'Don't Breathe 2' Ending Explained: Let's Talk About This Very Stupid Movie

Don't Breathe 2 hits theaters this weekend, bringing back Stephen Lang's highly-capable blind man/killing machine Norman Nordstrom. This sequel takes the character in a new direction – and makes him the lead, rather than a slasher in the background dispatching anyone in his way. That's not to say Norman has mellowed out. Oh no, he's just as deadly as ever – but Don't Breathe 2 has more than a few surprises in store for him, and us.

Major spoilers for Don't Breathe 2 follow.

Don't Breathe 2 opens with a young girl escaping a burning house. She collapses, and we cut to eight years later. The girl, named Phoenix (Madelyn Grace), is now 11-years-old, and she's living with Norman Nordstrom. She thinks he's her father, and he has raised her in a sheltered manner. She's homeschooled, she's trained in survival skills, and she's not often allowed to leave the house she shares with Norman and their dog, Shadow. Meanwhile, we learn that police are on the lookout for a doctor who appears to be running a black market organ harvesting ring. Remember this, because it'll be important later.

Late one night, a group of creepy guys invades Norman and Phoenix's secluded house. They kill the dog (thankfully off-screen) and then go after Phoenix. Norman manages to fight some of them off, and even kill one of them, but eventually, they get the best of him. With Norman incapacitated, the leader of the home invaders, played by Brendan Sexton III, tells Phoenix that he's actually her father, and that Norman stole her away eight years ago. He also says he's here to take her with him. And he does – back to a seedy hotel that is overrun with more creepy guys. Also there: Phoenix's mother, who is in a wheelchair and very sick.

We learn that Phoenix's parents were meth dealers, and the fire in their house at the beginning of the movie was caused by an explosion in the meth lab in their basement. We also learn that Phoenix's mom was badly injured in the fire and inhaled so many foul chemicals that her heart was damaged. She needs a new heart, and she knows just where to get it: from her daughter.

don't breathe 2 review

Don't Breathe 2 Ending Explained

Norman is a bad guy – not only is he a killer, but he's also a rapist. But Don't Breathe 2 wants us to sympathize with him, so it makes the methhead villains extra evil. They're a group of sleazy, seedy creeps willing to cut out a little girl's heart to save one of their own. The explanation is that Phoenix's mother is their meth cook and they need to save her so they can keep selling their product. Why they don't just find another meth cook instead of going through all this trouble is a question that no one thought to ask for some reason.

When the bad guys overpowered Norman and took Phoenix, they also set fire to Norman's house – and left behind an attack dog they brought along. Norman has a chance to kill the dog, but doesn't (which is yet another attempt by the filmmakers to make us like Norman; look, see, he's not so bad! He likes dogs!). Norman suddenly has the bright idea that the dog can lead him back to the bad guy's hideout, Lassie-style.

Norman arrives at the hotel just when the black market organ harvesting doctor (Remember that? From above?) is about to cut out Phoenix's heart. Norman kills off the goons one by one, and eventually, only Phoenix's shitty parents are left. During a fight between Norman and Phoenix's dad, Phoenix's mom is shot. And wouldn't you know it, her wheelchair is perched at the edge of the hotel's very deep, very empty pool – and Phoenix is handcuffed to her.

The wheelchair rolls over the edge of the pool and Phoenix's mother is left dangling by her cuffed hand. Phoenix manages to grab a nearby blade and hacks her mother's arm off, freeing herself. Phoenix then stabs her father just as he's about to kill Norman, who has been mortally wounded in the scuffle. Norman then proceeds to gouge Phoenix's father's eyes out, killing him.

Phoenix wants to embrace Norman but he stops her, telling her that what her father told her is true – he did steal Phoenix away. He also confesses that he's a monster; a killer and a rapist who doesn't deserve happiness – and then he dies. Phoenix goes off to live at a nearby shelter and start a new life, free of parental figures who are either organ-stealing methheads or blind killing machines.