Top 5 Amazingly Unexpected Movie Endings

Written by Jesse Gelinas September 30, 2012


***WARNING: Ending spoilers for all movies listed… obviously***


5. “The Cabin in the Woods” (Drew Goddard, 2011)

unexpected movie endings #5

The Setup:

We’re treated to a classically cliché slasher story, as five college students speed off to a cousin’s cabin for a weekend of partying, drinking, and dismemberment. The usual, right? Wrong! We also see that they’re being monitored by a very sophisticated surveillance network, and someone is actually unleashing this Zombie Redneck Torture Family (totally different species from regular zombies) on them.

The Ending:

It turns out our heroes, who have all but been wiped out quite unceremoniously in less than an hour, are actually part of a ritual sacrifice to appease the Ancient Ones (very Lovecraft), the gods who ruled the Earth before us. The stoner, of all people, decides he doesn’t want to die for our sins tonight. Sigourney Weaver gives a monologue about youth and transgressions before getting axed in the head. To cap it off, as the sun rises, we see the first of the Ancient Ones rise from its slumber and bring down a fiery hand of destruction upon the cabin.

4. “The Nines” (John August, 2007)

Unexpected movie endings #4

The Setup:

We watch three vignettes in which Ryan Reynolds portrays a troubled actor under house arrest, a TV writer self-destructing, and a husband stranded in the woods. All three stories seem oddly connected, with other actors appearing as different characters in each, and a lot of forced references to the number 9 creeping up everywhere.

The Ending:

We find out that Reynolds’ Gary, Gavin, and Gabe (note the Gs) are actually all the same person: God (for lack of a better term, he is THIS world’s God). It turns out God is just a basement dwelling, acne-ridden RPG junkie like oh-so-many of us. His game of choice, the Earth he created. Others like him come to snap him out of it- him having lost himself in his latest creations- and he departs for the Great Beyond, not even bothering to leave us a Son/clone/ghost version of himself to play with.

3. “The Bad Seed” (Mervyn LeRoy, 1956)

unexpected movie endings #3

The Setup:

Rhoda is a strange girl. She’s cute, and polite, and childish, and plays the piano and loves her parents, but in her spare time she kills people. Yes, she killed a woman in Kansas, and later drowns a boy from school who beat her in a penmanship contest for a medal. Well, Rhoda’s nasty nature is discovered by her mother who is so distraught at the thought of raising a murderous child that she attempts to overdose her daughter with sleeping pills and then shoot herself. They survive, however, and while Christine is recovering in the hospital, Rhoda goes out to the lake to find the medal she wanted from her schoolmate.

The Ending:

The little girl gets struck by lightning and dies. Bwahahahaha! And then, a title card comes up and asks the viewer to please not tell anyone else how the movie ends, and… oh.

2. “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” (Terry Gilliam, 1975)

unexpected movie endings #2

The Setup:

This movie doesn’t really need an introduction. King Arthur and his knights are searching for the Holy Grail. Along the way we meet the Black Knight, the Hamster-Elderberries Frenchmen, the Knights who say ‘Ni’, Tim the Enchanter, etc. It’s all hilarious, and it’s all fantastically British.

The Ending:

So, closing in on the Grail, King Arthur amasses an army and prepares to storm the French-controlled castle… only to be apprehended by the police. Modern day cops burst onto the scene and start making arrests for a murder from earlier in the film. In true “COPS” fashion, one of the officers knocks the camera out of the DoP’s hands, thus ending the film.

1. “A Boy and His Dog” (L.Q. Jones, 1975)

Unexpected movie endings #1

The Setup:

Don Johnson is Vic (or Albert, according to his dog), a young man in a post-apocalyptic Arizona, just trying to make it in the world with no one but his faithful, telepathic dog Blood, and an extremely violent sex-drive to aid in his journey. Along the way he meets Quilla-June, a willing companion for the first time, who quickly seduces him, before leading him to ‘Down Under’, a massive underground facility housing a number of strange characters intent on harvesting Vic/Albert’s man-juice to spruce up their next generation’s genetics. In a thrilling climax (Ha!), Vic grabs Quilla-June, kills a robot, and escapes to the surface to find his best friend Blood waiting for him. The dog is wounded, starving, and near death. There’s nothing to be done. He and Vic share some loving words, and Quilla-June assures her new beau that they’ll be fine on their own, because they love each other. Fade to black…

The Ending:

… Fade from black to a dying campfire. Vic is packed up, ready to move, Blood is there too, looking sated. Quilla-June is nowhere to be seen. We close on our duo walking off into the sunset and—Well, I’ll let Blood finish this:

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About Jesse Gelinas

After years attempting to escape the Matrix, Jesse has accepted his fate as a writer and Senior Editor. Now that's he finished with his film degree, it gives him something to do while waiting for the machines to get careless.

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