The Taking of Deborah Logan is a 2014 American supernatural horror movie that serves as the feature directorial debut of Adam Robitel, who co-wrote and edited the movie with Gavin Heffernan. The movie stars Jill Larson, Anne Ramsay, and Michelle Ang. Set in Virginia, it tells the story of a documentary crew making a movie about Alzheimer’s patients who uncover something ominous while documenting a woman who has the disease. The movie was produced by Jeff Rice and Bryan Singer and was released on October 21, 2014.
The title character becomes increasingly terrifying in his mentally exhausted state, even as the young movie crew tries to understand what is happening. As old secrets come to light, a truly monstrous explanation for Deborah’s suffering is hinted at.
The Taking of Deborah Logan: Movie Synopsis
Mia Medina, Gavin, and Luis are a team of students who want to make a documentary about Deborah Logan, an elderly woman who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease. As a film crew chronicles her daily life, Deborah begins to exhibit increasingly bizarre behaviors that her personal physician says are normal for someone with an aggressive form of Alzheimer’s disease. However, cameraman Luis begins to notice that her actions defy normal explanations and expresses concern that something supernatural is going on.
Things get tenser after Luis and Gavin record the audio of Deborah speaking French and talking about sacrifices and snakes. They noticed that line 337 kept ringing on her switchboard; the line belonged to a local doctor, Henri Desjardins, who disappeared after a series of cannibalistic ritualized murders of four young girls. Deborah’s behavior is so extreme that she is hospitalized for her own safety. Terrified, Gavin leaves the movie.
The others discover that Desjardins was allegedly trying to recreate an ancient Monaco ritual that would have made him immortal, but required the death of five girls who had recently received their first period. They wondered if Deborah was obsessed with Desjardins. Along with Mia and Luis, Deborah’s daughter Sarah discovers that Deborah has unsuccessfully attempted to kidnap Cara Minetti, a young cancer patient. Harris Sredl, Deborah’s boyfriend, visits her in the hospital and she begs him to kill her.
He tries to comply but is knocked down by the entity possessing her. Sarah learns from Harris that years ago, Deborah discovered that Desjardins planned to use Sarah as his fifth victim. This prompted her to murder the doctor before he could carry out his plan and bury his body in the yard. The group finds the remains of the body and tries to burn them, but fails.
Deborah kidnaps Cara and takes her to the place where Desjardins killed his previous victims. After discovering that Deborah has gone to the mines, Sheriff Linda Tweed follows her but is killed. Sarah and Mia find Deborah trying to swallow Cara’s head in snake fashion and she manages to burn Desjardins’ corpse.
The movie then cuts to news footage of reporters reporting that Deborah has been found incompetent to stand trial for her crimes and the kidnapping of Cara, her health rapidly deteriorating in the months following the incident. Cara has beaten cancer and is celebrating her 10th birthday. As the reporter begins to wrap up the story, Cara turns to the camera and smiles ominously, indicating that Desjardins’ ritual has been completed and he is now in control of her body.
The Taking of Deborah Logan Ending, Explained: What Happened At The End?
The hospital explodes into chaos when it is discovered that Deborah has escaped her restraints and kidnapped a young girl named Cara. Realizing that she plans to complete Henry’s ritual by killing Cara, Sarah, Mia, and Luis frantically search for the possessed woman. Gavin abandoned his efforts at this time and left in fear. When they finally find Deborah in the abandoned mines where Henry’s other victims have been found, the evil woman is seen trying to swallow the young Cara, much like a snake devours its prey.
In an attempt to free Deborah from his possession, Sarah burns Henry’s remains. She also shoots her mother. The intervention seems to have the desired effect and Cara is saved, although Deborah falls into a weak state. A few months later, the announcer describes the gruesome incident and says that Deborah is unfit to stand trial. Cara, who has since recovered, is also interviewed by a reporter, and the film ends with a close-up of the young girl smiling knowingly into the camera.
The final scene of the film strongly suggests that there are still some sinister remnants and that the effects of Henry’s malevolent spirit have not completely disappeared. Cara’s expression at the end seems to reflect some of the above badness. However, what is perhaps most indicative of the young girl being under Henry’s influence is that she informs the reporter interviewing her that she has “secret plans” when she is older.
It’s also interesting to learn that at the end of the movie, Cara is cured of cancer. Although not elaborated on in the film, this could also be a sign that the young girl is obsessed with Henry, as he wants his subject to live as long as possible (after all, he was undertaking a ritual for immortality). Cara also seems calm and collected when under Henry’s control, unlike Deborah who had violent outbursts when possessed. This is probably because Cara’s young mind is more malleable and easy to manipulate.
The film thus ends with the disgustingly haunting vision of a small child possessed by a murderous pediatrician. As Deborah slowly fades from the effects of Alzheimer’s, Henry takes possession of a new, younger victim and appears to have a sinister plan for Cara’s future.
Henry Desjardin’s sinister plan is a continuation of an ancient Monaco ritual he undertook when he was alive. As part of this, he kidnapped four young girls who were eventually found murdered and partially cannibalized. Before he could kidnap the final fifth victim to complete the ritual, he was seemingly murdered by Deborah. Therefore, while possessed by Henry, Deborah attempts to kidnap the fifth and final victim, Cara, to complete the ritual.
With Cara being “saved” at the end of the film and Henry’s remains being cremated, it seems his plan is still incomplete. Because Cara is not killed, the ritual of immortality is not completed. However, Henry seems to have achieved the next best possible result.
By possessing Cary, he found a host who still has many years to complete the ritual for him. In fact, the secret plans that Cara mentions to the reporter at the end of the film seem to refer to Henry’s plan to eventually murder his last victim and finally achieve immortality. However, by the time the film ends, Henry’s plan is still incomplete and Cara is not immortal.
In what could possibly be the film’s most disturbing scene (as well as its horror climax), we get a brief glimpse of Deborah, jaws open, trying to swallow Cara whole. The ritual’s association with snakes and cannibalism is disturbingly clear as we see the film’s namesake in the throes of supernatural possession and attempt to devour the fifth and final victim. However, Deborah is interrupted by her daughter Sarah before she can swallow Cara.
Although there is a clear connection between Henry’s sinister ritual and snakes, it is unlikely that Deborah turned into a snake. Instead, the gruesome transformation she sees in her (allowing her to unhinge her jaws) is likely a temporary result of possession. The partial serpent transformation is most likely a side effect of the ritual to allow whoever performs it to consume their victim’s offerings. So Deborah does not turn into a snake, and would likely transform back into her normal physical form if she was allowed to finish eating young Cara.
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