Nanny: the horror flick’s ending, explained


Nanny is a 2022 horror film about an African woman living in the states and her struggles. It contains mythical elements which make it a psychological horror. Let’s see what truth she is set to confront.

This article contains spoilers

Aisha’s life in the States

Aisha, an undocumented woman is chasing the American Dream. She has left her son back in Senegal under the care of her cousin while she is trying to save up the money to bring him to America. She calls and talks to her son back in Senegal on some days and they both terribly miss each other. For that, she starts working as a nanny to Rose, a young a girl.

But Aisha is working long hours as a nanny, seldom having time to go out. What’s worse is that her employer Amy, Rose’s mom, hasn’t paid a huge amount of overtime she did. Not even after Aisha relayed her concerns to Adam, Amy’s husband.

Meanwhile, things go well with Rose. Rather than making her eat the packaged and frozen food in their refrigerator, Aisha makes Rose Senegalese native food which she seems to like a lot and eats well.

Recurring nightmares and a chance at love

Aisha keeps having frightening nightmares where she is drowning. Either on the bed when water seems to pour down on her body or a wet sheet covering her face, suffocating her. She also sees images of her son, Lamine, throughout the city. It’s notable that after the initial call between them, they haven’t talked.

She also meets Malik, a guard at the building and they start to see each other. They go out on a date after meeting Malik’s grandmother who is a psychic. She tells Aisha about the Mami Wata, a supernatural western African folklore mermaid sort of creature. Even at Rose’s home, she reads about Anansi the Spider, a trickster who is cunning to outwit larger rivals.

Both of these figures keep showing up, Mami Wata pulling her underwater, when she is having the nightmares or a trance like state. But why? What do they signify? Aisha is pretty frustrated about it and Rose’s comments that Anansi is making her say things- like Lamine is jealous- confuse her more.

She gets the money and sends for her son and cousin to fly to her

She gets her due payment and manages to talk to her cousin Mari, and books their flights to America. However, at the airport waiting with Malik, she sees no one. Eventually, she sees her cousin outside but not her son.

Mari breaks down and sobs. Lamine apparently drowned because of strong currents a while ago while they went to the beach and his body couldn’t be found anywhere. All the visions and nightmares Aisha was having were about Lamine. Her son had died and she goes in a traumatic state.

The ending of Aisha’s story- what happens to her?

Devastated with the news, Aisha gets depressed. Malik’s grandmother is helping her but it isn’t working well. She goes out one day and standing by the edge of the dock on Hudson River and step forward, drowning.

While drowning, she sees the vision of her son at the surface of water, holding out his hand to her. She swims upwards and in a wide shot we see Mami Wata holding her and lifting her upwards. Once out, we get to know that she’s pregnant.

In successive shots we see Aisha laughing and celebrating with Malik’s family and later, holding her new born baby. But at the final scene, we see her curled up in a bath tub, perhaps denoting that no matter where she is now, she would remember and be haunted by Lamine’s ghost.

The film not only focus on Aisha’s story, but in some manners also displays the disparities between two classes, races and people of different regions- especially immigrants and also motherhood.

Talking to Deadline, director Nikyatu Jusu says, “The darker genres allow you to tell the truth in a way that is really titillating and interesting and pulls the audience in a way that doesn’t feel preachy or pedantic.”