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10 Horror Movies That Almost Had Way Better Endings

Because sometimes darker and weirder is a whole lot more interesting.

Just because a movie has an ending, it doesn't mean it has the right ending. If there's one aspect of cinema that continues to fascinate movie-goers it's that of the "alternate ending." Long have film fans poured over these curious omissions, wondering what things might have been like had the filmmakers or the studio opted for a different choice.

Of course, though some are included as Extra Features on home releases, an "alternate ending" is usually removed or swapped in favour of something else because it simply isn't good enough, but that's not always the case. That goes especially for films in the horror genre, because there have been a good number of horror movies over the years that have found themselves tagged with disappointing, baffling or downright ill-judged endings for a number of reasons.

Either the studio chickened out and opted for a "safer" choice, or the ending was deemed to be "too dark" or "too confusing" and was pushed out in favour of something lighter or less enigmatic.

Frustratingly, sometimes those canned endings prove to be a much better full-stop...

10. Paxton Kidnaps The Dutch Businessman's Child - Hostel

Hostel Ending
Lionsgate

The ending of Hostel is pretty dark as it is, but the alternate ending was a lot more interesting and would have probably made the movie that little bit more memorable had director Eli Roth ultimately decided to include it. And that's to mention nothing of its added controversy.

In the original ending, protagonist Paxton - after being subjected to torture after being tricked and captured by a group who pay to kill backpackers - escapes and subsequently spots one of the men responsible for inflicting torment on him and his friends, a Dutch Businessman, at a train station. He then proceeds to follow the guy into the bathroom, before slicing off his fingers and drowning him in the toilet. Pretty brutal stuff.

The alternate ending is a real doozy, though: the same thing happens, with Paxton spotting the guy at the train station, only this time the Dutch Businessman is with his daughter. Paxton proceeds to kidnap the kid and boards a train as the film ends, which is less bloody, yes, but infinitely more menacing - especially when you learn that in the original script it's implied that Paxton cuts the child's throat.

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Sam Hill is an ardent cinephile and has been writing about film professionally since 2008. He harbours a particular fondness for western and sci-fi movies.