As good, or bad, as a horror movie can be, there’s often the problem of the film receiving either a plain awful ending or one just tacked on to set up a sequel, if not both. For that, let’s take a look at the best and worst horror movie endings.
There are some obvious and probably more deserved choices not on this list, but these were just endings I felt like talking about.
Worst: “A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)”
I know that wasn’t up to Wes Craven, director and writer. He wanted a happy ending, but Robert Shaye wanted an ending that would leave the way open for sequels. Craven hated Shaye’s original idea for the twist ending. The two reached a compromise, which gave us the ending we got. Since, Craven has always thought the film should’ve had a happy ending.
I don’t hate the idea of the ending “Nightmare on Elm Street” (1984) got slapped with. My problems with the ending is just how cheap Nancy’s mom belling pulled through the door looks, while the red and green cover going over the car is actually quite terrifying.
I don’t see why Craven’s original ending had to be scrapped. We could’ve gotten a happy ending, and Freddy just comes back for more sequels. We don’t even see Nancy again till “A Nightmare on Elm Street III: Dream Warriors.” For “A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge,” Jesse Walsh, and his family, move into Nancy’s old house from the first movie.
Worst: “Friday the 13th (2009)”
“Friday the 13th (2009)” sucks, besides the amazing first 20 minutes. The ending is one of the 2009 reboot’s worst offensives. This movie took cliff notes from the first 3 “Friday” movies and essentially copied the ending of “Friday the 13th” (1980). The worst part is that the ending feels so out of place and just there to evoke nostalgia in fans of the long-running franchise. “A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)” did the same thing too.
Worst: “Paranormal Activity (2009)”
The first “Paranormal Activity” is easily the best of franchise, with one or two actually effectively scary scenes. The ending, however, is garbage. All the cleverness and subtleness that went into the rest of the movie is thrown out the window, and we get a generic Hollywood horror ending. The original ending sounded much better.
“Unfriended” is far from a great movie, but it’s more enjoyable than I expected it to be. The ending though is so insulting though. They just go for one of those uncreative quick cuts, but that makes the ending just come off as unintentionally hilarious. With this concept, they could’ve done something more creative.
Best: “Saw (2004)”
Honestly one of favorite endings of any movie. Even after knowing the ending, how the music cues in and the editing of the scene gives it a really similar effect. It’s only makes me wonder even more how things would be if this was the only “Saw” movie
Best: “The Shining (1980)”
The ending leaves audiences off on that haunting image of Jack, as well as bringing the movie full circle with the picture. In ways, I think “The Shining” is overrated, but in other ways, like the ending, it truly is a masterpiece in horror.
Best: “Halloween (1978)”
The ending of “Halloween” works as an ending of a standalone movie and setting up a sequel, which it was never meant to do. How the music cues in with Dr. Loomis discovering Michael Myers is gone is so perfect. The suspense of the rest of movie is perfectly carried over, despite the pause from thinking it’s all over.
Best: “The Blair Witch Project (1999)”
For people who don’t like “Blair Witch Project,” the ending is the best part, since that’s when they think stuff actually starts happening. The ending works so well in that it cuts right off when it would be showing more stuff, since part of “Blair Witch Project’s” power comes from how scary the imagination can be. Plus how they use sound in that scene is just horrifying.