Netflix’s latest horror film, The Privilege starring Dark’s Max Schimmelpfennig, is a well-designed horror flick leaning hard into our distrust of Big Pharma. Combining the paranoia of Disturbing Behavior and the supernatural weirdness of Eli, The Privilege is yet another example of great foreign horror films. Here’s everything you need to know about that ending and all your questions answered.
The Privilege opens with a much younger Finn witnessing the death of his sister Anna who was babysitting him. Anna, bleeding from the mouth and holding a bloody knife, claimed something was after them. Finn thinks he sees a shifty shadow ghost chasing them and gets in the car with Anna, who drives them to a bridge and tries to get him to jump with her. He manages to kick her away from him, but the trauma of watching his sister die has haunted him.
Now, as a teen just months away from high school graduation, he is beginning to have strange visions. Making matters worse, several of his friends start getting sick and dying. His sister Sophie also begins acting strangely as well. When Finn finally realizes there is something in the medication Samira’s mother and Finn’s doctor have been prescribing for him and several other kids at school, he begins to put the pieces together.
At school, the day after Lena, Samira, and Finn try an exorcism with Eliska and her son, Leander tries to cut something out of his throat and then jumps off the roof of the school. In the ambulance, the EMT’s find a bug lodged in his throat. Lena, meanwhile, discovers that a pharmaceutical company has been developing this medication for widespread use. Leander probably didn’t die. Instead, he was killed as it became apparent he would not be a good candidate for possession.
Lena finds several dead bodies in the basement of the pharmaceutical company she goes to for answers while Samira and Lena go with Leander to the hospital. In the basement, she finds Eliska’s dead body growing the fungus found in the medication they manufacture. Finn and Samira are discovered having the adoption files Leander told them about in the hospital. Leander’s father tells Finn his grandfather saved his father through his bond with Trondthal. Samira and Finn are knocked out and restrained to be prepared for the ritual.
Lena comes to rescue Samira and Finn, and they manage to escape burning everyone inside and running down Sophie with Lena’s car. The trio drives away, hoping to get somewhere they will be safe. Before they can escape, though, the bugs come in through the car vents, and the car almost drives over the edge of a bridge. All three kids escape, and they walk off to safety. Presumably, they have defeated the demons. However, that is proved false when Samira turns to look back one final time, and her cloudy eyes are revealed. She was infected with the bugs and is now a demon like the rest.
What is Necro Fungus Psilocybin?
Necro Fungus Psilocybin is a classification of real fungi that causes hallucinations. Although none of the known “magic mushrooms” cause demonic possession, many users claim to have spiritual experiences. Some of those experiences are positive, while others report extreme paranoia and anxiety. As with any other substance, only use under the guidance of a doctor.
There is a zombie fungus, however, called Ophiocordyceps Unilateralis. It affects insects by effectively cutting off their brains from their bodies making them unable to control their actions. Their brains are not destroyed but they become prisoners in their own bodies. The thread fungus has not made the leap to human brains as of yet.
Was Finn’s grandfather possessed?
Finn’s grandfather, who has been sick in the hospital awaiting surgery throughout the film, gives Finn advice about what he is dealing with. Unfortunately, his grandfather only wants to prepare him for what is to come. Finn’s grandfather adopted Finn’s father and likely indoctrinated him into the group when he was a child. The ceremony at the end was intended to transfer the demon in Finn’s grandfather into Finn by means of a transition. The fungus supposedly makes the process easier for the recipient.
The demons all contain fungus spores that they expel in black clouds. Those spores and the bugs work together to infect the human host with their demon counterpart. Finn’s grandfather has been infected from the very beginning and was one of the original founding members of this group. The surgery Finn envisioned was of what was to come. Because he has some of the fungi in him, it is possible he saw things the doctors could not as well. Although the doctors were probably not involved in the hospital, they likely will be infected soon.
What is Trondthal in The Privilege?
Trondthal is the name of the pharmaceutical company that makes the fungal medication given to all the kids and grown on dead bodies in the company’s basement. It is much larger than just a medication company, though. It is a secret society of demon worshippers who believe their relationship with the demons makes them elite. All of the kids’ parents are disciples of fallen angels. Finn’s family and a few others are all in green robes and preparing him for a procedure to transfer the demon in his grandfather into his body. This has been going on for ages allowing the demons to be reborn again and again in new bodies.
Trondthal promises a better life. In reality, they are trying to bring Hell to Earth by medication. The pills combined with the rituals performed by Finn’s parents and the demonic insects make the people controlled by the demons. It allows them to be immortal and create a never-ending evil secret society. The school, the kids, attend is designed to further that end. Each of the children was kidnapped or sold by their biological parents to their adoptive parents to continue the line of demons or worshippers. Finn’s sisters Anna and Sophie were both infected and expected to continue the lines of demons. The scar on Finn’s mother’s neck is where the demon entered her body, and anyone who has been infected has a similar scar somewhere.
The bleak ending of The Privilege leaves little doubt that Samira is possessed, and the rest of the world will slowly follow suit. Society’s wariness of over-prescribed medications and Big Pharma’s motivations are put to good use as supernatural fears, and real-world concerns combine to create a scary and unexpected treat. The Privilege is on Netflix right now.
As the Managing Editor for Signal Horizon, I love watching and writing about genre entertainment. I grew up with old-school slashers, but my real passion is television and all things weird and ambiguous. My work can be found here and Travel Weird, where I am the Editor in Chief.