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Shutter Island: Movie ending explained! All clues under the microscope!

May 13, 2021

Discover the explanation of the end of Shutter Island! Where were the clues hidden?

Shutter Island is available on Netflix! If you want to know the explanation of the end in details, keep reading! Martin Scorsese has directed more than 20 feature films in a 50-year career. He is the most influential English-speaking filmmaker after the great Stanley Kubrick. His films not only mark milestones in distinctive aspects.

With fierce Sicilian blood flowing through him, Scorsese destroyed fragile vessels that could not withstand the test of time, the conventions, and the limitations of mainstream cinema. Shutter Island it’s a movie that makes you question your thinking and judgment. It was released the same year as Inception, and Nolan’s film was widely acclaimed despite its narrative and structural flaws that irritated me greatly on second viewing.


Shutter Island it is conventional with its linear narrative. It’s set in the 1950s and stays true to film noir style by building a mystery. With a main curieux detective, enveloped in their own right, who is engaged in times of intrigue, of frequent flashbacks that disturb the narrative flux, the persistent presence of a femme fatale, des personnages secondaires who arouse the curiosity that plutôtôtôt. solutions.

A tragic universal event that precedes the plot that gives a dark or moody atmosphere and the use of minimal lighting to create a kind of chiaroscuro. This is mainly due to Scorsese’s declared love for traditional black. And it pays a well-deserved tribute to a genre more parodied than idolized.

Shutter Island is based on the novel of the same name by Dennis Lahane, and follows Teddy Daniels, an American marshal who investigates the masterful escape of a murderer from a fortress-like asylum on a remote island. His new partner, Chuck Aule, is trying to improve the situation. But Teddy quickly learns that everyone on the island, including Chuck, may be playing against him. Trying to regroup and deal with the changing situation. Teddy tries to save himself before he can even understand the disappearance of the patient.

Explanation of the end of Shutter Island

There’s a big twist on the end of the shutter island ! Teddy is not really Teddy, nor is he a quarterback. Teddy is Andrew Laeddis, an insane murderer and a psychiatric hospital patient who is “investigating.” His psychiatrist encouraged Andrew to stage his delusions. But that fails, and Andrew returns to his psychotic state. The movie ends with him being led away to be lobotomized.

To shutter island end, Andrew utters a phrase that is nowhere to be found in the original book. “This place makes me wonder what the worst would be,” he says. “Live like a monster or die like a good man?”

Perhaps Andrew’s last line is just the ramblings of a madman. Or, there is a possibility that he is faking his relapse into insanity, and Teddy’s role play brought him out of psychosis. Scorsese has not commented on the shutter island end, so it is up to the viewers to decide what the truth is.

Where are the clues hiding?

At the beginning of the movie, “Teddy” is on a boat heading to Shutter Island. In the room where Teddy is, handcuffs and shackles are hung. These are shackles intended for prisoners brought to the island and possibly to the place where Teddy / Andrew was being held before the role-play experience began.

At the lighthouse, Dr. Cawley tells Andrew that he sees things and feels shaky from “withdrawal.” No, the cigarettes and pills that Teddy takes all the time Shutter Island They do not intend to drug you, in fact, it is quite the opposite. Cawley and Sheehan take out Andrew’s medication for the role-play experience, to help him open up to reality. It’s stopping drugs that drives him crazy later in the movie.

The fire is a symbol of Andrew / Teddy’s madness in the movie. If you look closely, every time Teddy is near the fire: the matches he lights in Hall C, the fire in the cave with “Dr. Solando ”and when Dr. Cawley’s car explodes towards him shutter island end, suffers a kind of hallucination. Fire is the symbol of Andrew’s imaginary world, while water is the symbol of the reality of what happened to him. So the cave scene with Dr. Solando is not real and all his spiel about Shutter Island since being a secret government mind control laboratory is not real either.

The government’s mind control operation is a red herring that Andrew Laeddis invents for his fantasy. This allows him to continue to explain to himself why he is on Shutter Island and to demonize the doctors and staff as threats or conspirators. The goal of Drs Cawley and Sheehan’s role-playing game is to allow Andrew to see for himself how impossible and absurd his conspiracy theory is, allowing him to carry his investigation to the end. That’s why there is nothing in the lighthouse of the end of Shutter Island.

end of shutter island explanation

The characters surrounding Teddy also reveal clues

Look at the guards everywhere Shutter Island. They get extremely nervous as soon as “Teddy” is around and they squeeze their weapons a little tighter. This is especially true at the beginning, when the “marshals” arrive on the island. This is because the guards know that Teddy is crazy and that they weren’t exactly thrilled with the role-play experience.

Pay attention to the scene of the staff interview. When Teddy and Chuck interview nurses, it’s easy to see how ridiculous the interview is for the staff. A nurse says how “out of the ordinary” her job is. He is making an ironic joke because he is talking to a madman disguised as a policeman.

When Teddy asks Ms. Kearns, she talks about how amazing Dr. Sheehan is. There’s a little awkward eye contact between her and “Chuck” because she’s talking about him! That’s why she also asks Chuck for water and he quickly accepts. Mrs. Kearns writes “run” on the piece of paper that she passes to Teddy because she knows that he has the option to escape while they experience the role play.

The creepy woman in the yard at the beginning of the movie silences Teddy because she knows him, knows he’s playing a game, and has been ordered not to screw it up. She is a crazy person who likes to play, that’s all.

When Teddy reveals to Dr. Naehring that he solved Patient 67’s riddle during a staff meeting, Naehring says, “What are you doing here?” He’s really upset that Dr. Cawley lets Teddy / Andrew roam so freely.

In Ward C, Teddy is accosted by a freed prisoner and nearly strangles him to death. “Chuck” and a guard arrive and drag the strangled man aside. The guard tells Teddy that he can’t go to the infirmary, while muttering that he’s going to have a big problem allowing a patient to strangle another patient.