Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Best ending ever...

Most people will discuss the opening of a novel and never mention the ending. But it has been my experience that I can like a book all the way through but the ending can kill it for me. Not always. Not as important but it still has a vital impact on the overall feel of the story and how readers respond to it.

So today, I take my cue from movies - not books. I love movies just as much as books. Well, almost as much. Some of the more memorable ending movies have been my favorite. I love a story line that I cannot guess. One of the things I do upon watching a movie is try to determine “who done it and why.” If after 15 minutes of the movie, I can guess the ending, I don’t typically like it. I want to be surprised.

There are spoilers for some of the movies I listed. So, two things: shame on you for not seeing the movie sooner, and where do you live that you haven’t seen or heard this?

What are my favorite movies with killer endings?

The Skeleton Key – You never knew what was going on until it was too late..too late for you and too late for her. This movie made older southern women creepy. Yeah I would say it made New Orleans creepy but it has always had its own mystery. Hasn’t it.

The Sixth Sense – Yeah, dead guy walking through the entire movie…What else is there to say about this M. Night Shyalaman’s masterpiece. As a side note: I haven’t liked any of his other movies. I tried but just didn’t like any of them. The Village was promising but just didn’t do it for me.

Wild Things – This movie had so many tiny twists that they caught me off guard. Not a kiddy flick but it was a really good movie. And it wasn’t just Matt Dillon – but it didn’t hurt to have him in it either.

The Usual Suspect – Okay, the cripple guy’s (Verbal, don’t you love that name) the crazy killing loon. Love the entire cast of this movie, too. It has some of the best movie lines ever! This is one of my favorite movies of all time. Love it.

The Blair Witch Project – Yeah, this low budget movie broke new ground and scared the crap out of me. The final scene where the girl is hit from behind and the camera falls… Be honest you went and looked up the Blair Witch Project on your computer, too. You had to know if it was real. Right. My hubby and I ran from the theater to the computer when we got home. The freaky part – at first they kept saying it was real. Couldn’t find anything to refute this for a while… Yeah I slept with the lights on for a while.

Primal Fear – Who would have thunk the babbling, stuttering country boy was the murderer – not the lawyer who defended him that’s for sure. Plus, Edward Norton is a genius in front of the camera – love him.

Stephen Kings The Mist – I want give this one away- it’s not that old. But the ending will leave you wanting to fight or break down in tears. Or scream “Why” repeatedly at the TV screen…Gotta love the mind of Stephen King

The Ring – Come on Samara Morgan, you’ve killed my Estranged Baby Daddy, my precocious niece, and now you’re still gunning for me and my strange silently creepy son too… What do you want? You’ll be surprised. What would you have done? Made that copy???

What do you think of my choices? Did I leave your favorite movie off the list? Let us know in the comments.

Have a great day. Read a book and laugh.


  1. I was one of the people who knew the ending of The Sixth Sense before I saw the movie. Totally ruined it. As for The Ring, yeah, I would've made the copy to save my child. Absolutely.

  2. Too bad, Kelly. It would have ruined it for me too if I'd known the ending to The Sixth Sense. And yes, I too would have definitly made the copy of the tape to save my child.

  3. I have not seen all the movies on your list, but thanks for sharing them will have a look. Blown away by the Kevin Spacey movie.. LOVED the ending. Same with the Sixth Sense. I am with you about movies. I watch movies more than television. I don’t like knowing the ending before I reach the end, like you I like a bit of mystery. Have you seen No Way Out?

  4. Hey Brenda. Yes, I've seen No Way Out with Kevin Costner and considered putting it on my list. I loved it. That and Salt with Angelina Jolie. Loved both movies. I especially loved Salt because Angelina kicked major butt!!!

  5. Excuse me or living under a rock but I've not seen any of the mentioned movies. I used to like movies that left me feeling good. I especially think this is important with a romantic comedy. Those are kind of predictable anyway. But the more I write, the less I want the happily ever after. I don't write romance, mind you. So, I don't think happy applies to my kind of writing and the characters I write about, who are kinda coarse.

    I like that element of leaving the reading to think about what could happen or drawing their own conclusions. I don't like it when a movie or author writes in a way where they are thinking for me. I want to wonder a bit and think about the what ifs, even if it frustrates me. It does have to end on some element of satisfying me but I don't want all of it to be determined by the writer. Is that making sense?

  6. Tosh, that makes perfect sense. I don't like romantic comedies either and it may be for this very reason you state. Everything can't always have a nice tidy bow on it. I like unusual, messy, real-life in your face drama - suspense, horror, action...

  7. I liked The Sixth Sense. It gave me the chills for a long time after seeing it. What Lies Beneath was another one that gave me the willies, but it was interesting that the end didn't really satisfy me. I still can't figure out why.And How about that old movie, Deliverance. That one still haunts me.

  8. Hi, C.Lee. I'm not sure I've seen Deliverance. I've heard of it before. Okay, well, I guess I've got to see it now. Thanks.

  9. Hi Dawn,

    I enjoyed The Skeleton Key and Sixth Sense, too. But I also loved how The Village caught me off guard! I mean, an entire village of people living in their own period? It sent a huge chill, and I thought it was brilliant.

    Another movie I'd enjoyed recently with an unexpected ending is 'The Lovely Bones.' (Haven't read the novel.)

    And if you get the chance to, if you are a major thriller fan, that is, there's a horrifying Korean thriller titled 'The Chaser.' Creepiest film ever.

    (Interesting post!)

  10. Thanks, Claudine. I absolutely love thrillers. I'll have to check out The Chasers. Thanks for the tips. Oh and The Lovely Bones was a great movie but the end didn't surprise me. But it was great, hauntingly good.

  11. Surprise endings are a must! I'm going to see the Tree of Life later, and I guess that'll break format, as it's more of a meditation than a narrative.

  12. Dawn, I also loved the Skeleton Key and Sixth Sense. I agree with you that the ending of a film is what totally embodies the film's worth. Have you seen "Orphan"? Now that's an ending I wasn't expecting!


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