the final code cover

The Final Code (2021) – One of the saddest stories ever!

Summary of the post

The following summary includes the list of the topics we will cover in our post related to “The Final Code.” And, trust us, this story will leave you speechless.

The Final Code – Introduction

The final code, released in 2021, takes its inspiration from Josef Fritzl’s case. One of the saddest stories happened in the beautiful Austria and in the whole world.

Josef Fritzl locked her daughter Elisabeth in the basement of his house, where he sexually abused her for twenty-four years, producing seven children. It’s something so horrible that it’s even complicated to find the right words to describe it. 

But any story has its causes and consequences and, even judging too quickly can be a mistake. Therefore, let’s analyse the movie, which is not the precise story of Josef Fritzl. And what happened during the sick twenty-four years of this family.

The Final Code won 40 Awards and 22 nominations. So it’s already a good introduction.

The Final Code – The Story

Buck, a respectable gentleman in his town, locked her “rebel” daughter Sharon in the basement of his house. He constantly abused her and, during the years, therefore, they had seven children. One of the seven, Sarah, lives in the basement with her mum Sharon, who, technically, is also her sister. 

Sarah has never seen the world in her life. They will have to experience horrible traumas, and their main goal is to find a way to get out of their prison. 

  • Will they be able to do so?
  • And at what price?
  • What generated this monstrosity?

The Final Code – Trailer

Official Trailer at Youtube

The Final Code – Review, Analysis and Insights 

(This section contains SPOILERS, we suggested to watch the movie first and then enjoy it.)

It’s a challenging movie for any director. Almost all the scenes are inside a room. It reminds us of “Gun and a Hotel Bible for this reason. But not only, as we also found several similarities with another film “Room.”

As mentioned above, the movie is not Josef Fritzl’s life, but it takes inspiration from this horrible story.

1. Hopes keep us alive

Sharon spent most of her life in the basement; her father punished her because of her rebellion against him. Their daughter, Sarah, spent her whole existence in the basement, in the drama of never seeing the world. Her only idea of other people or locations is the Rapunzel DVD.

Mara Stefan is Sarah in The Final Code

Sarah can only imagine what’s outside. And one day, she believes that she will see the real stars with her brothers and sisters.

At a certain point, her father brings a goldfish to Sarah. It becomes her only friend. She tries to talk to it, and the desire to socialising and explore gives her the strength to keep going and adapt to the language of the fish, as an incredible attempt to survive and still feel alive.

The metaphor of the fish

If, for Sarah, the goldfish represents a new friend, it means something more, as Sharon’s explained to us. The fishbowl represents their basement, where whatever they try to say can’t be heard by anyone else. And they can only move around their basement till the bowl will break for them too. 

Sharon never gives up. She tries to provide an education to Sarah

Sharon wants her daughter ready for when they will escape their prison. She always looks for a solution, a way out, and she believes that this will happen. Sharon even tries to rebel against his father, but with heavy consequences for both of them.

Hopes and dreams are the particular strengths that keep all of us going in our lives. Without those, we do not exist anymor

2. An ogre never becomes a prince. But how a father became an ogre?

Sharon explains to a scared Sarah how an ogre can never change and can’t become a prince. But we want to understand how something so sick and horrifying happened.

Buck, the father in the movie, tells us his sad story. He never knew his father, and his mother often left him alone at home, without food. Sometimes for weeks, sometimes for months. Buck explains that he never received love. He says that gratitude and respect are earned and not given. As a result, he grew up without anyone caring for him, with trauma, and alone with his nightmares. 

It’s terrible. Let’s imagine a movie about this heartbreaking story of violence. I believe everyone will feel, at least, a bit of compassion. But, as mentioned earlier, any story has its causes and consequences. The problem is to find why things are happening and how to fix what is going wrong. And, in our case, no one took care of Buck.

Chip Chuipka Is Buck

How a boy can grow in a small village, and no one notices the trauma he is facing?

It is concerning. But, on the other hand, he could start a family without having someone questioning his behaviours. In that case, it means that or he is invisible or that society can’t see the horrifying trauma a human carries with him.

We are not trying to justify what is unjustifiable but trying to understand how fragile we are. Even who looks like an ogre once was an innocent baby.

