25 Movies With Wild Endings We Never Saw Coming

Last Night in Soho Thomasin McKenzie

The best finales in cinema are the shocking, the bizarre, the ones that make you contemplate your life decisions and everything you learned in school and life. Here are some of our favorite movies with jaw-dropping endings. Warning: spoilers ahead.

1. Se7en (1995)

Seven Se7en Morgan Freeman Brad Pitt
Image Credit: Warner Bros.

Two detectives explore a series of interconnected crimes alluding to the seven deadly sins in the Bible. The retiring detective, William Somerset (Morgan Freeman), embarks on his final mission with a new transfer, David Mills (Brad Pitt). The two strive to connect the dots and find the perpetrator, but by doing so, they discover a fate worse than they could have imagined.

At the end of the film, the perpetrator turns himself in and tells the detectives he'll identify the last victims in a specific field far away from the city.

2. Sixth Sense (1999)

I See Dead People.- The Sixth Sense (1999)
Image Credit: Buena Vista Pictures.

Who doesn't love a movie about children who can see ghosts? When the film opens, a child psychologist, Malcolm, receives an award for his work before returning home to his wife. A former patient of his breaks in and shoots Malcolm and himself. After a time jump, Malcolm begins to work with a young, disturbed boy, Cole, who claims he sees ghosts. Malcolm helps the child, at first not believing his ghost sightings, but eventually trusting that the ghosts he sees are real.

The gut-punching ending reveals that Malcolm was deceased the whole time he provided care to Cole, supporting the claim he could see ghosts.

3. The Departed (2006)

The Departed Leonardo DiCaprio Matt Damon Jack Nicholson
Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures.

Tension is the primary power source for The Departed, and it's extracted from unpredictability. Literally, nothing in the flick tells you what's coming next, so what happens to Matt Damon's character at the very end of it all is enough to make you jump up from your seat. 

4. The Village (2004)

the village1 2
Image Credit: Buena Vista Pictures Distribution.

Through most of its running time, The Village would have you think that it was set sometime in the 1700s. But alas, as the final act reveals, that is far from the case. 

5. Creep (2014)

Craig (Creep)
Photo Credit: The Duplass Brothers/Blumhouse Productions.

Mark Duplass nails the role of a creep. The first film in the installment features a strange man, Josef, whose Craigslist post asks for a filmmaker to travel to his cabin and assist in the videography for an upcoming film. Josef intends to dedicate the film to his future son, and an eager (and naive) filmmaker, Aaron, sets out to the cabin for the project.

Once Aaron arrives at the cabin, Josef tells him he is ill with a fatal brain tumor that will take his life before he meets his son. Josef begins revealing disturbing information to Aaron, raising his anxiety and leading to his escape. A few months later, Josef begins stalking Aaron and asks to meet him in broad daylight in a public park. Aaron agrees and sets up a camera and a pre-dialed call to the police in case anything goes wrong.

6. Saw (2004)

Saw (2004)
Image Credit: Lionsgate Films.

The original Saw emerged from a college project written by James Wan and Leigh Whannell. Two kidnapping victims, a doctor and a photographer, wake up in a room with a seemingly deceased third victim. The two discover the traps planted around the room and the mastermind behind the schemes, Jigsaw. The doctor alerts the other victim that he knows of Jigsaw's past work since he was involved in questioning during a visit with a patient, John Kramer.

The two men learn the other isn't as innocent as they claim, which causes each other to turn against the other.

7. The Vanishing (1988)

Johanna ter Steege as Saskia Wagter
Image Credit: Golden Egg Films.

For horror hounds, this film doesn't achieve peak terror until the credits roll. After a couple pulls over at a gas station in France, the woman, Saskia, disappears, leading her boyfriend, Rex, to uncover the mystery behind her vanishing years after she disappeared.

Rex begins receiving mail from a male figure claiming he knows more information about what happened to Saskia. Rex disregards his other life obligations in an effort to find justice for Saskia and meets with the man. The man suggests he can show him what happened to Saskia only if he goes through the same thing she did. Determined to understand what happened, Rex obliges.

