An ending can make or break a film, so it kind of sucks when you get wrapped up in a good horror flick only to be disappointed by a terrible ending. It seems to be a common occurrence with horror movies, thanks in large part because filmmakers are always looking to shock the audience. Sometimes, it works. Sometimes, it doesn’t. Here are some of the more misguided attempts to close out a horror film.
5. The Devil Inside Cares More About Viral Marketing
If I actually watched The Devil Inside and actually devoted my time to caring about the conclusion, this probably could have been #1, but I actually haven’t seen the film. I normally wouldn’t put a movie I haven’t seen in a Top 5 like this, but while doing my research, it kept coming up, so I had to look into what made this ending so bad. I have to agree: this ending is shit.
In case you haven’t seen it and don’t care to, here’s what happens. Apparently, the exorcism in the film is a success… sort of. The woman was actually being possessed by four different demons and when that happens, there’s the possibility of transferring the demons to other people during the exorcism. This is explained by fake jargon and the ending of the one true great exorcism movie, The Exorcist. And science.
So the four people involved in the exorcism get to take home some sweet demon swag and are instantly shitty people, doing everything from killing themselves to killing a nurse to driving into oncoming traffic. And then: cut to a title screen asking people to follow a URL. That’s it.
Talk about a “Fuck you, audience” ending. If I’m going to go onto the Internet to get closure on a movie, it better be because I want to find out how that woman in just a towel is going to pay for that pizza.
4. Michael Myers is No Match For Busta Rhymes
Michael Myers is one of the all-time great slasher movie villains, but his legend is really only based on the first two Halloween movies. If you’re generous, you can argue that 4 and most of 5 are at least watchable, but no one has a soft spot for the kind of crap that Michael has been in for the past twenty years.
Halloween: Resurrection is possibly the worst of all the films, because it removes the familiar element of Myers stalking the neighborhood in favor of some contrived idea involving a reality show; so totally early 2000s. The film manages to spit in the face of the franchise multiple times, all while “Woo-Hah!” plays in the background.
One of the main things that made the original Halloween films so good is the acting and screen presence of lead Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode. She basically set the template for the survivor girl archetype and the genre has been forever changed. So what does Halloween: Resurrection do? It kills her in the first scene. Now, I don’t think Laurie should be unkillable, but if she’s going to be sacrificed, it should be in a good movie, or at least at the end.
Speaking of the ending, that is what this list is about, so I’ll go right into it. I said that the original Halloween film set the precedent for the survivor girl trope and this film has this in Bianca Kajlich, but fails to deliver at the end. Rather than give the survivor girl the satisfaction of putting an end to Michael’s terror, you know who gets the glory? Busta Fucking Rhymes. Busta’s character is more or less the reason the characters in this film die, so he deserves to die, too. If that’s not a good reason, then just watch him try to act for a couple of scenes.
3. M. Night Shyamalan Can’t Help Himself
Honestly, just pick an ending. Do you think The Village being the equivalent to Historical Williamsburg is worse than Lady in the Water stealing the ending from the Roseanne finale? Don’t forget that those aliens in Signs missed the fact that the blue part on Earth was water, their one weakness. Or The Happening just sort of… stops happening.
I feel bad for Shyamalan, kind of. I remember how much hype the dude was getting after The Sixth Sense and just how much people were anticipating each of his movies and what sort of twist he was going to throw at them next. He fed into it as well, but when people start calling you the next Hitchcock, it’s easy to get wrapped into your own ego.
Sometimes, you just catch lightning in a bottle, but with each passing movie, it’s becoming abundantly clear that he’ll never match his first success.
2. Julianne Moore’s Kids Were Stolen By Goddamn Aliens
Does anybody else remember The Forgotten? I ask that question without the play-on-words intended, but the truth is I don’t really remember much from this film. I know Julianne Moore is in it and most of it involves her trying to figure out what happened when her children disappear and everyone else denies their existence. I also remember, quite vividly, the ending. Can you guess what it is? Did you guess she imagined the existence of her children in another Fight Club ripoff? Well, that ending would have been better.
In two words: goddamn aliens. In a movie where nothing remotely sci-fi happens, the ending decides that a really good way to cap off this forgettable film is to make it one big experiment some aliens decided to try in order to test the strength of a mother’s love. Yep, this movie is basically mom guilt in movie form, telling you that aliens could take you away from her, but she’ll still be able to dig her claws back into you. There’s no escape.
1. Freddy Krueger Melts Because of Love
In my college apartment, there was a running joke about finding a movie where a character melts because of the power of love. I don’t really remember why, but I remember being promised that it was the ending to the SyFy channel original Sasquatch Mountain and being severely disappointed. However, when you strip down the ending to the first sequel to A Nightmare on Elm Street, this is essentially what happens.
A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge is not only the most boring of the sequels, but it’s also the only one that takes the opportunity to turn itself into an allegory on repressing homosexual nature. It’s also the film that boasts the worst ending in this series and possibly all of horror.
In the movie, Freddy suddenly has the ability to possess people and does so with Jesse, the main character. He takes the opportunity to use Jesse’s body to kill people outside of the dream world and the getting is pretty good. He kills about half a dozen people at a single party, proving that when you think of inviting that weird kid to your party, it’s best to reconsider.
Anyway, Jesse’s sort of girlfriend Lisa figures that the best way to stop Freddy is to get Jesse to “come out” of him. And she does it by gently nagging him and kissing Freddy/Jesse, which causes a fire, which is probably an allegory for STDs. There you have it: even Freddy Krueger turns to putty in a woman’s hands at the promise of sex. If Nancy figured that out, there probably wouldn’t have been a sequel.