From The Depths (2020) Ending Explained – Did The Shark Kill Liz?

Screenshot from shark themed horror movie From The Depths (2020)

I’ve just finished reviewing From The Depths and even though I thought it was awful. One of the worst shark related horror movies I have ever watched, in fact. I can imagine that some people could probably use an ending explained for it. I mean, that ending was pretty crazy, after all.

If you want to know my thoughts on the movie, feel free to check out our From The Depths review. It’s spoiler free so if you haven’t watched the movie, check out the review first. This Ending Explained article will obviously contain spoilers so consider yourself warned. Okay, let’s get right into it.

What Has Happened So Far?

We kick things off with our protagonist (a generous term given how annoying and unlikable she is) Liz suffering a nightmare. We learn that she has somehow survived a vicious shark attack that claimed the lives of her ex-boyfriend Seth and her sister Payton.

Apparently Liz had something of a phobia of the sea. Despite this she learned how to scuba dive and set off on a trip with her sister and boyfriend. A short way into the dive Liz headed back to the boat. She felt something tugging on her leg and realised that she had been bitten by a shark. Looking on in the distance she saw her boyfriend being attacked. Her sister swam back to the boat but Liz seemingly hesitates to pull her back in. Resulting in her sister being eaten by the shark.

Screenshot from shark themed horror movie From The Depths (2020)

Fast forward to the present day and Liz is suffering compulsive nightmares about the attack. She is visiting a therapist and discussing her issues. She relates that she is afraid to sleep due to the nightmares and that her insomnia is worsening her mental health. She is now suffering from hallucinations and sees the shark everywhere. She is in a new relationship with a woman, Roberta, who is attempting to help her through her issues.

What’s The Deal With Payton and Seth?

As Liz becomes more sleep deprived, she begins to see more than just hallucinations of the shark. She starts to see her sister’s rotting body appearing before her. Strangely enough, Payton is still able to talk and act completely normal. Well, with the exception of her limbs and ears randomly falling off. It becomes clear, through some clumsy exposition, that Payton was having an affair with Liz’s boyfriend Seth.

The pair discuss this and Payton questions why Liz never mentioned anything to them. Apparently Liz was choosing to ignore the affair in the hopes that it would simply go away. We learn, however, that the affair was affecting Liz more than she was letting on. In fact, it played heavily into the fate of Payton when the group were attacked by a shark while scuba diving. Payton and Seth were engaging in some degree of physical affection when the shark appeared. Liz was some distance away from them and noticed the pair together. Hence why she was returning to the boat.

Screenshot from shark themed horror movie From The Depths (2020)

When the shark bit down on Liz’s leg, she seemingly didn’t warn the other two about its presence. The shark attacked Seth, killing him. Payton rushed back to the boat and extended an arm for Liz to help her. Liz hesitated, implying that she wanted Payton to be killed due to how angry she was about the affair. Payton was killed by the shark before Liz could rescue her.

It would seem that it is Liz’s guilt for not rescuing her sister that is contributing to her nightmares and hallucinations. Her guilt has manifested Payton in a seemingly physical form and now Seth has reappeared too. Also clearly dead, rotting and falling apart from the shark attack but able to talk to Liz. He basically echoes what Payton has been saying to Liz. The pair have a bizarre request.

Why Do Payton and Seth Want Liz to Kill Roberta?

Payton and Seth tell Liz that she has to get rid of Roberta. That is the only way that the visions will stop. Liz doesn’t want to do this and, apparently, loves Roberta deeply. Payton and Seth tell her that if she doesn’t get rid of her, they will. Liz pleads with them to let her end the relationship rather than Roberta having to die. The pair agree but tell her that her plan is unlikely to work.

Screenshot from shark themed horror movie From The Depths (2020)

Liz attempts to break up with Roberta by telling Roberta that she has a saviour complex. She tell her that the only reason Roberta is with her is to stroke her own ego and that she doesn’t need her help and she wants to be alone. Roberta agrees to leave. Liz is distraught. Roberta knocks on the front door telling Liz that she has forgotten something. Only to embrace Liz when she opens the door. The pair are back together because apparently killing Roberta will be easier than breaking up with her?

There’s no satisfying explanation for any of this. Even when you consider what happens at the end of the movie, it makes no sense. It is bad writing and bad storytelling, plain and simple. Almost like the story was being written on the back of a napkin while the movie was being filmed. I like a challenge, though so we will come back to it with a few theories after we have explained the ending.

Liz Defies Payton and Seth

Liz defies Payton and Seth’s wishes. Rekindling her romance with Roberta and allowing her to spend the night. Liz falls asleep and has yet another nightmare. As Seth and Payton warned, this won’t stop until Roberta is gone. Liz wakes up and heads to the kitchen to retrieve a knife. She looms over Roberta’s sleeping body, leading the viewer to believe she is going to stab her to end the visions. Instead she begins stabbing at the hallucinations of Seth and Payton.

Roberta wakes up and is concerned that her girlfriend is stabbing thin air and screaming maniacally but not too concerned when you really think about it. A theme for this movie. It’s amazing that nobody has had this woman detained for her own safety and prescribed Anti-Psychotics yet. I have bipolar disorder and if I ever told my psychiatrist that I had been experiencing hallucinations; I am sure the next statement would be something along the lines of “well it’s clear we need to look at your medication and introduce another anti-psychotic”.

