Room For Rent (2019) Horror Movie Ending Explained


Room For Rent isn’t really a horror, but if you are a fan of Lin Shaye, you might enjoy this bizarre twisted drama.

The Story

Lonely widow Joyce rents out a room in her house and becomes dangerously obsessed with one of her mysterious guest.

The Review (Spoiler Free)

I really enjoyed this strange, sad, laughable, and twisted film. It has a lot of the truisms of life embedded in it.  Room For Rent isn’t a horror, but it is still very entertainning.  It does have bit of bizarre Hitchcock-ish feel to the movie.

Room For Rent centers around Joyce character and Lin Shay is excellent in this role.  Joyce is complicated character.   She makes you feel empathy for her character even when she is going down the darkest of paths.   She is frail, but fearsome . She is unpredictably manipulative, but still making you want to root for her in some fashion.

The story is well written and the casts give great performances. But the movie does have bit of ‘Lifetime’ after dark TV movie feel to it, and the pace is very slow and mundane even for a drama.  That being said, performance of Lin Shaye makes the movie very entertainning.

The ending is bit of anticlimactic.  Some may be confused about the ending.  But if you pay attention to the Joyce character, you know exactly what is going on at the end of the movie.  (See Ending Explained below.)

Room For Rent will please Lin Shaye’s fans.  As always, her acting is top notch.  If you are a horror fans, this one might be disappointing.  There aren’t any gore or violence at all.  But all the makings for a good movie are here.

Ending Explained (Spoiler Warning!)

The movie starts with death of Joyce’s husband.  We don’t know much about her husband and how he died.  But she seems to be genuinely sad by death of her husband and she seems lost.

In the beginning, Joyce characters appears to be very verniable and weak.  But as the movie progress, we are slowly revealed very complicated and dark side of Joyce’s character.

We know that Joyce was in a marriage with very stubborn and difficult man for very long time, and she was in very unhappy the marriage.  I am sure, over time, she felt she has been wasting her life with this difficult man.  So when her husband died, she decided to make up for life that she never had.  We don’t know how the husband died, but I won’t be surprised if she decided to kill her husband by faking an accident to get out of her dreadful marriage.

But after her husband died, she realized that her husband was broke and she had no money.  So she got the idea of starting a Bed and Breakfast business from her home.

I am sure Joyce was also lonely woman, so when Sarah came along, she was happy to make a new friend.  When she first met her, she was with a stubborn boyfriend who she reminded me of her late-husband.  Later we found out that Sarah broke up with him.  Perhaps, Joyce has something to do with her breaking up?  It is very possible.

The story starts to develop when the mysteirous man rented the room.  Joyce got obsessed with him.  He was the outlet of romanceless marriage she has with her husband for a long time.  But when she found out he got Sarah pregnant, she got jealous and decided to kill everyone.  Well, except for her baby.

In the last scene, when Joyce went to vacation and left the entire house to Sarah, she discovered the mysterious locked room.  It turned out that this mysterious locked room was her baby’s room.  So Joyce’s plan was to come back 9 months later after Sarah has her baby.  Then kill Sarah, take her baby, and raise her as her own since she never had her own baby.  We learned earlier in the movie that she always wanted have her own baby.  In fact, she was once pregnant, but when her husband found out, he was furious  So he made her “get rid” of it.

In the Nutshell

Overall, Room For Rent isn’t a horror, but if you are a fan of Lin Shaye, she is fantastic in this movie. [4 out of 5 stars]

If you already saw this movie, help us rate the movie by click on the Star Rating. 


Genre: Horror Drama

Rottentomatoes Rating: 82% | 38%

You can watch on: 



  1. Nice review, I completely agree with your rating of 4/5 stars. Certainly wasnt perfect but it was definitely a real good movie. I thought it had a very captivating plot and Joyce’s character was done so well. So well in fact, I actually cringed many times because of how well she acted out the jealous old woman.

  2. Interesting film. I already knew the ending that she goes away until the baby is born, and gets rid of the mother so she can bring him/her up on her own

  3. I’ve always enjoyed Lin Shaye in other movies, but here, she shows that she really has the chops for serious roles! It’s about time that the horror/thriller/suspense genre writers were made aware that it’s OK to cast someone who is out of their teens, and hasn’t a particle of silicone in their body.

  4. I liked the handsome tall room renter who spoke Spanish and English so well. I didn’t want him killed. I predicted something would happen between him and Sarah and Joyce would become unglued and homicidal from her romantic novel fantasies. I predicted it but not the baby. The end of this movie however, was completely unclear. It left you wondering who to root for.

  5. Loved this movie! The main character was SO believable. I really thought, “oh what a nice little lonely lady.” So when she came out with that mini skirt and giant bow in her hair, I was like “what are you doing!?” 🤣

  6. This film was an absolute surprise in the best sense. The main character Joyce is rotten to the core. The article that explains the ending and spoils it–don’t read it till after you see the film–made me think was Joyce as callous as to kill the new mother and raise the child as her own?room for rent is Hitchcockesque. It reminded me of a film What ever happened to aunt Alice? from the late 60s. Aunt Alice got buried under a tree too. The rotten tomatoes audience rating of was unjust. The film definitely deserved the critics fresh tomatoes

  7. Excellent movie did not see the end coming but kinda figured the rest. Joyce is so believable in the beginning as a lonely sweet widow then her true colors come out as a sociopath

  8. The old lady has PTSD and Obsessive Disorder, in addition to psychosi, most likely from the abuse . Great psychological thriller. I actually wanted more. I thought the tall handsome guy wasn’t really dead.
    That used cocaine and kissed that young boy.😂

  9. Maybe after raising that baby she will kill the baby too if it makes her angry enough….. Shes psychotic!


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