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The Ending Of No One Gets Out Alive Explained

October is quickly approaching, and thankfully, Netflix is prepared to deliver tons of spooky content just in time for the Halloween season. Netflix and Chills 2021 is gearing up to be full of inventive, terrifying, and even darkly-hilarious shows and movies, from the viral series "Squid Game" that's already made a huge impact worldwide to the upcoming teen slasher "There's Someone Inside Your House."

One of the newest additions to Netflix's horror catalog is the slow-burn horror-thriller "No One Gets Out Alive." Loosely based on the novel of the same name, the creepy-crawly film follows a woman named Ambar (Cristina Rodlo) who illegally enters the U.S. for better opportunities after her mother dies. As an undocumented immigrant, Ambar has few options in the way of housing, so when she sees an advertisement for a cheap room, she feels she's struck gold — but she quickly learns that the mysterious Schofield Heights home has many secrets.

"No One Gets Out Alive" is full of tense moments that are made even more terrifying with a dash of supernatural flair — and we're here to explain the ending of the terrifying film. Please note that there are spoilers from this point on.

A reveal based on real Aztec folklore

At the beginning of "No One Gets Out Alive," we see some "archival footage" of what appears to be a stone box being excavated from ancient ruins in Mexico in the '60s. Throughout the rest of the film, the box continues to reappear in Ambar's dreams, and we finally get some answers about halfway through. While Ambar rifles through one of the rooms in Schofield Heights, she finds the family heirlooms of the property manager Red (Marc Menchaca), whose father was the archeologist shown in the archival footage from the film's prologue.

A quick glimpse of some of the documents Ambar finds shows a scene almost exactly like what we see at the end of the film: a drawing labeled "Itzpapalotl in Tamoanchan" featuring a stone box with a decapitated body underneath. The final reveal in "No One Gets Out Alive" shows that the creature living inside the mysterious box is an ancient entity. Red and his brother sacrifice young immigrant women to this being in exchange for blessings after they'd discovered their father did the same thing. The creature is modeled after the real Aztec religious figure Itzpapalotl, and it is depicted as a sort of moth/woman monster.

According to Aztec mythology, Itzpapalotl is a skeletal warrior who watches over the heavenly land of Tamoanchan. She's often depicted with jaguar claws and wings adorned with obsidian knives, and her name translates to both "obsidian butterfly" and "clawed butterfly," per Aztec Calendar.

Is Ambar a killer?

Before Ambar can be successfully sacrificed to Itzpapalotl, she has a dream in which she revisits her sick mother (played by Claudia Coulter) in the hospital. While it appears to be a memory, it also looks like Itzpapalotl is manipulating parts of it, as her mother tries to convince Ambar to stay with her and therefore die by Itzpapalotl's hands. However, at the last moment, Ambar smothers her mother with a pillow in her dream, then wakes up on the sacrificial slab with Itzpapalotl nowhere to be seen.

Was Ambar confronting the hard truth in which she killed her mother to free herself from the burden of caring for her for several more years? Or was Itzpapalotl truly messing with Ambar's mind and trying to get her to let her guard down so she could be taken as a sacrifice? It's unclear, but either outcome is pretty horrible.

In the last scene of "No One Gets Out Alive," we see Ambar walking towards the front door of Schofield Heights after killing Red and his brother Becker (David Figlioli) in self-defense. As she gets closer to freedom, Ambar's ankle — that Becker broke — miraculously heals, and moths that were continuously shown around the stone box and Itzpapalotl throughout the film start to flit around Ambar serenely.

We end the film not knowing whether Ambar will choose to leave Schofield Heights, or stay and be the next person to sacrifice helpless victims to Itzpapalotl for her otherworldly blessing.