Brendan. When everyone reaches there, Laura is choking Marie but as Megan runs in and hugs Marie, Marie stabs Laura- unknowingly?

In the final scenes we hear Brendan apologizing to Laura and Laura seeing a vision of her daughter before it cuts off to the ariel view of the landscape. Did she die or is she alive- we can’t decipher.

So, what was Here Before about?

It’s about grief, a mother’s loneliness, the efforts it takes to battle every day after a tragedy. It’s supernatural at first but ultimately, it’s about Brendan’s hand not only in Josie’s death, but also his infidelity when Laura was at her lowest.

Talking to The Cinema Spot, director Stacey Gregg gave an insight about the movie’s theme for her:

“I think that I was interested in exploring and meditating on how and where grief and love and strength interact. And I know from life itself that that is not a clear-cut thing. So, I wanted to make a film that, in some ways, recreated the experience of that.”