Chupa Ending Explained – how does Chupa escape the evil scientist?

By Lori Meek
Published: April 7, 2023 (Last updated: January 10, 2024)

We discuss the ending of the 2023 Netflix film Chupa which will contain spoilers.

Chupa starts with a group of scientists led by Richard Quinn (Christian Slater) as they’re exploring a cave in San Javier, Mexico, in 1996. They seem to have found what they were looking for – an adorable little chupacabra cub most said only existed in legends.

It’s a furry cat-like creature with wings and a face that will remind you of Gizmo from Gremlins (the water-free version). 

Before Richard can grab the cub, his much larger and scarier mother appears, growls at the scientists, and makes a run for it, but Richard and his team give chase. After being hit by a car, the chupacabra is forced to leave her cub behind as she tries to distract the chasers from him. 

We then meet our lead, Alex (Evan Whitten), a 13-year-old boy living in Kansas City with his mother. At school, he’s bullied for his Mexican heritage. Complicating things further, Alex is still grieving the loss of his dad, who passed away from cancer.

The boy is set to spend spring break at his grandad Chava’s ( Demián Bichir) ranch in Mexico with his two cousins, Luna (Ashley Ciarra) and Memo (Nickolas Verdugo), all relatives he’s yet to meet. 

Chupa (2023) Ending Explained

Where was the chupacabra cub hiding?

At the ranch, Alex quickly befriends his two cousins and becomes intrigued by his grandad’s past career as a professional lucha libre champion wrestler. He learns that Chava has been struggling with a memory loss condition and that he has been secretly hiding the chupacabra cub in his barn. The young boy bonds with the little monster and names him Chupa, vowing to protect him from the evil scientist. 

After Luna and Memo meet Chupa, the grandad admits that he was the one who ran over the Chupacabra’s mother at the start of the film. Since the incident, he’s been protecting the cub and hiding it from Richard and his team.

When Richard visits the ranch looking for Chupa, Chava threatens to show him some of his wrestling skills if he doesn’t leave. 

By the time the evil scientist returns to the farm, Chava is recovering from being pushed by Alex during an impromptu lucha libre lesson. Unable to stop Richard from sedating and caging Chupa, Alex tries to get help from his grandad. 

Why do the kids steal Richard’s car?

Unfortunately, Chava is in the middle of a memory loss episode and only agrees to help because Alex tricks him into believing that Richard is his long-lost nemesis from the wrestling ring. In his full lucha libre uniform, Chava challenges Richard to a fight. In the ensuing chaos, the three kids steal Richard’s car and head toward the desert, hoping to find Chupa’s family. 

The group heads towards the scene of the accident, where Chava had his first encounter with Chupa and his mother. From there, the little creature follows a scent towards a large canyon with a pipe connecting the two sides. 

Where is Chupa’s family?

As his family is on the other side of that canyon, Alex and Chupa share a heartfelt goodbye before the furry friend heads off into the distance. 

No sooner is Chupa out of sight that Alex finds himself face-to-face with a mountain lion. While trying to step away from the apex predator, the boy ends up on the very unstable pipe connecting the two sides of the canyon. His cousins and grandad arrive just in time to chase off the mountain lion, but the pipe falls from underneath Alex, and he’s forced to hold on for dear life. 

Luckily, Chupa heard his screams of terror and came back. When it seems both the boy and the chupacabra are about to fall to their death, the adorable monster manages to fly for the very first time, saving Alex. 

Why does Richard want to capture Chupa?

Unfortunately for Chupa, Richard is not done yet. During the movie, it becomes clear that the scientist must capture a chupacabra or risk losing funding. The Scientist seems to think that chupacabra blood has magical healing properties. He may or may not also be in physical danger as he’d be working with some very rich and dangerous people. 

As soon as Chupa flies Alex back to safety, the evil scientist appears out of nowhere and sedates him. Richard threatens the family with a shock stick before putting the little cub in a cage and driving off. 

But he doesn’t get far, as the other chupacabras hear the cub’s cries for help and attack Richard’s car. Despite his attempts to hold on to Chupa, Richard is eventually forced to let him go after Chava uses his signature lucha libre move to disarm the villain. 

Alex learns the importance of family

After saying goodbye to Chupa (again), Alex admits to his grandad and cousins that he’s grateful to have them as a family. 

As Alex’s time in Mexico is coming to an end, we watch him say goodbye to his cousins while promising to come back and visit. During the car ride to the airport, Alex reveals that he has learned a bit of Spanish and plans to continue studying the language. 

We also learn that Chava, aware of his ongoing mental decline, agreed to move in with his daughter’s family in Mexico City instead of stubbornly insisting he can look after the farm alone. 

Chupa ends with Alex on the plane back to Kansas City. When he looks out the window, he sees none other than Chupa flying alongside it. It seems the creature wanted to say a final farewell to his friend. 

What did you think of the ending of the 2023 Netflix film Chupa? Comment below.

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