Thursday, December 31, 2009

Holy Shit! endings, Part Two...

Part Two of Holy Shit! endings in horror continues:

And remember - loads of SPOILERS will follow:

Orphan


I really didn't see this one coming. Esther is a grown woman in the body of a pre-pubescent young girl. Whoa. And...weird. For the life of me I couldn't have predicted that twist - though I knew something was quite off when she was making those advances on her adoptive daddy. Yuck. A good movie with a strange-ass ending. Oh well, they made it work.

Identity


This is one messed up, confusing movie.
Can you say Multiple Personality Disorder?
When you finally find out that Timmy is the homicidal maniac of the personalities and that he has schemed and planned the entire thing...well, it's so hard to wrap your head around it that I still have trouble explaining it. It's been awhile since I've seen it, but I recall wondering just what the hell I just watched.


The Orphanage


Though not as well known as Pans Labyrinth, The Orphanage - a Spanish film from 2007 (produced by Guillermo del Toro) is a really subtle, beautifully filmed movie with a depressingly sad ending. It was a bit of a shock when we find out at the end that Laura's missing son Simón - thought to have run away - was accidentally blocked into a basement room by his mother and was unable to get out. And he died. In overwhelming grief, Laura kills herself with pills, and joins her son for eternity.


Se7en


"Tell me what's in the box!!"
Oh shit. So that's what's in the box. Good lord.
This entire movie ran right on the edge of uber-ickiness. That sloth dude was actually a bigger shocker to me than the head in the box finale. (God, I thought that guy was dead.)
This is one of my favorite horror/mystery films in my vast collection. Grim, dismal and without a doubt one of the darkest movies I've seen.
And while we're at it, I'd have shot the nasty bastard too.


Jaws



Jaws was chock (or should I say 'chum') -full of Oh My God! and Holy Shit! moments. The first time the Great White takes someone under the water, Ben Gardners's floating head, the shark coming at Hooper in the shark-proof (?) cage, the shark eating Quint and then slamming through the side of the boat, and Brody actually managing to plug the O2 tank with a bullet.... But we're talking endings here, and what really surprised me was when Hooper surfaced after the death of the Great White and he and Brody use the barrels to paddle back to shore in the last few frames of the movie. I'd completely forgotten about Hooper in all the frenzied rush to kill the shark.
Favorite. Film. Ever.


Night of the Living Dead


Oh the irony! That was my thought at the end of this ground-breaking flick from my fellow Western Pennsylvania home-boy.
I could not believe Romero had put this poor dude through all that shit, have him live through it, make it out of the basement and back to civilization...and then have him get SHOT - mistaken for a ghoul. "There's another one for the fire!"
Good lord that was inspired filmmaking.

Donnie Darko



The first time I saw this "alternate universe/time travel/totally messed up" movie I knew I'd have to watch it again to fully grasp the meaning of it. Unfortunately, I'm still not sure I get it. But that freakin' rabbit just scares the living daylights out of me. Every single time. Bunnies should not be sinister.
Regardless, the ending of this film - when you realize Donnie actually died when the plane hit his house (how's that for weird?) - really sends your brain reeling. One of those Sixth Sense kind of moments in film where you can't believe what you just saw.


Carnival of Souls



Have to admit, I had this one pegged about ten minutes in. But it was still fun to sit through it and wonder how long it would take Mary to figure out she's goddamned dead. Supposedly escaping a fatal car accident in which all her friends have died, Mary seems to be the lucky one. But during the entire movie, she's walking around in some kind of perpetual trance, with all those auditory problems and visual hallucinations, wandering around that abandoned amusement park boardwalk....let alone the creepy ghoul (played by the film's director!) constantly showing up - shouldn't that give you some kind of hint?
Anyway - great old movie, with a bitchin' soundtrack of eerie organ music to go along with it.


Sleepaway Camp



For years I avoided this movie simply because I thought the cover art on the VHS tape (yep, showing my age here) was ridiculous. Stupid bloody knife through the shoe, big deal.
I figured it was a major Friday the 13th rip-off and had no desire to see it. Eventually I caved, and while still not my favorite slasher flick, it does have one helluva ending. With elements of Friday, The Burning, Prom Night, and every early 80's Porky's-type film, I didn't find it very unique. Except....the end.
Sleepaway Camp really sets the standard for GOTCHA finales, don't you think? I was utterly grossed out, truth be told, and have only seen it a handful of times since. It just wigs me out.
I'm still saying WTF?

