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Throughout this, I’ll be breaking down everything that you need to know about the ending of the new Netflix movie: Rattlesnake.
There will be heavy spoilers here so if you haven’t had a chance to watch the movie yet and don’t want to know what happens then I highly recommend that you turn off now.
With that out the way I just wanna give a huge thank you for clicking this video, now let’s get into our breakdown of Rattlesnake.
Rattlesnake Plot Recap
Rattlesnake follows Katrina and her daughter Clara on a road trip to Oaklahoma to get away from what we can determine is an unhappy life due to the self-help tapes that she is listening to. Katrina instills in her daughter that she shouldn’t hurt anyone ever but this moral standing comes into question throughout the movie when the character is required to do so in order to repay her debt.
Rattlesnake wastes no time getting to the point of its plot aesthetic and after Clara is bitten by a rattlesnake on the road, the movie quickly kicks up a notch. Clara is basically at death’s door due to the bite and it seems like Katrina is going to watch her daughter die in front of her until she comes across a trailer on the road that houses a mysterious woman.
Miraculously the woman is able to heal Clara of the rattlesnake bite and the wound completely disappears. Katrina takes her to a hospital in Tulia not long after but the wound is brushed to the side with her fever being chalked up to dehydration or exhaustion. However, we learn that a high cost comes with her daughter’s miraculous recovery. After Katrina is visited by a mysterious man at the hospital, he demands payment for her change of health and states that Katrina must take the life of someone else in order to clear the debt.
A Soul For A Soul
It’s a soul for a soul but Katrina isn’t exactly Thanos and she really struggles to deal with the fact that in order to save her daughter’s life, she must take another. Rattlesnake is a really high concept horror and in the wake of Eli, Wounds and Netflix’s more recent entries it sits nicely on the platform as an intriguing film that will definitely have you gripped from the prospect of the plot points that it portrays. This is due to the acting and the fact that Carmen Ejogo who plays Katrina is a highly relatable character. Even as a single middle-aged mother trying to escape her past, viewers are still able to put themselves in the position of the character who has been tasked with this impossible decision.
The Curse Explained
We learn that the soul has to be a human and that it has to be paid in full and on time. Katrina has until sunset to pay the debt and the mysterious man demonstrates exactly what will happen if she doesn’t make good on the payment. Katrina, desperate for answers drives back out on the desert road but the trailer has disappeared and after running into an angry trucker that is heavily wounded and has a missing eye, she begins to believe that this is more than just a trick.
It feels akin to old episodes of the Twilight Zone and fans of the show will definitely find a lot to like here. The town just has an atmosphere about it and every time a horror movie is set around Texas you really get the broad scape of the state with the vast stretching desert and almost mirage inducing surroundings. It’s one of Rattlesnake’s strongpoints and we learn that Tulia itself as a location is just as haunting as the characters that Katrina runs into.
We discover that the town has been linked to a number of brutal murders and disappearances and every bit of evidence that Katrina can unearth shows a mysterious figure in the background. In addition to this, many of the people that have been victims of the slayings have been people that Katrina has run into including a lawyer, a child that scares her and the trucker. This is because those taken by the curse are brought into it and become a form of the shadowy figure behind it all.
The specters themselves act as reminders that Katrina is running out of time and must act in order to save her child. In addition to this, they are forced to live out their deaths over and over such as the little boy that smashes his head into Katrina’s car window, the Priest that is set on fire and so on. From this, we can guess that Tulia is actually limbo in some form or another, a purgatory that forces all the souls taken there as part of the curse to remain in the area. Trapped in the vicious cycle.
A Toxic Cycle
This mirrors Katrina who is attempting to escape from a circle of a toxicity back home and in doing so she is forced into another one and the movie can actually be viewed as a metaphor for people who wish to escape a negative lifestyle and sometimes the ends that they have to go to in order to do it. Whilst most people just cut people out of their lives, Katrina has to cut them out literally and it’s a movie that definitely can be applied to real life when viewed through this lens.
