‘Afterlife of the Party’ Netflix Ending, Explained: Is Koop Real?

Marco B Divaio

Victoria Justice as Cassie | GRAHAM BARTHOLOMEW/NETFLIX Victoria Justice as Cassie | GRAHAM BARTHOLOMEW/NETFLIX One of life’s biggest mysteries is what happens after we die. It’s an emotional subject and everyone has their own belief, whether it’s reincarnation, the long sleep, some form of an afterlife, or something else entirely. […]

Victoria Justice as Cassie | GRAHAM BARTHOLOMEW/NETFLIX

Victoria Justice as Cassie | GRAHAM BARTHOLOMEW/NETFLIX

One of life’s biggest mysteries is what happens after we die. It’s an emotional subject and everyone has their own belief, whether it’s reincarnation, the long sleep, some form of an afterlife, or something else entirely.

It’s what Netflix’s new fantasy comedy Afterlife of the Party, starring Victoria Justice of Victorious fame, is all about, presenting something along the lines of a Western Christian model with a Heaven, Hell, and “In-Between” to tell the classic story of someone righting their wrongs before their soul can rest. The movie, directed by Stephen Herek (Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, 101 Dalmatians), follows a party girl named Cassie (Justice) and her journey to help those she left behind, when one night of partying goes too far, find their peace so she can get out of the In-Between and into Heaven. The In-Between is, of course, catered to your personal taste, so for Cassie it’s a lounge room full of velvet couches and marble accents, but most of the movie is spent back on Earth where Cassie is running around in a glittery going-out dress and stilettos as she’s searching for redemption.

spencer sutherland as koop in afterlife of the party
Spencer Sutherland as Koop | GRAHAM BARTHOLOMEW/NETFLIX

Written by Hallmark Channel film writer Carrie Freedle, the movie is rife with clichés and legitimately a sadder movie about carrying on with one’s life in the face of grief than it might appear to be. It’s a story and a version of the afterlife we’ve seen before, but the comedy’s final twist couldn’t be more Heaven-esque.

In an ultra-cheesy twist, once Cassie (spoiler alert!) accomplishes everything she’s meant to on Earth, like giving her father a renewed sense of purpose and forgiving her estranged mother, she’s sent up to Heaven with none other than her favorite pop star, the fictional Koop (Spencer Sutherland). When she gets into the elevator to head up to Heaven, it turns out her favorite singer conveniently(?) also died in a natural disaster while doing relief work, and her guardian angel (Robyn Scott) arranged it so they could carry out their eternity together. Once they reach the clouds, they get out of the golden elevator and walk hand-in-hand to a mountainous, flowery field of forever.

victoria justice and spencer sutherland in afterlife of the party
Cassie and Koop en route to eternity, together forever | Netflix

It’s utterly ridiculous, but it’s a twist the movie had been leading up to—from the first scene when Cassie is rocking out to Koop’s song “Blush” on the morning of her birthday to the moment she has a connection that’s nothing short of destiny when her spirit-self visits the set of his music video. Played by real-life pop singer and TikTokkerSpencer Sutherland, Koop’s essentially a generic pop star mash-up of Shawn Mendes and Charlie Puth, with a boyish charm, classic style, and a high-pitched range that sounds like something either of them, or contemporary Top 40 Maroon 5, would definitely sing.

And who among us wouldn’t want to be sent up to Heaven with their favorite pop star when it’s their time? I, for one, would love to spend an eternity with Harry Styles! Seeing Koop in the elevator to Heaven with Cassie might make you die with laughter, but that’s a wish fulfillment version of what’s next that should be welcomed. If you’re going to watch the Netflix comedy, you might as well cue up “Blush” and enjoy that ridiculous fantasy.

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Sadie Bell is the entertainment associate editor at Thrillist. She’s on Twitter at @mssadiebell.

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