With summer ending and fall approaching, there is a new slate of horror films ready to scare audiences, including Hellraiser and Halloween Ends, both slated to come out in October. The best horror films leave the viewer with an impactful, original ending. Some horror movies, however, lose audiences at the end as their finales are too confusing.
These films might be classics, modern-day A24 masterpieces, or small indie films. But regardless of their origin, they baffled viewers and left them rethinking the entire movie, with endings so weird they did not make sense.
Men was released in the spring of 2022 by director Alex Garland. The folk horror film started off strong but went off the rails at the end. There is a bizarre scene at the end of the film as there is a sequence of strange childbirths.
This ending gives no closure to Harper’s story or if she still felt at fault for James’s death. The body horror with the child-bearing scenes is disturbing and scary but adds little to the plot and does not act as a resolution. It makes the viewer wonder what is real and what is not, as this sequence is otherworldly.
Vivarium was released in 2019 by director Lorcan Finnegan. The film follows a couple who are trapped in an otherworldly neighborhood. In the last bit of the movie, the woman is taken through a maze where she sees lots of bizarre things, and the film ends with the boy taking over the man’s role from the beginning of the movie.
This ending was extremely puzzling as the sequence in the labyrinth was strange. An educated guess could be she saw all the other victims of the vivarium, but who knows? The end of the film does not reveal where the boy came from or what their overall purpose is. With both the man and woman dying, the ending also leaves the viewer questioning if there is any way to beat vivarium.
Mother! is a psychological horror film that was released in 2017 and its ending is truly chaotic and possibly one of the most confusing horror movies ever made. When Jennifer Lawrence’s character, falls asleep, a hectic crowd gets a hold of her baby. The crowd kills the baby and starts eating its dead corpse.
This ending was disturbing, with the large crowd ripping a baby into pieces and most felt it did not seem necessary to move the plot along. It is also never thoroughly explained why they are so obsessed with the baby in the first place. The reveal of Javier Bardem’s character being some god-like being was conducted in a noncoherent way.
I’m Thinking Of Ending Things (2020)
I’m Thinking of Ending Things is a psychological horror drama that is confusing throughout, not just the ending. In the end, the couple arrives at a school where a bunch of strange things happen, like a random dance number, a naked janitor, and a peek into the future.
This ending was unconventional as it separated itself from the narrative. It renounced any sort of story that has been established thus far and went in an entirely new direction. The whole last half hour was eerie. It left the viewer with a fatalistic feeling after not seeing their car in the parking lot.
Lamb is a folk horror film that was released in 2021. The film revolves around a half-lamb half-human toddler. At the end, a half ram half-human hybrid shoots Ingvar and takes the lamb child away.
This ending was jarring and perplexing. The ram-human hybrid seemingly comes out of left field and provides some closure but does not wrap up or explain the story together. There is no explanation as to how these half-human, half-animal creatures are being made. The viewer just has to make assumptions, like they are a product genetic mutation.
Hereditary came out in 2018 and quickly became one of the best horror films of all time. The ending is confusing after the first viewing and one of the most tragic in horror history. After escaping his mom and the naked people in the attic, Peter finds himself in some satanic ritual.
The ending creates more questions than it answers. Who were the naked people? How did Peter’s mom float? Who was talking at the end? This ending seems very confusing on the surface. However, it is one of those endings that when the viewer watches the film again it starts to make more sense.
The Witch (2015)
The Witch is a folk horror film from 2015. The movie is a slow burn, but the end could make zero sense to some viewers. The Witch is also one of the best A24 horror movies. Black Phillip appears and speaks to Thomasin in a dark, human voice after her family is gone. She takes off her clothes and descends into the forest where she finds other naked witches.
For a movie that is slow-paced, the ending really picks up. Black Philip speaking to Thomasin is probably what confuses viewers the most as his voice is quite startling. He appears randomly, and it confuses the viewer since they thought he was a goat this whole time. There is a goat that follows Thomasin to the woods so is that Black Phillip as well? The whole thing really makes the viewer ponder.
The Babadook (2014)
The Babadook from 2014 is a psychological horror film that has a cult following. The ending features a change in the Babadook that might complicate the film. After the intense climax, it is revealed that the Babadook lives in the basement now. It almost attacks Amelia, but she settles him down.
It seems weird that Amelia was able to domesticate the Babadook after it possessed her. The whole film dodged the question of what is the Babadook. It seemed to be a metaphor for depression or loss, but there is so definite answer. It also begs the question of how are they going to live with the Babadook in their basement and what that exactly entails. The vagueness is most likely a stylistic choice.
The Shining (1980)
The Shining is one of the most loved horror films of all time. The ending is still confusing people to this day. Jack is trying to kill Wendy and Danny when Danny misleads him in the snow maze. He is left for dead and a photograph is shown with Jack in it that is from the year 1921.
This ending is one of the most iconic in horror history as The Shining’s ambiguous nature leads to many interpretations. There are still theories about this ending being made today. The ending really makes the viewer question everything they just saw in the film. There were other confusing details like the man in the bear suit and the elevator filled with blood.
Triangle is a sci-fi horror film from 2009. The film features time travel that could take a moment for viewers to wrap their heads around. Jess is able to her earlier self but accidentally ends up killing her son. She returns to the dock to start the day over again to save her son.
This whole movie is very confusing if the viewer stops paying attention for a second, they might miss an important piece of the story. There are so many versions of Jess on the boat at one time, that it could wrap the viewer’s mind in a pretzel. The ending makes the viewer wonder if Jess knew what was going to happen the whole time.
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