The Ending of Nefarious, Explained – TheFantasyTimes

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By Jitin Gambhir

The Ending of Nefarious, Explained

Spoiler Alert: Nefarious

While horror movies offer great opportunities for independent directors to showcase their talent, they can also be a double-edged sword. With a limited budget, it’s easy for these films to fall flat and receive poor ratings when they fail to deliver thrills. This is why low-budget horror films often struggle to impress critics and audiences alike. Without a big budget, A-list actors, and flashy special effects, horror filmmakers have to rely on clever filmmaking techniques and compelling dialogue to captivate viewers without relying on jump scares from ghosts and demons.

Nefarious is a Christian independent horror film that recently hit the screens with a unique approach. Despite receiving mixed reviews from critics, it managed to garner praise from many viewers. The film showcased strong performances, particularly from Sean Patrick Flanery, and relied on psychological nuances to create a sense of unease. However, the movie’s ending sparked controversy among viewers, leaving them questioning the political implications it conveyed.

What is Nefarious About?

From the start, Nefarious sets an ominous tone. The main plot revolves around the sessions between psychiatrist Dr. James Martin and Edward, a serial killer who claims to be possessed by a demon. As the story unfolds, doubts arise about whether Edward is truly delusional or if he is manipulating the system. Viewers are left guessing whether he is under the influence of a dark entity. These intriguing elements make for an engaging film that may not appeal to everyone but holds significance for those it resonates with.

Unfortunately, Nefarious is not currently available for streaming on platforms like Netflix or Hulu. However, it can be rented on Apple TV, Prime Video, Google Play, or VUDU.

The Ending of Nefarious

The film takes its name from the demon that allegedly possesses Edward throughout the majority of the story. As the conversations between Edward and Dr. James unfold, it is revealed that either Edward or the demon has written a manuscript, serving as the demon’s manifesto. The demon aims to corrupt as many souls as possible by getting this book published and tries to manipulate Dr. James into doing so. Despite the evidence Dr. James sees, he deems Edward sane and sentences him to the death penalty. However, the film ends with Dr. James encountering Nefarious again a year later, possessed by another person. Dr. James has chosen to publish the manuscript, but instead of a demon’s manifesto, he has rewritten it as a cautionary tale, revealing the existence of demonic entities and offering guidance on how to avoid their influence.

What Does the Film’s Ending Represent?

The ending of Nefarious, coupled with the politically charged content throughout the film, conveys a powerful message. It serves as an allegory for the battle between good and evil, highlighting conservatives’ belief that unchecked liberalism is corrupting society and leading to the perversion of humanity. The film suggests that the evil spoken of may not be a literal demon, but rather the manifestations of evil that society willingly allows to influence us. Conservatives emphasize the importance of a nuclear family and faith-based living, guiding individuals away from what they perceive as sinful behavior. Conversely, liberal values challenge traditional family structures, support diverse relationships, and adopt more relaxed attitudes towards conservative taboos.


Do the Politics of the Film Matter?

In short, yes! Nefarious undoubtedly carries a right-wing conservative agenda. Critics have accused it of being Christo-fascist propaganda with a cleverly orchestrated marketing campaign. However, the film’s politics should matter because it’s essential to allow voices from all sides to be heard. Hollywood has long been dominated by left-wing ideologies, leaving those with different perspectives feeling marginalized. Regardless of whether one agrees with Nefarious or not, a society that champions democracy and free speech should tolerate opposing views.

It is clear that Hollywood and major studios have been heavily influenced by left-wing agendas in recent years. Those who disagree often have no choice but to accept the pervasive nature of these political views in mainstream media or be left without entertainment options. It’s understandable why films like Nefarious may provoke a strong reaction from liberal audiences. However, instead of perpetuating an “us vs. them” mentality, it is important to accept that differing opinions do not warrant condemnation.

In conclusion, Nefarious offers a unique take on the horror genre, delving into psychological nuances rather than relying on jump scares. Its ending and political undertones convey a poignant message about the battle between good and evil. While critics may dismiss it as right-wing propaganda, it is crucial to allow diverse perspectives in the film industry. Tolerating opposing views is a fundamental aspect of a democratic society that values freedom of speech.

Spoiler Warning: NefariousWhile horror films may provide plenty of scopes for indie directors to prove themselves, it’s also a notoriously easy way to shoot yourself in the foot and get low ratings when the project can’t deliver any thrills because of its small budget. These are just some of the reasons why small-budget horror films often bomb critically and commercially, or fail to wow audiences.

Without a large budget, access to A-list stars, and the kind of special effects that do half the work for you, horror filmmakers have to rely on clever filmmaking techniques and sharp dialogues to resonate with viewers without the need for any ghosts and demons to jump out at them. Nefarious is a Christian independent horror film that was recently released and aimed to hit the mark with a different approach.

The resultant film wasn’t half bad at all and actually earned itself some praise from a lot of viewers despite critics giving it a mostly mixed reception. Featuring some good acting from Sean Patrick Flanerythe film was one that relied on psychological nuances more than anything else to try and creep under the skin. The movie and its ending have been contentious though, leaving many viewers wondering if they fully understood its political implications or not. Here’s our take on explaining the end of Nefarious.

