‘Latency’ 2024 Ending Explained & Movie Recap: What Happens To Hana And Jen?

When it comes to sci-fi thrillers, narrative combining psychological ailments and augmented reality have proven to be a sure-shot recipe for success, as seen in some of the best episodes of recent classics like Black Mirror and Love, Death, and Robots. Director James Croke has followed the trusted formula to create Latency, weaving a pretty familiar story of trauma, fear, uncertainty, and acceptance—which could have fared better if an ambiguous adherence to the supernatural had been avoided. The majority of the plot is set against a closed-room backdrop, which enhances the atmospheric scare factor. With only two leads, the intent to amplify the isolation motif was pretty clear as well, and while we are discussing the good aspects, the surprisingly good visuals need to be acknowledged. However, where the movie falters the most is that, in an attempt to pad the runtime, the narrative repeats the same pattern over and over again. By the end of Latency, viewers are neither impressed nor surprised, despite the movie having had the potential to do both. 


Spoilers Ahead

What Was the Reason for Hana’s Fear of the Outside World?

The movie focuses on Hana, a former pro gamer turned game tester in her mid-twenties, who is spending her life alone inside her dingy, overstuffed apartment. In terms of close acquaintances, Hana has Jen, her best and only friend and neighbor, who regularly checks on her well-being, brings food for her, and is the only connection she has with the outside world. While it may seem that excessive attachment to the virtual world is the reason for Hana’s unsociable, reclusive behavior, her condition was, in fact, a pre-existing one and was the reason she resorted to such a lifestyle. Hana’s mother was an agoraphobe; she was extremely hesitant to leave her home and meet people outside, which is why she kept herself and her daughter locked away from the rest of the world, and presumably her condition has leached into Hana due to this sort of upbringing. Hana’s father tried to help her by taking her outside, and playing with him in the rain remains one of Hana’s fondest memories of childhood. It isn’t revealed what happened with Hana’s father, but from the carefully preserved photos she has of her childhood, it is apparent that the duo shared a strong bond, and she probably lost him at a young age. Growing up alone and isolated, Hana became fond of gaming, especially Tetris (a hint of the Tetris effect), and eventually chose gaming as her career option to make ends meet, which allowed her to work from her safe space as well. 


Coming back to the present, in the beginning of the movie, it is seen that along with a stacked-up gaming rig, Hana’s apartment has an augmented reality projector installed as well, as she tests the latest game that seamlessly mixes the virtual landscape with reality. We also learn that working as a tester isn’t covering her bills lately, and Hana needs to make some cash really quick to clear her landlord’s dues.

Hana receives a state-of-the art advanced wearable electroencephalographic device known as Omnia, which maps the neural interface thoroughly to analyze the wearer’s brain commands and activities. Essentially, such a device will upgrade the experience of gaming to a whole other level, and the company wants to test it before the launch by sending it to renowned gamers. Although Jen isn’t sure why Hana was chosen for that, for the time being, Hana isn’t bothering about it too much; she has plans to use the device for her own benefit. 


Why Did Hana Start Seeing Hallucinations?

The Omnia defies all expectations of Hana and Jen by seamlessly calibrating with Hana’s mind, even bypassing other technologies quite easily. Hana notices that, using the Omnia, her gaming skills have become better than ever, and she considers this an opportunity to make some quick money by enrolling in a gaming tournament. She is also amazed to find out that the Omnia has been going through her memory to create a virtual presence based on it. For example, the ball Hana occasionally used to play with gets a digital holographic copy made by Omnia, much to Hana’s amazement. But unbeknownst to her, this also means that some heavy, repressed stuff from her childhood memories will rear its ugly head—with the help of Omnia’s connection and virtual projection. 

Hana occasionally feels someone’s presence in her apartment, has ominous dreams, and spends restless nights as the connection with Omnia continues to grow stronger. At almost the same time, she comes across a kid who wants to befriend and play with her, but Hana is unable to entertain her request as her condition doesn’t let her roam outside. Instead, she tries to connect with her by sharing about her own childhood, when she spent her days alone playing Tetris. Hana promises the little kid that she will let her play Tetris on a console of her own. 


