The ability to suck an audience in so deep that they never see the plot twist coming at the end is not only the sign of a great movie but a great film maker as well. It's not often that I'm surprised by the ending of a film so I take note when it happens and give credit where credit is due. Adam Green and Joel David Moore did it with Spiral. Sitting and watching it, I was pretty pissed that I was able to figure it all out about half way through only to be surprised at the ending.
As with anything in life, you can't have the good without going through some of the bad. There's nothing worse than investing your time and brain power watching and trying to figure out the ending of a film only to be disappointed that the killer is some minuscule character that's spent a total of maybe 10 minutes on screen. Now, we here at Twisted Central don't normally do spoilers but most of these are older films and if you haven't seen them yet, well then don't say I didn't warn you.
With that said and in no particular order here are my picks for films with a not so killer ending.
As in typical Scream fashion, we're introduced to a cast of characters to choose from. The usual suspects, Gale Weathers, Randy, Dewey, Cotton Weary and the newbies, Mickey, Derek, Hallie and the overly exuberant sorority sisters Lois and Murphy. Lots to choose from when Ghostface shows up and starts slicing and dicing around the college campus. With not a lot to go on and different suspects showing up at every turn, the reveal was disappointing and the secondary reveal was even more disappointing.
Sidney finds Derek tied to a cross and suspended over the theater stage. Not knowing this was done by his fraternity brothers as punishment for giving his letters (?) to his girl, she tries to release him. It's then that we're introduced to the first killer… DUN, DUN, DUN, it's Mickey. Can you say let down? He's been in a few minor scenes and I don't know about you but he definitely wasn't on my radar as the killer. Now we know from experience that there's usually two killers and just as Mickey spends about five minutes trying to convince Sidney that Derek is the second killer before shooting him in the heart. And that's when the really real second killer comes along… Gale Weathers… wait, no, make that Debbie Salt. Who?!? That's right, the meddling reporter who showed up in maybe four scenes prior. Wah, wah, wah.
Again, another sequel that tries to keep up with it's predecessor but fails miserably. Another college campus full of suspects to choose from. Who will it be this time? The twin of the guy who killed himself because he was so distraught over his film grade? The arrogant film student riding the coat tails of his famous father? Maybe the know it all guy who's all pissed that main character Amy "stole his genre".
Nope… none of the above. The big reveal comes about ten minutes before the end of the movie. This is where we find out Professor Solomon is the killer and he did it because he wanted to steal suicide guy's film and pass it off as his own so he had to get rid of everyone else who worked on it so no one would ever know. Thus in the the last ten minutes, he spends more time on screen than he did the whole 97 minutes of the rest of the film. Can you say "Let down"?
Audiences were introduced to Jason Voorhees in 1981 when Friday the 13th Part 2 hit the theaters. For years he stalked and slaughtered unsuspecting camp counselors and horny teens out weekend getaways. He was the face of evil for years. That is until 1985 came around and Paramount rolled out A New Beginning.
Tommy Jarvis is on his way to a secluded half way house in hopes of forgetting his past and regaining what's left of his life. It's not long before nut case Vic takes an axe to poor little unsuspecting Joey. Along comes the ambulance to pick up the pieces (literally) and from that point on, Jason wreaks havoc among the other wayward souls and then some. When the final showdown takes place and Jason goes flying from the loft of the barn onto some nasty little spikes below. And guess what… it's not really Jason. It's Roy the ambulance driver that showed up in the beginning only to realize that his son Joey was the one that was hacked to death. This apparently sends him into a homicidal rage so he takes on the persona of Jason to exact his revenge. Lost yet? Yeah, me too. This is probably one of the worst cases of a "Not so Killer Ending". In my opinion anyway.
A modern day twist on an old urban legend that says if you stop on the train tracks with your car in neutral, while a train is coming, the ghosts of the children killed in a bus accident decades before will push your car from the tracks leaving fingerprints on your powdered bumper (run on sentence much). Now, that's all fine and good and has a tendency to be a decent little ghost story but it unfortunately doesn't end up that way. Now if there's ever a movie that has a lot going on, it's this one. Ghosts and rapists and slashers, oh my!
Melanie gets out of rehab and moves back in with her mom, dad and sister in the town they moved to while she was away. Within a few minutes of the movie starting, we're told about the legend of the dead children and it's then that we get a glimpse of little ghost Julie. It's funny how those ghosts pick the newbie of the town to reveal themselves to. You know the one that just got out of rehab so even if she tells someone what's going on, they immediately think she's back on drugs. Forgive me, I'm rambling. So, Melanie is convinced that little ghost Julie is trying to tell her something and takes it upon herself to get to the bottom of whatever wrong doings occurred in the past. She apparently pisses off the wrong person/ghost and as it goes in horror films, people start getting dead. That's all fine and good, that's why we watch these things right? That is until you realize it's not ghostly killings at all. It's a person doing all the killing and I'm not kidding when I tell you this but… it's Sally Kirkland. That's right, the 65 year old sister of little ghost Julie is running around in a train conductors uniform overpowering in shape teens, jumping on cars and killing anyone she believes to be a threat to her daddy's old train station. Ok, maybe THIS is the worst cases of a "Not so Killer Ending".
The Wisher is actually a guilty pleasure of mine. I've seen it so many times that it's one of those films I turn on for background noise when I don't wanna get too sucked into watching something. Yes, that probably makes it sound like I don't like it but I do.
Mary is addicted to horror films. She is also a sleep walker and frequently has nightmares leading her dad to forbid her to continue to watch horror movies. When the box office hit 'The Wisher' comes to a theater near her, it's too much to pass up so Mary sneaks off with her friends to see it. Though she can't seem to stomach watching the whole film, she soon realizes that any time she wishes for something, it comes true. Could Mary just be stuck in the middle of a really bad dream or could it be creepy ass Drew Lachey who has a little crush on her making her wishes come true. Perhaps it's the school psychologist she confides in and tells everything to? Nope, again, none of the above. It ends up being nerdy guy Shane who is in all of three scenes before being outed as the killer. Apparently 'The Wisher' has some subliminal messages spliced into the reel that turns overly sensitive teens into wish masters.
These are just a few of the films I can think of at the moment that went wrong with the killer reveals. However, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that these are all movies I dislike. I find most of them to be quite entertaining in their own right even with the rather disappointing endings. What movie killers disappointed you and why?