What Is Nefarious About?

Belfi and Flanery in Nefarious
Soli Deo Gloria Releasing

Nefarious gets off to an ominous start from the beginning. Its main plot takes the form of penitentiary sessions between psychiatrist, Dr. James Martin, and a serial killer prisoner named, Edward, who claims to be possessed by a demon. Despite the surface-level lunacy of Edward’s claim, we find reason to doubt how straightforward this will all go early on as it’s revealed that Dr. James has only been assigned the case because Edward’s previous counselor committed suicide the night before.

Related: Why Horror Has Always Been Political

With the stage set for some intrigue, what follows is a guessing game. Dr. James believes that he is speaking to a delusional killer or someone who’s deliberately playing the system to literally get away with murder. However, viewers are provided with enough doubt along the way to keep them guessing whether Edward may actually be under the spell of a dark entity. These intriguing novelties make for an interesting film that uses other plot devices to deliver a narrative that may not be for everyone but is no less significant to those it represents.

While the film completed its theatrical release a short while back, it, unfortunately, isn’t available to stream on Netflix or Hulu. For now, it can, however, be rented on Apple TV, Prime Video, Google Play, or VUDU.

The Ending of Nefarious

Flannery in Nefarious
Soli Deo Gloria Releasing

Nefarious gets its name from the demon that supposedly possesses Edward throughout the bulk of it. As we traverse the various discourses between Edward and Dr. James, it is revealed along the way that either Edward or the demon has written a manuscript that serves as the demon’s manifesto. The demon apparently wants this book out in the world, so it can corrupt as many souls as possible and tries to use Dr. James to do it.

Despite all the apparent proof of Nefarious’s existence that Dr. James sees, he declares Edward sane and condemns him to the death penalty in the process. Yet, the film ends one year later when Dr. James seemingly encounters Nefarious again in possession of another person.

We also learn that Dr. James has indeed chosen to have the manuscript published. However, rather than a demon’s manifesto, Dr. James’s experiences have actually changed him, and he has chosen to rewrite the manuscript as a cautionary tale to try and show people that demonic entities do exist and how we can live our lives in a better way to steer clear of their influence.

What Does the Film’s Ending Represent?

Nefarious Poster
Soli Deo Gloria Releasing

The film’s ending and a lot of politicized ranting that Nefarious indulges in throughout the film do serve a poignant message for the filmmakers. Those rants coupled with the film’s ending show that the film is actually an allegory for good vs. evil and a lens by which conservatives believe unchecked liberalism in society is slowly corrupting it and allowing for the perversion of humanity by its own choices to live sinfully.

Related: 10 Movies That Hate Society

However, what is most important about this message, is that the evil that’s spoken of might not necessarily be an actual demon we can see, but manifestations of evil that society willingly allows to influence us. In this sense, conservatives believe in a nuclear family and faith-based living to guide them away from what they believe to be sinful behavior. On the other hand, liberal values are often more subversive to traditional family values and offer room for different types of family units, relationships that stray from religious underpinnings, and far more relaxed attitudes toward conservative taboos such as sex and drug use.

Do the Politics of the Film Matter?

Flanery in Nefarious
Soli Deo Gloria Releasing

In a short sense, yes! The elephant in the room when you watch Nefarious is that the film clearly has a right-wing conservative agenda. This has led to it being bashed for being Christo-fascist propaganda that used an orchestrated marketing campaign to hide its true intentions.

“At least two dozen influencer and meme accounts, including accounts affiliated with right-wing influencer group Today is America, across Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok promoted Nefariousparticularly in late April after it received a 33% review on Rotten Tomatoes. The content of the various posts was very similar, if not exactly the same, generally using the hashtag #WokenTomatoes, and encouraging followers to see the movie.”

This is probably going to be an unpopular opinion, however, why its politics should matter isn’t necessarily because of what other outlets that condemn it as right-wing propaganda are saying. Its politics should actually matter because it’s only fair that the other side be allowed to have a voice too. After all, Hollywood is an industry that’s so blatantly one-sided when it comes to political views. Whether detractors of the film agree with it or not shouldn’t actually matter. Any society worth its salt as a supposed champion of democracy and bastion of free speech should be allowed to tolerate views it disagrees with.

There is certainly no doubt that Hollywood and big-budget studios have been heavily influenced by left-wing agendas in the last few decades. People on the other side of the fence often have no choice but to stomach the in-your-face manner that such political views are represented or face having nothing left to enjoy on TV. It is easy to see why films like Nefarious would draw the ire of liberal audiences. After all, it is a movie that quietly says to them, “You live in sin and are therefore the cause of inviting evil into society.”

However, while liberal audiences and critics release their anger against conservative views such as those espoused by Nefarious by skewering the film, it’s perhaps also a time to reflect on one fact. Whatever emotions drive the need to respond and take action against it are probably the same ones people who enjoyed Nefarious feel every single time they watch any modern mainstream film or TV show these days. Rather than keep perpetuating a mindset of “us vs them”, perhaps an easier way would be to simply accept that an opinion doesn’t have to be torched just because it’s believed to be wrong.

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