Buck thinks to be a good man. The distorted view of reality

After everything he has experienced, Buck doesn’t understand why his children are unhappy and grateful. He brings food, a Christmas tree, a goldfish, music, medicines to them. Buck kept them alive and feels proud of these achievements. He suffers because their daughters don’t understand all the good things he does for them.

He even says that he just went away for a week in Thailand, and they couldn’t follow a simple rule to keep the key on the table. For someone alone for weeks or months, it seems an easy task to accomplish. And the perfect way for Sharon and Sarah to earn his gratitude. But they failed and hurt him.

A father without a model role faces difficult challenges

A father without models faces a challenging time with his children. But, if we add that his mother left him alone for weeks, the result can be hazardous. It’s a distorted vision of what is right and wrong. In Buck’s mind, he didn’t do anything terrible but provided much more of what his parent did for him.

3. “La Citta’ Vecchia” – A song to learn something about this story

One of the most talented poets and songwriters, Fabrizio De Andre’, once wrote “La citta’ vecchia.” In the last part of the lyrics, talking about all the wrong people in our society, he writes:

“Se tu penserai e giudicherai da buon borghese, li condannerai a cinquemila anni più le spese. Ma se capirai se li cercherai fino in fondo, se non sono gigli son pur sempre figli vittime di questo mondo.”

Fabrizio De Andre’, La Citta’ Vecchia

“If you will think and judge like a good bourgeois, you will sentence them to five thousand years, plus expenses. But if you will deeply try to understand them, you will see that if they are not lilies, they are still children, victims of this world.

Fabrizio De Andre’, La Citta’ Vecchia. Translated by Giovanni Basta.

A poet describes a tragedy in few words, teaching us much more of what we can understand. If Buck became an ogre, the fault is of the society, and everyone becomes responsible for his crimes.

4. Other touching scenes

Even if within a minimal range of action, the film delivers touching scenes.

The mum’s superpower

The baby’s birth moment is tough to process, but it shows us the powerful love of a mother. And to add a shy smile, we remember of the “Mitchells vs the Machines.”

Art to tell about ourselves

As we have seen in a previous post, art is a precious tool to us. Sarah can’t explain with words what his father did to her, but she draws it. It becomes her way to communicate, even with her fish.

Sarah and her friend the fish

The purifying power of fire

Buck almost showed a shy attempt at humanity when he cried after he burned the new baby. We want to be poetic and think about how the fire can purify sins and sinners, as we explained in “Those who wished me dead“, but the truth is, unfortunately, sadder. The episode is inspired by the real-life of Mr Fritz, who cremated the body of his dead baby

The Final Code – Pros and Cons


The interpretation and acting of the actors are impressive. Mara Stefan, Sarah, is pure talent. Ieva Lykos, Sharon, delivers her character and Chip Chuipka in the role of Buck. 

It’s a low budget production, and we shouldn’t expect a masterpiece. But we felt trapped in that basement too. We connected with our characters, and we felt sad and powerless in front of this tragedy. It means that the movie delivers its purpose.

Sarah and Sharon


The real story of Josef Fritz is even more horrifying than the one in The Final Code. We think that a better analysis of our characters would help us understand their traumas much more. For example, we missed any iteration with Sharon’s mum, while we have several moments which shows how Sarah and Sharon pass their days.

The lack of psychological analysis offers more space for the cruel scenes but not an easy explanation for everything we are watching. We think that the result could be more engaging and powerful with a better script.

We believe that the camera’s movements could be more interesting, as in the Gun and a Hotel Bible, for instance, and we felt that an appropriate soundtrack would have added more pathos and drama to the scenes. 

Our final rating is


Movie’s Info

ActorsIeva Lykos (Sharon), Chip Chuipka (Buck), Mara Stefan (Sarah).
DirectorCarlo Fusco
Duration2 hours and 3 minutes
CountryItaly, America, Romania
ProviderAmazon Prime Video or check for your country.
RatingIMDB: 5.2/10
Spot a Movie: 6.5/10
NotesThe movie won 40 Awards and 22 Nominations. The details are available here.

Where you can watch The Final Code

The movie is currently available on Amazon Prime Video, but check this link to see where you can watch it in your country.

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