There’s nothing worse than an excellent piece of genre fare that keeps us completely captivated for 90 minutes, only to discover that someone – or everyone – came up completely devoid of a plan for the final act or sequence. It may not be the easiest feat delivering a powerful climax, but the five films you’ll read about here will leave you feeling as though the filmmakers didn’t even make an attempt at crafting a cohesive finale.
Shit, it seems as though these particular filmmakers forgot the importance of those closing moments altogether.
Whatever the case may be, these five films didn’t just sputter, they careened off a cliff, leaving fans to shake their heads in extreme disgust. But enough bashing – read on to see our five selections of horror endings that made us all want to vomit.
Creature: What in the name of fuck is happening in this film? We see some really out-of-place and discomforting incest sequences. We field a handful of groan-inducing performances from a group who seem to share very little in common ground. And then, well, there’s the finale, which almost pains me to speak on. So I’ll try to keep this one truncated: Creature has no actual conclusion, which leaves viewers feeling as though they’ve been robbed. How can you have no final showdown? And don’t even pretend to tell us that the whole we jump in a hole to battle the big baddie, only to crawl from the muck and declare the war over, was a good idea. Really? A final showdown… off screen? What a tremendous rip-off and sad maneuver from a fickle filmmaker who seemed genuinely puzzled at fan reception. Here’s a tip for Fred Andrews: Make a full fucking movie!
The Howling 3: The Marsupials: I’ll be completely honest here. I have no fucking clue what was happening in the final moments of The Howling 3: The Marsupials. It’s weird, it’s as out of place as a midget in a professional basketball game, and it’s hilarious in the worst of ways. There’s something of a nod to the original Howling here, but it’s so muddled, flabbergasting, and just plain… well, stupid that it wouldn’t work to stimulate a hardcore LSD addict. It’s just miserable in every sense of the word, which I suppose shouldn’t shock too many, knowing the overall “quality” of the Howling sequels. Our greatest piece of advice would be to ignore this one like the plague.
The Devil Inside: The Devil Inside was a dreadful (not as in “full of dread” but as in “dreadfully bad”) picture for more than one reason. But the real kicker, the kicker that had genre fans unleashing a collective “FUCK YOU!,” was the total and utter cop-out of a conclusion. (I don’t think the filmmakers had an effective finale to turn to, so they settled for the biggest bullshit close in years – perhaps ever). This one reaches a conclusion with the focal characters getting in a car crash, effectively resolving absolutely NOTHING! And then came the real slap in the face of horror fans, as a title card is soon displayed informing viewers they can get an idea of what actually happened by visiting a fucking website. And no, this isn’t bullshit. The film closes with a prompt to follow the investigation by – get ready for it – visiting a fucking website!! I don’t think I can hammer that home as hard as it needs to be. That website was TheRossiFiles.com, and what do you know, the site isn’t even active anymore. Cheap, insulting, infuriating – The Devil Inside was a fruitless cash grab that offered nothing in the way of redeemable qualities or resolution. If someone approaches you and declares The Devil Inside as the worst film they’ve ever seen, don’t argue – just agree with a painful grin on your face.
Night of the Living Dead: Okay, I’ll concede that there’s a point in the conclusion of Night of the Living Dead. It’s a jaw-dropping slice of social commentary that no doubt had many in tears, and if not in tears, certainly feeling major discomfort in their insides. I can understand the message that George A. Romero was making, as he’s certainly no stranger to powerful social commentary, but I’ll be damned if it didn’t hurt all the same.
Duane Jones’ depiction of Ben was absolutely seamless, and to see a black man take the reins and serve as a truly heroic individual was moving, and no doubt turned a great number of heads in 1968. But make no mistake, whether racism circulated through the US like an unstoppable virus or not, this man simply didn’t deserve to die. Again, I understand the circumstances of the movie, the time and the decision to execute Ben, but that doesn’t change the fact this is a finale that’s going to enrage a great number of viewers, especially those who see it for the first time today.
Heartbreaking… insulting… depressing. And a reminder that sometimes the good guy gets the bad end of the stick – to relate that decision to rampant racism is understandable, but that doesn’t make it right. It makes it loathsome.
The Descent Part 2: If you recall – or have seen – both Descent films, you remember that there are two final shots from the first film. In the UK release we see Sarah escapes the nightmares below the surface, only to moments later realize that escape was nothing more than an illusion, as she’s still stuck in a subterranean hell. The US release played it a bit more straightforward, with Sarah actually escaping. So far, so good. No one minds a bonus alternate ending, after all. But in The Descent Part 2, things get awfully… weird. The sequel sees Ed, a mine shaft operator, rush Sarah to a local hospital for physical aid in the pic’s opening moments.
Still, so far so good. And then, after the film has run its course – Sarah being forced back into the caves to help any potential survivors – something very… absurd happens. Sarah once more emerges from her nightmare reality. But when she does breach the surface, we see Ed – formerly heroic – waiting to bash Sarah on the head and send her sprawling back into the caves. Apparently Sarah is a sacrifice of sorts… the problem is that it’s all profoundly ridiculous. Why save the woman when he could have just dumped her back into the hole to begin with? It’s weird. It makes no sense. And it’s one of the worst – and least logically speaking – conclusions you’ll see in a film, and it left a terribly bitter taste in the mouths of fans.
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