Phenomena (2023) summary and ending explained

Phenomena or Fenomenas is a Spanish horror-comedy film that follows three women who investigate paranormal activities. They attempt to cope with the mysterious disappearance of their leader. Phenomena is now streaming on Netflix.

Warning: This article contains heavy spoilers

Plot summary

Father Pilon leads a group of three middle-aged women who investigate paranormal activity, and have been together for a long time. They hire Pablo as a physicist intern.

Sagrario, one of the three women, only joined the group to trace her dead husband Carlos in the afterlife. They had a code that only the two of them knew, to weed out any fraud. But she has never been able to find him.

Paz, the documentarian of the group, is a doting grandmother, while Gloria, the psychic, is considering quitting and focusing full-time on her pharmacy,

Father Pilon introduces a new case at an antique store with strong traces of paranormal activity, but they have to postpone as Gloria tells them she isn’t feeling well.

However, Father Pilon decides to investigate alone. He asks the caretaker for the keys to the antique store. While inside, he is attacked by a supernatural entity and left on the brink of death. 

The three, along with Pablo, decide to investigate the antique store, owned by Enrique and Marisa. Gloria calls on the spirit that is in the store using an ouija board. Introducing themselves as Quimi, the ghost is hostile towards them.

Suddenly, a spirit takes over Enrique and begins to torture him. Before it leaves his body, it tells Gloria that she will be judged.

Paz and Sagrario are surprised that Gloria let Pablo take control of the Ouija board. He is a psychic like her, but she tells him to leave the group and unlearn everything because he has a gift.

Paz instals cameras all over the building to get some evidence, as the spirit had destroyed her camera during their investigation.

Later, the three spend time together at a bar, and Paz brings up a previous incident at the Vergara Palace, where a priest’s spirit almost killed Gloria.

Sagrario even suggests that Gloria has purposely not contacted the spirit of her dead husband because she thinks Sagrario will leave the group as it was her sole intention of joining.

This causes a rift between the three, aggravated by Sagrario bringing up the fact that Gloria is thinking of quitting their group.

Sagrario and Paz decide to investigate without her. Sagrario tells the caretaker that she needs testimony from her daughter.

During their conversation, her daughter tells her that her boyfriend’s name is Qimi, who is actually an actor who performs in a nearby theatre. She says that he helps her when ‘they’ hurt her.

Gloria realises that the caretaker has been physically abusing her daughter. At the same time, Paz comes across footage of physical abuse.

Phenomena ending explained in detail:

Is the caretaker stopped?

After seeing the footage, Paz notices the caretaker slipping a knife to kill Sagrario, She rushes to her house and rings the doorbell right before the caretaker can attack.

Paz distracts her to allow Sagrario and the caretaker’s daughter a window of escape. But the caretaker realises this and starts attacking them.

She has Sagrario at her mercy, who is only saved by the timely appearance of Gloria, who jokes that she cannot leave the two alone for even a moment.

What is the truth behind the spirit at the antique store?

Sagrario thanks Gloria for saving her life. As they are about to leave, Gloria tells them that she forgot her crystal ball at the store. After she leaves, Sagrario finds the ball in her handbag.

The two hear a shriek from the store and go to save Gloria. To their shock, they find Gloria, who has a hood on and has been taken over by the same evil spirit from earlier.

He states that he wants to kill ‘3 witches’. Paz appeals to Gloria on the inside to contact the spirit of Father Pilon, who tells her to believe in her power and send the evil spirit to him. Gloria is too afraid to take action.

The spirit calls upon Carlos and Sagrario falls for it. She believes it is him, as he even knows the code the two had shared.

The Spirit starts self-inflicting pain on Gloria to kill her. She finally musters up the courage and brings the spirit to Father Pilon, who takes it away with him.

As Gloria drowns, Sagrario and Paz work together to save her. Sagrario loses her belt in the process, which is a sign that she is ready to move on from her dead husband.

The spirit was of Manuel Isidro Sarmiento, a priest who was burned at the same place the antique store was at. He lived in Vergara Palace before being transferred to the current place and was the one who attacked Gloria years before.

He conducted witch hunts before his death and wanted to surpass the tally of his rival, Pierre de Lancre, who killed 81 women. He just needed to kill three more women to beat the tally, which is why he wanted to murder Paz, Gloria and Sagrario. 

What happens to the group at the end?

In the aftermath, the group decides to stick together and continue their work even after the death of Father Pilon.

Sagrario flirts with Jesus, who works at the restaurant they frequent. Throughout the film, she shunned his advances. Everyone is surprised to see Sagrario finally pay attention to someone other than Carlos.

In a mid-credits scene, glasses at the restaurant break on their own. Looking at this, Jesus gives a smile, hinting that he has been taken over by a spirit.

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