‘Under Paris’ Ending Explained & Movie Recap: What Does The End Credits Scene Mean?

It’s been a dry spell for shark horror fans since Deep Blue Sea 3 four years ago. It’s a genre that has often been overlooked, and a few suboptimal movies in the past few years haven’t changed anything. Xavier Gens took the assignment seriously and dared to make a movie about a giant mako appearing in the Seine and terrorizing the heart of Paris. Gens’ Under Paris is an awe-inspiring movie with an amazing cast, and its commentary on climate change gives you something to ponder over after you’re done watching the film. You start with a Darwin quote about how the strongest and smartest species don’t always necessarily survive, but the ones who adapt to change do, and you soon realize the relevance of this.


Spoilers Ahead

What happens in the movie?

A group of marine biologists led by Sophia were on a mission to help the sperm whales affected by plastic waste in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, where a mako named Beacon Seven/Lilith appears to be twice the size she should be. The crew dives underwater to save a sperm whale that appears to be stuck in a net, and its stomach is full of plastic. The crew members get shocked when they notice a massive bite mark on the whale, and soon Lilith appears with her pack. When Chris, one of the crew members, tries to collect a sample of Lilith’s tissue, Lilith attacks the crew and eats them. Sophia realizes that they’re under attack, and she jumps into the water, trying to save them. All Sophia finds is a dismembered arm, and she somehow makes it out alive after almost getting pulled down into the ocean by Lilith. Three years later, Sophia still hasn’t overcome the tragedy, and she’s traumatized by what happened to her crew, which included her husband. Thinking that chapter of her life is closed, she’s proven wrong when an activist named Mika tells her that they’ve found a way to reactivate the tracker on Beacon Seven, and she’s now under Paris roaming around the Seine. 


Why does Mika turn off Lilith’s tracker?

Mika tells Sophia that she’s going to dive in the Seine to try and guide Lilith out of the river, but Sophia rejects the idea and leaves. But knowing Lilith is in the river, Sophia’s curiosity grows, and she starts to try and locate Lilith herself. Mika gets arrested by the River Brigade for illegally diving, and she calls Sophia for help. The river brigade finds the body of a homeless person named Adewale in the river, and Sophia is convinced that a shark killed him. The Chief of the River Brigade, Angele, first ridicules the idea of a shark roaming in the river, but Sophia manages to convince her that it’s no joke. Adil, the captain of the River Brigade, takes his crew and Sophia to track down Lilith. Mika gets paranoid and thinks that the cops are going to kill Lilith, and she asks Ben (the tech expert) to turn off the tracker to save Lilith. Even though Ben is hesitant and doesn’t want to turn the tracker off, Mika pushes her to do it anyway. Two members of the brigade feel something enormous underwater, and when they see the tracker not working, they come out of the water in panic. Adil thinks it’s Sophia who risked his people’s lives, and they have a falling out. Sophia sees Mika lurking some distance away and goes to confront her. Mika tells Sophia that she and her crew weren’t supposed to be where Lilith was, and it’s her fault that they died. This entitled behavior hurts Sophia, and she leaves. 

What Happens To Mika?

Adil researches about Sophia and realizes the pain she’s bearing, and he apologizes to her. Both of them go to the mayor of Paris to try and convince her to cancel the triathlon. A large-scale swimming event in the Seine while a shark is present is obviously not a good idea, but the mayor has gone too far trying to make this event work. She is cocky and tells them that she can’t just cancel the event, and they should immediately come up with a way to make the fish disappear. Meanwhile, Mika posts a video about how millions of sharks are killed every year and how important it is to save Lilith. She asks for volunteers to help her find the lost shark of Seine, and little did she know how this would bite her back, quite literally. 


Ben realizes how risky Mika’s plans are, and she comes to Sophia and the River Brigade to tell them everything. Ben reveals that she managed to turn the tracker back on, and they found Lilith in the old catacombs. Mika had already gone there with a hundred people trying to guide Lilith out of the river using sonar transducers, and she herself is in the middle of the water trying to lure Lilith to her. Adil and Sophia sneakily enter the catacombs, and Adil instructs his team to safely evacuate the people. But things get out of hand  pretty soon, and nobody follows the evacuation protocol. Lilith shows up, but she’s not alone. She had given birth to a baby shark, and Sophia spots its fin. Mika tries to pet the baby shark, but Sophia realizes that since Lilith has given birth here, it’s her nest, and they’re invading her nest. Mika doesn’t come out of the water despite being told to, and when Adil tries to drag her out, she resists. Her tomfoolery doesn’t end well, and Lilith tears her to pieces. The panic soon takes over the people, and a crazy stampede leads to many people falling into the waters, and a bloodbath follows. Ben gets pushed down into the water and dies helplessly. Leopold, one of the cops, tries to guide people out, and he too ends up dying. Adil loses his calm after seeing his friend die, and he fires multiple rounds at Lilith. This incident proves that Lilith is unforgiving and very different from your average shark. 

How does Lilith reproduce in the Seine?

