Welcome to Knockout Horror and to our Unlocked (2023) Ending Explained article. This is the first Horror Movie Ending Explained I have done in awhile. I have been ultra busy and had to put things on the backburner for a little. I am back now so expect more horror reviews, lists and ending explained articles over the coming week.
Unlocked – Enjoyable South Korean Thriller
South Korea has put out some amazing horror and thriller movies over the years. They seem to have done it again with one of their more recent movies. We checked out Unlocked a few days ago and really enjoyed it. Awarding it a 7/10. While being far more of a thriller than a horror. We still found plenty to enjoy and some decent moments of horror like tension.
We really liked Chun Woo-hee’s performance as Lee Na-mi. But thought Siwan was even better as the antagonist Oh Jun-yeong. His ability to switch from charming nice guy to sinister creep was fantastic.
Let’s Explain The Ending
Naturally, Unlocked isn’t a particularly complicated movie. The ending is fairly straight forward but a few things could use some explanation. We are going to do that right here.
If you haven’t checked the movie out yet. Why not take a look at our review of Unlocked before watching? This article is, obviously, full of spoilers but our review is spoiler free. Once you have watched the movie, come back and take a look at our Ending Explained.
This is a massive article. I like to cover everything with these articles. Leaving no stone unturned. Feel free to skip to the relevant parts using the navigation above. I won’t be offended. With that being said, let’s get on with it.
A Bad Night for Lee Na-mi
Unlocked opens up by introducing us to Millennial South Korean woman Lee Na-mi. It becomes clear, pretty quickly, that she is obsessed with her phone. Much like many of us below the age of 50. She flicks through social media while eating. Takes pictures of her food. Talks to friends and posts selfies. You know, standard stuff.
Lee Na-mi heads out for a night of drinking. Getting rather shit faced, she falls asleep on the bus home. Unfortunately, her phone drops out of her pocket. Waking up at her stop, she rushes off the bus leaving her phone behind. This gives our antagonist, Oh Jun-yeong, an opportunity to pick it up and leave with it.
Nami Realises She Has Lost Her Phone
Back at Oh Jun-yeong’s apartment. We see him preparing a meal and taking a picture of it. He sets the picture location to Thailand and posts it to Instagram. The comment refers to eating food from home (South Korean food) in Thailand. Suggesting he is deceiving followers into believing he lives in Thailand.
We learn later on that one of Jun-yeong’s victims wanted to go to Thailand. It becomes clear that Jun-yeong had convinced the girl to go to Thailand with him. Prompting the victim to tell their family they were leaving. Only to actually be killed by Jun-yeong.
Lee Na-mi’s friend, Jeong Eun-joo, phones her. Obviously, Lee Na-mi doesn’t actually have the phone. Oh Jun-yeong does and answers the call. He uses a fake voice generator to protect his identity. He tells Eun-joo that he has the phone. Eun-joo heads over to Nami’s house to break the news about her phone.
Nami is distraught to learn that she misplaced her phone. She calls Jun-yeong to ask to come and retrieve it. Jun-yeong, once again, uses a voice generator to protect his identity. He gives Nami an address to come to and pick the phone up.
Oh Jun-Yeong Sets His Plan In Motion
Jun-yeong goes through social media profiles finding information about Nami. He discovers a number of different accounts. He begins noting down her personal connections. Jun-yeong is checking who Nami has close relationships with. He is also looking for a number that might hint to her passcode.
He can’t find a number that actually works. With this in mind, he breaks the screen on the phone. He contacts Nami at her work place. Again using the voice changer to pretend to be a woman. He tells her that the screen broke but he has taken it to a repair shop. She can pick it up there and that the repair is already paid for.
The whole reason that Jun-yeong is doing this is to get Nami’s passcode. He wants Nami to come to his phone repair shop. There he will ask her to write her passcode down so that he can repair the phone. He will then have full access to it and can proceed with his plan.
Nami arrives and reluctantly writes the passcode down. Jun-yeong takes the phone into the back under the guise of repairing it. While there he installs a spyware app on Nami’s phone. This allows him to see exactly what Nami is doing on it at any time. It also allows him to control the phone. Giving him full access to every facet of Nami’s life. As well as allowing him to see where she is and what she is doing at all times.