As planned, Hana registers in the gaming tournament, and to assist Jen as well, she asks her to wager big time on her. Surely enough, Hana starts winning in every round, but to her dismay, she finds out she is having recurrent visions and hallucinations as frequently as well. To ease her friend’s mind, Jen offers her help to let her venture outside, but the apartment is the only world Hana needs and knows. Once, as Jen leaves for her office, Hana accidentally locks herself outside while trying to give her Tetris-installed console to the little girl and is terrified after coming across a shrieking banshee entity. After entering her room, Hana is freaked out even more after seeing the entity with the little kid present inside her room. With the hallucinations worsening by the day, Hana is not sure whether it is her overstressed, isolated mind that is conjuring up all these or whether it is a reflection of her troubling past shown by Omnia. 

What Happened to Hana and Jen at the End?

As Hana continues to lose her grip over reality, she is cornered even further after Jen stops coming to her apartment all of a sudden. Hana wins the tournament, but finds no one to share her joy with. After clearing her past dues, she asks her landlord about Jen, but he doesn’t know her whereabouts either. Hana occasionally finds herself reminiscing about days gone by inside the liminal space between reality and the virtual world and tries to find answers regarding everything that is happening in the meantime. 

One day, reality hits Hana like a truck as she finds herself eating maggot-infested food and has the shocking revelation that she is completely unaware of how much time has passed since Jen stopped coming to the apartment. Hana remains fixated on her screens anyway, with her affliction making their presence felt all around the apartment, until Jen suddenly shows up one day, only for her to find her fatally injured and vanishing moments later. The horrible part is the dreadful vision, which highlights that Hana has unknowingly killed her best friend, and a puzzled, crestfallen Hana blames Omnia for projecting her worst fears. She tries to get rid of the device once and for all, but to no avail. Hana breaks down and, mustering enough courage, decides to check out Jen’s apartment on the upper floor by getting out of her room. However, she is distracted moments later, and upon going to her bathroom, she finds the rotting corpse of Jen lying there. Terrified and confused, Hana now sees her apartment in a way worse state than she remembered it to be, and in a petrified state, she rushes to Jen’s apartment. Hana sees an ominous vision of Omnia taking over her mind to kill Jen, and as she flees to the roof, a horde of monsters (from the VR game she was testing previously) start chasing her. After a lifetime, Hana experiences rain, and she jumps off the roof only to find herself back in her apartment all over again. She has completely lost track of the virtual world and the real one, and both have intermingled in her in the worst possible way to aggravate her already fragile mental state. 

Hana sees the dark entity to be present in her apartment, whom she addresses as her mother, who, according to Hana, is unwilling to let Hana get separated from her. A bunch of cops break into her apartment, as it seems that things had gotten pretty bad a long time ago without Hana realizing it. The cops find Jen’s body in the bathroom as well, making it clear to the viewers that her death was not a figment of Hana’s imagination, and Hana is arrested on suspicion of Jen’s murder. Shellshocked, Hana remains in an unfazed state as she continues playing Tetris (Tetris effect reference). A memory of her childhood flashes in her mind, when she was busy playing Tetris as well, while her psychotic mother had clung to her when authorities had arrived to take her away. Hana’s life comes to a full circle, and as viewers might have assumed already, the little girl was none other than Hana herself. However, as the movie ends, the cops start dragging Hana out of her apartment, shocking her back to reality, and as she fiercely resists, she herself turns into the shrieking entity. 


In Latency‘s ending, it remains unknown at which point Hana’s reality ended, and the ominous virtual presence began. Having a troubled upbringing, Hana’s mental well-being was neglected even further in her isolated existence, which was compounded by her connection with Omnia, which manifested her worst fears and traumas into reality. Jen was the only presence who could have saved her troubled mind, but even she was neglected to a large extent, although it remains unknown why Hana killed her. Perhaps Hana’s connection with her mother had influenced her to take her best friend’s life and keep her forever trapped in her mental shackles.

Siddhartha Das
Siddhartha Das
An avid fan and voracious reader of comic book literature, Siddhartha thinks the ideals accentuated in the superhero genre should be taken as lessons in real life also. A sucker for everything horror and different art styles, Siddhartha likes to spend his time reading subjects. He's always eager to learn more about world fauna, history, geography, crime fiction, sports, and cultures. He also wishes to abolish human egocentrism, which can make the world a better place.

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