The Conference (2023) Ending Explained – Who is the killer? And why do they want revenge?

The Conference Plot Summary

The Conference takes place in the Swedish wilderness, with a team-building conference among a group of tight-knit employees… and Lina. The latter is the outcast of the group, vilified for taking sick leave and not being as inundated on the team bonding as the rest of the group. However, this all changes when the employees arrive at Kolarsjon’s, a retreat that sees their perceived paradisiac holiday turn into a bloody nightmare.

A killer is on the loose, someone with a big grudge over the shopping center that’s about to be built on rural land. There’s even been a petition where the majority of Kolarangen’s citizens have voted against the center being built. Despite that, it’s full steam ahead for the project. When the killer begins offing each of the employees one by one, the group are forced to try and survive this onslaught.

Why are the locals against the shopping center being built?

The company Lina works for is not well regarded in the community. As mentioned above, there’s a petition in place to try and stop the center being built. However, the company don’t care and continue to push on with the development. Even those within the company have their doubts, including Anette and Lina, whose issues fall on deaf ears.

Lina has been on an extended sick leave and she’s shocked to learn that the company have been involved in some dodgy dealings in her absence. A prominent farm, owned by a loyal farmer and his family, have been forced out after having their land and home demolished for this shopping center.

To make matters worse, Lina was the one who apparently signed these documents although she doesn’t remember doing so. Lina wants to contact Palsson to make things right, but she learns that he killed himself after the farm was demolished.

What does Lina find on Jonas’ laptop?

Lina dips out on the team building activities and decides to hack into Jonas’ laptop. She finds numerous dodgy emails and copies the incriminating files onto a USB drive.

The documents are dated a week before she went on sick leave but the contracts with the farmer were signed after she was away on a leave of absence, indicating that they were forged by Jonas.

Lina confronts Jonas who admits in private that he did do this, but only in the hopes of getting a better job at IKEA and Backman-Kroos. Lina tells Jonas that the project is a disaster and shows off that she has leverage over him, that being the USB drive. He needs to tell the truth or she’ll go to the police.

Who does the killer kill?

Around this time, the killer shows up and begins their rampage. First, the chef is killed out in the woods during the conference. Jenny has issues getting through to him so she takes over with the cooking. Roger, another employee who works at the camp, gets killed next, stabbed through the heart from behind while in a hammock and then smacked over the head with a rock. Finally, he’s tied up and dumped in the river, weighed down with rocks.

The killer gets Jenny next. And then gets Cleo, who’s spooked when all the phones and the giant Sotis mascot head disappears while she’s off with the employees in the woods.

Next, Kaj is dispatched late at night with a trimmer in the hot-tub. Ingela is then strung up by the throat on the flagpole.

Do Lina and Jonas work together to escape?

Jonas runs out into the woods but he gets caught on some razor-sharp wire, which slices his head. However, Lina and Jonas manage to get on the raft and escape… or do they? Jonas betrays Lina and demands the USB drive back. She makes it back to land, and escape the traps laid by the killer. 

Who is the killer?

Soon, all the survivors band together (except Jonas and Anette). Originally they believe Frans may be responsible but they soon realize a hard truth. The killer is actually Palsson’s son out for revenge.

He found his dad in the stable and that drove him mad, hell-bent on going after those in the company that caused his dad to kill himself. With this revelation, it falls to Lina to confront her fears and try to go for help, using the zipline she initially refused to use earlier in the movie for fear of heights.

Unfortunately, the end of the line is boobytrapped, so Amir sacrifices himself and is impaled on the wooden spikes that mostly miss Lina but she does end up injured too.

How is the killer stopped?

While this is going on, the killer almost dispatches Tojbjorn but Eva saves him. The pair decide to finish this once and for all. They grab the golden shovel and are determined to make him pay. Eva is almost killed for her efforts, but Tojbjorn uses a flamethrower to stop him. Just before the pair meet an untimely end, Nadja shows and decapitates the killer.

Lina finds a lockbox full of phones right by where she is and she manages to call 911 for assistance. She stumbles through the woods, calling for the police who rush to the campsite. While they do, Jonas shows up and starts beating Lina. That is, until she rips his head open and kills him outright.

As Lina rushes off, a montage shows all the different people killed. Lina makes it back to camp in shock, and is taken over to the ambulance to recover. “What the fuck happened up there?” The paramedic asks. “It was a professional training plan,” She replies.

Is the threat over?

As the film closes out, someone picks up the severed head of the killer and the camera pans down to the newspaper article showing the killer. It’s hinted that the killer has been dispatched, but there’s never too much insight from the man himself as to whether there’s more motivation around this.

After all, Anette was pretty compassionate with the killer, reiterating that she’s on his side. He even let her take his mask off. In the end though, he’s decapitated and the threat is seemingly over. The killer did manage to off a good chunk of the workforce. Lina also killed the project leader so the chances are, the shopping center project is unlikely to go ahead too.


Read More: The Conference Movie Review

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