Murder Mystery Side Plot
While all of this is going on. We briefly see detectives investigating a murder scene. The story alludes to several murders that have taken place. All of them appearing to be linked. The main detective investigating these murders is Woo Ji-man.
Ji-man believes the murderer may actually be his son Oh Jun-yeong. Jun-yeong seemingly had a bad relationship with his parents. He hasn’t seen his dad for a long time. His mum seems to not actually know where he is. Jun-yeong loves plums and a plum tree was found at the murder scene. A bit of a casual link but we will go with it for the movie’s sake.
While chatting with Jun-yeong’s mother. Ji-man eats the same meal that Jun-yeong posted a picture of earlier. He claims it reminds him of his son.
Ji-man Hunts For His Son Jun-yeong
This all creates a link for the viewer between Jun-yeong and the murders. We are lead to believe that Jun-yeong is Ji-man’s son. Something that will prove to not actually be true later on. They are connected, but not in the way Ji-man thinks. It is actually something far more sinister.
Believing his son to be responsible for the murders. Ji-man begins hunting his son down. His colleague finds his address and Ji-man sneaks into the house looking for evidence.
Jun-yeong arrives home while Ji-man is in the apartment. Jun-yeong, being somewhat paranoid, has left a piece of string on the door. Noticing that it has fallen, he realises someone must be in there. He leaves and heads for the street.
Ji-man, while investigating the apartment. Finds evidence that Jun-yeong is connected to the crimes. He finds a picture of one of the murdered girls. He finds business cards with different names and companies. Likely used so he can pretend to be an employee of various different businesses. Enabling him to get close to his victims. He also finds yellow nail polish. A colour that was found on the nails of another victim.
Jun-yeong watches Ji-man through the window. He then messages him. Remarking on how it has been a long time since he has seen him. Ji-man attempts to find Jun-yeong but misses his opportunity. Allowing Jun-yeong to escape into the night. Returning to the apartment. Ji-man realises Jun-yeong flooded it, destroying the evidence.
Jun-Yeong Gets Closer to Nami
Jun-yeong has been gradually getting closer to Nami. He has been turning up at her workplace. Ordering plum-ade and buying a CD that she is selling. Jun-yeong also offers to sell some baseball tickets to Nami. Naturally, Jun-yeong has found out all of Nami’s likes from her phone conversations. Allowing him to act like they have things in common.
Jun-yeong gives Nami his business card. The card suggests that he is a specialist in computer security. Something that will come into play later on when Nami realises she has been hacked. On the way home, Nami’s father has a conversation with her. He wants her to live with him. He also warns her that Jun-yeong is a creep. Suggesting him turning up on multiple occasions is more than coincidence.
Her father recognises regulars. He realises that Jun-yeong is not a regular. He thinks it is strange that Jun-yeong claimed he that he was. Nami feels her father is interfering and tells him to keep his nose out. While this is going on, Jun-yeong is listening in on the conversation through Nami’s phone.
Jun-yeong Kidnaps Nami’s Dad
While Nami’s dad sits alone at home lamenting the argument he had with Nami. He is relieved to receive a text from her. The text asks him to install an app which he does. The truth is, however, that the message is from Jun-yeong. He is controlling Nami’s phone to deceive her dad. Knowing that, because the message came from Nami, he will trust it and install the app.
The app is the spyware that Jun-yeong installed on Nami’s phone. He now has control over Nami’s dad’s phone as well. Jun-yeong sends a message to the phone indicating that a package is waiting outside. Nami’s dad heads outside to retrieve it. While out there, Jun-yeong hits him on the head, knocking him unconcious. He then takes him back in the house.
Nami is Fired From Her Job
Jun-yeong now puts his full plan into action. Earlier in the movie we saw Nami receive a raise from her boss. Her boss had managed to secure a big deal. Nami was told not to tell anyone about the raise. She was also told not to share any information about the deal. Jun-yeong uses Nami’s phone to leak information about the deal and her raise. Prompting people who work there to become enraged and customers to become angry. Nami wakes up late, her alarm having not sounded. She is horrified to see abusive messages and missed phone calls.
