Psychological thriller Sightless has now arrived on Netflix in the UK after its digital release last year in the US.
Sightless ending spoilers follow.
The movie stars Riverdale’s Madelaine Petsch as Ellen, a former child prodigy violinist who is left blind after a brutal attack. In order to help her adjust to her new reality, her brother hires a carer, Clayton (Lucifer’s Alexander Koch), but Ellen is reluctant to trust anyone after her attack.
She grows to trust Clayton, but is determined to find out who attacked her and as her other senses strengthen, Ellen becomes suspicious that everyone around her isn’t who they claim to be, leading to a wild climactic twist.
But who did it and what’s happening to Ellen? We’re about to delve into the ending of Sightless with some major spoilers, so look away now if you haven’t seen the movie yet.
Sightless starts with Ellen about to jump out of the window of her apartment, before flashing back one month to show how she got to the decision to end her life.
We don’t see the attack on her, other than in short flashbacks as Ellen relives the memory, but given what’s revealed later on, it’s worth noting that it did really happen. She was attacked and chemicals were sprayed on her eyes that caused her to lose her sight, with a doctor telling her the damage was “irreversible”.
However, it doesn’t take long for Ellen to realise that not everything is at it seems in her apartment where she’s being cared for by Clayton. She can hear the world out of one window, but not another one, and every day at 11.02am, she hears the same car alarm.
One night she hears a woman in distress through the vent in her room and the next day, she meets her neighbour Lana (December Ensminger) who knows Ellen used to be a violinist and lost her sight. Ellen feels the stitches on Lana’s face and assumes her husband has been abusing her, and when she runs into him later, he threatens Ellen.
Shortly after, Ellen is attacked in her apartment and when Detective Bryce (Jarrod Crawford) comes to investigate, she’s told that the prime suspect in her original attack is her friend Sasha. Sasha was tricked out of money by Ellen’s ex-husband, but since he’s in prison, it’s assumed that Sasha attacked Ellen for revenge and then came back to finish the job.
Clayton tries to reassure Ellen that she’s safe and he’ll look out for her, but with Ellen unable to reach her brother or talk to Sasha to apologise, she decides to end her life as we saw in the first scene of the movie.
However, Ellen wakes up on the floor of a soundproofed room and soon realises her entire apartment is a lie. The soundproofed room is outside her ‘window’ and there’s a speaker that plays outside noises, such as the car alarm she kept hearing every day.
When she confronts Clayton about the ruse, he insists that it’s a treatment facility to help her adjust to her new life without sight. Lana isn’t her next-door neighbour, but another patient in for treatment and her husband is working with Clayton to “re-evaluate” her treatment.
But this is all a lie as well. During a dinner with Clayton, Ellen recognises a double-tap knock he makes on the table and realises that everybody else she’s interacted with since the attack has the same knocking tic.
There are no other people – Clayton has been using various disguises to play everyone from the doctor who treated her after the attack to Lana’s abusive ‘husband’ and Detective Bryce. Clayton was the one who attacked Ellen and took her directly to this fake apartment to keep her captive.
Even though we saw all of these other characters interacting with Ellen, we were only seeing what Ellen was perceiving to be the reality. This extended to the outside shots beyond the window which were just what Clayton was telling Ellen was out there, combined with the noises she was hearing.
Ellen knocks out Clayton and tries to escape where she meets Lana who is real, but is actually Clayton’s sister. Lana tells her that Ellen “saved him” and that the “only way out” is the vent in Clayton’s room.
He soon captures Ellen and reveals that after the death of his mother during his childhood, his father locked him in a cellar for three and a half years. The only “lifeline” was his imagination and the music that Lana played him through the vents which was Ellen’s music, something that Clayton and his mother used to listen to.
Clayton wanted to be the “light” for Ellen like she was for him, but obviously Ellen isn’t too keen on staying in this fake reality. She fights back and discovers that the vent was too small to escape through, but does contain a vial of the same chemicals that Clayton used to blind her.
She keeps it in her mouth and sprays it into Clayton’s face the next time he attacks her, before Lana guides Ellen out into the actual real world. We don’t see what happens to Clayton next, but the movie cuts to six months later with Ellen back playing the violin on stage again.
It appears that Ellen is still blinded by the attack, so it could be that Clayton wasn’t lying when he was pretending to be the doctor who told her it was “irreversible”. However, since he was even lying about the colour of the bird in her apartment (as shown in a post-credits scene), we might not even be able to trust him about this.