However, this is a horror and Katrina has made a deal with the devil in order to save her daughter and time is running out.
Katrina knows what she has to do and after noticing a man whose days were numbered earlier in the movie she begins to make her play. Katrina has a change of heart though and doesn’t want to rob the family of their last few minutes with their father and when he dies of natural causes she realises she has to come up with a new plan. Thus she sets her sights on Billy, a violent and aggressive man played by Theo Rossi who she determines has to die because he is abusive to his girlfriend. There is lip service paid to the fact that Billy’s girlfriend is the definition of insanity due to the fact she is stuck a vicious cycle with him and when she sneaks into his home she discovers this will continue for the character.
This harkens back to the prior point and just in the same way that Katrina wants to free herself, she also recognises the cycle in others and wishes to get them out of it even though she will ultimately force one more person to end up in their own cycle.
Rattlesnake Netflix Ending Explained
Katrina kidnaps Billy at gunpoint and drives him into the desert to a remote Canyon where he manages to escape. After coming face to face with another ghost, Katrina, realises that she has no other option but to kill herself. She films a goodbye message but Billy reappears and hits her with a rock.
Luckily the titular Rattlesnake appears once more and bites Billy which sends him over a cliff. Easy prey, Katrina climbs down and kills Billy whilst he screams that she will burn in hell for this. The sun goes down and we see some of the figures from earlier in the movie watching her. Katrina leaves the canyon and on her way back to the hospital receives a call from the hospital which says that Clara is fine.
However, when Katrina arrives at the hospital, she sees that Clara has drawn a picture of the mysterious figure. This to me indicates that Clara is somewhat aware of what her mother has had to do and the curse that she was a part of.
The two leave the town and on their way out we see Billy hitch-hiking, now part of the curse and unable to leave the town and the vicious cycle that he is trapped in. Juxtaposing this, Katrina and Clara have managed to escape and will hopefully go onto a better life with each other.
The Rattlesnake Explained
Now the title itself refers to the fact that in this land, the Rattlesnake is basically the devil. Similar to the form that he took in the Garden of Eden, Lucifer is a snake that wishes to tempt people with a promise of something better but in exchange, he demands a sacrifice. The snake wishes to have souls and we can determine from the actions that the snake takes towards the end that the more corrupt the soul, the better.
This is because when Billy has Katrina held up, the snake intervenes in order to save Katrina and it was likely weighing up the two options, determining that Billy was the more corrupt and evil person and therefore his soul was worth more.
The snake will likely remain at the border of the city, catching lost souls that enter into his realm and trapping them into a deal with him. We know from the ghosts that this has already happened numerous times and no doubt the rattlesnake will continue to do it’s job of collecting souls in the area.
But what did I think of the film overall?
Well Rattlesnake has been recieving mixed reviews across the board but I actually quite enj0yed it. I love films like this that put characters into desperate situations where they are forced to commit evil in order to carry out a good act and though Rattlesnake has a rather small scope in terms of location and cast, it actually does quite a lot with it.
There’s a lot of allegories here with the main one being that in order to get the rainbow sometimes you have to go through the rain and the film is a nice, enjoyable horror that has arrived just in time for Halloween. It doesn’t rely on jump scares or cheap tactics to get it’s point across and instead the most sinister side of the movie is the meaning behind it and the deeds that Katrina has to carry out in order to get her daughter back.
As mentioned earlier this gave me early Twilight Zone episode vibes and I can easily imagine this piece fitting in amongst those entries as an unnerving twist on society that has a supernatural element to it.
Rattlesnake is a fun watch and I can see why Netflix are listing it above the pretty meddling Daybreak this week as out of the two titles this is by far the better one.
Though it isn’t perfect, it’s still an enjoyable journey that in my opinion could have probably done with chopping 10 minutes off here and there but overall it’s a great little horror to sink your teeth into if you just want to watch something that you can put on, sit back with and relax.
I enjoyed Rattlesnake on the whole and that’s why it get a…
Now obviously I’d love to hear your thoughts on Rattlesnake and what you took from the movie. Comment below and let me know!