Clock ending explained: Does Ella die?

Dianna Agron as Ella in ClockHulu

Clock, a brand new body horror movie bound to leave you gagging into your pillow, is now available to stream on Hulu and Disney+ – so, how does Clock end, and does its lead character Ella die?

Helmed by filmmaker Alexis Jacknow in her feature-length debut, Clock is all about the horrors of motherhood, centering on Ella (Dianna Agron), a woman dealing with mounting pressure from her family, friends, and society to have children. 

In a bid to satisfy her maternal expectations, Ella enters an experimental clinical trial to try and “fix” her seemingly broken biological clock – but as soon as she starts her journey, things take a gruesome (and trippy) turn. 

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The metaphor-heavy movie builds up to a jaw-dropping climax, one that may leave viewers with a question or two. We’ve broken down the ending before answering the question: does Ella die?

Warning: major spoilers for Clock ahead…

Clock ending explained

Clock ends with two shocking revelations, the first being Ella’s discovery that she had mistakenly murdered her father in brutal fashion while under the influence of the supposed “hormone” drugs she’d been prescribed during and after the clinical trial. 

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You see, during the trial, Ella suffered some seriously disturbing side effects, often experiencing terrifying visions of a tall lady, huge spiders, and a ticking grandfather clock – which we find out is her relative’s only heirloom from before the Holocaust, and a symbol of the ever-mounting pressure for her to continue the family name and procreate. 

At the end of her stay at the clinic, led by Dr. Elizabeth Simmons (Melora Hardin), Ella is given an implant and told to not have sex for three weeks while continuing her hormonal medication – which is a bit of an issue since she’s told no one, including her husband Aidan (Jay Ali), where she’s been. 

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Though she eventually finds herself wanting a baby, at what cost? Her mental health has deteriorated and she often finds herself spacing out, hallucinating, and carrying out bizarre acts in a trance, alienating everyone around her. Oh, and she’s got a hungry appetite for raw eggs. 

As the film nears the end, Ella visits her dad’s house, where the ticking of the grandfather clock overwhelms her and she snaps, smashing it to pieces with a hammer before pulling it apart with her bare hands. 

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When she returns home, an intoxicated Ella tells her partner Aidan that she wants a baby and they start to have sex. But since it’s only been two weeks since her implant was fitted, he cuts his penis on the tip of it. 

Amid their panic, Ella discovers that Aidan knew about the trial this whole time – in fact, he’s the reason she ended up there in the first place. She runs off in a rage, speeding her way to the clinic to confront Dr. Simmons about the impact the experiments have had on her. 

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Melora Hardin as Dr. Elizabeth Simmons in ClockHulu
Melora Hardin as Dr. Elizabeth Simmons in Clock

When she demands to have the implant removed, Simmons tells her that it will mean she’ll be infertile forever and that she should leave her husband and raise a baby. But Ella realizes it’s all a facade, and she rips out the implant herself in front of the other patients. The color of her world begins to return, indicating her illusions were a result of the device. 

But when she drives away, a fleet of police cars are hot on her trail with sirens blasting. She pulls over as they close in on her and calls Aidan, accusing him of calling the cops on her for destroying her dad’s clock. 

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In a shocking twist, he reveals that it wasn’t the clock she’d destroyed – it was her dad. The reality of what happened proceeds to play out in a gruesome scene, showing Ella pushing her father to the ground before bashing him with a hammer and pulling his insides out. 

Does Ella die at the end of Clock?

Yes, Ella dies at the end of Clock. As she’s being escorted by the police in handcuffs, dwelling in the horrific realization that she’d murdered her dad, she manages to break free and runs to a nearby cliff edge. She jumps off, seemingly killing herself. 

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However, the very final scene shows Ella waking up on the side of a rock with no injuries. As she looks down to the water below, she sees what appears to be the first fish that walked on land, a callback to an earlier conversation in which her dad piled the pressure on his daughter to have a child and continue the family lineage. 

Still of family scene in Hulu horror ClockHulu
Ella’s dad wanted his daughter and her husband to have kids

“Your grandparents, that’s all they ever wanted, they wanted a big family,” he said. “Sorry you don’t want to hear it, sorry that makes you uncomfortable, but really their story is also your story.

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“It is a story that is much bigger than you. It’s a story that started when the fish first crawled out of the seas. It’s a story about becoming primates, becoming humans. It’s a story about your ancestors who survived thousands of years, survived the camps, for what? For it all to end?”

By ending the movie with this vision, it’s open to interpretation, and could be a grimly ironic metaphor signifying that the family line was cut short with the death of Ella and her father because of the pressure she felt to have children. Or it could simply be a vision she experiences before death, offering a nod to the circle of life. 

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One thing seems clear: Ella is now dead and is seeing her first ancestor on earth – whether that be in the afterlife or just a symbolic moment to round off the film.

Clock is available to stream on Hulu and Disney+ now. Check out our other horror coverage here.

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