The horror film Gaia begins with the fact that we are introduced to Gabi and Winston – two employees of the South African forest service. We are shown how forest rangers go down the river in a boat to circumnavigate the Tsitsikamma National Park area. They use a drone to survey the area, which suddenly disappears – Gaby loses control of the device. As a result, the woman tells co-worker and boss Winston that they shouldn’t leave their trash in the woods and sets out to find the gadget. The girl is sure that they will meet again very soon.
In the thicket of the forest, Gabi stumbles upon a trap set by two unknown people – people who live far from civilization, in a dense forest thicket, and hunt by hunting. The trap hurts Gabi’s leg very badly, but she pulls out the stake and, with the last of her strength, goes even deeper into the forest in search of help. With the onset of darkness, the area is flooded with red light.
Gabi accidentally stumbles upon a forest hut in the middle of the African jungle, built by an unknown person, and loses the creature in the house. Living in a cabin with their son Stefan, Barend finds Gaby unconscious when they return home. And give her first aid. Well, as far as it is possible in the field and almost wild conditions.
Events switch to Winston. The meaning is that the ranger of the national park heard the cry of Gaby, who fell into the trap of Barend and Stefan, and therefore rushes to the rescue. But with the onset of darkness, the forester realizes that he is lost. Winston begins to wander among the trees and encounters strange and even frightening creatures. The bottom line is that they were once human – until they contracted a mysterious fungus. And after contact with them, Winston also becomes infected.
Throughout the film “Gaia: Revenge of the Gods” we are shown that Gabi is gradually moving closer to the forest inhabitants and getting used to their simple life. Gabi is understandably interested in the young guy Stefan. But the woman constantly has nightmares – in them she also becomes infected with a fungus.
Gaby learns that Barend used to be a botanical scientist who researched plant pathologies. In short, he studied typical diseases that affect plants – like the same fungus. But after Lily – Barend’s wife and Stefan’s mother – died of leukemia (bone marrow cancer) thirteen years ago, the scientist dropped everything and went to live in the forest, away from the civilization that had betrayed him.
Barend, along with Stefan, settled in the same house in which he spent his honeymoon after his marriage to Lily. And the man claims that in the forest he met the real God.
The next night, Gaby herself almost becomes infected with a mysterious fungus. But the meaning is that Barend wakes her up in time – at the very moment when a monster that was once a man enters the house. The fungal infection of the zombie has reached the very stage when he can no longer control his body, and is also deprived of his usual senses.
After the protagonists fight off an infected monster and nearly become new victims of the fungus, Barend explains how the disease works. The bottom line is that people become infected with a fungus through spores – and the disease enters the human body through the eyes, mouth and lungs. The man also explains that the fungus is actually a huge and single living organism that is deep underground and not far from their home. And this is the same “goddess” Gaia or Gaia that existed on the planet long before the “monkeys” realized the concept of “god”.
The next day, Gabi is alone in the cabin and discovers Barend’s notes. In them, the former scientist sets out his guesses about the true causes of what is happening. Barend is sure that humanity is like monkeys locked in a cage. Meanwhile, in the forest, Barend and Stefan make an offering to the mushroom goddess of the forest, and then eat some mushrooms given to them by the tree.
Barend is about to lead Gaby out of the forest, but she discovers Winston’s flashlight. Then, in the next forest thicket, travelers discover Winston himself – infected with a fungus, slowly dying and mutating into another monster. Gabi’s colleague and boss asks him to kill him, but in the end, the former scientist kills the man. The noise then attracts monstrous creatures and Barend returns home with Gaby.
Stefan reveals a secret to Gabi: his mother seems to still be alive – in a way, because she transformed into a tree. But on one of her fingers you can still see her wedding ring. Gabi then looks through the photos on the SD card of one of the cameras and discovers in the pictures the creatures they encountered with Winston in the woods. Barend then tries to convince the woman that humanity is doomed, because all the past millennia it has been at enmity with nature and purposefully moving towards disaster.
Forest adventures finally bother Gaby and she decides to return to civilization – a woman wants to be as far away as possible from a living forest inhabited by mushroom monsters. She tries to convince Stefan to leave with her, but Barend tries to sacrifice the youth to the organism-goddess. But Gaby intervenes and saves Stefan. And then Barend becomes infected with a fungus and tries to bargain with Gaia in order to be cured again. But the ancient organism prefers to feed on its blood.
Gaia how to understand the ending?
Some time later, almost at the very end of the horror Gaia, we are shown that Gabi still became infected with a fungus and is now slowly dying. The spores have penetrated deep into her body and now her body is gradually overgrown with mushrooms. Then, shortly before the finale, the old Gabi dies – and turns into a real garden bed, dotted with parasitic mushrooms.
At this point, we must finally and irrevocably understand that in fact it is impossible to avoid infection in the forest. Both Barend and Stefan were also always infected. But the creature that lives under the forest supplied them with something like an antidote or a medicine that slows down the development of the disease. But in fact, this should be understood not as a gift, but as a curse: an ancient deity or monster controlled people and used them as puppets to implement his plan.
The ending of the horror Gaia is gloomy – as befits any apocalyptic movie about a giant intelligent ancient mushroom that imagines itself to be a deity. We are shown how Stefan leaves Gabi’s body in a cabin and arrives in an unknown city. In it, he goes to a cafe or restaurant and has lunch.
In the last shots of the horror film, we are shown how the remains of food are quickly covered with fungus. The end of the horror should be understood in this way: the real Stefan has been dead for a long time, and now an empty shell or another monstrous creature is walking around the world, infecting other people. And it is unlikely that humanity will be able to cope with the threat that has nurtured a plan of revenge for thousands of years.
Disease and antidote
Stefan liked Gaby a lot, even though he’s at the age he would have liked any woman. But she is very kind to the guy and even wants to take him to the city with her. But Gaby got infected with the spores of the fungus because she really started to sprout. In general, it seems to be an ordinary fungus, but more powerful than those that live next to a person.
When Gabi asked why Barent and Stefan didn’t get infected, he cryptically said they did. A man constantly goes to the forest to some tree. It pours blood into the hollow and small mushrooms immediately grow there, which they eat. It appears to be the antidote. Yes, Gaby decided to stay to see what was going on.
We do not understand and do not appreciate …
Barent generally says the right words, but why did they make him almost insane in the movie? After all, he was not just some uneducated layman, he seemed to be a scientist and even now has retained his analytical mind. But he speaks with such hatred about people in the cities, as if he himself is ready to go and kill everyone.
Yes, our mother nature is very patient, but she treats all people with the same love, no matter what they are, always leaving everyone a chance to become different. If it were otherwise, the planet would have turned to stone long ago. It is a pity that we, people, not only do not appreciate it, but do not even understand it.
Stefan patient zero
Barent did show Gaby something she couldn’t see with her eyes. Thanks to the same mushrooms and an altered state of consciousness. Why does the goddess want Stephen dead? Some kind of unkind goddess, and the whole story for some reason strongly resembled the biblical one about Abraham and his son, only with a different ending.
But the end of the movie is really funny. Is this a reference to the current situation? That is, apparently, Stefan had to be killed so that he would not, so to speak, become patient zero? It turns out that the goddess saw how Gabi’s appearance in the forest would end, so she demanded the guy’s death? But Gabi intervened and everything went to dust …
In general, the film is quite unusual. I can’t say that it is boring, but it is painfully dreary. Filmed very worthy, I especially liked the shots with the spread of spores. The ending definitely deserves a separate plus. Not only topical, but also realistic.