It’s true that some of the most beautiful films out there can leave you absolutely distraught at their endings.
Characters you have come to love can suffer or die, a plot that seemed sad to start off with can get infinitely more upsetting and everything that you think can go wrong can somehow go worse. Once you’ve hit rock bottom, some films prove you can still go lower.
All of this sadness, however, doesn’t take away from the beauty of the film - in fact, sometimes it can add to it. It takes a really incredible bit of storytelling to break you down like that, leaving you as a husk of a person at the end.
Important tales can be told, introspective and culturally reflective masterpieces can open our eyes to things we had never considered. And at the end of the day, is a bit of pain not worth it for such an experience?
When all is said and done, these 10 Films with Soul-Destroying Endings are worth a watch, even if you do come out the other side as a whole different person.
Ari Aster has become known for his devastating films. His directorial debut, Hereditary, left some audiences in such a state of shock over that scene so much that they barely made it to the equally hopeless ending.
Midsommar is no further up on the happiness scale. The very first scene sets the tone for the film to come, with the tragic death of Dani's whole family leaving the protagonist with no one but her awful boyfriend to support her.
As the film progresses we see not only all of the friends surrounding Dani being murdered, but her boyfriend also gaslight and betray her over and over again. By the time we reach the big finale, Dani is inconsolable as in a final moment of anguish she chooses her own boyfriend to be sacrificed.
Where some people saw the ending of the film as a triumph for Dani and a weird example of ‘girl power’, it was more a demonstration of the character’s complete emotional breakdown.
Her life is left completely at the mercy of the murderous cult, her friends and family have all suffered brutal deaths and, as she is hailed as the May Queen, she smiles as she realises he has absolutely nothing left to lose.