8 Movies That Stupidly Scrapped Perfect Endings

7. The Butterfly Effect

Scott Pilgrim Ramona Hammer
New Line Cinema

Telling the tale of a boy who can travel back to points in his own life ruled by blackouts and change the outcome of what happens, The Butterfly Effect has plenty of potential for branching narratives from its subject matter - since time travel inherently sets this up by its existence at all. Recognising the potential for variants and creating four different endings that turn the film into a choose your own adventure, directors Eric Bress and J. Mackye Gruber manipulated their film into having three options that toyed with protagonist Evan either meeting his love Kayleigh or leaving her to an existence without him. But there was one more, far more outlandish option that got sidelined for this romantic focus.

In the director's cut, Evan uses his time travel ability to go back to the earliest recorded moment of his life - his ultrasound scan - and take control of himself as an unborn baby. Whilst in the womb, he strangles himself with his umbilical cord and stops himself from ever being born, committing to making the lives of everyone around him the best they can be by sacrificing his own instead.

It's incredibly sad and obviously somewhat unsettling, but works perfectly to demonstrate The Butterfly Effect's central struggle with controlling your own fate. That this wasn't made the theatrical release ending just feels cowardly when compared with the far tamer image of Evan and Kayleigh crossing paths - but then again, it is quite grim, so you know, understandable.


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