Screenshot from shark themed horror movie From The Depths (2020)

Instead of anti-psychotics, Liz suggests that it might be worth trying some psychoactive drugs instead. So the pair get high in one of the more awkward, and cringe inducing, segments I have seen in a horror movie. Word of advice, there is a strong link suggesting psychoactive drugs like cannabis massively worsen psychosis and can even induce it. Anyone suffering from delusions and hallucinations should stay clear of anything like that until they have a well established medication profile and the guidance of a competent psychiatrist. It’s great to have fun but if you suffer from mental illness you have to do it safely.

A Miracle Recovery?

In something of an irresponsible turn, Liz is presented as having undergone a full recovery from her issues thanks to the night of weed and “passion”. While visiting her psychiatrist she relates her amazing recovery. Something that is highly unlikely in the real world where hallucinations and psychosis are concerned. She is completely cured and has even booked a diving holiday with Roberta to see hump back whales. Clearly this is a miracle; or is it?

Back at Liz’s house, she hears a noise. Startled, she is relieved to realise that it was probably just her cloudy eyed dog falling off the sofa or bumping into something. Suddenly, however, she hears a second noise.. a knock at the door. Apparently it’s the pizza delivery person. Liz wasn’t expecting a delivery so texts Roberta to ask her if she ordered a pizza. She gets no reply. The pizza delivery person keeps relentlessly knocking so Liz opens the door. Standing there, sans pizza and sans pulse, is Payton who suddenly transforms into a poorly animated shark and bites down on Liz.

Screenshot from shark themed horror movie From The Depths (2020)

The very next scene shows Liz lying down on a bed looking rather the worse for wear. The two doctors attending to her realise that there is no hope. They declare her to be dead at 11:52pm, the result of blood loss from a shark bite.

So What the Hell Happened?

So this is the big twist and probably the reason you have arrived here. Everything you have just witnessed in the movie actually never happened. Sure, the shark attack happened. Liz was bitten while making her way back to the boat. Seth was killed and Payton was dragged under while trying to get back to the boat. But nothing else was actually true. The whole relationship with Roberta, the hallucinations, the visits to the psychiatrist, the night of weed and passion. All of that never happened.

Liz was actually mortally wounded by the shark. She seems to have been rescued and taken to a hospital where the two doctors attempted to save her life. During these attempts, Liz’s dying mind created a world populated by the people she knew and the people around her in the hospital. Roberta and Liz’s psychiatrist were actually the two doctors attempting to save her life. Her mind, likely warped from the blood loss, inserted them into her fever dream as characters and created a world around them. All the while she was actually bleeding to death and dying. Literally nothing you saw in the movie was real. It was all part of Liz’s dying dream.

Screenshot from shark themed horror movie From The Depths (2020)

There’s another horror movie that does something similar to this. I won’t name it because it is a potential spoiler. But the character encounters numerous different people and experiences a number of bizarre things that seem strange and bewildering. Only for it to turn out that the character had been in the hospital the whole time. In a coma and dying. The characters in his imagination were actually people who worked at the hospital; the cleaners, nurses, the doctor etc. So this isn’t an original idea at all. It is an idea done before in a much better and much more effective way.

Clearing a Few Things Up

Does that help us to clear a few things in this movie up? Well, not really. We know that Liz was actually in the hospital dying from blood loss the whole time. We know that Payton and Seth were already killed by the shark. We know that Roberta never existed, she was actually one of the doctors attempting to save Liz’s life. And we know that Liz never went to a psychiatrist, the psychiatrist was actually the other doctor trying to save Liz’s life. Liz never made it out of the hospital. She never went home, she never recovered from her bite wound. She never suffered from hallucinations and never had a relationship with Roberta. She simply made it to hospital after being bitten while out diving, fought for her life before dying later that night.

I actually think a lot of this “She was dying all along” thing was probably tacked on to make the movie more interesting. We can only theorise on what the reason for certain plot elements are. Like why did Seth and Payton want Liz to kill Roberta? Well, we know that none of this happened. Payton and Seth were already dead, they just appeared as part of Liz’s dying dreams. So I can only imagine that the whole “let her go” thing was actually just Liz experiencing the phenomena of seeing deceased relatives while you yourself are dying, supposedly, helping you let go.

Screenshot from shark themed horror movie From The Depths (2020)

Whether this phenomena is real or not is debatable but I know that my mother, who passed away nearly 17 years ago, did see deceased relatives around her in her last days. It is quite commonly reported by hospice staff and has some merit. Whether these are ghosts or simple hallucinations is a subject for another debate but it is an interesting theory regarding Payton and Seth’s request. Let’s be real, Liz did have to let go to escape the nightmare she was in. But not leg go of Roberta who was never real, she had to let go of life. Maybe Payton and Seth helped her do that.

I think the bigger question here is how Liz ever made it to hospital. If you are bitten on the leg and your Femoral artery is severed, you tend to exsanguinate in under ten minutes. Some people even die in less than five. It seems that if she ever made it to hospital she wasn’t suffering a mortal wound and would have survived with a relatively small degree of medical care. Most shark bite victims do die of blood or massive tissue loss rather than by being consumed. The vast majority either die on the beach, a boat, or in emergency care on the way to the hospital or shortly after arriving. Still, this is simply a bad horror movie so no point complaining about the little things.

Thanks for Reading!

As always, thanks for spending your time reading this ending explained article. I do others and plan to do a lot more in the coming year. I also review horror movies and write horror lists so why not stick around? I’ve just got done writing a list of 15 Summer Horror Movies that will Wipe Away the Winter Blues if you are looking for more murder in the sun. Every single person who doesn’t immediately close the page when they finish reading and chooses to check out another article means a great deal to me. Take care and thanks for checking out Knockout Horror.