The worst movie endings ever

Few things in this world are worse than a bad ending. It ruins what would be an otherwise pleasant experience, turning it into an unsavory memory. Sometimes, the films that precede these bad endings are already awful, so their flawed climaxes surprise no one; if the first one-and-a-half hours are bad, there is no reason to believe the last twenty minutes will be any better.

But what about good, even great, films that fall apart because of one bad choice made during the last ten minutes? Those instances are the worst, leaving deep wounds in a cinephile’s heart. Indeed, bad endings suck for all kinds of reasons.

Still, some are harmless mistakes that might be more annoying than genuinely upsetting. However, some endings are so terrible, so mind-numbingly stupid, that one can’t help but wonder how anyone in their right mind would write them, let alone read and approve them. In the pantheon of horrific movie endings, these are among the all-time worst, the ones that truly make us question our faith in cinema.

Planet of the Apes (2001)

A man and a female ape looking intently in the same direction in the 2001 film Planet of the Apes.

The original Planet of the Apes is among the all-time best sci-fi movies.

Featuring an original plot with high stakes and a thrilling, thought-provoking story, the film has everything a cinematic experience should. Any remake would pale in comparison, but Tim Burton’s 2001 effort is beyond bad. Ridiculously over-the-top to the point of absurdity, Burton’s Planet of the Apes puts the “bomb” in “bombastic.”

The film is already quite terrible, featuring clumsy performances from Mark Wahlberg and Tim Roth. However, the ending elevates it from “bad” to “spectacularly and genuinely awful.” In a misguided effort to distance itself from the original’s famous and celebrated twist ending, Burton and company tried to revamp their version’s climax while still trying to keep the original’s essence. The result — a scene that features an ape version of the Lincoln statue at the Lincoln Memorial and a swarm of police apes — lacks any of the original’s tension and sense of shock.

Instead, it comes across as contrived and laughably ridiculous. Is it Earth? Is this the future?

Does anyone care?

I Am Legend (2007)

Robert Neville lying on the floor next to a German Shepherd in I Am Legend.

Will Smith was still at the height of his career in the noughties, headlining successful star vehicles and getting the occasional Oscar nomination for his dramatic work.

2007’s I Am Legend finds him as virologist Robert Neville, the sole survivor of a virus apocalypse that killed millions and turned others into night-dwelling mutants. I Am Legend features an intriguing premise and Smith at his prime, making for a gripping and emotionally-resonant first hour and a half. However, the ending undoes most of the film’s themes by having Neville sacrifice himself to kill the mutants and save the cure he worked on for so long.

The alternate ending, which follows the novel more closely, has Neville share a powerful moment of understanding with the mutant’s leader, realizing he now lives in a changing world and must adapt to his new reality. It’s a weighty and daring ending that goes against everything audiences expect from typical blockbuster fare, but that’s what would’ve made it so impactful. A sequel is in development, so perhaps the new film can reclaim some of these intriguing and unfairly-discarded themes.

Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)

The Doomsday creature looking intently in the 2016 film Batman v.
/p
pSuperman.

Batman and Superman’s first time sharing the big screen should’ve been a once-in-a-lifetime experience. However, Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice was a clumsy and overly-ambitious film whose reach grossly exceeded its grasp.

The plot is convoluted to the point of nonsense, and the supposed titan clash between the Last Son of Krypton and the Dark Knight lasts a little more than 5 minutes — and let’s not even talk about the whole Martha debacle. However, it’s the climax, which sees Lex Luthor send the Doomsday creature after the titular heroes, that truly derails the film beyond salvation. A CGI mess, the fight against Doomsday ends with Superman’s apparent death.

Some of the all-time best superhero movies have included powerful sacrifices that greatly impact the story. However, Superman’s demise is neither emotional nor effective. Instead, it comes across as a cheap plot point, mainly because the film seems like it’s just crossing items from a long to-do list.

Kill Superman. Check. Revive Superman in next film.

Check.

The Devil Inside (2012)

A young woman standing in front of two doors in the 2012 film The Devil Inside.

The found-footage genre exploded in the new millennium, delivering some truly thrilling entries post-The Blair Witch Project. However, The Devil Inside is an example of the worst things the genre has to offer. Cheap-looking and poorly paced, the film is a poor man’s attempt at existential horror featuring little to no scares and often coming across as ridiculous rather than terrifying.

Still, the worst part of The Devil Inside is its ending. Abrupt and laughable, the film ends with a car crash followed by a cut to black and a title card inviting audiences to visit a website to learn more about the supposedly real-life case. I applaud the daringness of The Devil Inside‘s creative minds, even if the result remains unbelievably stupid.

Furthermore, the website has been defunct since 2013, rendering the film effectively inconclusive. Not that The Devil Inside has a high rewatch value, though. However, it will forever exist as a product of its time and place and a painful reminder that, although timely and original, viral marketing has an inescapable expiration date.

Robot Monster (1953)

Ro-Man in a desert with his arms slightly liften in the 1953 film Robot Monster.

