‘The Verge Of Death’ Ending Explained & Movie Summary: Does Suyatno Pay For Making A Deal With The Devil?

New Year’s Eve is a time of celebration for families all around the world, but it’s not for a family cursed with greed. Azhar Lubis’ Indonesian horror The Verge of Death basically tells you what happens when you make a deal with the devil. From Victorian literature to contemporary pop culture, a deal with the devil is always a fascinating idea to explore. This Lubis directorial is less about jumpscares, more about the consequences one must bear.

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Spoilers Ahead


What Happens In The Movie?

Mr. Suyatno’s family is suffering, with his wife having an incurable disease. Yoga and Nadia, their children, are worried about their mother when she starts throwing up blood. Instead of giving her medications, Suyatno locks himself in a room and prays for his wife’s health. Moments after that, she seems fine and asks the family to join the dinner table. Nadia gets up to fetch water and sees her mother dipping her face in a pot of boiling water. After her death, Yoga starts to see strange ghostlike figures all around him. When he sees his father slaughtering a goat as a sacrifice to a deity, secrets start to come out, and the horror show becomes worse.

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Why Does Suyatno Butcher Goats Every Day?

Suyatno is a rich businessman and has no competition in the surrounding areas. He butchers a goat when his kids are sleeping, drinks its blood, and buries the head to complete the ritual. He also distributes the meat to his neighbors for goodwill. When Nadia and Yoga catch him literally red-handed, he reveals that he had nothing when he made the deal. His financial situation was very bad, and it wasn’t getting any better. After he started following the rituals, his business boomed, and Yoga’s birth only added to the happiness. Suyatno wanted more riches, and he asked for more, but the creature wanted a human sacrifice after his wishes were fulfilled. Yoga was meant to be taken as a sacrifice, but his mother traded her own life for his. 


What Happens To Yoga? 

Soon after his mother’s death, Yoga starts to encounter ghosts. He would close his ears and eyes whenever they appeared, and it only got worse with time. Yoga would be distant from his sister most of the time, and Nadia reminds him that their mother’s last wish was that they’d listen to their father. The kids started to help Suyatno with the rituals, and everything started going back to normal again. 10 years after his mother died, Yoga and his family are prepping for another New Year’s. Yoga goes back to his room, and the creature comes for him. Every 10 years, a human sacrifice must be made by the family, and Yoga is the second to take the fall. The creature with the goat head drags him around the room and slams his body into every surface, eventually killing him in front of Nadia.

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What Does Suyatno Do To Avoid The Curse?

Suyatno sells everything he has and takes Nadia to visit a shaman who acted as the mediator when the deal was made. He refuses to help Suyatno because Suyatno’s greed led him to make another deal directly with the creature. Nadia notices that there are many pictures of different families on the wall, and some of them are stained, while others are not. Their family picture is stained, and the Shaman reveals that every time greed took over, the creature ended families. A goat’s sacrifice is enough to maintain the deal, but anytime someone asks for more, they fail the test and then must sacrifice a human. Months pass by, and Suyatno and Nadia are constantly on the road, meeting different people for help. An old kahuna sees Nadia and figures that she’s next in line for the creature, and Nadia asks her father to stop resisting the inevitable. 


How Does Nadia Tell Her Story Before Dying?

Nadia gets bullied at school when she searches for the creature on her computer when the projector is on for everyone to see. Nadia is dejected by the behavior of everyone, on top of what she’s already going through. Nadia hides in the library for some solace, and she meets Bastala. Bastala is in charge of the library, and he makes sure Nadia feels safe. When Bastala asks Nadia about her situation, she’s hesitant and chooses not to discuss what she’s going through. Bastala suggests that when you’re in fear of being judged, try to pen down your thoughts, because a notebook never judges anyone. Nadia takes the advice and starts writing about what happened to their family at the time of her mother’s death. 

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Does Suyatno Pay For Making A Deal With The Devil?

It was 2002 when his wife died, and his son in 2012. Now Suyatno sits across the table with his daughter, moments before 2022 arrives. Nadia asks her father to leave the room because she doesn’t want him to go through the pain of seeing her die. The clock ticks 12, and the creature appears again, driving Nadia crazy to its will. Nadia skins her arms with her own nails, then starts to skin her own face. Her skin peels like a ripe orange, and Suyatno watches helplessly as his daughter dies in front of his eyes. Nadia had met Bastala and given him the notebook, and he read the whole story of what happened to Nadia and her family. Bastala pays a visit to their grave and remembers a family ended by greed. Now that he’s lost everything, Suyatno sits in his empty house, thinking about the happy moments he had with his family and how he killed them all. This is a man who could’ve lived his life without much money because his wife and children actually loved and cared for him. He sees the cursed room where he used to pray, and his family is waiting for him. All of them with goat heads call for him, and Suyatno’s life possibly ends the same way as the goats he butchered. 

The Verge of Death focuses on its storytelling and doesn’t experiment too much with the narrative. It’s a simple plot with relatable characters the audience can root for. The horror is subtle, and there’s no over-the-top tryhard attempts to it. Suyatno’s life comes to a full circle with his death. Here’s some advice for the kids, don’t kill goats or screw around with the Ouija board. 

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Aniket Mukherjee
Aniket Mukherjee
Aniket is a literature student pursuing his master's degree while trying to comprehend Joyce and Pound. When his head is not shoved in books, he finds solace in cinema and his heart beats for poetry, football, and Adam Sandler in times.

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