The Unheard (2023) Ending Explained – What happened to Chloe’s mother?

The Unheard Plot Synopsis

The Unheard centers on a young woman named Chloe who lost her hearing at the age of 8 while in a meningitis-inflicted coma.

The ability to hear wasn’t the only thing Chloe lost though. While she was unconscious, her mother mysteriously disappeared. But where did her mother go? Chloe doesn’t know but echoes of her voice have been reverberating around her head for many years.

When Chloe returns to her hometown for an experimental procedure that could restore her hearing, she finally learns the truth about her mom’s disappearance.

So, what did happen to Chloe’s mother? Let’s take a closer look at the movie.

Is the procedure successful?

Chloe returns to her hometown and receives the treatment that is designed to restore her hearing ability. While here, she resides in her old family home, which is now vacant.

The house, which is due to be sold, isn’t in the best of conditions but Chloe’s father, who hasn’t been able to join her, contacts a local ex-policeman named Hank who then comes to the house to fix the heating for Chloe.

Chloe isn’t able to hear Hank but she can communicate with him through a transcription app on her phone. This is a communication tool that has long been useful to her – it can transcribe other people’s speech – but shortly into her stay, it becomes obsolete when her hearing returns.

The operation has been a success although it does have consequences. She begins to hear high-frequency sounds that cause her ears to bleed and amplify the voice of her mother.

Chloe isn’t the only person to hear these sounds as it turns out that her old childhood friend Joshua can hear them too.

Why can Joshua hear these sounds?

Months before Chloe’s arrival, Joshua had spotted something strange in her old home. For this reason, he decided to video the house and monitor sound recordings to try to get to the bottom of what was going on inside.

Chloe discovers what Joshua has been doing when she investigates movement at the supposedly empty house that is across from her family home.

Inside is Joshua’s recording equipment and when she questions him, he makes a surprising announcement. He tells Chloe that the sounds they have both heard have something to do with her mom, who he believes is using them to call out to her.

Joshua can hear these frequencies because of his sound equipment but his theory is that Chloe can hear them because her restored hearing has given her the opportunity to pick up sounds that nobody else can.

What happened to Chloe’s mother?

If Joshua is correct, it can be assumed that Chloe’s mother is dead and contacted her from the spirit world.

When Chloe later hears her mother’s voice through the static on a television set, his theory is confirmed to be true. We know this because the movie indirectly points to the scene in Tobe Hooper’s Poltergeist when young Carrie-Anne becomes trapped in the spirit world, which is symbolized by the static on her parent’s TV screen.

So, who killed Chloe’s mom? This is something we don’t find out until later in the movie. But at this point, it’s worth mentioning that women have been going missing from the local town.

It turns out that a serial killer is behind these disappearances and we witness one killing when a masked man bundles a woman into his car and then cuts her throat. We later see the bodies of other women strung up in an old outhouse.

These murders connect to the disappearance of Chloe’s mom. This becomes clear when the TV at Chloe’s family home starts up and plays out scenes that relate to her death.

Who killed Chloe’s mother?

Hank, the ex-policeman, is responsible for the murder. An echo of this is played out on a TV screen towards the end of the movie.

Hank also murdered the other young women who had mysteriously disappeared from the town. Using the skills and resources he had as a cop, he was able to get away with the crimes, but when he targets Chloe, he finally gets what is coming to him!

After being abducted by Hank, Chloe wakes up on his sofa and then makes her escape. During her flight, she comes across the dead bodies of the other women, which confirms to her that he is the killer that has been haunting the town. Hank follows Chloe back to her house and after gaining entry, he ties her up and gets ready to murder her.

Hank is distracted when Joshua arrives on the scene and he turns his attention toward him. While he brutally stabs the young man, Chloe is able to free herself. When Hank comes looking for her, she attacks him with a knife and then heads over to Joshua’s dying body.

When Hank tries to get his hands on her again, high-frequency sounds come out of the TV screen and the volume of these debilitates Hank who seems to be the only one affected by these static noises. Chloe uses this opportunity to attack him once more and as she does, she cuts his throat in the same way that he murdered his victims.

How does the movie end?

The movie ends with Chloe speaking to the image of her mom on the TV screen and wishing her a “happy 4th of July.” As this is the day that commemorates freedom and independence, it can be assumed that Chloe’s mother has become free of the spirit world now that justice has been carried out on the person that killed her.


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