The Thing (1982)
- I've always been a sucker for a truly amazing line. In my opinion I believe that simple is the way to go with movies. Sure I love some over the top moments, but John Carpenter is the master for very settle and haunting last scenes before the credits hits. He did it before with such classics as Halloween and The Fog, and finally nailed perfection with his balls to the walls sci fi remake of The Thing. MacReady Childs are the last that remain of the group. They both sit in the snow, sharing a bottle of whiskey, unsure if either one of them is really The Thing. It's freezing, and their chances of surviving are grim. Did they really beat the monster? Or will it lay dormant in a deep slumber like before? Knowing that there's really not much they can do about their currant situation, they lay in the snow watching the fires burn out before MacReady says the final haunting line that honestly in my eyes is the perfect way to leave this very open ended classic. “Why don't we just wait here for a while...see what happens?” As the score continues you see both men know their faith as they smirk and sit in silence. = perfection.
Sleepaway Camp (1983)
- I was lucky enough to have rented Sleepaway Camp right before the internet really took hold. These were the good old days where the last of the mom and pop video stores were holding on by a few strings. Going into Sleepaway Camp with no knowledge of the film, I was honestly blown away by the shocking and very unexpected ending. This movie caught lighting in a bottle, something I really don't think they could do twice. The movie was made during a time when many Friday The 13th rip offs were plowing off the shelf’s. Sleepaway Camp is a very weird, quirky film which suddenly turns very dark and extremely bad ass in the last ten minutes. The last scene has two scared councilors wandering around in the dark, searching for a few missing children when they hear a killer is on the loose, that's when they overhear humming on the beach. Approaching, they see the back of Angela, the painfully shy and silent new girl that has come to the summer camp with her cousin. Getting closer, they call out to her when a flashback happens, showing Angela's very unbalanced and crazy aunt who took her in when she was just a child after her father and brother were killed in a very tragic boating accident. Here we learn that really it was Angela, the girl twin that died in the accident, and her twin Peter survived. It seems that the aunt was completely off her rocker and wanted a girl much more than she wanted a boy and raised poor Peter as his dead sister. A dark secret that has been building for years. When the councilor calls out to Angela, she jumps up throwing a severed head and begins to hiss like a crazed psychopath. Both councilors jump back and the final lines sums everything up. “Oh my God...how can it be? Oh God she's a boy...” And the audience is left with the very unsettling image of Angela...or Peter completely in the nude, covered in blood and hissing.
Evil Dead II (1987)
- Is Evil Dead II one of the greatest movies ever made? I would like to think so. Sam Raimi took everything to a different level and made it completely awesome and insane. After spending nearly two hours with our film's hero Ash, who has gone through a complete and utter night to Hell and back, it seems that finally there will be an end to this madness. A gateway opens, forcing all the evil spirits and monsters to go back to where they came, but very unfortunately for Ash, he gets sucked in as well. Spiraling into a dark abyss, he awakes to find himself in a strange land with knights surrounding him. Armed with a chainsaw and shotgun, he stands and destroys one of the monsters before all the knights slowly surround him in complete awe. Thanks to a very clever cameo by Mr. Raimi himself, he lifts his sword and tells everyone to hail Ash for coming from the sky to deliver them from the monsters. All of the knights begin to chant “Hail! Hail! Hail!” as Ash stands back knowing he's trapped back in time and that this is only half of the nightmare. Breaking down and crying, the men continue to surround him chanting before two iron clad fists hot together and darkness. = Bad ass.
