‘A Deadly Threat to My Family’ Ending Explained & Movie Recap: What Happens To Serena?

It’s truly baffling how deeply some people can get caught up in cults, isn’t it? The way they manipulate and control individuals through superstition and rituals is just shocking. And the more shocking part is that it’s not just ordinary people who fall victim to these schemes; even scientists and celebrities can get drawn in, like Tom Cruise with Scientology or Brigitte Boisselier with Raël’s cult. It’s like they’re living in a whole different reality! I recently watched A Deadly Threat to My Family by Erin Lovett, and let me tell you, Serena’s (Gina Vitori) story had me questioning all these things even more! Leaving a cult like the Builders of Ascension takes some serious guts, and then the leader, Olef, gets arrested. Also there is this prophecy called “The Rise,” saying the world’s about to end within a week and they need her for some self-sacrifice to save it. Now, I can’t help but wonder about Serena’s future. I mean, can someone who’s been so deeply brainwashed ever fully recover? And what about her family? Let’s dive into Serena’s story and see where it takes us!


Spoilers Ahead

Why did Serena start living with her brother and her family? 

Serena, a 32-year-old woman, had lived a considerable amount of time in a cottage with other women in a cult run by Olef for the past 10 years. Olef’s cult, called the Builders of Ascension, believes in a prophecy that the world will end soon. They think they can stop it through a ritual called ” The Rise,” which involves self-sacrifice. And guess who’s the prime candidate for this sacrifice? None other than Serena herself! But things got too intense for Serena, and she decided to leave the cult. Shortly after, the police arrested Olef for attempting to harm women in the group. Olef is sentenced to 30 years in jail. Serena, on the other hand, is taken to the police station, where she is questioned about the cult’s misdeeds. Meanwhile, Serena’s brother, Ryan (Mark Ricketson), feels that she’s been through too much. First, dealing with the cult, and now facing questioning by the police. He believes Serena needs to be with her family during this tough time. So, without hesitation, he insists that she stay with him, his wife Marielle (Jessica Morris), and her niece Aria (Isabella Mercurio). Serena used to live with them before joining the cult, so it’s like going back to old times. They’re all there to support her and help her through this challenging period. It’s a chance for Serena to reconnect with her family and leave the past behind. 


Is Serena still a part of the cult? 

It’s not easy to forget someone’s past, especially when they’ve been through something as intense as being in a cult. Serena, despite leaving the cult, still carries some of its habits and beliefs with her. Things like using symbolic red, avoiding metal, or hanging triangular small wood branches for protection around the house have become a daily part of her routine. And you know what? Marielle, Serena’s sister-in-law, isn’t too thrilled about it. After all, Marielle, being a mom to her teen daughter Aria, obviously worries about the influence Serena might have. Aria sees Serena as a survivor, a risk-taker, unlike her mother, whom she considers a bit boring. Marielle fears that Aria might be drawn into Serena’s world of strange beliefs and rituals, especially with this prophecy, “The Rise,” coming soon. Serena’s constant talk about her experiences and her tendency to gift red shirts to Aria only add to Marielle’s concerns. Plus, Serena isn’t going to therapy like she should, and she’s even letting Aria skip school to accompany her on outings. It’s all becoming quite problematic. To top it off, Marielle catches Serena meeting with one of her old cult members, Laurel. This made Marielle question one thing: Is Serena still in the cult? 

Why did the cult take away Aria?

Marielle tried talking to Ryan about her worries, but he brushed them off. I mean, which brother wouldn’t believe in his sister, right? He just couldn’t see Serena doing anything wrong. When Ryan asked Serena about it, she acted like she didn’t know what he was talking about, saying she didn’t go to therapy because she went shopping. It was like she was pretending nothing was going on. Ryan thought Marielle was overreacting. But Marielle couldn’t shake off her suspicions. One day, when she saw Serena’s guesthouse empty, she couldn’t resist looking for evidence. And what she found shocked her—empty vials and scraped metal in Serena’s room. It was a sign that something was seriously wrong. Feeling like she had to do something, Marielle followed Serena and found her meeting with Laurel by the lake. Laurel gave Serena two poison-filled vials, one for Serena and one for Aria. Laurel believed Aria’s presence would make the ritual stronger as she and Serena are blood-related. Marielle knew she had to act fast and decided to take matters into her own hands. She called the school, making sure only the family could pick up Aria. But when she saw Serena picking up Aria from school, she knew something wasn’t right. Just as Marielle was about to relax, Laurel showed up and took Aria away without anyone’s knowing to perform the ritual. Marielle was frantic, unable to find Aria anywhere. But then Serena explained—she had been with Aria the whole time because she wanted to protect her from the cult since she knew Laurel might harm her. Realizing they needed to act fast, Serena and Marielle rushed to save Aria, knowing that Laurel mainly needed Serena for the ritual to work.


In A Deadly Threat to My Family‘s ending, all the women at the cottage were dressed in red, ready to perform their ritual of self-sacrifice with poisoned drinks, including Aria. When Serena arrived, she said she was the one who would take the poison, but they should let Aria go. The women agreed, and Serena drank the poison, knowing she had to save Aria. As Marielle witnessed her daughter and Serena in danger, she called the police right away. And as the police arrived and they heard the sirens, without hesitation, the women drank the poison to fulfill their prophecy and end their lives. But thankfully, the police arrived in time to give Serena the antidote, which ultimately saved her life. After the chaos with the cult got over, Serena was ready for a fresh start, with the support of her family. Maybe this time she could break free from the influence of the symbolic red and embrace colors like white or blue instead. And at the end, as we see her using a metal doorknob for her house door, this was definitely a step in the right direction!

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Sutanuka Banerjee
Sutanuka Banerjee
Sutanuka, a devoted movie enthusiast, embarked on her cinematic journey since childhood, captivated by the enchanting world of the Harry Potter series. This early passion ignited her love for movies, providing an escape into the magical realms of cinema. She is currently pursuing a master's degree in media science, combining her academic pursuits with her unwavering passion for the silver screen.

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