It’s difficult for a movie to move me to that point where I have no words to describe what I’ve just seen. For one, most movies suck these days with all the creativity migrating to television. Anyhow, at one time, film knew how to pull it off. Inspired by a recent Reddit thread on this very subject, I thought we’d take a crack at my own picks. Let’s get started.
Heavy spoilers ahead!
Part-horror movie, part-police procedural, the A-list stars and the big budget make you think you’re about to get the typical Hollywood ending. Boy would you be wrong! Kevin Spacey’s deranged serial killer has brought our heroes out to the desert for one final surprise. They think he’s going to show them where a body is buried, but his special delivery is actually the head of someone very close to them. After that, well, watch the darn movie.
5. The Mist
Stephen King’s morality tale-monster movie does a fine job of taking a seemingly insignificant part of the movie and elevating it to OMG-unfrigginbelievable status at the end. Faced with a situation where there is one bullet left, our hero sees that either he or his little boy will have to be monster food, a fate far worse than blowing your brains out. Being the loving father he is, he has to make a horrible decision. But that’s only where the surprises begin.
If you’d read Robert Bloch’s book prior to watching the movie, then you would know the twist ahead of time. But being this was made in 1959 (released in 1960) and people didn’t talk about things like cross dressing, you were probably still thinking, “Ah, that Hitchcock doesn’t have the cojones to do it!” Au contraire. Hitchcock stayed true to the book and shocked contemporary audiences more than they’d ever been shocked before. In so doing, he pretty much created the slasher movie genre as we know it today.
The sequels may have utterly ruined it, but if you can place yourself in the shoes of someone watching Saw for the first time, you would have been as shocked as anyone else to see one of the early victims reveal himself as the killer Jigsaw at the film’s climax. Saw 2 had a pretty good finale as well, but after that, the movies got exponentially worse.
2. The Shawshank Redemption
Yeah, I’m apparently drawn to Stephen King films. This one is great because it sets you up for one ending and then swerves into something completely different. The whole time you’re thinking the “redemption” will be symbolic but Andy Dufresne will get it at the cost of his life. Then King’s story takes all the little elements you didn’t pay much attention to and pieces them together into a coherent and joyous finale that’ll have your jaw dragging the floor the first time you watch it.
1. Leon: The Professional
We’re talking about movie endings that left us speechless here. That doesn’t mean they MUST have a twist. In this case, the film ends in an unflinching and bittersweet barrage of bullets that will move you in a way that most shoot-em-up movies never could. If you’ve seen it, you know what I’m talking about. If not, correct your behavior immediately.
Those are my picks for the movie endings that left me speechless. What about you? Share your picks in our comments section.
And for more movie fun, check out our 9 Horror Sequels And Remakes That Might Have Been.