10 Debated Movie Cliffhangers That Have Actual Answers


We all know how infuriating a movie cliffhanger can be - just check out my prior article for proof - but a lot of the time, when you really probe into it, there's not really much of a cliff to hang from at all. Though these films were all to a degree ambiguous, the filmmakers of each have spoken out about the truth of the matter, often to the ire of both others involved with the production, and fans of the movie. A great cliffhanger will extend the shelf-life of a movie considerably, as it becomes a talking point among friends down the pub and enhances the rewatchability. As such, while some might resent the curtain being pulled back so blatantly, it pretty much puts to rest the debate around these movies. While some might argue that "it's not canon unless we see it", these ideas permeated in the minds of the filmmakers in some fashion or another, and so they're as definitive answers as we're going to get. Here are 10 debated movie cliffhangers that have actual answers...

10. Did Ofelia Imagine Everything? - Pan's Labyrinth

panslabyrinthThe Cliffhanger: Guillermo del Toro's undisputed masterpiece Pan's Labyrinth takes place in the Francoist period following the Spanish Civil War, as young Ofelia discovers a hidden labyrinth which leads her on a wondrous, often dangerous adventure with mystical creatures. Del Toro smartly shoots the film in a manner that asks people to make a choice - is Ofelia imagining this fantastical landscape as a means of retreating from the violent post-war horrors around her, or is it for real? The Answer: Though the fantasy theory would make the film a potent allegory, Del Toro himself spilled the beans by declaring in an interview that there were three clues as to Ofelia's adventure being real; a flower unfolding at the end of the film; the fact that Ofelia, in reality, would have been unable to escape the attic, but using her chalk door (which we see another character, Mercedes, notice), she was able to; and finally, that when Ofelia reaches a dead-end while being chased by her stepfather, she has no seeming means of escape - Del Toro posits that the walls open up for her. There you go, straight from the horse's mouth; Del Toro has flat-out said, "I stand in that it's real...There are clues that tell you where I stand and I stand by the fantasy...Those are objective things if you want."

Frequently sleep-deprived film addict and video game obsessive who spends more time than is healthy in darkened London screening rooms. Follow his twitter on @ShaunMunroFilm or e-mail him at shaneo632 [at] gmail.com.