Here's a Breakdown of That Tragic and Twisted Ending in Netflix's Freaks
So, you might have started watching Zach Lipovsky and Adam Stein's Freaks on Netflix because hey, who couldn't use some escapism in a sci-fi thriller these days? It's X-Men meets Stranger Things meets broad social commentary! Suffice to say, there are a lot of high concepts laced within the narrative, and the movie subverts our expectations in major ways. If you're wondering what the heck just happened after viewing Freaks, we've got you covered with a thorough, spoiler-y breakdown of the film's biggest twists.
Let's take it back to the beginning. The movie starts by parsing out the relationship between seven-year-old Chloe (Lexy Kolker) and her father Henry (Emile Hirsch). Chloe's lived inside an abandoned house her entire life because her dad's afraid of what the outside people might do to them. Whenever she disobeys him, he locks her in a closet. Creepy and definitely sketchy, right? It leaves room for doubt as to whether or not he's protecting her or just abusing her.
The alarm bells go off when Chloe runs out into the street and gets in an ice cream truck with Mr. Snowcone (Bruce Dern). He claims to be her maternal grandpa and says that he's been looking for her mom, who she believes is dead. It turns out that Henry, Chloe, and Alan (that's Grandpa) all have powers like the X-Men, respectively time control, telepathy, and invisibility. Their big giveaway is that they bleed from their eyes, kind of like Eleven from Stranger Things (except uh, she gets nose bleeds). The government is deeply suspicious of people like Chloe, calling them abnormals and shipping them off to an underground facility called Madoc Mountain. That's why Chloe's dad has been in hiding after all of these years. He'd rather stay out of sight than protect himself through killing people with his power.
Yet Henry has been using his power. He stopped time around their house for years, but only a few months have actually passed in the real world. He eventually realizes that Chloe has been in contact with Alan, so he tries to keep her safe by bringing her over to their neighbors, who unfortunately rat them out to the Abnormal Defense Force. Using her telepathy, Chloe gets her tattling neighbor killed by making her seem like an abnormal. But the ADF is still after Chloe's family. In fact, Agent Cecilia Ray (Grace Park) is quite interested in using Chloe as a weapon for the government.
There's another important reveal: Chloe's mother Mary (Amanda Crew) is alive, and that instead of a ghost in a closet, Chloe, via projected visions, has been seeing her held captive at Madoc Mountain. Alan and Henry work together to hold off Agent Ray while Chloe rescues her mother via telepathy. However, Agent Ray eventually shoots both Alan and Henry. Chloe, incensed, uses telepathy to kill Agent Ray.
As Chloe helps her mother, the ADF launch a missile towards the house. Using the last jolt of his power, Henry slows down time to carry Chloe out to safety before he dies from his wounds. Mary then uses her power to fly to Chloe and push out the remaining agents. She wants to hide with Chloe somewhere safe, but Chloe says that they shouldn't have to hide anymore and that she knows how to make her opponents stop. Mother and daughter then fly into the night sky. It's a poignant and dark ending that already has viewers eager for a sequel.