‘Really given me sleepless nights’: readers on their scariest movie endings | Film

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‘Really given me sleepless nights’: readers on their scariest movie endings | Film

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Hereditary

After the slow burn, creeping dread of the film, the last 10 minutes are just full out batshit, with the mother bashing her head against the underside of the attic door repeatedly, the naked people grinning, the sawing and then the final *cluck*.

It’s one of the great modern horrors, up there with some of the best of all time. Owlyross

The Road

The Road is the only film that’s really given me sleepless nights. Maybe because you can easily see it becoming reality. I can’t watch it again. susanburns

It looks like there’s hope for the kid but I felt an overwhelming sense of horror. Are the couple on the beach truly who they say they are or are they just pretending to be? badchampions

Under the Skin

Under The Skin still puts the willies up me every time I make the error of dredging it back to the surface of my mind. I don’t know if it’s scary to me because of the visually horrific ending, or because – more philosophically – it suggests that it’s us humans, as a species, who are entirely horrific ourselves. Eisenhorn

Burnt Offerings

Never could unsee Karen Black as the embodiment of the House in that final scene. And the hearse driver hallucinated by her mentally disturbed husband still haunts me decades later. SueBBlue

Ringu

Still from Ringu. Photograph: Cinetext/Omega/Allstar

Another film perhaps blunted by time, over exposure and the US version, but it’s hard to beat the impact of that ending in the original. The transition of Sadako from grainy film into reality is brilliantly effective. spadger

Seven

I saw it on the big screen when it was originally released. It felt like a fairly standard serial-killer yarn, better made than most, scarier than most, (but standard) until that absolute gut punch of an ending. I promised myself that I would never watch it again. Never have. WelshMorgan

Saw it in the cinema as a teenager and had nightmares for weeks. Will never, ever, ever watch that film again. No way. updated

Fatal Attraction

Scary, but more importantly, over the top, highly misogynistic and just a stain on what is otherwise a very good psychological thriller. I have a DVD with the originally filmed, lower key but very effective ending, and just switch to that. Less is more. I have watched it a few times. Understand that in preview focus groups the audience was baying for Glenn Close’s blood, hence the change. CroneRanger

The Haunting

When the camera pans around the dark empty house and Julie Harris says on voiceover “Hill House has stood for 90 years and might stand for 90 more. Within, walls continue upright, bricks meet, floors are firm, and doors are sensibly shut. Silence lies steadily against the wood and stone of Hill House. And we who walk here … walk alone …” Always gets a shiver from me. Pat_the_Cat

The Mist

Still from The Mist.
Still from The Mist. Photograph: 01/The Weinstein Company/Allstar

One of those rare occasions where the original author (King) credited the film interpretation as having pulled off the ending better than he’d done. Seriously, utter gut punch. rhythm

Frank Darabont’s The Mist has an ending so exquisitely bleak, it more than matches the final scene of The Vanishing, even if the story as a whole is not on par. meekay

The Mist’s ending can’t really be topped in terms of jaw-dropping OMG status. FreddyBinYusuff

A rare example of a film that started off poorly, with B-movie special effects, but seemed to get better as it went on. I know a lot of people don’t like the ending, but I thought it was disturbing and thought-provoking. MyRedShed

Kill List

The ending of the British film Kill List really disturbed me and stayed with me for a long time afterwards. I went into that film not knowing it was a horror (and it isn’t until the last 20 minutes) which I don’t think helped! Ketchup_Catsip

The Wicker Man

I know it’s oft cited, but there’s a reason for that. It’s so unsettling, and unexpected. You keep thinking he will get away, and he doesn’t. The matter-of-fact-ness of his killing remains uniquely and deeply unnerving. dava007

Haunted me for quite a while after seeing it. bean55

Terrific acting from Edward Woodward (what were his parents thinking of?), as he is trussed like a turkey of the sacrifice, comes over the rise and sees what awaits him. Christopher Lee excellent too, as the manipulative and amoral Lord of Summerisle. BillTheGalacticHero

Wolf Creek

Still from the film Wolf Creek
Still from the film Wolf Creek. Photograph: film still handout

I don’t know why, but I couldn’t handle Wolf Creek. You get to know the trio, start to feel for them in friendly, likable way, and then bang. I left the picture, couldn’t handle it. Thought I’d stand in the lobby, then head back in for the end, get my closure as the villain dies and the kids are saved . Spoiler alert … no closure to be had, should have stayed at the popcorn counter. PlainJoeSmith

The Last Broadcast

The final few minutes where everything changes as David walks into the editor’s house and suddenly instead of being inside a documentary being made you’re outside looking in and can see what you hadn’t seen but now seems obvious, and you have to go back and watch the whole thing again. adamcgf

Session 9

I’m still amazed that this film is so unknown, especially considering the effect it’s had on horror since (the makers of Silent Hill 2 cite it as a major influence).

Peter Mullan is the craggy-faced owner of an asbestos removal company that’s almost bankrupt and a new dad struggling in a disintegrating marriage. He pushes himself and his team to the edge trying to complete a job on a disused asylum in a frankly impossible timescale. Tensions begin to show early among the team, from the new kid who is useless, to the guy who had an affair with another’s wife, and the other team member who becomes obsessed with a series of recordings of a girl who murdered her brother. Then one of the team goes missing. It’s obvious there’s going to be bloodshed. But flashbacks to Peter Mullan sitting in a car outside his house only seem to become relevant right at the end as it’s revealed not only is he the one picking off his own team, but he murdered his wife and child before the film even started. The final(ish) shot of him sitting in the asylum talking to his dead wife on the phone begging her to let him come home still chills me. Daemonlung

Night of the Living Dead

The entire audience groaned with despair when that final desolate moment took place. The grainy black-and-white quality of the film didn’t help either. For once, the hero/good guy didn’t make it to the finale. It haunted me for many years. scafloc

No question. Our hero has battled hordes of zombies. Outside, in the car, in the house. All while dealing with morons who can’t believe a black man is leading them. Only, just as they’re going to be rescued, the cops put a bullet in his head. Not the horror ending you expect, but the one we deserve. Berville

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