The 8th Night Plot Synopsis
The 8th Night is the latest Korean horror on Netflix. At the center of this is a malevolent spirit hellbent on bringing destruction to the world. This spirit comes in the form of a red eye (more on that later!) In order to stop its threat, a host of strangers find themselves drawn together to put a stop to this murderous rampage.
Monks Cheong-Seok and Seon-Hwa (now going by his real name Park Jin-Su) are those in the driving seat. Alongside him and running parallel to his story is Detective Ho-Tae. He follows a breadcrumb trail of dead bodies too, converging into a big climax in Buk-San at the end.
What are the spirit’s origins?
2500 years back a monster started opening the door that bridges the human realm to Hell in order to make humans suffer. The Buddha appeared before this monster though and pulled out its Red and Black Eyes which happen to be the source of its power.
Unfortunately the eyes managed to escape Buddha’s grasp and took off. The Black Eye was caught quite hastily though and locked inside a sarira casket.
The Red Eye managed to get away, hiding inside different bodies and running for seven nights straight, On the eighth night, the Red Eye was deceived. Realizing it could never escape Buddha, the Eye voluntarily entered the sarira casket and waited.
The caskets were then sealed and buried in the vast deserts of the West and the steep cliffs of the East, respectively. The Buddha said to his nameless disciples “You must make sure they never meet again, that is your fate.”
How is the Red Eye freed?
During 2005, Professor Kim figures out the location of the Red Eye and manages to bring it up from the desert. In doing so, it unleashes the monster again. It remains dead set on being reunited with its black eye, which would then render it unstoppable. In order to do so, the eye possesses various different people, all linked together by stepping stones. This is a nod back to the original story where the eye jumped between different hosts.
What’s the connection between the group?
Along the way, Red Eye inhabits a number of different people. As we soon come to learn, the connection for the eye to move across to various victims is linked back to Professor Kim. He set up a Buddhist meditation website intended solely for people who are suicidal.
Professor Kim took blood samples from each member, which in turn links a trail of dead bodies together. The sniffing and vials of blood by the door link into this, giving the demon its next victim.
How do Cheong-seok and Jin-Su intend to stop the spirit?
After their attempt to kill the final victim fails, Park Jin-Su follows Cheong-Seok back to Buk-San where the second casket happens to be. Together, they set out to trap the demon.
Given it needs to possess the sarira casket’s protector, their plan involves Jin-Su serving himself up as bait in order to trap the spirit inside a barrier protected by Buddhist scripture and chants.
However, he soon realizes that Cheong-Seok is the protector of the caskets – not him. The spirit uses Ae-Ran to entice Cheong-Seok out to Buk-San. Only, Ae-Ran is actually a ghost and working with the demon to bring the virgin (Cheong-Seok) to their intended spot.
Is the demon stopped before it unleashes Hell on Earth?
Out in the woods, Detective Ho-Tae shows up and throws a massive spanner in the works. The demon (currently possessing Dong-Jin’s body), finds an opportune time to strike when Ho-Tae shoots Park Jin-Su.
The demon possesses Cheong-Seok and swiftly throws the detective up, impaling him on a tree. Bleeding and clinging to his life, Park offers himself up as a sacrifice.
With blood-soaked hands, he cleverly marks Cheong-Seok’s face with a Buddhist scripture which banishes the demon and allows it into his body.
During the process, a recovered Cheong-Seok uses the enchanted axe to strike Jin-Soo right between the eyes. In doing so, this prevents the demon from switching bodies which thwarts the threat.
How does The 8th Night end?
With the threat passed and Cheong-Seok alone, the movie skips forward with an epilogue of sorts. Cheong-Seok takes the talisman back out to the desert whence it came, watching as it’s swallowed back into the sand below. Ae-Ran then appears and holds his hand, with the chains unshackling from his ankle.
As the screen fades to black, we’re left with a pretty symbolic final scene.
This unshackling links back to Jin-Soo’s resentment toward Cheong-Seok. Late on, the demon reveals that Cheong-Seok’s Mother actually killed Park’s family. This explains his ill feelings toward the kid throughout the movie. This unbinding of the chains seems to be a metaphor for how that weight has now been lifted and Cheong-Seok can move forward with his life.
So what of Ae-Ran? Well, it seems like Cheong-Seok has now been granted the ability to help spirits move on to the afterlife. With Jin-Soo now dead, it seems like he’s passed the torch on to him; Cheong-Seok is now the casket’s protector.
Thanks for reading our Ending Explained article! What did you think of the ending? Did you guess the twist near the end? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!