Psycho



Norman, meet Mother. Mother, Norman.
Oh - you two know each other do ya?
How do I love Psycho? Let me count the ways. No, better not. I'll save that for a future post.
Suffice it to say, I can only imagine seeing this back in 1960 and getting the shock of your life when Norman comes into the fruit cellar all dressed up like Phyllis Diller at a Mennonite funeral toting his Michael Myers-esque knife.
To be honest I can't remember if I knew the ending before I saw it the first time or not. I have the book, and may have read it first, I can't remember at this point. Either way... it was a Sham-Wow moment!


The Sixth Sense


I had no idea. Seriously.
Until the wedding ring fell onto the floor, I didn't know Malcolm was dead. To this day I've not seen a movie that surprised me more than this one. I loved it.
All the hints, all the signs. Still didn't occur to me. Obviously a lot of people felt the same way, as wildly popular as it became.
Best part? Watching it for the second time and going, "Ohhhh, yeaaaah."

The Blair Witch


After I saw this film (thankfully I waited for home release, I would have puked with the moving camera shots like I nearly did when I saw Paranormal Activity on the big screen...Dramamine saved the day there), both my hubby and myself had to literally drag ourselves to our basement to put our dog outside. I was scared shitless. Even he was shook up. All because of that last, effective scene of Mike in the cellar. God how that got to me.
It's not a movie that begs to be seen again, though. I have, but the thrill was gone on repeated viewings. Still...my stomach still drops when I think of the first time I saw it.



Saw


They had me at "hello" on this one.
I saved this movie for last because it's my favorite horror movie ending, hands down.
No, I didn't have a clue - not even an inkling - that the dude lying in a pool of blood in that wretched warehouse bathroom was our very own John Kramer, a.k.a Jigsaw.
How awesome was it when he picked himself up off the floor and pretty much left Adam to die (which we do see has happened in future installments) in that dank, pitch black craphole.
While the sequels have run amok and overextended their welcome, no one can deny the powerful effect the first movie in the franchise had. Great writing, impressive gore, top-notch finale.
Simply brilliant.


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9 comments:

B-Sol said...

Wow, where to begin? All REALLY great "Holy Shit" endings. I can remember being socked in the gut by The Sixth Sense, Night of the Living Dead and of course Sleepaway Camp! Unfortunately, Carnival of Souls was ruined for me cause I already knew the ending way before I finally saw the movie.

Dannie said...

I've seen Donnie Darko like seventeen times and I STILL don't fully understand it. But that ending? Wooooah.

Geof said...

Even though I agree with most of the endings on your list, Sleepaway Camp is probably my biggest "Gotcha" ending ever. That ending f'd stayed with me a looonnnnggg time and like you have only seen it a handful of times since. Very unsettling but obviously effective.

William Malmborg said...

Another great list of endings, some of which I haven't yet seen so I made sure to skip those -- got them checked off on my mail order list. The one movie I haven't seen but know the ending to is Identity. After it came out someone at school went around shouting the ending (the same guy did the same thing with other movies like Scream, which thankfully I had already seen). Such actions should warrant a permanent ring gag placement in my opinion, or the removal of a tongue.

Tasha said...

The ending of Saw was like a punch in the face, with that amazing music and all the scenes showing back and you, sitting there reeling. Powerful stuff.

The Film Connoisseur said...

Orphan...now theres a Holy shit ending! Suddenly the movie takes THAT twist, it was amazing.

Of course, for me SEVEN had the biggest Oh SHIT value to it.

Blairwitch gave me goosebumps with that ending! Sad to see not many people felt the same way, but I dug that movies final moments. They were chilling!

First time I saw SAW in theaters I got the oh shiiiiiiit feeling going on. Doesnt happen anymore of course, but that first time I saw it I was impressed.

the jaded viewer said...

Orphan explanation was very different from anything I've seen. Sleepaway Camp is always the "OMG is that a penis?"

Oh crap. It is. Why is the screen all green now?

thomwade said...

I actually did predict the ending of Identity-but it was on accident...I was watching it and thinking "Now what I would have written-" and it turns out they made the movie I would have written.

Lisa Washington said...

Okay...I just watched Sleepaway Camp on Youtube. What. The. Actual....!!!
As twists go, it's a big one but to actually watch it and how long she holds that facial expression for...... *shudder*