Churuli Explained (Plot And Ending Explained)

Churuli is a Malayalam psychological-thriller horror directed by Lijo Jose Pellissery and written by Vinoy Thomas. The film is centred on two undercover cops who head to a village called Churuli to apprehend a criminal named Joy hiding there. The cops begin experiencing bizarre events and appear to have gotten themselves into something they might not be able to get out of. Here’s the plot and ending of the movie Churuli explained; spoilers ahead.

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Here are links to the key aspects of the movie:

What is going on in Churuli?

aliens in churuli

Churuli is a place where people are trapped in an endless cycle set up by an alien settlement conducting some sort of experiment. The clues to the fact that this is alien driven are:

  • The strange beings that we constantly see as part of Shajivan’s visions.
  • The conversation about aliens mentioned by two other diners at the small restaurant at the film’s beginning.
  • And finally, those lights that aggregate into a mini-moon of sorts at the end.

Regular folks become really aggressive and mean upon entering Churuli, indicating to the audience there is something abnormal about the place.

What is the endless cycle of Churuli?

The movie begins with a story about a priest who goes looking for an evil forest entity. Under the disguise of an anteater, the entity misdirects the priest deeper into the forest. The events of the film as analogous to this story where we see a duo on the hunt for a criminal who eventually gets them lost in the forest.

4 critical roles performed by different people in each cycle are:

  1. The Bait: A criminal involved in poaching, child abuse and murder.
  2. The Prey: The unsuspecting victim.
  3. The Persuader: An enchanted person who goes from Churuli to find the next Prey using the Bait.
  4. The Dead: A person who is eventually killed by The Persuader.

The Prey is lured to Churuli by The Persuader, saying The Bait is hiding in Churuli. The Persuader is enchanted and doesn’t even realize that he is drawing The Prey to Churuli. Upon reaching Churuli, The Persuader begins committing the same crimes that The Bait allegedly did. In the process, The Persuader kills someone in Churuli. The Prey hurts himself and is taken to an Enchantress who casts a spell while healing him. The Prey and The Persuader attempt to leave Churuli with The Bait, and the entire cycle begins again. But this time, the roles change:

  • The Bait is trapped permanently in Churuli and becomes one of the residents.
  • The Persuader becomes The Bait and is bedridden/paralyzed.
  • The Prey becomes The Persuader who goes out of Churuli to find the next victim while not realizing he’s part of an endless cycle.

Confusing? Let’s start by answering the most pressing question…

Churuli: Who is Joy?

Though Joy is a supposed criminal, we’ll need to step back and see what might have happened in the previous cycle, meaning the events that happened before what we see in the film Churuli. 

In the previous cycle, Joy was The Persuader and was enchanted and sent out to find a victim. 

Joy finds Shajivan, The Prey, and the two reach Churuli looking for an undisclosed criminal, The Bait.

Shajivan (The Prey) eventually hurts himself and is taken to the Enchantress, who casts a spell on him.

Joy (The Persuader) commits various crimes – poaching, child abuse and murder. We don’t know who Joy murdered, but it is someone in Churuli.

Joy (The Persuader) and Shajivan (The Prey) try to leave Churuli with the undisclosed criminal (The Bait) and are intercepted by that mini-moon to start another cycle.

Now, Joy becomes The Bait and is paralyzed. 

Shajivan becomes The Persuader and leaves Churuli, not knowing he’s enchanted to find the next victim.

This takes us to the start of the movie Churuli.

Churuli Movie: Plot Explained

cops in churuli

Shajivan (The Persuader) brings Antony (The Prey) to Churuli, saying a criminal named Joy (The Bait) is hiding there. Shajivan doesn’t know that he is enchanted. They come under the guise of trench diggers who’ve come to work for a man named Thankan.

Since this is Shajivan’s second trip to Churuli, he feels he has already been there before, and the people also find him to be familiar. But these residents like Shajivan are all enchanted, so their recollection is hazy. When Shajivan participates in the slapping game, he recollects the Enchantress’ house, which he has already been in as part of the previous cycle. Shajivan’s dreams and visions of alien activity can also be attributed to what he saw during the last loop. 

This time, Antony (The Prey) hurts himself and is taken to the Enchantress. 

Shajivan (The Persuader) commits various crimes – poaching, child abuse and murders the guy from the slapping game.

Shajivan and Antony disclose they are cops and head to meet Joy, lying paralyzed. The village people enter and taunt Shajivan and Antony and are unaffected when Shajivan shoots at them, disclosing that they are in a group trance. Joy agrees to leave Churuli with the duo.

Shajivan (The Persuader) and Antony (The Prey) try to leave Churuli with Joy (The Bait) and are intercepted by that mini-moon to start another cycle.

Churuli Ending Explained

village people

The ending of Churuli discloses that Joy, controlled by a mysterious force, misdirects Antony and Shajivan to the center of a spiral path in the forest, just like the story in the prologue. The appearance of the bizarre moon indicates the start of a new cycle.

Joy’s mysterious recovery from his paralysis shows that he has also been enchanted and was never in control, to begin with. As the jeep levitates, we see that Joy and Shajivan have switched places. This indicates that Shajivan has now become The Bait, and the film ends.

The speculation of what will happen next is as follows:

Shajivan, The Bait, will become paralyzed. 

Joy will become one of the disillusioned villagers.

Antony becomes The Persuader and leaves Churuli, not knowing he’s enchanted to find the next victim, and the cycle continues.

Who is the Enchantress (The Vedic Massage Woman)?


The Enchantress perpetuates the cycles by putting these men under mind-control through drugs. Her enchantment appears to make each of these men go and fetch another unsuspecting person to Churuli. If what is happening in Churuli is because of an alien presence, then the lady might not be human. Her form is only to trick the people and keep the loops going making her the most central character in this film.

If you want a more in-depth analysis, check out this writer’s answer on Quora. Do drop your thoughts and questions in the comments section below.