The Top 10: WTF Endings in Film

10. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008) – Kurt

Kicking this list off, we have an ending that pretty much ruined what was admittedly a fun movie. Sure swinging through the trees with monkeys and surviving a nuclear explosion in a fridge was completely ridiculous, but I really did enjoy Crystal Skull. That is, until they decided to give us aliens. Fucking ALIENS!!
After escaping a gang of Soviets, man-eating ants, and crazy parkour warriors, the group finally reaches a chamber with 13 crazy skeletons all sitting on thrones. Conveniently, one of them is missing its head and *gasp*, Indiana just so happens to have it! The Soviets make a comeback, since Mac really was a double-crossing douche, and in the commotion Spalko (super hot Russian psychic) puts the skull on the headless skeleton, and things start to get crazy. Crazier, anyway. All the skeletons start to spin around and merge into one being, bestowing Spalko with all of their collected knowledge. This in turn opens a portal to… somewhere, and begins sucking everything into it. Oxley, who for his entire appearance up until now has been batshit crazy, is now completely sane and knows everything about what’s going on. Indy, Mutt, Oxley, and Marion escape while Mac, Spalko and the ‘red shirt’ Soviets get sucked into the portal. A space ship busts out of the pyramid and disappears into the “space between spaces” as Oxley puts it, and they all return home to get married and live happily ever after.
If that was confusing to read, don’t worry about watching the ending to make better sense of everything, it won’t help. This ending is fucked, and you can’t deny it.

9. Signs (2002) – Kurt

I’m probably in the minority here, but I liked Signs. It wasn’t Shyamalan’s best movie, but I love aliens and he definitely delivered the goods in that department. There is a downfall though, as with most M. Night movies, the twist ending.
I was totally on board with everything being set up here, the premonition of Merrill to “swing away”, Morgan’s breathing condition saving him from whatever the alien was trying to make him ingest, and I even thought Bo’s weird contaminated water shtick was kind of cute. But when it all comes together, and it turns out it’s the water that actually kills the aliens, that was it. Game over.
How did these things survive in our moist atmosphere? What if it rained when they were outside? That would’ve put a stop to this invasion pretty quickly. It just doesn’t make any sense, at all.
Thinking about it now, I don’t really know how else they could have ended this movie. But they painted themselves into such a corner with the plot points, the ending that came about completely dropped the ball.

8. Hot Fuzz (2007) – Dave

This movie plays out as a comedy for the most part, but I still remember being caught off guard when the black cloaked dude shows up and starts’ slicing like it’s a horror movie. Horror and comedy don’t always mix well together, but when pulled off properly, it can be pure gold.
Although the reason I’d put this movie at an 8 is simply because once you’ve finally become comfortable with the horror comedy mix, the pace, and most importantly the genre of the movie COMPLETELY changes. All of a sudden it’s an action movie until the credits start rolling! There really wasn’t any “action” up until this point, and I seriously remember thinking to myself when he shoots the old couple “what the fuck?!”.
The reasoning for the ending, if you needed one, is referencing their love of 90s cop flicks that lets them bond as characters for the first time about halfway though the movie.
Now, this write-up almost seems like it could be the worst thing you’ve ever seen, but since the groundwork is all built on a comedy, you can forgive the “critique snobbery” that most movies facing alternate themes receive.

7. Law Abiding Citizen (2009) – Dave

I had high hopes for this movie to be honest. I like Gerard Butler when he’s not playing a pansy. But along comes Jamie Foxx to once again fuck up my day.
The entire movie, Gerard’s character “Clyde” is killing anyone in the legal system (and the killers) associated with his family’s’ death. Obviously you’re meant to feel sorry for the guy, but in Hollywood fashion just before the big finale when Clyde’s about to bring down the mayor and her cohorts, Nick Rice (Jamie Foxx) swings in for the kill. He mysteriously teleports the bomb Clyde planted back into Clyde’s cell, and not to mention also gets back to the prison before him.
I doubt this was the real ending, but I’m probably wrong. This is a new action-thriller movie with balls on it, testing certain limits other movies in its genre haven’t really gone before, just to toss it out the window.
I’m not saying this movie has tons of substance, but making people side with the killer and actually not feel bad about it?… that would’ve fit the tone of the movie.
I’ve read somewhere that Jamie Foxx has a clause in his contract to always be the “hero”, though I can’t find a reference for this anymore.

6. Whiteout (2009) – Dave

What a serious snow/shit-storm of a movie. I can see the executives sitting behind their desks at the pitch of this movie:
“So imagine this, we’ve got Scream… IN THE ARCTIC!”
The whole movie you’re watching this shitty conspiracy unfold at a painfully dull pace, and then the ending hits. At the beginning of the movie any ginger kid could’ve spotted that Doctor Fury (That’s his characters real name) was the guy behind it all along, but near the end of the movie they catch someone who is NOT the doctor, so you know shits about to go down. There are only a couple people left at this arctic base, stranded for months now cause they missed their flight, and Kate Beckinsales’ character is finally understanding that the doctor is the one to blame. As she’s figuring this out, they’re building tension that someone’s behind her and… BAM!… He’s behind her!
She says “I have to take you in”. He says “ok, but I want to watch the Aurora lights one last time”. He says that she should see them sometime, as he walks out to his death.
The Ending of the movie is her all chipper with her buddies 6 months later, and she goes to look at the Aurora lights / end scene
The reason it’s 6, is because you sit through this entire punch in the face waiting for some sort of delivery that never comes.

