“A spider? Kill it! KILL IT WITH FIRE!”
It’s a testament to the weirdness of humanity that we actually pay to see movies to get freaked out, when our utility bills are scary enough usually do the trick. Still, there are some horror films whose endings are so downright devious, so emotionally knife-twisting or just plain bad that we wonder why we even bother. Here is our list of the Top 5 Scream Inducing Film Endings Ever!
5. John Carpenter’s The Thing
Health care in the Antarctic is sketchy at best.
Talk about ambiguous. When The Thing concludes, we are left to wonder if either Childs (Keith David) or MacReady (Kurt Russell) will survive in the cold or whether or not either of them has been ‘infected’. The phrase”The night is cold and full of terror” has never been more apt. The fact that the credits begin rolling as we are left with the two men just “waiting it out” makes you want to flip a table. SO many possible endings, none of which we get the satisfaction of seeing. Damn you, Carpenter. Damn you to HECK.
4. Shutter Island
Mandatory water-wings prevent crazy. It’s science.
As a parent, the climax of the brilliant Shutter Island kicked me right in the feels. The loss of not just one, but all 3 of Teddy Daniels’ (Leonardo DiCaprio) children hit like a brick to the face. The velvet glove the brick came in? The killer was their own mother, Daniels’ wife (Michelle Williams). Tipping him over the edge, her strangulation at his hands felt like dysfunctional justice because, crazy. This coupled with his grief borne willingness to be lobotomized made us feel like utter crap because we understood the nature of his pain. Guilt is a hell of a demon… One that rides us all, without lube or apology.
“What? Is it another zit?”
It’s bad enough when you get a film whose script meanders off course from an otherwise original premise. When you enter remake territory, you skate on even thinner ice. This 2008 film saw suspended detective Benny (Keifer Sutherland) talking to mirrors a lot in a remake of a Korean film, Into The Mirror. The twist ending was good, but not quite good enough to prevent me from screaming at the screen. It was scary, alright. Scary that it ever got greenlit.
“Gurl! What you want is a lil’ off tha top.. From below the neck.”
Kids are creepy. As evidenced in The Shining, Children of the Corn and their ilk. Whenever you want to creep the bejesus out of your audience, make sure there’s an unnaturally silent pre-teen in the scene. Throw in a bit of demonic astral-projection, and you end up with Insidious. Director James Wan (Saw) does a masterful job of placing the appropriate elements of horror in early, making the climatic payoff that much sweeter. By the time things wrap up, you find yourself thrown for a loop, having ‘known’ the whole damn time.
1. The Mist
“There’s not gonna be a sequel?! NOOOOOOOOO!”
Even as I write this, I cannot help mentally replaying the dastardly ending that even Stephen King agreed was better than what he originally wrote. If ever I had a “KHAAAAAAAAAAAN!” moment, it was at the end of this film. While the monsters in the mist were the creatures our nightmares have nightmares about, it was Mrs. Carmody, and others in the shop, who were the true faces of evil. Director Frank Darabont‘s decidedly bleak conclusion tore us apart so thoroughly, that if you didn’t feel some kind of way as the credits rolled, then you are a soul-less husk.
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