Descent Cover

Scriptwriters tend to be a creative sort. After all, it is their job to sit there and come up with new ways to thrill us, so being creative is something of a must in the job description. Yet being creative has definitely gotten harder as the years have gone on – granted, the human imagination is limitless, but when over a century of movie-making has established trope that work and those that don’t, it can be very easy to go into autopilot and ride the rails of these already-established plotlines.

Case in point, the suddenly negative ending. You can see why scriptwriters choose to go with it – it’s probably cathartic to escape the formula of happily-ever-after, and if executed well you can knock an audience silly with the unexpected. And to be fair, they often do – there’s plenty of endings you didn’t see coming that knock the wind out of you. Yet occasionally, these endings can be added just to create artificial shock, disappointing the audience by pretty much invalidating everything that’s come before. These movies can anger audiences and live in infamy among critic circles.

So what I’ve done in this article is hopefully establish a number of films that fall into either category – all these endings are infamous, but whether they’re infamous for the shock or the ridiculousness varies from film to film. Yet one thing is for certain – all these endings came out of nowhere, and were as depressing as hell.

Obviously, I don’t need to point out that a SPOILER WARNING is in effect.

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This article was first posted on July 9, 2013