5. Night of the Living Dead (1968) – Kurt

Night of the Living Dead is without a doubt one of the scariest movies ever created. I remember, as a kid, being so scared I wasn’t able to sleep without a light after seeing zombies for the first time. But that ending… What happened!?
So, Ben has just gone through hell locked inside that house. Everyone that was inside with him is dead, the final 2 by his own hand. He’s basically a shell of a man, crouched in the basement waiting for the sun to rise, and hoping the monsters won’t find him. Finally, morning comes and we see what looks like a posse rounding up and killing what remains of the walking dead. Ben hears this commotion, and wanders upstairs to see what’s going on, only to be shot in the fucking face by the posse.
That’s it. End scene. End Film.
After repeated viewings (I’ve watched this movie A LOT), I’ve grown to accept, and even thoroughly enjoy the final moments of Night of the Living Dead. But it will forever be one of the most surprising endings I’ve ever seen on film, and definitely deserves a spot on this list.

4. The Mist (2007) – Kurt

Goddamn, I love this movie. The Mist was the perfect blend of character driven mystery, and epic monster movie. It hit all the right bases, and stands as a near flawless example of horror done right. But, nothing could have prepared me for what would happen as the final few minutes drew to a close.
David Drayton, his son Billy, and 3 other companions are stranded on the road with no options. They’re out of gas, and the mist is all around them. Accepting their fate, the adults decide to kill each other to be spared a horrific death by the monsters in the mist. While Billy is sleeping, David shoots the 3 adults first, followed by his son. He then walks out of the car, and turns toward a noise in the distance, willing it to kill him, and end his suffering. However as the mist begins to clear, it’s revealed that the noise was actually an army vehicle, followed by waves of soldiers. The horrific ordeal that the mist had brought was over, and David had killed his son in vain. As he falls to his knees, and screams to the sky, my mouth was on the floor. I never saw that coming at all.
I think this might be the most literal “What the Fuck” ending of my list, because I’m quite sure I said those words out loud the first time I saw this ending.

3. The Midnight Meat Train (2008) – Dave

This movie rules. Although, most people either say “I really liked that movie, except the ending”. Or, “I really like that movie, the ending was awesome!”
Basically you’ve got a horror/thriller where the antagonist is played by Vinnie Jones (which makes me shit a little just saying that). He clubs people to death on a subway car, simple enough right? Bradley Cooper happens to see this happen once, and decides he’s a detective now instead of a photographer.
Tension is building the entire movie, and then finally when Coopers caught and trapped on the train, you find out that the train is ACTUALLY heading to an underground haven for demonic creatures who feed on the people Vinnie Jones has clubbed. I mean, how awesome is that? I was seriously not expecting to see that ending, but man does it rule.

2. Hulk (2003) – Kurt

Ang Lee is a great director; there is no doubt about it. Hulk is not a good example of this, however. He turned what could have been an awesome summer blockbuster into an overly complicated father/son melodrama that just happened to have a giant green monster in it. I could go on about everything this movie fucks up, but we’re here for the endings. And oh, what a doozy this one is.
After one of the only cool scenes in the movie (an awesome desert action piece with Hulk, some tanks and some helicopters), Bruce Banner ends up in a military base being interrogated by his megalomaniacal father David (Nick Nolte, playing Nick Nolte). After failing to convince Bruce to give him the Hulk’s power, David seemingly has a seizure and bites into some wires, absorbing the electricity and growing into some lightning thing. Yes, you read that right. Bruce gets pissed, and Hulk comes out to kick some ass. Only, nothing really happens. In one of the most confusing sequences ever, Lightning dad (Absorbing Man to us comic nerds), and Hulk are seen fighting in the clouds through flashes of lightning. They might be fighting anyway; it kind of looks like someone is taking photos of the hulk with the flash on a little too bright. From there, we introvert into Bruce’s psyche as he reminisces about his dad in the past. I guess Hulk has stopped punching the lightning at this point because his father seizes the opportunity, and starts to absorb his power. It proves too much, and David kind of just collapses into a giant ball of goo, with the Hulk inside. The Army drops a Gamma bomb on the both of them, and that’s that. There’s a little scene afterwards with Bruce in the Amazon, but I don’t really consider that the end to the movie. More like a “we have to put something at the end of this so we don’t all look totally insane” add-on.
If the number one movie wasn’t such a perfect candidate, my nomination would have definitely been Hulk. “What the fuck” doesn’t even begin to describe my feelings on this absolute mess.

1. No Country for Old Men (2007) – Dave

The daddy of all movies where its ending just forces people into saying “what the fuck is this shit?!”
The ending to No Country for Old Men is straight up “what you see is what you get”. I’ll hearken back to my post about Law Abiding Citizen. Everyone wants to see the villain win, or at least get away after the Protagonist is dead/defeated. However once you make a movie that actually does that as brutally as this, nobody knows what to think.
A lot of people have criticized the ending about how he gets into a car crash, walks away, and that’s it. Everything is all tied up; everything is done at this point. I’m thinking since people are so used to seeing heroes ride off into the sunset, seeing a villain walk away from a car wreck with a newly purchased child’s shirt still doesn’t register. I think it’s the perfect ending to the tone of this movie, but still fits the top of this list just because it had the balls to do what you weren’t expecting while leaving you feeling uncomfortable.

/Dave and Kurt