The Puppetman (2023) Ending Explained – Is Michal free of the entity?


The Puppetman Plot Summary

Currently streaming on Shudder is The Puppetman, a new supernatural horror movie from Superhost director Brandon Christenson. 

The movie is primarily centred around a young woman named Michal. When she was a child, her father killed her mother. After the crime, he was sent to prison where he spent years waiting for his execution date.

At the time of the murder, he wasn’t in full control of his body as something else was controlling him. He was sent to prison for the murder as the judge didn’t buy into his claims that he was under the influence of something else. What controlled him? A spirit named Dolos, aka the Puppetman!

Years later, Michal is still traumatized by the death of her mother and the incarceration of her father. The date of his execution is looming but Michel, who previously held her father responsible for her mom’s death, begins to realize he might actually be innocent, as he has long claimed.

As the movie progresses, Michal’s life becomes more traumatic when she sees her friends die around her. Is the Puppetman controlling her? This would appear to be the case.

Towards the end of the movie, she finds a way to get rid of the entity. But does she free herself of it for good? Let’s take a look at the movie.

What happens at the beginning of the movie?

The opening scene is of David, Michal’s father, stabbing his wife Patricia to death while uttering the words “It’s not me.” When the police arrest him, they find Michal locked up in a cage. The reason for her incarceration isn’t immediately clear but due to later events in the movie, we can assume it’s because Michal has evil living inside of her. 

Following these early scenes, we learn David was sentenced to death by lethal injection. While her father was in prison, Michal spent her younger years in the foster care system with an abusive foster father who later took his own life. 

Was David controlled by a demon?

Yes. He really wasn’t in control of his body when he killed his wife. As such, he is an innocent man, even though a judge convicted him of the crime. 

As an adult, Michal isn’t convinced of her father’s innocence, however. Like many other people, she believes he is guilty and that his claims about being possessed were his way of avoiding the death penalty. 

But as the movie progresses, Michal starts to believe in the Puppetman when her friends start dying around her. The first of these is Charlie who jumps off a roof while being controlled by something.

Michal and her friends Jo, Glenn, and Danny witness Charlie’s death and are understandably left shaken by this tragedy.

Is Michal responsible for Charlie’s death?

Michal receives a phone call from a psychic named Ruby who asks to meet with her and her friends. 

When the group visit the psychic, they are instructed to sit in a circle. Ruby’s aim is to contact the spirit of Patricia to help Michel get closure about her mom’s death. But Ruby inadvertently reaches another spirit who tells her Michal is responsible for Charlie’s demise. This is something the psychic doesn’t reveal to Michal.

Later, Michel starts to blame herself for Charlie’s death. She has noticed that death follows her wherever she goes, beginning with her mother and later with her foster father and Charlie who seemingly killed themselves. She begins to think her anger is the trigger for the death of others. She was angry with her foster father because he abused her and she was angry with Charlie for breaking a promise.

So, is Michal responsible for their deaths? Yes, as the Puppetman, which resides inside her, is somehow triggered by her anger. 

Who is the Puppetman?

Before the seance started, Michal was left to wander around Ruby’s house while her friends were chatting with the psychic. During her wandering, she found a book entitled “The Cult of Dolos” which was inscribed with markings that she had previously seen in her nightmares. Before she could read the book, she was called into the summoning room by Ruby.

Later in the movie, Jo is handed the Dolos book by Ruby. Jo discovers Dolos is the spirit of trickery in Greek mythology and that it was brought into the world to create havoc. Those who didn’t submit themselves to Dolos were taken over by the spirit. This spirit is the same one that possessed Michal. 

We don’t know where the spirit was residing before Michal’s mom’s death but we do know her mother and father summoned it into the world through a ritual when Michal was very young. The ritual involved the marrying of light with dark, aka. innocence with sin, which included a blood offering from all 3 members of the family. 

When Michel visits her father in prison, he tells her the demon chose to reside in her instead of Patricia, who was supposed to be the intended host. The demon, triggered by Michal, later controlled her father and made him kill her mom. 

How does the movie end? Is Michal free of the entity?

After some of her friends die under the will of the demon, Michal tries to kill herself but it won’t let her go. She later learns from Ruby that the only way to get rid of it is to transfer it to another vessel. 

On the day of her father’s execution, she convinces him to become the vessel for the spirit of Dolos. He agrees and during his execution, it would appear that the spirit has entered him as we see it control the executioner. When David is then put to death, it could be assumed that Dolos is also dead. 

But this is a trick! The spirit of trickery hasn’t gone anywhere. As the movie closes, Michal turns to the camera and gives an eerie smile. The entity is still hidden inside Michal, ready to wreak more havoc on the world, wherever its unlucky host goes. 


Read More: The Puppetman Movie Review

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