Don’t Breathe 2 builds toward a bloody finale, and here’s what happens in the sequel’s ending & post-credits scene, including the characters’ fates
Don’t Breathe 2 concludes with a bloody finale and a tease of what could happen next, so here’s a breakdown of the sequel’s ending and post-credits scene. 2016’s Don’t Breathe became one of the biggest horror-thriller hits of the year, as audiences thoroughly enjoyed the clash between Rocky (Jane Levy) and The Blind Man (Stephen Lang). Director Fede Alvarez immediately began work on a sequel, which he ultimately couldn’t direct, but that doesn’t stop Don’t Breathe 2 from advancing the world and leaving room for more.
The main story of Don’t Breathe 2 takes place roughly eight years after the events of the first film. The Blind Man, real name Norman Nordstrom, is fully recovered from his near-fatal encounter with Rocky and her friends. Nordstrom is still living in Detroit and raising a daughter named Phoenix (Madelyn Grace), who is mostly kept inside and believes that Norman is her father and that her mother died in a house fire. Phoenix and Norman’s reclusive lives are put in danger after he agrees to let her go into town with a friend. This is where a group of creepy men set their sights on Phoenix and hatch a plan to take her from The Blind Man. What neither of them knows is that the leader of the group, Raylan (Brendan Sexton III), is Phoenix’s actual father from before Norman found her after her original home burned down.
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Don’t Breathe 2 builds towards a complicated finale that puts The Blind Man in a position to save Phoenix, whose real name is Tara, from her real parents. The antagonists reveal that Tara’s real mom is still alive, but slowly dying from the effects of the house fire and poisoning caused by regularly cooking meth. Tara’s parents’ plan is to use her heart as a transplant for the mom, who is the meth lab’s cook, so she and their drug business can stay alive. However, The Blind Man arrives before the illegal operation begins and shuts off the power. He proceeds to kill most of Raylan’s henchmen and the doctor while Raylan accidentally kills his wife in the chaos. It all leads to The Blind Man gouging out Raylan’s eyes, Raylan seemingly killing The Blind Man, and Tara killing her father before charting a new course for her life. Don’t Breathe 2’s ending also leaves some major questions, with the post-credits scene teasing more to the story.
Is The Blind Man Dead?
The biggest question Don’t Breathe 2 leaves viewers with is in regard to The Blind Man’s fate. Surprisingly, audiences will be able to come to two different conclusions depending on how long they watch. The end of Don’t Breathe 2 heavily indicates that Norman is dead, but Don’t Breathe 2’s post-credits scene shows otherwise. After taking a beating at the hands of Raylan and his goons, the movie ends with him lying lifeless in the gang’s headquarters after seemingly dying in Phoenix’s arms. He has a massive stab wound in his side that is gushing blood, but it turns out that The Blind Man is alive.
Don’t Breathe 2’s post-credits scene shows the dog Norman befriends return to the gang’s headquarters, where it begins licking Norman’s hand and then quietly lays next to him. Just then, his fingers start to twitch before the movie cuts to black one final time. That is all the movie needs to tease that The Blind Man is alive. The surprise reversal of his fate gives the franchise the opportunity to bring Norman back if Don’t Breathe 3 happens.
Why Tara Keeps Her Phoenix Name
The very end of Don’t Breathe 2 also includes a moment that could be confusing to some, as Tara proudly says that her name is Phoenix when she goes to stay at a children’s care home. What makes this moment potentially odd is that Tara was only given this name by The Blind Man, who had kidnapped her and lied to her for the last eight years. She could’ve decided to pick an entirely new name, but the decision to go by Phoenix speaks volumes. It is a sign from Tara that she views Norman as her true family and knows that he helped save her life. While viewers of Don’t Breathe will likely still view Norman as a monster (and rightfully so), Phoenix clearly doesn’t view him in that light.
How Did Raylan Find Tara?
One aspect of Don’t Breathe 2’s plot that isn’t directly answered is how Raylan managed to find his missing child after all this time. He was in prison for most of the last eight years and Phoenix rarely left Norman’s house during that time. Since the beginning of the movie frames him and his friends as predators, it isn’t until much later in Don’t Breathe 2 that some possible clarity comes. Phoenix goes to her old house when Norman lets her out for the day, and it is eventually revealed that Raylan was there at the same time. It’s possible, even likely, that he guessed that it was his long-lost daughter and managed to follow her and then track them to The Blind Man’s house.
What Don’t Breathe 2’S Ending & Credits Mean For A Sequel
Don’t Breathe 2’s ending and post-credits scene leaves the door wide open for a sequel but under very different circumstances. Phoenix believes that The Blind Man is dead but clearly views him as her real father. Once the cops find the many dead bodies at Raylan’s headquarters, she could discover then that Norman managed to survive. This could lead her to try and find him, but he said in the finale that she needs to stay away. That likely wouldn’t stop Phoenix from trying to track him down to at least confirm that he is still alive. Phoenix searching for The Blind Man could just be one part of the story of Don’t Breathe 3, though.
With the tease that The Blind Man is alive, it is possible that a more mature version of Jane Levy’s Rocky will hear of what happened. If she learns that Norman abducted another girl, this could be the reason why she returns to Detroit and goes to battle with The Blind Man again. What would be interesting in this scenario is how Phoenix factors in. Rocky could want to pry Phoenix away from Norman and show her the monster that he truly is. However, Phoenix has only ever seen a completely different side to The Blind Man and could work with him to fight Rocky. If neither Phoenix nor Rocky are going to be in Don’t Breathe 3, then the tease that The Blind Man is alive gives the filmmakers the setup to have another group of unsuspecting criminals encounter him.
How Don’t Breathe 2’S Ending Tries To Redeem The Blind Man
One of the most contentious points about Don’t Breathe 2 since the storyline was revealed is the attempt to reframe The Blind Man as a hero. Although he did despicable things in the first movie, he’s the central character in the sequel, and Don’t Breathe 2’s ending attempts to redeem him. The film positions him as the lesser of two evils by making him responsible for saving Phoenix from her death. This still involves plenty of killing and largely ignores the fact that he still abducted Phoenix when she was just a kid. The Blind Man’s “redemption” in Don’t Breathe 2 comes when he essentially repents for his sins, acknowledging that he’s killed and raped in the past, before calling himself a monster. That was supposed to scare off Phoenix, but the atonement is undercut by the scene playing out as though it intends for the audience to think that Norman can’t be that bad because he’s calling out his own faults.
If there was any doubt that Don’t Breathe 2’s ending wants audiences to feel empathy for Norman and view him as more of a hero, his final exchange with Phoenix makes it clear. She wants to keep him from dying but he refuses to let her help. He then says that Phoenix already saved him. While the post-credits tease could reframe this as literally meaning that Phoenix saved him when she killed Raylan, the moment illustrates that Norman and the filmmakers view him as “saved” for his past crimes. Whether or not audiences agree with that will vary, however.
The Real Meaning Of Don’t Breathe 2’S Ending
In its own twisted way, Don’t Breathe 2’s ending is really about family, finding a home outside the one someone is born into, and even forgiveness. The entire movie is built around Phoenix’s two very different fatherly figures. While they battle for her affection, Phoenix is also contemplating going in a completely different direction to start her life anew. In the end, she chooses to do just that but also keeps a part of her past with Norman by deliberately choosing the name she gave him. After spending the last eight years with The Blind Man and watching him rescue her from death, Phoenix comes to realize that her life with Norman was better than what she would’ve had elsewhere.