She races to her work place only to find out that her boss lost the deal. Mainly due to her Instagram posts. Nami is fired. She protests her innocence but her colleagues don’t believe her. The posts came from her account, after all. Nami tells them she will prove her innocence. She heads to the police station with her friend. The police, however, tell her they can’t do anything without proof.
Nami Needs to Prove Her Innocence
Nami and her friend try to figure out how to prove her innocence. She is sure she has been hacked but needs a way to prove it. They decide to call on Jun-yeong as he is a digital security expert according to his business card. Jun-yeong arrives at the cafe and begins examining Nami’s phone.
He tells her she has spyware and that will be how she was hacked. Jun-yeong tells her that the person will have full control of her phone. In an attempt to offer her peace of mind. He claims to have reset her phone for her so she should be safe. Before he leaves, Jun-yeong asks to speak to Nami outside.
He tells Nami that someone must have physically installed the spyware on her phone. It couldn’t have been done over the internet. Someone must have had access to her phone. Installed the spyware, sent the messages and cancelled her alarms. Hoping to frame her. Nami is horrified. Realising that the only person who could have done that was Eun-joo. Who has been staying with her at her apartment.
Jun-yeong Is Trying to Isolate Nami
Nami accuses Eun-joo of hacking her phone. Eun-joo is shocked by the false claims. Feeling as though she shouldn’t have to prove her innocence. She tells Nami to never contact her again before leaving the café. Jun-yeong’s plan is going perfectly. He aims to ostracise Nami from her social group. He has managed to have her fired from her job. And now he has made her believe that her best friend framed her.
Nami has now fallen out with her father. She no longer has a job and her best friend doesn’t want to speak to her. She is all alone. Nami sits in the cafe distraught before throwing her phone in a fit of rage. When it breaks, she has an epiphany. She remembers the repair shop.
It dawns on her that someone else did have access to her phone. The repairman at the shop. He must be the person who is actually responsible for hacking her phone. Nami, at this point, doesn’t realise that the person at the repair shop was Jun-yeong. She phones the police and they make their way to the repair shop.
Nami Arrives at the Repair Shop
Nami arrives at the repair shop with a pair of police officers in tow. It turns out that detective Ji-man is already there. Still pursuing his son and believing him to be responsible for the murders. Ji-man is there because he found out Jun-yeong worked there.
His colleague found the location and the pair head there. Obviously we already know that Jun-yeong worked at the repair shop. It is how he managed to hack Nami’s phone. The detectives think they can find more evidence of the murders there. When they arrive, however, the place is flooded out. Just like Jun-yeong’s apartment was.
When Nami arrives, she tells the detectives what has happened to her. They tell her that they are investigating the owner for hacking people’s phones. She assumes the person has done it to sell nude videos of the hacking victims. Ji-man doesn’t want to tell her that the true crime is murder.
The Detectives and Nami Hatch a Plan
The detectives and Nami come up with a plan. Nami will head home and will ask Jun-yeong to come to her apartment. She will pretend she needs help with her laptop. When he comes to her apartment. Ji-man and his colleague can arrest Jun-yeong, hopefully without trouble.
Nami heads home and contacts Jun-yeong. He agrees to come over. Remember how Nami and her friend said Jun-yeong would look better with a hair cut and no glasses? He was listening in on that conversation through Nami’s phone. He cuts his hair and removes his glasses before leaving the house.
Jun-yeong arrives outside Nami’s apartment. Ji-man and his colleague have been watching from their car. When Jun-yeong is about to enter, Ji-man gets out of the car. He approaches Jun-yeong and holds his gun up to him. Jun-yeong looks for a place to escape. Ahead of him, Ji-man’s colleague appears.
Having no choice, Jun-yeong turns around to Ji-man. He protests at Ji-man for aiming his gun at him. He claims to be an innocent person caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. Ji-man, expecting to recognise Jun-yeong as his son, doesn’t actually recognise him. Ji-man and his colleague are forced to let Jun-yeong go. Not actually knowing whether he is the perpetrator or not.
