Submitted by Evan B
Long Ending: It turns out that Sandie wasn’t murdered and is actually Ellie’s landlord Ms. Collins. Sandie actually murdered her pimp, Jack, and then killed all of the men who hired her as a prostitute too. After a struggle between the women, Sandie commits suicide by staying in her burning flat. Eloise goes on to be a successful fashion designer (and still communes with Sandie’s spirit).
Ellie (Thomasin McKenzie), short for Eloise, is a young woman obsessed with the 1960s. She loves the style, the music, and the stories about London at its most exciting. With her mother dead (having died by suicide) and never known her father, Ellie lives a quiet life in the countryside with her grandmother. She recently got accepted into an arts college in London to study fashion. Her grandmother is supportive but also worried since Ellie’s mom’s mental health deteriorated when she went to the big city. Ellie also sees the spirit of her mom around the house and talks to her regularly.
When she arrives in London, Ellie’s roommates (and fellow students) bully and mock her. She also is harassed by various men she sees on the streets, including an old, white-haired man (Terence Stamp) who somehow finds out Ellie’s identity. One classmate, John (Michael Ajao), keeps trying to befriend Ellie, but she is stand-offish towards him.
Deciding to leave the toxicity of her roommates, Ellie rents a small room from an elderly lady named Ms. Collins (Diana Rigg). To Ellie’s great excitement, she begins having nightly visions of a past tenant named Sandie (Anya Taylor-Joy) who lived in her room in the 1960s. Sandie is very confident and moved to London to become a singer. Ellie observes Sandie as she meets a man named Jack (Matt Smith), who agrees to work as Sandie’s manager. Sandie and Jack also begin a very hot relationship. Sandie inspires Ellie to recreate her dresses in school to much acclaim. Ellie brushes aside all of John’s offers to hang out so that she can return to her room and have more visions of Sandie.
Things soon turn sour as Jack signs Sandie up to perform burlesque type acts. Eventually, Jack forces Sandie to become a prostitute. Ellie also starts to get haunted by the spirit of Jack as well as the spirits of the men who slept with Sandie. Ellie invites John over and the pair begin making out, with Ellie hoping it will help her forget her visions. Instead, their actions conjure up a vision where Sandie is seemingly murdered by Jack in the room. The vision terrifies Ellie and leaves her in tears. The spirits become even more menacing thereafter.
Ellie eventually becomes convinced that the white-haired man is Jack, even going to the police to report him. She confronts the man, who says that while he knew Sandie, it was a person named “Alex” who killed her. When Ellie rejects his claims, he storms off into the street where he is fatally hit by a car. Bystanders then remark that the man is not named Jack and was actually a retired police officer (which is how he found out Ellie’s identity). Having ruined the man’s life and no closer to the truth, Ellie asks John to help her move out and return home to her grandma.
When they arrive at the flat, Ms. Collins notes that the police stopped by to investigate Ellie’s report and invites the clearly traumatized Ellie into her house for tea. While there, Ellie realizes that Ms. Collins name is Alexandra… “Alex.” Ms. Collins confides in Ellie that Alexandra Collins is an alias and that in fact, she is Sandie. The elderly woman explains that Ellie’s vision of Sandie cut off before the end. Although Jack tried to kill her, she wrested the knife from Jack’s hand and instead killed him – stabbing him over 100 times. Sandie then went on to kill all the men who slept with her as a prostitute (and those men were the spectral figures haunting Ellie. They actually wanted her to help their murders get solved), then changed her name to start over. Ms. Collins said that Sandie died metaphorically each time she was abused in that room. Ellie promises not to tell anyone Sandie’s secret, but Sandie responds that she will ensure this is the case by killing Ellie. A fight breaks out between Ellie, Sandie, and John during which a fire is started and begins consuming the entire building. Sandie eventually tries slitting her own throat, but Ellie stops her and embraces her. Sandie tells Ellie to leave with a wounded John while they can, but she herself remains in the burning building to die.
Weeks later, Ellie successfully launches a 60s-themed fashion show with both her grandma and John in the audience to support her. Having survived her experience, Ellie is now brimming with self-confidence. She still talks to the spirit of her mother…. as well as Sandie’s spirit.