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The Ending Of Sightless Explained

From "Hush" to "Wait Until Dark," horror often explores the concept of sensory loss. Netflix's gripping film "Sightless" is a new twist on the genre, delving into the terror of not understanding your reality. "Sightless" follows Ellen (Madelaine Petsch), a famous violinist who is blinded by a violent act. When the damage proves permanent, Ellen must come to terms with the attack emotionally while learning to adjust to her new circumstances. She is set up in a home designed to help her learn how to live as a blind person. This includes a part-time caregiver, Clayton (Alexander Koch), whose kindness is Ellen's only lifeline. These new experiences would be difficult for anyone, but Ellen is also confronted with an additional obstacle.

While alone in her apartment, Ellen hears a scream one night and is sure that her neighbor Lana (December Ensminger) is being abused by her husband. Ellen soon becomes obsessed with helping her, even though everyone tells her Lana is in no danger. While she could choose not to give in to paranoia and believe those around her, Ellen makes a difficult decision that leads her to an unsettling truth in the final moments of the film.

Ellen's dark emotions lead her to a startling revelation

Ellen's days are full of dread and loneliness. She doesn't leave the house because she is still adjusting to her blindness and no one seems to visit her while she recuperates. Her desperate calls to her friend Sasha go unanswered. All these dark feelings compound and cause her to fixate on her neighbor Lana, who Ellie is sure she heard scream. When she invites Lana over, she learns that the woman has a newly stitched wound on her face. However, try as she might to find the truth, no one around her believes her. Even Lana doesn't back up her story.

As a result, Ellen starts to spiral and feels that there is no escape from the darkness. The emotional wounds of her attack persist and everyone around her thinks that she simply can't cope with her new reality. Unable to find another way out, Ellen decides the only solution is to take her own life. But despite her resolve, it never comes to pass. 

After Ellen steps off her balcony, she discovers a terrifying truth. There was no balcony to begin with. The apartment she thought she was living in was actually manufactured, and she lands safely in a padded container. This discovery leads Ellen to the disturbing conclusion that someone has imprisoned her. But why?

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline​ at​ 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.

Lana helps Ellen get to the truth

The attempts to convince Ellen that she is paranoid are proven wrong. Her only true connection to the truth is Lana, who helps her put the pieces together. Though it seems as though many aspects of Ellen's life are not real, she determines that Lana's fear is. In a moment of weakness, Lana admits part of the truth.

Ellen thinks that she has neighbors and that there is a world outside, but this isn't the case. Lana tells Ellen that this place was built specifically for her. That is enough information for Ellen to seize on. Her only other point of contact is Clayton, whose tenderness seems genuine. Now Ellen comes to the conclusion that it is far more insidious. 

During a revealing dinner with Clayton, Ellen realizes that not only is this place not real, but neither is anyone else that she interacted with. Lana's supposed husband Russo was not genuine, nor were her interactions with the doctors, paramedics, and the detective looking into her case. Clayton's habit of double tapping surfaces clicks in Ellen's brain, and she realizes that everyone she has interacted with since she entered the hospital had the same tic because they were all Clayton. He is the reason that she has been imprisoned, and Lana is the only other person who is real.

Clayton reveals his motives

Ellen's suspicions about Clayton are confirmed when she goes to Lana's "apartment" next door. Instead of living quarters, it is a warehouse full of costumes where Ellen finds evidence that Clayton has been playing everyone she has interacted with. This leads to the more devastating truth that Clayton was the one who attacked her in the first place. He sprayed her with a liquid solution that caused permanent blindness. He then took her to the warehouse, dressed it up as a hospital, and began her imprisonment.

Naturally, Ellen is confused about what caused this violence against her. However, in Clayton's mind, it all makes sense. He was imprisoned as a child by his father, who locked Clayton in a basement for over three years. His only respite was Ellen's violin music, which Lana would play for him. After Clayton got out, he decided he had to make himself as important to her as she was to him. He enlisted his sister Lana's help to create a situation where Ellen would need him. But Ellen understands that Lana is just as much a prisoner as she is. There is no other option but to escape, and Ellen is determined to save Lana too.

Ellen gives Clayton a taste of his own medicine

Bonded through trauma, both Ellen and Lana find a way out of captivity. Ellen finds a bottle of the solution that Clayton used to blind her. In a life or death struggle, Ellen spits it in Clayton's face, making him as powerless as he made her. Though Clayton begs Lana not to leave him, she takes Ellen to the exit of the warehouse and lets her go. Both women have found a way to escape their tormentor and use their connection to escape.

Ellen has certainly been permanently changed. She has lost her sight forever, but the experience has given her other things back. Before the attack, she had resisted returning to the violin. However, she now regains her sense of self, and she finally performs for large audiences again. Through pain, she has obtained something she thought was lost and helped someone else escape Clayton's torment as well.