“Control” is a newly released Canadian sci-fi thriller helmed by director James Mark. The plot of the film centers on a woman who, in order to protect her daughter’s life, is trapped in a bleak room and given a series of progressively severe trials by an unidentified voice. Her life, her daughter’s safety, and her own sanity are all on the line as she attempts to complete the ever-increasing list of challenges and avoid breaking under pressure.
Eileen, Move The Pencil, Or Eve Will Die!!
“Control” opens up, and we see the protagonist waking up in a strange prison, having a vision of a girl singing a song on the beach, swarms of guards heavily armed shooting relentlessly at something, and we see bullet shells littered on the floor. The scene shifts, and we’re met with an automated voice marking the beginning of Phase 1. The automated voice asks the protagonist to move the pencil lying on the iron table bolted in front of her before time runs out. We see Eileen struggling and dragging herself to the table, moving the pencil, and completing the first test.
Soon, Eileen is presented with another test; this time, though, the situation has changed. Eileen’s legs are strapped to a chair bolted to the ground, and her hands are wrapped around in zip ties. We were met with the same automated voice instructing Eileen to complete the task before time ran out. Eileen screams, calling the test a sick joke and claiming that she can’t move because she is in chains. The automated voice asks Eileen to carry out the task nevertheless, and should she fail, Eve will die. At this point, the audience kind of gets the idea that the girl glimpsed in the movie’s opening sequence is Eileen’s daughter Eve. Eve’s life at stake gets Eileen thinking, and she uses her shoelaces to see her way out of the zip ties, finally pushing the pencil and completing the second task. The color of the room shifts from red to white after the completion of every test and throws Eileen into a subconscious state.
The entire movie revolves around Eileen’s attempt to complete various tasks in order to save her daughter and the visions that follow. After waking up, Eileen is again met with an “Increment and Initialize” instruction to carry out the same task as last time. Eileen strides towards the movie with the pencil but is met with a transparent glass wall, stopping her. The lights shift to red, and we see the countdown beginning on the screen placed on the other side of the glass wall. Anxiously, Eileen starts to investigate the room to look for a way to open the glass door. All these while we see little red cubes on the screen disappearing one by one, implying that she was running out of time. Eileen even tried to use the chair to break the glass, but sadly, the chair was bolted back to the floor. Eileen anxiously began ramming the door, hoping to break it, but only ended up hurting her shoulders. Losing all hope, Eileen began to weep and angrily started shouting at the pencil, finally moving it with her mind. This confirms the audience’s suspicion that Eileen is not normal and possesses some telekinetic powers, which explains the prison and challenges.
Eileen, It’s Me. It’s Roger!!!!
After completing the last task, Eileen wakes up from the same old dream of her daughter making sandcastles on the beach and finds a man named Roger lying on the floor. Roger instantly recognizes Eileen and tries to free her from the chair. Eileen bites him on his hand but realizes that he is his husband, Roger; after seeing his wedding ring Eileen inquires Roger how he got there, but Roger says he has no idea. Rogers asks Eileen why she is strapped to the chair. Eileen informs him that she just keeps waking up time after time strapped to the chair, and a voice keeps asking her to do things if she ever wants to see her daughter alive. Just as Roger is trying to make sense of her words, the color again shifts to red, implying that the test is about to begin. This time, the voice tells Eileen to break the pencil in half. Roger picks up the pencil, and just as he is about to snap it, he’s told that only Eileen can complete the tasks. Eileen asks Roger to put the pencil down and begins to concentrate, finally snapping the pencil in half, leaving Roger in disbelief.
After waking up again from the same dream, Roger informs Eileen that the thing Eileen just did with the pencil is psychokinesis, and the government has kidnapped them so they can carry out their weird scientific experiment. He asks Eileen whether she always had such powers. Eileen rejects it, but Roger reminds her of an old accident that had happened years before. Roger tells Eileen about the time when Eileen screamed so hard during an argument that it made his mom’s antique mirror fall off the wall and shattered all around him, giving the audience an idea that Eillen and Roger weren’t exactly compatible.
Suddenly, the color shifts again; we see a bucket and a ball placed on the table. The voice again demands her to put the ball in the bucket within the allotted time, or Eve will suffer. Both Eileen and Roger join forces to tackle the challenge. With the help of her telekinetic power, Eileen unscrewed the screws bolting the table legs to the ground. Roger pushed the table, bringing it much closer to Eileen, allowing her to use her powers to fly the ball into the bucket and save the day again. At this point, Eileen had finally realized how to use her powers, and the next couple of tasks had her turning the pages of a book via her telekinesis, making a sandcastle, and assembling a handgun. We also see the two bonding gradually and Roger helping Eileen to remember how they had first met. Roger was the front man for the rock band “Death by Ocean,” and Eline was studying “Condensed Matter Physics.” But little did they know that it would turn pretty ugly very soon.
‘Control’ Ending, Explained: What Happened To Roger? Did Eileen Find Eve?
After the last task, the scene shifts to black, and we see Roger trapped inside an unbreakable glass door. This time there was no pencil, no sand to play with, no guns to assemble; it was her husband’s life on the line. The glass door soon starts filling up with sand, and the audience sees Roger struggling to get out. Eileen tries to break the glass with the chair, but the sands eventually claim Roger’s life. The light again turns to normal, and we see Eileen is heartbroken over the death of her husband, pleading for another chance to save her daughter. Still, the automated voice kept repeating that she had failed to complete the task within the allotted time. This was the last straw for Eileen, as she had already suffered enough. Seeing Eileen’s retaliation, the door opens, and we see a few guards walking in with automatic weapons, forcing her to comply. Eileen had lost everything; she had lost her husband and failed to save her daughter, and she finally snaps and kills all the guards and walks out.
Guards begin firing at her as soon as she steps out, but Eileen mercilessly slaughters them all. She even retracts one of the guards’ eyes and later uses it to open the vault. Eileen finds Roger sitting beside the three purple doors marked “Materials,” “Supplies,” and “Spare” and constantly murmuring that “they’re all like me.” Eileen opens one of the doors and finds a body resembling her husband. Eileen is cornered by the guards once again and breaks open one of the guards’ helmets to see that they’re all clones. These guards, too, share the same fate as others, and we see Eileen walking through a final door.
This is where everything becomes clear!! The truth is that both Roger and Eve died on the beach when Eileen accidentally used her powers on Roger. The voice tells Eileen to go through rehabilitation and eliminate her guilt, but she insists on resetting the whole thing to forget about her daughter’s death. The voice grants her permission, and the scene cuts, and we see Eileen trying to move the pencil, implying a fresh start.