The Conference Ending Explained – Who is the killer?

By Romey Norton
Published: October 13, 2023 (Last updated: October 20, 2023)
The Conference Ending Explained - Does Lina survive?

The Conference is a Swedish horror-mystery-comedy film that tells the story of a team-building conference gone wrong. Multiple employees’ standard working day turns into a nightmare when accusations of corruption begin to circulate and plague their working environment. Whilst this is happening, a mysterious figure begins murdering people. Who survives? Who dies? Does anyone get a promotion? We break down the ending for you to answer all of these questions — with major spoilers, of course. 

It’s refreshing this film takes on targeting a group of adults, rather than a bunch of stupid teenagers, and has the storyline of team-building and corporate greed. In this Scandi-flavoured, hunt-and-kill story (that’s been adapted from a novel written by Mats Strandberg) the team encounters danger during a work conference. There’s no team-building exercise that could have prepared them for this creepy, masked slasher.

The Conference Ending Explained

The opening sequence is an excellent sweep through destruction and blood accompanied by a classical piece of music, leading its gaze to a broken down people carrier and screaming woman running past. The first of many jump scares. 

Flashback to a group of people traveling very much alive in the vehicle to their work conference, with some wary and some overly enthusiastic. Throughout the film, we watch Lina battle corruption in the workplace as some are willing to do what it takes to climb the corporate ladder, as one by one people start to go missing and end up dead. 

Towards the end, there is your standard slasher affair in a hot tub scene which leads to the revelation of who the killer is. Then chaos ensues, with everyone frantically running around, finding dead bodies and others being slashed. 

In the last section of the film, a few members of the team inevitably have to work together in beautiful irony to try to form a strategy to survive.

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They’re split into a few small groups. Anette is helping Jonas and admits that she told a character called Frans that they were coming to this conference. There’s a funny scene of Jonas trying to peddle away on a bike, and Anette is standing in front of the killer who she now thinks is Frans, as she takes off his mask she realizes it’s not him and is slashed in the head. So that theory is shut down quickly. 

As two members of the team are able to work out who the killer is and bring him down, Lina finds the team’s mobile phones and manages to call the police. 

There is a montage of all the bodies, all the victims killed, and the authorities showing up, with a shot of a newspaper saying “he won’t give up without a fight” and this member of the town really didn’t. 

Who is the killer?

The film does not hide what the motivations behind the killings are, giving many options for who the perpetrator might be. The killer begins to take out the staff of the establishment first and adopts a mask brought by the team. 

You think it could be someone in the group, taking out his corporate competitors one by one, in order to be the best and most successful of the weekend. However, the murders happen when the team is on team-building exercises, so it can’t be one of them. 

Then you can think it’s someone from the town unhappy with the development, trying to stop it. Perhaps it’s one of the angry kitchen staff at the beginning. 

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With an intense fight scene between Eva, Torbjörn, and the killer, the two colleagues know they have to finish this madness and kill him. They set fire to his head, and Nadja comes out of nowhere and uses the golden shovel to chop the guy’s head off. 

At the very end, through a newspaper cutting, the killer is revealed to be someone from the town seeking revenge. Not surprising, or shocking, but this doesn’t take away anything from the storyline. 

Does Lina survive?

Lina is our suspicious, no-nonsense character, who not only has the threat of the killer but the threat of her overly-eager coworker. Played by Katia Winter, Lina has returned from sick leave, and she immediately notices something is off about the plans to build a new community mall. With her distrust, she goes through a colleague’s laptop and discovers that he’s taking part in some corporate corruption, and she is not afraid to confront him. 

Lina manages to hit the killer and escape from him once. Then whilst on a zip line trying to escape she is smacked into spikes with her colleague. He takes the harder hit, and she appears unharmed. Lina runs into the forest and up against a tree we see she is bleeding. There she hears a phone ringing, finds everyone’s lost phones, and calls the police. 

The final shots of the film include Lina being taken away to hospital on a stretcher, so our main grumpy-suspicious female protagonist survives her corporate corrupted colleague and the slasher killer. 

Does anyone else survive?

Nadja, Torbjörn, and Eva survive the ordeal and we see them at the end being taken away by the paramedics.

Towards the end, whilst running through the forest Nadja is caught in a bear trap but manages to hit the perpetrator in the face. Whilst this doesn’t stop his killing spree, it gives her time to escape and flee. Then Torbjörn and Eva first fight to survive and then fight to kill the slasher, but it is Nadja who comes in at the end to save the day, using the golden shovel to chop the killer’s head off.

It’s great to have more than just one lone survivor, and in this case, there are four.

What did you think of the ending of The Conference? Comment below.

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