Thursday, February 17, 2011

Top 5 Worst Horror Movie Endings

Unfortunately, the horror genre has a disproportionate number of movies with cocked up endings. I'm talking about those endings that don't make a lick of sense, and often feel tacked on in a desperate attempt to conclude proceedings with a bang.

The really infuriating finales are the ones that conclude what are otherwise good movies. I mean, if a movie sucks dog-slobbered-tennis-balls, then a crap ending is to be expected, but when a movie is travelling well, before the film-makers trot out a stupid ending, then it can be really infuriating.

Here are my picks for the worst 5 horror movie endings.

Spoiler Alert - Hopefully it's obvious that, given that I'm talking about how these movies end, the following discussion is chockfull of spoilers. If it's not obvious then, you know, be warned: the following discussion is chockfull of spoilers.

5. Friday The 13th (1980)

Part of me didn't want to include Friday The 13th in this list. I mean, if it wasn't for this film's stupid ending it seems unlikely that Jason Voorhees would have gone on to become the indestructible antagonist of all the sequels that followed and it is hard to imagine the horror genre without good 'ole Jason.

But let's be honest, that final scene in Friday with the retarded kid leaping from the lake is just plain dumb and, if you can separate your love of Jason from your critical analysis of the original movie, it's hard not to think of it as anything other than a ridiculous way to conclude this hallmark slasher.

4. The Descent Part 2 (2009)

In the opening scene of The Descent Part 2, a red-neck discovers the bloodied, bruised and virtually catatonic Sarah (the only apparent survivor from the original movie) alone in the woods. So, what does he do? He dutifully takes her to the closest hospital. Fair enough too.

Fast forward to the end of the movie, after another hellish descent into the "uncharted" caverns (someone should really get around to charting those damn caverns), and another lone female survivor emerges all bloodied and battered. Again, she's met by the same red-neck that saved Sarah at the beginning of the movie. So what does our resident red-neck saviour do this time? Take her to the hospital, like last time? No, he clubs her over the head with a shovel and feeds her to the cave dwellers. WTF? I mean, what the fuck?! If this red-neck is into bopping people off and feeding them to the cave dwellers why didn’t he do it when he had the chance to do so at the beginning of the movie? It doesn't make a lick of sense and it's a stupid way to end an otherwise an above average sequel.

3. Deadly Friend (1986)

I haven't seen Deadly Friend since its original theatrical release, and I literally cannot remember anything about it except the idiotic ending where the robot bursts out of Kristy Swanson's skin. I actually remember my reaction better than I remember the film: "that's just fucking stupid," or something along those highly articulate lines.

I guess Wes Craven was buoyed by the success A Nightmare On Elm Street and, given that it had an esoteric ending, he decided to go one better (and by "one better" I mean "completely loose the plot") with Deadly Friend.

2. Last House On The Left, The (2009)

I'm not too precious about remakes. I figure if an old movie hasn't aged well, or wasn't that well executed in the first place then, sure, go ahead and remake it. That's how I felt about The Last House On The left. The 1972 original is notorious, to be sure, but if you look in the dictionary you’ll see that "notorious" and "good" are not synonymous.

For the most part, this 2009 remake is better than the original. It is more even in tone, better acted, and overall a more accomplished movie… until the end.

I think the film was supposed to end after the family finally conquer the bad guys and escape on a boat, headed for the local hospital. That would make sense. What doesn't make sense is the seemingly tacked on ending where Dad returns to the house to torture the main bad guy by microwaving his head. It is so idiotic, for so many reasons, you're left wondering whether the film's producers are developmentally delayed or whether they simply don't give a crap that their movie is now a moronic joke.

1. The Mist (2007)

Does Frank Darabont have kids? God, I hope not. I would find that genuinely unnerving given that he wrote and directed the conclusion to The Mist. But, I'm getting ahead of myself.

This film's conclusion is wrong for a number of reasons:
- The utter ridiculousness of the survivors all so readily agreeing to be euthanized, when their car runs out of gas, without a protest or even a suggestion of other possible courses of action.
- The lame contrivance of there being enough bullets for all but one person.
- The preposterous contrivance of the mist clearing and the military rolling in minutes after the main protagonist shoots his fellow survivors.

But what makes this shithouse ending the worst horror movie ending ever (in the history of ever) is the ease with which the main protagonist decides to shoot his own son in the head. This comes after he clearly demonstrates, for the entire length of the movie, his relentless determination to keep himself and his son alive and the obvious love he has for his son.
"You know, son, trying to drive out of this mist wasn't a bad idea, but it looks like we're out of gas."
"So, what do we do now, Dad?"
"There's only one thing we can do, son."
"Try siphoning some gas from another car?"
"Try jacking another car?"
"Look for another safe place to hide?"
"Not even close, son."
"I dunno Dad, what should we do next?"
"I'm gonna blow you brains out."
"Oh... of course... I feel so stupid, why didn't I think of that."

Really Frank? Is that what you'd do? Geezus, I'm glad you're not my father. Seriously. Worst. Horror movie. Ending. Ever. Hands. Down.


  1. Couldn't agree more with your #1. Considering everything else they'd been through, committing suicide at that point was stupid for so many reasons, not least of all that the army was coming through just then and they were all saved! The only thing this ending was missing was dad falling to his knees and screaming "Nooooooooo!" at the heavens. Or did he do that, too?

  2. LOL. Maybe he did do that, but who could hear him over the sound of the military rolling in?