12 Controversial Movie Endings That Came Out Of Nowhere

Did we really need Kingsman's anal joke?

The final moment of a film is one that writers and directors will pour over for a long time - choosing the right note to finish a movie on is a very difficult task. And no wonder. Some endings can make good movies great, of course, but there's always the risk it could spoil all the good that came before. The endings that audiences tend to find most interesting, however, are those of all the controversial kind - especially when they have a tendency to emerge from nothing, forcing you to shake your head and mutter "What the hell?" under your breath as you head home, desperate to check the internet for clues and answers. Divisive and unexpected in equal measure, here are twelve controversial movie endings that came out of nowhere, provoking disagreements, disputes, debates and dissension...

12. Jake & The Giant Tarantula - Enemy

Enemy, a surprisingly engrossing - and yet narratively ambiguous - movie from the director of Prisoners and Sicario, Denis Villeneuve, sees Jake Gyllenhaal as a professor who learns that his exact duplicate exists after spotting him in a small role in a movie. The story sees these men drawn together into a series of increasingly disturbing encounters. And then there's the ending. It's one thing to have a movie about a guy finding his doppelgänger and becoming obsessed by said doppelgänger, but it's another thing entirely to have said movie culminate on a shot of a giant, room-sized tarantula cowering at the sight of Jake Gyllenhaal as he enters a room. The movie itself was kind of nuts, but this... this was something else entirely, because... well, c'mon, it's a giant tarantula, people! Enemy's final shot mostly seemed to provoked controversy on account of its abrupt and unexplained nature; some loved it, whilst others deemed it to be "weird for the sake of weird" (a few deemed it to be the "scariest ending ever"). Really, though, the reason it stirred so much controversy came down to its open-ended nature. Is the movie a "spider-infested parable about totalitarianism"? Or is it about the power of the subconscious?

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.