MovieChat Forums > Black Cat (1968) Discussion > Thoughts on the Ending *SPOILERS*

Thoughts on the Ending *SPOILERS*

Anyone? Why did the son die at the end? I didn't get that part. He was yelling trying to find his "mother" and then just fell down dead in the burnt house. This movie was awesome but I have to admit I wasn't fully paying attention so I will have to re-watch it. Can anyone clarify? Thanks!

Great film, definitely has a haunting quality to it.


Well, first I should mention this works on Japanese fairytale / dream logic, so I wouldn't try to make perfect sense of it. That said, I feel that he still held some hope that something of his mother was left inside of the ghost/cat and tried to appeal to it. The story is tragic, as not only does he lose his wife twice, since at the end he broke the 7-day purification ritual by opening the door to the ghost he would have been disgraced as a samurai too. His hope that his mother might still be inside the ghost somewhere might have been the last thing he could cling to, even though clearly she had gone full ghost by the end, as we see her "true" self in the reflection in the puddle when they are in the woods. The samurai just refuses to accept the truth and dies a sad, desperate and disgraced man. If you wanna read into it even more, I think it's telling that he dies in the ruins of his house, with his hair long and loose again, back to being a poor farmer.

What do you think?


A very interesting take, and lots of food for thought. I will definitely have to re-watch it now. Thanks very much for taking the time to reply.


Very well said, Petalskull. I agree with your interpretation.

"The comfort of the rich depends upon an abundant supply of the poor."
- Voltaire


Nice. Thank you.


Notice how throughout the film many of their victims are laid down in the burnt remains of the old house as corpses. The same thing happens to the son, which I think suggests that he was somehow killed by her mother at the end there, with some kind of invisible force/power that she had equipped. The mother clearly wishes to stick to her vows made to the evil gods (hence her desperation to get her arm back, her weapon, so that she can continue to do this) and maintains this by even killing her own son. She will continue to get revenge and fulfil her vows by killing more "hateful samurai" post-film.

You'll recall at the beginning of the film, as the two womens' corpses laid burnt in the remains of the old house, a black cat in the area, meowing and examining the corpses. I think this cat somehow represents the presence of and confrontation with the "evil gods" made by the two women. The same cat appears with the corpse of the son at the end, which could suggest that he too is currently confronting the evil gods and making his own vow to them. Maybe he wishes to kill his mother and gain closure (a fight betweem demons) or maybe he wishes to simply be able to live with her at long last.

I also seem to recall a line somewhere in the film about something to do with "snow in the summer" and that that is some kind of evil force or something. It snows at the end, and lands on the corpse of the son, which could be another suggestion of the evil gods' presence and of their confrontation with the son.

"Your sacrifice has completed my sanctuary of 1000 testicles."


Wow, what an awesome and thorough post. Thanks a lot for this. A lot to think about, and I will certainly be going back to re-watch it after perusing your post again. It certainly seems there was a lot going on in this film.

Thanks for taking the time. :)


No problem. If you haven't already seen it I also recommend the film 'Onibaba', which is from the same director as Kuroneko and which is also its horror companion piece. The films have several similarities.


"Your sacrifice has completed my sanctuary of 1000 testicles."



lol. Thanks for your thoughts. Glad to know I wasn't the only one who felt the ending was off


That Gintoki not only let the demon in, but gave her the cat's claw (which was too big and looked like a dog's leg)was too much. You knew he was going to get screwed by the demon. Duh

He didn't give her the arm. She tricked him into letting her in, and by the time he noticed she was missing an arm, she had all ready got it back.

He ran around, slashing the air with his sword and yelling, then fell down dead. Stupid.

How was it stupid? Did you just watch things happen without putting any thought into why they happened?

He was out to kill the demon, and was clearly becoming so delirious he would swat at anything that moved, like the mist. He was clearly physically breaking down throughout those last few moments, so him falling dead isn't a surprise. and yelling? Umm, yeah, he was calling out to his mother. That doesn't seem out of the ordinary.

(The other samurai had their throats chewed out by a ghost.)

Those other samurai were also lured in by seduction, making that convenient. She wasn't going to be able to do that with him by this point, so it makes sense she would do something different.

Also would not have been nearly as good of an ending.

This is not a Japanese "fairy tale," but a movie, with a modern screenplay.

It can be both, you know.

but the story is thin

No it isn't. The plot may be simple, but there's a ton of emotional depth.

with a goofy ending

It really isn't. It's bleak, somber, tragic, and poetic.

"It's just you and me now, sport"-Manhunter


blue guy is partially right. from a modern viewer's perspective, the ending was a bit weak. it was kind of silly (to many modern viewers) that the samurai's letting the mom-ghost in and his subsequent actions. however, if you look at it as a fairy tale (even western ones), it's about inline with the simplicity of what he did. of course the emotions that he was feeling is much more complex than that.