Jun-yeong walks off into the night. Obviously, there is a good reason that Ji-man didn’t recognise Jun-yeong as his son. It’s because he isn’t actually his son. As we will learn a little later on. Jun-yeong now realises he was set up by Nami. He sends her a message telling her he couldn’t make it. Leaving her unaware that the detectives messed up.
Nami Heads to Her Dad’s Home
Nami now jumps out of the frying pan and into the fire. Wanting her to stay with someone. The detectives take her to her father’s house. She has switched to an old phone, assuming that will be safe. It turns out that Jun-yeong has actually put the spyware on this phone as well. He can hear everything she is saying.
Nami tells the detectives that she will keep in contact. Ji-man hands her his business card. She tells them to come and help her if she doesn’t text them. While doing this, she writes a note on the card and holds it up. Ji-man acknowledges what she had written. This is important later on. She heads into the house and the detectives drive off.
Nami heads inside and relaxes on the bed. She begins to check her messages. All of a sudden, she gets a message from Jun-yeong. He tells her he noticed that she had a new phone. He tells her that he has one too and to contact him. Thinking that Jun-yeong is simply getting bold. Nami dials the number.
She hears a phone ringing on the floor above her. It suddenly becomes clear to her that Jun Yeong has access to the house. She runs to her father’s room to try and find him. He isn’t in his room. She picks up her phone and dials Ji-man’s number. The number begins deleting against her will. Her camera suddenly opens before snapping numerous shots of her. She realises that Jun-yeong has control of this phone as well.
Jun-yeong is in the House
Nami hears the voice of her dad. She quickly realises that it is a recording of the conversation they had earlier in the car. She begins heading through the house to find him. Suddenly, Jun-yeong appears from behind the couch. Jun-yeong tells her that this is all her fault. He wanted to lie low for awhile. He blames her for what is happening. Telling her it is all because she lost her phone.
Nami begs for him to let her dad go. He tells her that he will if she sends a message to the detectives. He wants her to tell them she is fine. Nami text the detectives, telling them she is fine. Before covertly dropping the business card that Ji-man gave her earlier. Jun-yeong tells her that if someone contacts her in the next 24 hours. He will let her live. Obviously, this is unlikely because Jun-yeong has ostracised Nami. Getting her fired from her job and making her fall out with her best friend.
Jun-yeong Tries to Kill Nami and Her Dad
Jun-yeong claims he has to use the bathroom. Nami waits outside ready to hit him with a fire poker. When the door opens she realises her dad is inside. Jun-yeong has him in a half filled bath tied up and unconscious. Nami begs for her father’s life. She tells Jun-yeong she will do anything. He asks her if she means that and she swears that she does. He tells her if that is the case, then she should kill her father.
Jun-yeong throws Nami on top of her father. Pushing him down into the water. Nami’s hands are tied behind her back so she can’t get out. The water begins to creep around her face. Jun-yeong takes a picture of her in the water. Just like he did to the other people he murdered. He then heads to the lounge, leaving Nami and her father to drown.
Nami Tricked Jun-Yeong
When Jun-yeong sits down. He notices the business card that Nami dropped, crumpled on the floor. He picks it up and reads it. On it, Nami has written “No Texts, Only Calls”. Jun-Yeong realises that Nami has tricked him. When listening to her conversation with the police officers. He heard her say that she would text them. She told them that if she didn’t text them, they should come and help her. What he didn’t realise was that Nami had showed Ji-man the card.
The detectives were actually supposed to come and help Nami if she didn’t phone them. If she text, something was wrong. If she didn’t phone them, something was wrong. Realising that Nami was in trouble. The detectives had made their way back to the house. They were already infiltrating the house while Jun-yeong was in the bathroom.
The Detectives Capture Jun-yeong
Jun-yeong hides as one of the detectives enters the house. He approaches behind the detective to hit him. Little does he realise, Ji-man is already in the house. He puts a gun to Jun-yeong’s head. Ji-man’s colleague runs to the bathroom and removes Nami and her dad from the bath. He begins performing CPR on Nami’s dad as she watches on.