Lilith’s baby washed ashore after getting hit by the bullet, and when Sophia examined her, she discovered the baby was pregnant. Being only two months old, Sophia wonders how she reached sexual maturity to become pregnant. Sophia realizes that Lilith doesn’t need a male shark to reproduce, and she’s doing this by parthenogenesis, a natural form of asexual reproduction. This proves that Lilith is the first of a new species, and she has adapted to the change in her habitat, even though Sophia thought Lilith was a mako all along. Lilith’s babies will be of the same kind, and they’ll have this ability to reproduce in the Seine, and now they must stop it from happening. The mayor still doesn’t do anything about it, and even though twelve people died in the catacombs, she refuses to cancel the triathlon. After hushing up the entire incident, she lets the Army take over the Seine and Paris for security measures. The mayor in this film might remind you of Mayor Vaughn in Spielberg’s Jaws, and the difference of morals between politicians and people still remains relevant after four decades. 


What do Sophia and Adil plan to do to stop the sharks?

A few hours before the triathlon begins, Adil takes his team to introduce a plan to them to save the city. Leopold’s death had affected the whole team, and everyone but one officer came forward to risk their lives. Adil brought two experts in explosives and split his team into two groups. Berruti, Adama, and Sophia will dive with him in the catacombs, where they’ll place explosives to kill the sharks inside the crypt. Caro and Markus are in charge of the extraction point, just behind Notre Dame. It’s surreal to write about the city of Paris under attack from sharks, and to think of the people who made the movie, I’m taking these few lines to salute the masterful execution of the visuals they managed to pull off. Sophia is charged with using an infrared emitter, which will attract sharks to the crypt and place them just in the right spot before the bombs blow them up. The execution doesn’t quite go right, and Poiccard becomes the lunch of hundreds of Lilith’s babies. Seeing the sharks circling around them, Sophia notices that Lilith is not there yet. She asks Adil and Adama to stay in their places to not attract attention, but Adama chooses to sacrifice himself and picks up the detonator. He sets the bombs off seconds before he gets killed, and the massive explosion kills a few hundred sharks. Adil and Sophia make it out alive, but Sophia jumps back in the water, trying to look for Lilith. Sophia wasn’t wrong, and Lilith comes out of the ruins, flipping the boat Caro, Markus, and Adil were in. Caro and Markus get eaten by Lilith, and she heads for the swimmers of the triathlon while all of Paris watches the event unfold. 

How does the Army destroy the city of Paris?

Lilith starts dragging swimmers down into the water one by one, and soon the spectators realize that there’s a shark in the Seine. The mayor now regrets her decision and stands still in shock as she watches Lilith come out of the water to eat a person in one bite. The swimmers try to save their lives, but it only leads to more people falling into the water trying to help them. The military starts to shoot at Lilith, and that’s the last thing they should’ve done. The Seine is infamous for having shells from World War II in its riverbed. The director uses a real-life reference in the beginning of the movie to the prohibited magnet fishing in the Seine because these shells exist in large numbers. Sophia and Adil make it out of the water once again, thanks to the only surviving River Brigade cop. They get on the boat to see the madness that’s being carried out by the army, and the bullets finally detonate the shells one by one. Large explosions take down the bridges over the Seine, and we get another panicked crowd tripping and falling into the water this time. None of the bullets hit Lilith, who conveniently manages to get away. All the explosions lead to a huge wave, drowning most of the city, and Sophia saves Adil from drowning.


Under Paris ends with Sophia and Adil barely hanging on while hundreds of sharks are still alive, circling around our protagonists. The explosions didn’t do enough to kill that many sharks at once, and now they have the subway to hang out in peace. 

What is the meaning of the end credits scene?

After the credits start rolling, you see the satellite tags of the shark trackers spreading through some of the major cities in the world. It’s only a smart Easter egg to signify that the shark infestation in the Seine was just the beginning, and the rapid reproduction this new breed of sharks are capable of is going to cause carnage around the world. It was mentioned earlier in the movie that the Thames has an accommodating habitat for sharks, and they can survive there, and London is the first place the red lines of the tracker take us. It soon spreads on to the Hudson River in New York, and one would imagine that it doesn’t end well for the Brits and the Americans. The killer sharks make their way to the Sumida River in Tokyo, and that implies that Asia isn’t safe anymore either. Lilith’s manslayers manage to end up in Venice, Italy, and I’m sorry for the people who made their vacation plans in the Grand Canal. Xavier Gens dares to imagine a world where the sharks are much more capable of surviving outside their original habitat, and they’ve not taken it well how the humans dumped enormous amounts of garbage in their home. Ecosystems are meant to be maintained and balanced by each creature that lives on the planet, and when the atrocities of humankind go too far, nature takes the form of killer sharks.


Under Paris shows what happens when humans try to conquer nature. The sharks represent the wrath of nature, which is unforgiving, and it doesn’t matter what kind of person you are. When nature unleashes its fury, everybody is a target; in this case, it’s the citizens of Paris. The real-life reference to the shells makes the climax extremely believable, and kudos to Xavier Gens for giving the audience a shark horror to remember. 

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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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