The Devil's Bath recap and ending explained

Spoilers ahead for our review and recap of The Devil's Bath on Shudder.
The Devil's Bath - Courtesy Shudder
The Devil's Bath - Courtesy Shudder /

Shudder released a new horror movie on its platform on June 26. The Devil's Bath is a German film directed by Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala, who also directed Goodnight Mommy. The movie is set in Austria in the 1750s and is based on European historical records.

The Devil's Bath follows Agnes (Anja Plaschg) who is based on a real person, Eva Lizlfellnerin. Eva lived in Upper Austria as a peasant from 1736-1762. In the movie, Agnes gets married and moves into her husband's village.

As time passes, she begins to struggle in the role of being a stereotypical homemaker. Her mother-in-law is disappointed when she falls behind in performing daily work tasks and providing dinner for her husband.

All Agnes wants is to fit into her new life by being the perfect wife and to eventually become a mother. Instead, her day-to-day life begins to wear her down and she falls into a dark depression. No one can figure out what is wrong with Agnes and why she can't get out of bed anymore. Agnes is depicting many signs of mental illness, including ingesting rat poison and eventually committing a heinous act.

During this time period the Austrian Empire was mostly Catholic. Agnes is very religious and prays often about her situation, begging God for a child. The majority of the movie is focused on religion and the sins of man. In the beginning of the movie (spoilers ahead) a mother throws her baby off of a waterfall, and she is eventually caught and set to be executed. However, the mother confessed her sins to a priest, and she was forgiven. Later on, Lenz, a man from the village takes his own life and the church says that this is the greatest sin, even worse than murder.

The Devil's Bath - Courtesy Shudder /

Major spoiler ahead! Agnes only gets worse, and she is ready to die but knows that suicide is not an option as she will be condemned to hell forever. Instead, she kills a young boy so that he will never know what sin is. She confesses all of her sins to the priest and she is also forgiven right before her execution. The point of The Devil's Bath is to highlight the mental illness of women during an unforgiving time period but also what it meant to be a Catholic at this time. Murder in place of suicide was the only way out for some people and it happened quite often in this time.

At the end of the movie we are left with this snippet, "in 17th and 18th century Europe, people who wanted to kill themselves would commit murder, so as to be executed. After confessing, cleansed of sin, they hoped to enter heaven and thus avoid the eternal damnation that awaited suicides. The majority were women, and their victims primarily children. Over 400 cases are documented in German-speaking regions alone."

This movie is sitting at a 90% on Rotten Tomatoes and has received some praise from the audiences. However, the reviews on Shudder vary, people either loved this movie or hated it and not much else in between. If you're a fan of slow-burn movies with little to no scares then this movie is for you!

Personally, this movie didn't do much for me as a horror fan, I thought the story was intriguing enough but fell through on execution. I would consider this movie to be more of a drama rather than horror, despite a few unsettling images sprinkled in here and there. However, I thought Anja Plaschg did a fantastic job playing Agnes. I would also like to note that the movie was very pleasing to the eye and reminded me a lot of The Witch. I would still recommend this movie to anyone who enjoys religious horror!