Ji-man repeatedly hits Jun-yeong, rendering him nearly unconscious. While in the car, Ji-man received a phone call about his missing son. It turns out, his son, Jun-yeong, has been dead all along. His DNA was found on the body of a person who was found in a canal. Ji-man now realises that the person who kidnapped Nami is not his son Jun-yeong. He refuses to believe his son is dead and wants to know the truth.
A Big Twist
Ji-man demands to know what happened to his son Jun-yeong. The person we believed to be Jun-yeong all along tries to convince Ji-man that he is his son. He asks him to stop hitting him and calls him dad. Almost convinced, the man slaps Ji-man’s face and calls him a fool. Ji-man realises the man is tricking him and begins punching him repeatedly. He demands, once again, to know what happened to his son. The man looks over to his suitcase.
Reading a paper in the suitcase. It becomes clear to Ji-man that he was mistaken. There was actually more than the 6 victims found so far. There was actually seven. The first name on the list, marked with a 0, is Woo Jun-yeong, Ji-man’s son. Oh Jun-yeong had murdered him. Stealing his identity and planting his DNA to frame him for murder.
Woo Jun-yeong had actually been dead this whole time. Ji-man had believed his son was a murderer. But, in reality, he was the first victim of Oh Jun-yeong. Even more distressing. Is the fact that Woo Jung-yeong’s mother genuinely believed her son was still alive. She thought she was in communication with him. She had actually been chatting to the killer. Who was pretending to be her son ever since he disappeared.
Oh Jung-yeong killed him to steal his identity. He intended to commit the murders. Plant Ji-man’s son’s DNA on the bodies and escape. Leaving the deceased Woo Jun-yeong to take the blame for being a serial killer.
Remember when he told Nami he had planned to lay low? He was likely at the end of his killing spree in that town. He was going to leave the area, framing Woo Jun-yeong for the killings in the process. When he moved to a new area, he would probably start the cycle again. He only added Nami to the list because she happened to drop her phone. He simply couldn’t resist the temptation.
Nami Gets Her Revenge! Or Does She?
Ji-man holds his gun to Oh Jun-yeong’s head. Furious at him for murdering his son and attempting to frame him. Oh Jun-yeong mocks Ji-man, knowing that he won’t shoot him. Little does he realise, however, that Nami has freed herself. She used the knife her dad always told her to carry. Cut through her restraints and took the detective’s gun.
Believing her father to be dead. And wanting to fulfil her promise to Jun-yeong that she would kill him for what he did. She walks up to him and, without hesitation, shoots him in the chest. All of a sudden, she hears her dad call from the bathroom. He has been resuscitated and is alive. We finally see Nami being taken out of the house on a gurney.
Oh Jun-yeong Survives
The movie wraps up with a few news reports. We learn that Ji-man took responsibility for shooting Oh Jun-yeong. We learn that he was never registered at birth and has no identity. The most shocking thing we learn, however, is that he is still alive. The gun shot did not kill him.
The movie ends reinforcing its ultimate message. That people’s dependence on smart devices can be potentially dangerous. We see footage of people glued to their phones. The news reporter reminds us that it could happen to anyone.
The final shots show people chatting about Nami’s father’s coffee shop. We see someone opening the camera app on their phone. They zoom in on Nami. She seemingly realises she is being watched. Suggesting she is now paranoid about being watched. Is it Oh Jun-yeong watching her? Did he escape? That’s not revealed but I could definitely go for a sequel to Unlocked.
And That is That
Thank you very much for reading. This was a mammoth article so cheers for sticking with us. I really enjoyed this movie. It’s a lot of fun and blends crime, thriller, horror and mystery stuff really nicely. In truth, it is barely a horror movie at all. It is still an easy watch for horror fans, though. Especially given some of the more unsettling scenes later on.
If you enjoyed this article, why not stick around? Check out some more Ending Explained articles. I also review horror movies and I also recently started writing horror lists. I update nearly every day of the week so there is always something new. On top of that, I never put out fluff. Just substantial horror content for horror fans to get their teeth into.