The ending of a film is a critical moment. It’s your chance to tie up loose ends, resolve character arcs, offer answers to your big questions and themes, and leave the audience with a feeling of satisfaction.
A bad film can be salvaged by a good ending - the recent Truth or Dare, for instance - and inversely, a great film can be utterly ruined by a bad ending. Left with a sour taste in your mouth after the rest of the film's buildup is inexplicably dropped, these movies often get remembered not for what made them great but what tripped them up at the final hurdle.
10. The Devil Inside
This film was one of the many post-Paranormal Activity horror films jumping on the found-footage trend, so it really needed to stand out if it wanted to capture that same glory. Taking a mockumentary visual style to follow a woman seeking answers about her mother’s botched exorcism, the film turned a respectable profit, but left a lot of viewers and critics alike with a bad taste in their mouths.
A huge factor in its negative reception was its ending where, after demonic possessions and gory deaths, the protagonists drive off the road and into a tree, which is where the film ends. This might not have been so bad if a title card didn’t pop up afterwards to tell viewers that the story isn’t finished, and they’d have to go to a website to get their desired closure.
Understandably, the film was slated for this lame attempt at jumping on another popular trend, the ARG (alternate-reality game), which was seeing some interest thanks to other ARGs like The Dark Knight and Marble Hornets. The intention may have been an earnest interest in expanding the universe of the film, but it just comes across as cheap, corporate-mandated rubbish. And who in the world would have ever thought that making the film audience do work is a good idea?