- Phantasm is honestly a painting brought to life on film in a truly strange and beautiful way thanks to director Don Coscarell. The entire Phantasm series is a surreal adventure into the mind of a fragile thirteen year old boy who is trying to come to terms with the reality of death. I have my own theory about these films which I shall post in the future, but our film ends with Mike Peterson, the young boy who witnessed all these nightmarish events and tried to stop the monster otherwise known as The Tall Man from taking over his small little town. 'Waking' up from the film's events, the audience is led to believe that it was all a dream and in Micheal’s head. That there was no Tall Man, monsters, or flying spheres, and that his older brother Jody, who fought beside him actually died in the same tragic accident that killed his parents a year earlier. Waking up to reality, he's informed by his Uncle Reggie that the Tall Man was just a dream and that it was all in his head. Trying to grasp onto the truth that it was just a dream, Michael is still shaken by how real it seemed. Believing they need a chance, Reggie tells Michael to go upstairs to his room and pack his things for a road trip he's planning. Excited, Michael rushed upstairs and closes his bedroom door, where the mirror that hangs on it reveals the Tall Man waiting for him. Turning, Michael is stunned and backs up against the door where the Tall Man smiles and shouts “Boyyyyyy!” before the evil dwarfs pull Michael screaming through the mirror and into darkness. Bang! Then credits, and of course the beautiful haunting theme. Part two, and three had evenings very simlar to the first, but nothing of course beats the original. I am a HUGE fan of Phantasm IV, and believe that after the first, it has the second best ending which is bitter sweet on how you look at it, and the whole film series ends full circle.
I am a HUGE fan of the novel/film of Stephen King's Pet Sematary. I found this ending truly amazing. It's the first really the best underrated endings that nobody typically names when they start to list off their favorites ending wise. It stayed true to the book and gave the audience one last final kick in the balls we needed. Also where can you go wrong with the Ramones blasting over the credits. Truly amazing.
The Stepfather II
The first two Stepfather movies were amazing Terry O'Quinn played the role perfectly and had a very fitting ending to the sequel. I loved the original ending to The Stepfather, and found the sequel using a very clever way to open up for a new film. I loved the final showdown at the church, and how the wife to be and her son slowly walk down the ail covered in blood as the guests all stand back in horror screaming. Terry just laying on the floor, holding the bride and groom figure of the cake and saying his vows, truly creepy. (Should have ended the series there, as much as I do love a good wood chipper death in part three)
Such an awesome slasher. Three angel looking children who were all born on the same day while an eclipse happened, turns these innocent little babies into murdering little monsters. When their tenth birthday rolls around, these three friends go on a rampage, killing anyone who gets in their way. The ending is beyond creepy thanks to the lead little girl, and the haunting score. “For now on mommy, I'm going to be your good little girl.”
Day Of The Dead
Not only is it my all time favorite zombie movie, I believe it features one endings in the whole series. John Harrison's Jamaican style score is truly breathtaking and makes the film. I really wish the dead series would have ended here. I really didn't like Land Of The Dead, nor did I care for Diary. I haven't seen Survival yet but I can only begin to think of how that came out. I always expected to see a Dusk Of The Dead, but that never happened. I think Day was where it should have ended. Day was the perfect ending to the trilogy, it brought zombies back to a more darker place and showed how ugly human nature could be. It had the best zombies, the best deaths, and the best scenes. This movie was pure perfection. Seeing the survivors on the island, for the time being safe, and our lead marking off the days, still keeping record of time. I think of an earlier scene where three characters are climbing up a ladder trying to escape when a zombie grabs one of the character’s legs and begins to pull them down. The zombie is shot and when the character looks up at his friend he says “We still need you to fly us to the promise land!” How right they were.
- I love John Carpenter movies, in fact I think they have the best endings. I'll have to write a whole post about the best endings in his films one day. My favorite of course after Halloween has to be The Fog. I found The Fog to be a classic ghost story which was simply terrifying. I loved the music at the end and how the priest just walks out asking out-loud to one of the ghosts why he wasn't one of the ones taken and killed? That's when of course the dark church begins to fill up with fog again and he turns, seeing all the darkened ghosts standing there waiting for him. When he hears something and turns, it's Blake, the dead ghost his grandfather had killed, waiting with a sickle. The perfect 'cut' is made as the credits begin to roll. Total bad ass and awesome.