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Deborah Logan’s take ending explained – is Henry Desjardins dead?

June 28, 2022
Deborah Logan's takeScreenshot of the official trailer

The Taking Of Deborah Logan is disturbing for many different reasons. As a compassionate human being, seeing a loved one deteriorate so completely is horrifying. Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are terrible diseases because they often rob the sufferer and their family of time and dignity. Children are forced to watch their parents forget everything, including their children. Meanwhile, older adults sit with the utter devastation of loss of self and helplessness. It’s a terrifying and ruinous process that no one should ever have to go through.

When this painful process is layered with supernatural menace, it’s even more impactful as a horror movie. Adam Robitel, who directed and co-wrote The Taking Of Deborah Logan with Gavin Heffernan, has created a deceptively simple found film that capitalizes on great performances and the innate fears we all have. The possession thriller features a killer final act that’s as disturbing as it is oddly sad. Robitel’s film never takes the easy way out. It uses realistic family dynamics and clever camerawork to prevent the film from playing in implausible ways.

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Anne Ramsey’s Sarah, who plays the worried girl, and Jill Larson’s Deborah, a woman on the verge of madness or something even more insidious, are excellent. They are lived-in characters that feel real. This realism makes the climax all the more impactful as things spiral out of control. Here’s everything you need to know about that explosive ending and what it all means.

The film follows a well-meaning student and her film crew, who document Deborah Logan, who is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Deborah was a fiercely independent woman who owned a phone company in her youth. Now she is losing touch with herself and her daughter is upset and scared. Despite her reluctance, Sarah convinces her mother to participate in the documentary because they need money to keep their family home. The crew quickly notices Deborah’s symptoms. However, not all of Deborah’s behaviors and symptoms are consistent with the disease. As she displays more erratic behavior, everyone begins to wonder where the condition ends and the possible possession begins.

Eventually, the film crew witnesses a particularly heartbreaking encounter where Deborah begins to speak French in a male voice. A major twist in The Taking Of Deborah Logan leads everyone to an infamous murder story from Sarah’s childhood. In the 1970s, a local pediatrician, Henry Desjardins, was accused of taking young girls, cannibalizing their bodies and using them for a blood ritual. Desjardins was dying of Lou Gehrig’s disease and wanted to live forever. Police found four of his victims in a house with snakes, their venom and snake images everywhere. The man, however, was never found.

The Taking Of Deborah Logan ending explained.

Although the first two acts leave a lot of room for interpretation, the ending makes it clear what’s wrong with Deborah. Sarah has lived so long with the weight of what is happening to her mother that the two have created a common psychosis. This shared belief is used to explain so many of the film’s strange early bits. At the shocking end, however, the time for grounded explanations is over. As the spirit residing within Deborah is revealed, everyone must come to terms with an evil to be reckoned with.

Years ago, Deborah helped cover up the crimes of Henry Desjardins after learning he planned to use Sarah as his final sacrifice. Sarah feels responsible for possessing her mother because Deborah did it to save her. Subtle clues make it clear that these two have a complicated relationship. Like most mothers and daughters, he is wrought with subtexts about Sarah’s sexuality and childhood events, never mentioned but implied.

Desjardins owned Deborah and later probably Cara because the young and the sick are the most vulnerable. This also confirms that Deborah has Alzheimer’s disease in addition to being possessed. Also, Deborah feels immense guilt for killing him and keeping it all a secret. Their neighbor Harris saw Deborah stab Desjardins with her shovel, and the two buried him alive. His knowledge of the event helps them find the remains of Desjardins which they later use. The group tries to burn the remains in Sarah’s house, but the spirit stops them. Right after, they get a call from the hospital that Deborah has escaped.

Deborah has been possessed by Henry Desjardins, who needs the fifth virgin to sacrifice to complete her ritual and become immortal. Deborah, no longer in control of herself, kidnaps Cara and takes her to the mine tunnels under Monacan Mill, where he killed the first four girls years ago. Mia and Sarah reunite with Deborah, who has detached her jaw like a snake. She tries to eat Cara head first. Sarah shoots him and then injects him with a sedative. While Mia keeps Cara safe, Sarah sets fire to the remains of Desjardins who, according to legend and many supernatural episodes, will break the spirit’s hold on Deborah and defeat him in Hell. The last photo of Sarah hugging her traumatized mother seems to indicate that she has succeeded.

Due to Deborah’s deteriorating mental state, she is not charged with the murder of Sheriff Tweed or the kidnapping of Cara. In the final moments of the film, Cara is shown several months after her abduction. Her cancer is in miraculous remission and she is healthy. A TV reporter interviews her and she says her plans are secret when asked about the future. As the voiceover for the new story continues, Cara turns to the camera and smiles enigmatically. Deborah may not be fighting Henry Desjardins anymore, but it looks like he owns Cara now.

Snake Symbolism

Snakes symbolize many things. The Taking Of Deborah Logan uses them to indicate that something evil has invaded their space. Religiously, snakes are a symbol of the devil. The Serpent convinces Eve to eat from the Tree of Knowledge in the Garden of Eden. In the film, snakes are seen early in Deborah’s garden and in many documentary shots. Desjardins used the symbol several times in his rituals. A hint of snake possession is seen twice in the film when a terrifying face of a man with a detached jaw flashes on screen for just one second. When Deborah uses her operator gear during the attic scene, it flickers for a brief moment. It’s easy to miss.

Deborah’s attack on the hospital security guard left him in anaphylactic shock because he was injected with rattlesnake venom when she bit him. Later, when the sheriff attempts to apprehend her, Deborah spits venom at the deputy and kills the sheriff. There are tons of snakes in the tunnels under the mill. Although snakes are often symbols of evil, they can also represent fertility, rebirth, and transformation. Their ability to shed their skin acts as a living representation of eternal life and healing.

For Desjardins, he hopes they will transform his spirit into an immortal body. Considering that burning his remains does nothing to destroy his soul, he may have completed the ritual and lived as an eternal being who can jump bodies if necessary. We don’t know if he completed the ritual at some point before Harris and Deborah buried him or if Cara was killed while consumed and only seemed to be saved by Mia. and Sara. Cara’s remarkable health and her smile for the camera indicate the success of the ritual, however. Ironically, snakes are also female protection totems. Obviously, no one told Desjardins that his victims were all young girls having their period for the first time.

The Taking Of Deborah Logan works so well because the disease is so horrible. As a metaphor for what it’s like to get lost in something so out of control, it’s perfect. The patient and his relatives feel helpless and sad. Most feel guilty for being a burden or frustrated by circumstances. This slow pot of emotions is dangerous for everyone. Formally diagnosing Deborah with the disease makes everything even scarier. Illness, guilt and true evil work hand in hand to destroy families and lives. The Taking Of Deborah Logan is a thoughtful take on aging families and decades-old curses. You can watch it for free on Tubi TV right now.

Tracy Palm Tree

As the editor of Signal Horizon, I love watching and writing about genre entertainment. I grew up with old school slashers, but my real passion is television and all things weird and ambiguous. My work can be found here and Travel Weird, where I am the editor.

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