The Taking of Deborah Logan: the ending, explained

The Taking of Deborah Logan

Directed by Adam Robitel, the man behind some age-old classic horror films including insidious and paranormal activity comes another deeply constructed horror tale with many twists and turns. The film narrates the strange behaviour of Deborah Logan, an old lady battling Alzheimer’s disease and a possessed soul of an evil doctor. 

Although the tightly woven plot and the firm direction amounted to a great ending, some questions were still left unanswered.  

Caution: Spoilers ahead!

Three students start making a documentary about Deborah’s life with Alzheimer’s

Three students, Mia Medina, Gavin, and Luis, approach Deborah’s daughter Sarah to do a documentary about Alzheimer’s disease. Sarah upon seeing the profits the production would bring agrees and they start filming. 

During each filming session, however, the students realize that Deborah is concerting some extreme behaviours. Luis, the cameraman is the first to point out this strange behaviour and starts to wonder about something supernatural in Deborah’s actions. 

However, Deborah’s physician ignores the supernatural talks and believes her actions are purely based on her disease. Deborah however, continuously behaves erratically. 

Details of Deborah’s past are revealed

The film crew records disturbing audio of Deborah speaking in French. The audio reveals Deborah talking about snakes and sacrifices, alarming Gavin. The team also uncovers that Deborah worked as a switchboard operator in her prime with the line for 337 constantly ringing. 

More research reveals that this line belonged to a physician called Henri Desjardins. Desjardins had disappeared without a trace after the authorities found out his murder of 4 girls was a series of cannibalistic rituals. Further investigations reveal that Desjardins was planning a Monacan ritual to gain immortality for himself. According to this ritual, he would need to kill 5 virgins kills who had just gone into adolescence. 

The film crew along with Sarah starts wondering if Deborah is possessed by Desjardins after learning about a similar case happening in Africa where a mother was possessed by her dead son. However, this mother survived after a doctor had burned the son’s corpse. 

A worried Gavin quits after these revelations while Deborah is hospitalised after her condition gets worsened.  

Deborah’s condition worsens at the hospital 

While at the hospital, her friend Harris Sredl arrives, and she begs him to kill her. After some time of contemplating, Harris agrees to her request and when he starts killing her, the other possession trapped in her body attacks Harris. 

Later on, the film crew and Sarah learns that Deborah had tried to abduct a young cancer patient called Cara Minetti but had failed. 

Meanwhile, the film crew speaks with Harris who reveals that Deborah had found out about Desjardins’s rituals and has tried to use her daughter as the fifth virgin in her bid for immortality. 

Deborah had later met with the doctor and had murdered him, burying the body in a yard. The group tries to find the body to burn it in a bid to rid Deborah of the doctor but fails. 

Deborah manages to abduct Cara

Meanwhile, the crew realises that Deborah had now successfully abducted Cara. Deborah takes her inside the mines, the same place where Desjardins performed the cannibalistic rituals for immortality.  

The sheriff, however, sees the abduction and follows Deborah and Cara to the mines, but is killed shortly afterwards. Later, Sarah and Mia go inside the mine and see Deborah attempting to swallow Cara’s head in whole like a snake. But they manage to burn the corpse of Desjardin, ending the scene. 

What happened at the end?

The film doesn’t give any definite ending in terms of the plot but shows what happened through some news reels. According to the news, Deborah was adjudged physically unfit to stand trial for her crimes and the reel shows Sarah taking her away in a wheelchair.

The news then pans to Cara, who is cancer-free and celebrating her 10th birthday. The reporter asks Cara about her plans but she refuses to answer. When pressed, she reveals that she has some plans, but they are all a secret and gives a sinister smile, ending the film. 

The smile at the end suggests that Desjardins may have been successful in his quest for immortality with him living inside Cara. This would also explain how Cara survived cancer at a very young age. 

Speaking about the inspiration behind Deborah, director Adam Robitel said to iHorror,

“The idea that someone could lose their mind and be literally trapped inside their own bodies has always intrigued and horrified me. As I started to do research, I realized that the story is never about one person – often it’s the caretaker that suffers the most. Alzheimer’s is a pretty organic metaphor for possession and I think the best horror films take the horrors of real life and then turn them on their head.”