Nothing makes a film more impactful than an ending that just makes you leap out of your seat in disbelief. For better and for worse, these 10 movies left us completely bemused as the lights came up, not entirely sure of what we’d just seen.
For some of these films, the meaning reveals itself in the days following, when we’ve been able to sleep on and meditate over it, and in others, the ending begins to fall apart as we realise how mind-boggling stupid it is.
The consistent element is that they all made us think “WTF!?”, impressed at each writer’s ingenuity to blow our minds through either head-smacking stupidity or brain-melting invention.
Some of these endings are so bizarre that they in fact overpower the film itself, and the sole reason that anyone talks about them is because of the climax, but hey, if it gets people watching, it can’t be a bad thing.
Here are the 10 strangest endings in movie history…
10. The Mist
Audience expectations dictate that when David (Thomas Jane) manages to escape the besieged supermarket and drive off into the wilderness with his son, two old folks and something of a love interest (Laurie Holden), that things are probably going to end up OK in a bleak sort of way.
Viewers certainly didn’t expect this wrenching gut-punch out of nowhere, a brutal and bizarre ending that even Stephen King, the author of the source material, wished he had come up with originally.
While driving through the mist, they can hear creatures in the distance ready to attack their car, and deciding that they’d rather die quickly than a slow, painful demise at the hands of the tentacled creatures, enter into a suicide pact. David shoots all four of them dead, including his own son.
He breaks down and realises that he has no more bullets for himself, so ventures out into the mist, ready to be finished off. The creature gets closer to reveal that…it’s a military van, and the five of them were only seconds away from rescue.
It’s an ending so grim that laughter is a fairly natural reaction, a defense mechanism against how unbearably depressing it is. Dave slumps to the floor in the final moments of the film, a stunning critique of left-wing fatalism, and a suggestion that every now and then it’s worth having some faith in the government.
This article was first posted on March 7, 2013