Horror films are something of an enigma for me. Studios seem to pump out several of the exact same unintelligent, unoriginal drivel every year or even resort to remakes (this year’s CARRIE and EVIL DEAD for example). Thankfully, CABIN IN THE WOODS came out last year and slapped all those other generic fools in the face. One of the major keys to a good a horror movie is a strong ending. An ending can make a bad film decent and a good film fall apart. This is true for all films but particularly in horror films. Defining a horror film can always be arguable as well so keep in mind my interpretation of horror film includes anything that may provide thrills and chills through supernatural, slasher or monster movie medium. Feel free to remind me who I left out for these are my Top Ten Best Horror Movie Endings. Needless to say by definition, SPOILERS will be abundant.
11. ROSEMARY’S BABY (1968) – The deeply demented film by Roman Polanski finds Rosemary (Mia Farrow) pregnant with child. Little does she know her child is literally the spawn of satan. While searching for her newborn child, she walks into a room with a dinner party like atmosphere full of sophisticated elderly people chanting “hail satan,” a horror comes over her face at the first sight of her monstrous child. But the very last look she gives her child is warm and motherly, which is just if not more creepy.
10. CARRIE (1976) – This ends more like a blockbuster culminating into a crazy blood bath of murder as Sissy Spacek’s Carrie finally embraces her powers and takes vengeance on the entire school after she is humiliated at her high school prom killing everyone who crosses her sightline. I think this should be a tool used to stop bullying in schools.
9. THE THING (1982) – Kurt Russell stars in John Capenters story about a shape-shifting alien that poses as its victims among a group of Scientist in the Antartic. The final scene leaves two survivors facing off not knowing if the creature is dead or pretending to be the other man. The best part is, neither does the audience. The final line resonates after one asks, “What should we do now?” The response, “Let’s just wait here for a minute, see what happens.”
8. THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT (1999) – A pioneer of sorts with the handheld, found-footage style of filmmaking, THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT is excellent example on how to create scares by showing other people’s fear. The final shot is so subtle as the camera from our lead runs down the steps of an abandoned old home. When she pans the area her friend is quietly standing with his nose in the corner referring back to a creepy lengend from earlier on. Trust me, it works so much better visually. The film’s greatest success was convincing everyone it was real before it even came out.
7. THE OTHERS (2001) – A haunting ghost story that specializes in what you don’t see using shadows and silence as an ally. Much like the THE SIXTH SENSE, the ending turns the whole story around discovering Nicole Kidman and her two children are not the one’s being tormented but rather the one’s who are unknowingly doing the haunting. Brilliant ending.
6. NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (1968) – With no reason, the dead begin walking the earth eating the living. A small band of people are locked up in an old farmhouse fighting off the deathly zombies on the outside and arguing incessantly with each other on the inside. When our lone survivor peeks out the window to see that he has been rescued with a group of men killing off the remaining zombies, he gets mistaken for one himself and is shot between the eyes.
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