The Chalk Line, or Jaula in its native Spanish, is a new psychological horror film on Netflix, and it’s a watchable one that mainly succeeds in evoking the appropriate emotions. In this drama, a high-society couple encounters a young girl late at night and tries to help her.
Though the two are initially perplexed and then shocked by the girl’s strange nature, “The Chalk Line” ultimately reveals to be more about childhood trauma and abuse against children than the otherworldly horrors of an evil child.
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‘The Chalk Line’ Storyline
Simon and Paula, a middle-aged couple, are driving home late one night when they come upon a sight that looks like it was lifted straight from a horror movie. They have to pull over because a little girl of maybe eight or so walks erratically down the middle of the road as if she doesn’t know where she is.
A motorcycle arrives quickly from the opposite direction at about the same time, but the girl continues to run toward it. Simon and Paula quickly get the girl admitted to a hospital as the motorcyclist crashes trying to save her. The police get involved as well, but their efforts to locate a match between the girl and the missing children’s reports are fruitless.
Paula and Simon are planning to keep checking up with the physicians at the hospital where the young girl is staying every day until her parents are located. The girl’s road antics did not leave her seriously hurt, but the doctors say she is already quite ill because her kidneys barely function.
The girl’s physical condition improves thanks to hospital care, but her mental state continues to baffle everyone involved. The girl does not speak, she does not want to go anyplace by herself, and she often becomes angry with the physicians and nurses. A nurse’s name prompts the girl to respond, and the physicians use that to determine that the girl’s name is Clara.
They are still worried about Clara’s development and decide that a hospital is not the best location for her to be while she is being treated. Paula had developed a strong rapport with Clara by this point, as seen by her ability to soothe the child when she became angry. The physicians and the main couple decide to let Clara stay at Paula and Simon’s place, where they hope she may feel more comfortable talking about her feelings in a more relaxed setting.
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Paula and Simon try to make Clara feel safe and at home after bringing her home, but she keeps herself in a chalked-out square or circle. Clara is terrified to leave her limit and never does. To help Clara adjust, her parents remove as much floor space as possible and draw routes around the house. Paula tries to get close to Clara by using her preferred ways, but their neighbors and friends think they won’t work.
Clara gradually lets her foster parents get close to her and develops a fondness for Paula, crafting her paper ornaments. The couple and physicians thought Clara was mute because she never talked, but an occurrence in her new home altered their minds. As the doctor tries to make Clara leave her chalk squares, she shouts and whispers to Paula for protection.
Paula speaks German, therefore she hasn’t been communicating because everyone around her speaks Spanish. While authorities investigate missing children in Germany, doctors utilize German colleagues to connect with Clara, who remains shy and reclusive. Simon’s patience wanes as Paula’s motherly instincts kick in and she becomes increasingly protective of the girl.
Paula serves breakfast to her neighbor and her kid, who is the same age as Clara. The companion eats the food till she bleeds, then spits out a large shard of glass. The pregnant woman is transported to the hospital, and Simon subsequently discovers that the jam container contained broken glass. Paula denies that Clara, who becomes intimidating and frightening, is to blame.
She tries to talk to Clara and gets hurt when she kicks her away. Simon gets a hint of this and is furious that the girl is so nasty. Simon and Clara dispute this and another personal subject. The couple had tried reproductive treatments for years without success. Paula continued the treatment after they decided to discontinue it to relieve pressure. From the start of “The Chalk Line,” she hides shots in her bathroom, but Simon knows.
Simon felt that having Clara in their house would make Paula happy, but she hid her fertility treatment to surprise him with a pregnancy. Clara’s presence merely drives a wedge between them, and Simon wants to send her back to the hospital.
Paula finds a case where a teenage girl’s body was found with physical and sexual assault marks. From the crime scene photos, Paula notices the identical paper patterns Clara used to offer her for hanging. Paula meets with the doctor who did the autopsy and discovers the teen had a lazy eye, meaning one eye was weaker than the other. Paula rereads the missing children’s reports and finds a lead.
A young German girl with an eyepatch was taken from a Malaga beach 10 years ago and has never been found. She returns home furiously, and a bigger understanding hits her. Clara sent Paula a sketch that seemed like nonsense. Paula looks at the artwork again and sees the girl hinted at danger and wanted to open up to her.
The missing German girl 2012 was kidnapped by Eduardo Olivares, who forced himself on her and got her pregnant. Eduardo kept the newborn girl after killing and dumping the mother in 2017. Since she was a baby, Clara has been held captive by Eduardo, who trained her to stay within chalk lines or be beaten.
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‘The Chalk Line’ Ending Explained: What Happens To Clara And Paula At The End?
When Paula finally pays Eduardo a visit at his home, he has already deduced that she is aware of his criminal past. Paula pretends to look for Clara, but in reality, Eduardo has already captured and imprisoned the woman. He takes her downstairs, where he binds Paula to a pole and keeps Clara confined within a chalked-in area.
After the woman called the police, two officers showed up at Eduardo’s house, but he was able to get rid of them by telling them some untruths. Now that Paula knows the truth about him, he wants to make sure no one else can access the file she used to uncover it. Paula takes advantage of the situation to force him out of the house, and in his absence, she seeks Clara’s assistance.
She gives the young girl a handful of the bits of chalk she now always has on her person and tells her to draw a line from the basement’s exit door to the outside. Some hours later, Eduardo returns and discovers immediately that the girl is gone. As he calls out in a panic, Clara sneaks out of the cellar and locks the door from the outside as he frantically searches for her.
The girl now boldly comes outside and tries to yell for help to Simon, who is busy calling the police because his companion has vanished. Maite, Eduardo’s wife, finally sees the girl and for a moment appears to grasp the situation. Although she had been previously unaware of her husband’s double life, she yanks the girl back into the house and returns her to the basement with force.
Maite, who is clearly used to being pushed around by her domineering husband, seizes the opportunity to assert herself over Eduardo the following morning. Maite requests that Eduardo let her meet their sons in Barcelona, promising to keep the basement and the two captives there a secret from the outside world. After Eduardo accepts, the two have breakfast together before being arrested.
Since Clara had left chalky handprints on the front door the night before when Maite dragged her inside, the police were quick to conclude that something fishy was going on at Eduardo’s place. Clara is finally safe as the two are carried away and the two captives are freed at the same time. After her mother went lost on the Malaga beach, Clara was restored to her German parents.
Paula keeps in touch with her granddaughter on a daily basis via video conversations while she adjusts to life with her grandparents back in her home country. Paula and Simon have reconciled as a result of the ordeal, and they may be closer than ever to each other now that she is pregnant.