The Cellar Plot Synopsis
In this 2022 horror film, a family move into an abandoned Irish mansion but they soon regret their decision when their sulky teenage daughter Ellie goes missing.
Her parents, Keira and Brian, believing that Ellie may have run away, call the police, but as is usual in films of this sort, they are as much use as a chocolate teapot. At first, Ellie’s disappearance is treated as a ‘missing persons case’ but Keira soon begins to realise that her daughter may be trapped within the cellar.
Is Ellie in the cellar?
Well, the answer isn’t a simple one. After the power goes out in the home, Ellie calls her parents at their workplace. Keira tells Ellie to check the circuit box in the cellar but when the scared girl begins to descend the staircase into darkness, something strange happens. According to Keira, who remains on the phone with her daughter, there are ten stairs to the bottom. But as Keira listens to her daughter count each step, she realizes something is amiss when Ellie doesn’t stop at ten. Spooked by this, Keira immediately heads home but when looking in the cellar, discovers that Ellie is no longer there.
It would appear that Ellie is no longer in the cellar but this isn’t strictly true. She has, in fact, entered a different dimension, and this is something Keira discovers after finding the solution to a mathematical equation.
What has maths got to do with Ellie’s disappearance?
If you hated maths at school and thought it was the root (square) of all evil, then you were probably right!
Keira finds the equation in the cellar and notices that the symbols within match those that are above the doors in her home. She also hears a voice on a gramophone record reciting the equation.
She has no idea what the different symbols mean so to get the answers she needs, Keira gets in touch with a local mathematics professor. He tells her the equation points to another dimension, which is as confusing for Keira as it is for the viewer. When the Hebrew characters in the equation have been interpreted, she discovers they can be read as ‘Leviathan.’ According to ancient mythology, this is a monster that needs fresh souls to live, so the fact that it is connected to her home is not the best of news for Keira.
On further investigation, she also discovers the presence of Baphomet, another demon in her home, who guards a portal to Hell. This won’t be good for the home’s resale value!
Why is there a portal to Hell in the cellar?
In her quest to find out the answer to this question, Keira visits Rose, the elderly daughter of the home’s former owner, Dr. John Fetherson. She finds out that Fetherson made a deal with the devil when his only son died and that his deal backfired when the demonic trickster opened up a portal to Hell in the house. With the exception of Rose, all of Fetherson’s family members became trapped within this otherworldly dimension.
Why wasn’t the portal discovered earlier?
The portal can only be opened by Fetherson’s summoning chanting and as you can probably guess, this was the mathematical chant that was featured on the gramophone record. When Ellie played the record at the start of the film, she inadvertently opened up the gate to Hell in the cellar.
Does Keira rescue Ellie?
On returning home, Keira’s day gets worse when she realizes both her husband and son have been possessed by Baphomet. When they start reverse counting, the monster is summoned and he breaks through the cellar door. Somehow, Keira escapes the horned beast and makes it to the staircase in the cellar. She descends the stairs (which seem to go on forever) and finds herself in the other dimension.
Here, she discovers the presence of thousands of people, each one reciting numbers in a repetitive fashion. Ellie is one of these people and Keira snaps her out of the trance-like state that she has been put under. Taking her by the hand, Keira leads her daughter out of maths class…erm…Hell, and takes her back into the house. Job done! Or is it…?
Do Keira and her family survive the horrors of the Cellar?
After returning from Hell, Keira flings open the front door of her home. Her intention is to escape with her family but sadly, this is not to be. Instead of the freedom of the outside world, Keira discovers the house is still trapped in another dimension. Like the Fetherson family before them, the family are destined to live forevermore in their hellhole of a home, so there is no happy ending in this creepy horror flick.
Read More: The Cellar Movie Review
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