It’s not an exaggeration to say Robot Monster is one of the worst films ever.

It has its charms — if there was ever a so-bad-it’s-good movie, it’s this one. However, it remains silly and outright embarrassing, even if modern audiences can delight in its excesses. The plot follows the alien robot Ro-Man, who kills most of humanity on the orders of the Great Guidance before falling in love with a human girl.

The ending sees Ro-Man and the male hero, Johnny, apparently killed by the Great Guidance. However, the film then cuts to a scene where Johnny wakes up from a fever dream, suggesting the film’s events occurred in his head. A final shot of Ro-Man then implies Johnny had a premonition, meaning everything he “dreamt” will indeed come to pass.

Whatever the truth, the ending sucks.

It feels more like a cope out than a genuine twist, mainly because the film is never serious enough to pull its lofty ambitions.

Editors’ Recommendations

glasses-direct listed on couponmatrix.ukhotter-shoes listed on couponmatrix.ukideal-of-sweden listed on couponmatrix.uknba-league-pass listed on couponmatrix.ukvan-meuwen listed on couponmatrix.ukvapemate listed on couponmatrix.uk
glasses-direct listed on couponmatrix.ukChoose Glasses Direct for your next pair of frames and you’ll enjoy massive savings on great quality glasses, with over 500 styles to choose from. Shopping with the UK's leading online prescription glasses retailer has never been a better idea! Make the most of your money by using a Glasses Direct discount code during checkout to get you a great discount on your order subtotal. At Glasses Direct you can rest assured that qualified opticians are working to find the best solution for your prescription.
hotter-shoes listed on couponmatrix.ukLevel up your shoe game and inject some much-needed inspiration into even your most tired outfits with Hotter Shoes, the high-street brand with incredible comfort credentials! Use a Hotter Shoes discount code on your next order and you’ll be able to get everything from ankle boots to deck shoes without blowing your budget. Look after your feet in true style with these fashionable designs from Hotter Shoes.
ideal-of-sweden listed on couponmatrix.ukEven your handheld gadgets get to dress and impress with Ideal of Sweden – the phone case, accessory and bag designers with an eye for style. Inspired by the latest runway fashion, put your chic pattern of choice on your phone before capitalising with an Ideal of Sweden discount code. With the ability to instantly switch between cases and other gadgets through an easy-to-use magnetic strip, you can set up your device with a fresh look every week.
nba-league-pass listed on couponmatrix.ukThe NBA League Pass is the perfect way to keep up with your favourite basketball team. You can watch live games, get access to exclusive content, and much more. Plus, with an NBA League Pass promo code, you can save even more on your subscription. Even if you miss a match, the dozens of archived NBA games the pass provides – along with the ability to download them to view offline – allow to get caught up whenever you please. At Groupon, we work hard to find the best NBA League Pass promo codes and discounts. We search the web for the latest coupons and deals, so you can be sure you're getting the best savings on your subscription. Plus, we'll keep you updated on any special offers and seasonal discounts, so you can always stay up-to-date on the best ways to get top basketball content at the lowest possible price. One of the best things about NBA League Pass is the trial code. With this code, you can get a free 7-day sample of the service. This is a great way to test out the service and see if it's right for you without having to put any of your own money on the line. You can even start a trial period before a big game, so you can sample all the Pass perks whilst watching your favourite teams throw down.
van-meuwen listed on couponmatrix.ukGive your green fingers a treat with the selection of lush and leafy flora from Van Meuwen, the world’s leading mail-order seed and plant specialist. Whether you’re a newbie to the gardening game or a seasoned pro, grab a Van Meuwen voucher code from us to cut the cost of your horticultural haul. From exotic bamboo to iconic British roses, Van Meuwen offers all that you need to watch your garden grow with pride. Sow the seeds of success and buy from Van Meuwen today!
vapemate listed on couponmatrix.ukVAPEMATE is one of the leading online retailers of electronic cigarettes and vaping supplies. They offer a wide range of products at great prices, and they frequently run VAPEMATE discount code promotions. If you're looking for a VAPEMATE discount code, you've come to the right place! We have a wide selection for you to choose from. Whether you're looking for a percentage off your total purchase, free shipping, or a free gift with purchase, take a look around and see what we have to offer! At Groupon, we understand that saving money is important to our customers. That's why we work hard to find the best discount codes and voucher codes for VAPEMATE products, so you can be sure you're getting the best possible deal. We update our codes regularly, so be sure to check back often to see what new deals we have to offer. And remember, with Groupon you can always be sure you're getting the best price thanks to our Best Price Guarantee. VAPEMATE offers a wide range of products, but one of their most popular items is the V2 Pro Series 7 vaporizer. This top-of-the-line product offers outstanding performance, thanks to its three temperature settings and long battery life. Plus, if you use a VAPEMATE voucher code you can save even more money on your purchase. So if you're looking for a high-quality vaporizer at an unbeatable price, be sure to check out the V2 Pro Series 7 from VAPEMATE.