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What does the ending scene in the movie Basic Instinct actually mean?
After the killer has been caught by the police, we see in the last scene a very suspenseful, cliffhanger sex scene. Can somebody explain the ending of that to me? Does it mean the real killer is not caught after all?

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5 Answers 5

up vote 8 down vote accepted

The last scene is to clear up who the killer is.

In the end Catherine Tramell tries to pick up the ice pick in the sex scene which is her murder tool from the first kill, which signifies that she was the killer from the start. The killer was never caught, but after the death of Beth and the evidence found at her house, it turned out that she is the killer. But she was all innocent, and it's been all Catherine's revenge plan because Beth was her lesbian partner and left her.

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But is Nick oblivious to this fact in the last scene, or he knows it all? –  KharoBangdo Oct 13 '13 at 14:02
@KharoBangdo nick seems unaware it. –  Ankit Sharma Oct 13 '13 at 14:12

The answer is much more complex. There are two fully developed storylines throughout the whole film. In one storyline, Catherine is the killer. In the second storyline, Beth is the killer. If you look back at the story very carefully both in the movie and the screenplay each is presented. The ending concludes both storylines. The Beth as killer concludes with the first fadeout. The second fadeout is actually an alternate ending. The ending in which Catherine is the killer. It's kind of a choose your own adventure. That's why you find almost as many people viewing Catherine as innocent, (maybe that could hardly be the word) but at least not the killer, as those who believe her to be the killer. Each viewer has made this decision as to which storyline to go with, to believe, based on their own personal predilections. Look at it again. All the clues are there for BOTH story lines. Can you see them? Or do your personal prejudices get in the way?

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Nice perspective. –  KharoBangdo Jul 20 at 8:50

When Nick visits Catherine Tremell he reads a page as it's being printed from her book. It describes his partner's death (Gus) while he (Nick) is running up the stairs to save him. This was written before Gus dies hence Catherine is the killer. Nick realises this while waiting in his car and hence the dash to room 405. No reason then for him to kill Beth.

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If Beth is not the killer, then she must have seen the murder. She was on the floor. Or, If she came up the stairway just after the murder she would have passed the killer and the bloody clothes. But she mentions none of this.

If she is not the killer She would have parked outside the building. Nic would have recognized her car. So, it must have been hidden.

A report was made to berkely security about Beth. We don't know what it said, but Nielson had it and it is missing.

Catherine could be the murderer, but that requires an elaborate frame. Yes, for Beth to be the killer does require an amazing coincidence. I find that coincidence _- the manner of Gus' death to be more likely than the elaborate planning required to set her up going back to their freshman year.

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Catherine killed every one and drove the dr crazy and got him hospitalized so she could add another chapter to her book. He was her muse that's why she paid him respect and brought him a copy of her book we he was and the psych ward because he was the main character... That's why he smiled in the end ...of joy. But the real pain he's in there for killing the officer which is the only one who knew the real truth. HE WAS INNOCENT AND CATHERINE WAS THE THRILLER KILLER.

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