There are few things that linger on the mind of an audience, quite like a great, shocking ending. Whether it’s a mind-boggling mystery changing up the story with one final, devastating twist or a deranged horror movie giving audiences one final fright to stew on, there have been plenty of movies that have become quintessential icons of cinema for their surprising endings.
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The question of determining which films had the most “WTF” ending was posed to followers of r/AskReddit. Unsurprisingly, the post was met with many responses as the community flocked to share their thoughts and opinions on the films, leaving them completely stunned as the credits started rolling.
The following article contains spoilers for the films discussed.
10 ‘Gone Girl’ (2014)
A celebrated hit of the 2010s, Gone Girl served as a rousing mystery thriller following the disappearance of a married woman and the ensuing investigation that labels her husband, Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck), as a suspect. At the midpoint, with audiences racking their brain about what is going on, the story shifts to Amy Dunne’s (Rosamund Pike) perspective, showcasing how she set up the whole thing as an act of revenge.
The rest of the gripping thriller continues to ratchet up the stakes, and Gone Girl became an immensely popular hit with critics and fans alike. On its ending, the Reddit user LadyGwyn12-22 said, “I read the book first, so I did know the ending… but it still made me angry, so… I guess it worked.”
9 ‘The Usual Suspects’ (1995)
As far as iconic twist endings go, few can match the turn depicted in the final moments of The Usual Suspects. After being interrogated by a U.S. Customs agent about the events leading up to a violent massacre aboard a boat, disabled career criminal Verbal Kint (Kevin Spacey) is let go by the police, leading to a reveal that hits audiences like a truck.
The mind-boggling crime mystery became an instant classic of Hollywood cinema and a defining film of its decade largely because of its finale. The user WhoHayes put forward the film on the post, stipulating they had gone into the movie with no spoilers.
8 ‘From Dusk Till Dawn’ (1996)
A delirious meshing of crime drama and supernatural horror, From Dusk Till Dawn functioned as a hysterically enjoyable ode to pulpy B-movie genre films. Helmed by Robert Rodriguez with Quentin Tarantino writing the screenplay and co-starring, it follows two criminal brothers on the run who hijack an ordinary family’s RV, taking them as hostages as they seek to escape to Mexico.
The film takes a significant turn when they cross the border and seek shelter in a strip club, which turns out to be the home of a gang of vampires. The abrupt genre shift makes for a delightfully jarring viewing experience, which was pin-pointed by the user WaluigisFacialHair who said, “it feels like they just started making a regular criminal-heist type movie then go bored so thought ‘f*ck it, let’s add vampires.’”
7 ‘Se7en’ (1995)
A scintillating yet dour crime thriller from David Fincher, Se7en is an incredible movie that has been immortalized in cinema for its harrowing conclusion. The film tracks two detectives as they pursue a serial killer using the seven deadly sins as an inspiration for his murders.
After turning himself in, the killer states he will plead insanity and escape punishment unless the two officers take him to an undisclosed location where the last two victims will be revealed. The build-up is unbearably intense as the suspense manifests, leading to the famous “what’s in the box” moment. The user CosmicOwl47 commented on the mystery of the box, saying, “I was so anxious, and so saddened as it became more clear what it was.”
6 ‘The Sixth Sense’ (1999)
One of the most shocking movies ever made and a defining film in M. Night Shyamalan’s career, The Sixth Sense is famous for its blindsiding finale. The bulk of the movie follows Dr. Malcolm Crowe (Bruce Willis) as he works with a disturbed young boy who claims he can see dead people.
With a grounded psychological drama and plenty of chilling moments throughout, the film strikes an eerie tone, making audiences anxiously anticipate what will come next. Not many would have predicted the final outcome, though, certainly not the user tacosandsushimi, who described the ending as “definitely a mind-blowing twist.”
5 ‘Saw’ (2004)
A ground-breaking horror film that launched the careers of James Wan and Leigh Whannell, Saw still stands as one of the best horror films of the 21st century thus far. While many of its successors have been overloaded with gruesome torture devices and graphic violence, the low-budget movie utilized an effective screenplay and psychological suspense to leave audiences terrified.
With the film focusing on two strangers who wake up chained in a bathroom designed by the Jigsaw killer, its shocking ending definitely lingers on the mind. That was the sentiment of the user MilwaakeePustaBandit,who commented, “Saw’s ending was so f*cking good. Pacing and screenplay for that final scene were perfect, and it had me gaping at the screen.”
4 ‘Sorry to Bother You’ (2018)
Sorry to Bother You is a film that ups the ante at an incredibly rapid rate. The majority of the film follows Cash (LaKeith Stanfield) as he adopts a “white voice” to perform better at his telemarketer job, a ploy that leads to his meteoric rise up the ranks, where he learns of all the corporation’s evil profiteering and struggles to decide how to react.
The dark comedy ends with Cash discovering the company has a DNA mutating substance, which turns workers into half-human, half-horse hybrids and goes public with the truth, a move that yields an unexpected reaction. The user HolyRamenEmpire summed it up well, saying the film “takes the cake for going in a whole new direction I never saw coming and making me go WTF.”
3 ‘The Prestige’ (2006)
Made between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, Christopher Nolan’s mind-bending magician drama The Prestige may have been somewhat overshadowed upon release, but it is now revered as one of the director’s best films. The film was nominated for its surprising ending by the user artpayne, whose initial comment sparked rampant conversation.
Set in the 1890s, The Prestige follows the bitter feud between two rival magicians who venture to harrowing lengths to outperform the other. Come the end of the film, nothing is deemed taboo in their pursuit to best one another, and just when it seems a victor has emerged, the story is flipped on its head with a spellbinding reveal.
2 ’10 Cloverfield Lane’ (2016)
A cult classic sci-fi thriller that also serves as an extension of the hit found-footage monster horror film Cloverfield, 10 Cloverfield Lane was difficult to predict from start to finish. It follows Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), who, after being involved in a car crash, awakens in a strange bunker with two men who claim the world has been attacked and the air outside is unbreathable.
While the truth remains ambiguous, an outburst of violence within the bunker sees Michelle mount an escape, only to find that the world is actually in the midst of an alien invasion. The user cj_from_gtaSA expressed their shock at the film’s ending, commenting, “I was expecting something completely different.”
1 ‘The Mist’ (2007)
While it may not have won any Oscars or become a terrifying horror hit like some of the other adaptations from Stephen King’s work, The Mist has become an undeniably popular film due to its polarizing ending. The film follows residents of a small town who are forced to hold up in a supermarket when a mist harboring deadly monsters descends upon them.
After escaping the store from the growing religious fanaticism among other survivors, David Drayton (Thomas Jane) and several survivors find themselves in a precarious position, with David having to make a difficult choice. The film is truly divisive, with the user littlemegzz saying, “It’s been a long time since that movie, and I’m still pissed off about it,” while the user ScaryPotterDied described it as one of their “personal [favorites].”
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