Martyrs Lane movie ending explained: What happens to Sarah?

Yasmine Leung September 14, 2021

Director Ruth Platt’s Martyrs Lane follows the experience of a young girl, Leah. Her mother, Sarah’s, sadness is both fascinating and frightening, so what happens to her in the ending? Here’s her fate explained.

*Warning: Martyrs Lane spoilers ahead*

Martyrs Lane is Ruth Platt’s latest horror, but it’s not your usual scary movie with jump scares and creepy children.

Well, the film does have an eerie-looking toddler but she ends up ‘making friends’ with protagonist Leah, portrayed by Kiera Thompson, so she becomes less terrifying.

Usually, films revolving around death and ghosts follow the adult’s journey to destroy the demon, but Platt refreshingly offers a perspective from a ten-year-old, who naively follows the orders of a younger girl.

Martyrs Lane forces you into the ten-year-old’s experience through its low-angle shots and timid peers through partially closed doors.

Since Leah is young, she’s shut away from her family struggles and her parents’ personal demons, particular her mother Sarah’s. So by the end, does Sarah deal with her anguish and what role does Leah play in it?

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screenshot, YouTube – Shudder

Martyrs Lane ending explained

By the end of the movie, clueless Leah has gathered a collection of block letter charms, intended to be for a bracelet or necklace, a button and a bunch of baby teeth.

At this point, it’s confusing since Leah has been obsessed with Sarah’s hair-carrying locket since the beginning, but it’s quickly revealed why Leah’s mysterious friend has been ordering her to scout these objects.

A flashback reveals the block letters spell out ‘Rachel’, the name of her parents’ dead daughter. Born and killed before Leah’s birth, she was hit by a car during a bike ride.

We see the intact ‘Rachel’ bracelet on the toddler’s hand and the button turns out to be from Leah’s cardigan, which Rachel played with frequently.

Flash back to the present, Leah screams and begs Sarah to not leave her, but she proceeds to hold Rachel in her arms and falls backwards out of the window.

We assume Sarah is dead since she just jumped out of a window, but Leah then wakes, leaving us to wonder whether the intense scene was reality.

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What happened to Sarah? Does she die?

We think Sarah is dead since she succumbed to her emotional torment of losing Rachel. In the final minutes, while the family are loading the moving truck to pack the house, Leah approaches the attic and sees Sarah and Rachel playing the piano together.

However, the billowing white curtain gives them a ghost-like aura, suggesting the two figures are supernatural, especially since we know Rachel is definitely dead.

That’s probably why Bex constantly warned Leah to stop uncovering the different fragments because, together, they were going to ultimately constitute an irreversible and intangible object: their mother’s death.

Thankfully, Leah still has her father, Thomas, the parent she’s always had a closer relationship with.

screenshot, YouTube – Shudder

We recommend you give Martyrs Lane a watch – but don’t have nightmares!

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Yasmine is a third-year Anthropology and Media student at Goldsmiths University with a new obsession with League of Legends, despite being really bad. She's always on social media keeping on top of the latest news and trends and is HITC’s expert in Korean pop culture. She also loves music, TV and fashion - her favourite things to write about.