8. Get Out (2017)

Get Out
Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

Rose, a white woman, and Chris, a Black man, travel upstate to visit her parents. As this is Chris' first time meeting her parents, he explains that he's unsure how they'll react to the two dating. She assures him it will be fine and that her parents are not racist. Of course, she lied.

9. OldBoy (2003)

Oldboy Choi Min-sik, Kang Hye-jung
Image Credit: Show East.

Oh-Dae-Su misses his daughter's fourth birthday and wakes up trapped in a tiny cell where he remains for 13 years. He pieces together that his wife was killed, and he is the main suspect. One day, he is released and stumbles into a restaurant where he befriends and falls in love with a young chef, Mi-Do.

Soon, Dae-Su realizes that the captors put a hypnosis spell over him and Mi-Do so they'd fall in love with each other. Mi-Do happens to be his daughter, and the hypnosis was a retaliatory act against Dae-Su.

10. Fight Club (1999)

Fight Club Brad Pitt, Edward Norton
Image Credit: 20th Century Fox.

When an insomniac and a soap salesman run into each other, circumstances lead them to form a fight club. The duo attracts other citizens near them, creating a tight-knit underground society that invented the infamous line, “The first rule of Fight Club is you do not talk about Fight Club.”

The meetings allow the members to disassociate from their boring realities and escape into a fighting oasis. We see at the end of the film that the insomniac and the soap salesman are the same person, introducing a split personality twist prevalent in films today.

11. High Tension (2003)

high tension
Image Credit: Lionsgate.

High Tension is memorable for a few reasons. Firstly, the film is poorly dubbed, on purpose, making it annoying to get into but impossible to stop watching once you get a sense of the plot. Two friends, Alex and Marie, head to the countryside to stay with Alex's family for a few days while they study. During the first night of their escapade, a serial killer breaks into the house and murders Alex's parents and little brother and kidnaps Alex. The perpetrator does not see Marie. However, she follows Alex into the van, hoping to help her escape.

12. Ex Machina (2014)

Ex Machina Alicia Vikander, Sonoya Mizuno
Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

This is the best robot movie of the past ten years. Ex Machina centers around Caleb Smith, a worker who wins a contest to live in CEO Nathan Bateman's house for a week with his new projects. Bateman has designed an advanced AI robot and wants to pair her with Smith. Smith obliges and undertakes a Turing test with the robot, Ava. The test measures how close a human the robot resembles.

Ava seems to exhibit mostly human characteristics like self-awareness and love, claiming she's falling for Caleb. Caleb returns the gesture and promises he'll help her escape. Once he helps her leave Bateman's house, she locks him inside, revealing that she manipulated him to help her escape.

13. Us (2019)

Us
Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

Jordan Peele's Us begins with a sequence of a young girl entering an amusement park house and witnessing another girl who looks just like her. The next scenes focus on a family who travels to a beach home for a summer getaway. Once they arrive, they notice a strange family approaching their house. The family happens to be clones of them, but they do not speak the same language. The only person who can communicate is the mother. She speaks in a strained, painful voice, explaining that everybody has a tether or a doppelgänger that lives in the tunnels underground.

Near the end of the film, the mother with the strained voice admits she is the real woman, not the tether, but she adapted to life underground and plotted her revenge for years.

14. Scream (1996)

Scream 1
Image Credit: Spyglass Media Group.

Sidney Prescott's mother was killed in cold blood a year before a masked serial killer, Ghostface, targets her friends and family. The school decides to suspend classes due to the recent murders, so the high schoolers take responsibility into their own hands and throw a party. At the party, Ghostface shows up and shoots Sidney's boyfriend, Billy, in front of her.

Sidney panics and looks for help when she notices Billy is wounded but not dead, so she hands Billy a gun. He shoots their friend, Randy, and admits that he and his friend, Stu, are the killers, seeking revenge on Sidney since her mother had an affair with his dad, which led to his parents' divorce.

15. Psycho (1960)

Janet Leigh as Marion Crane in Psycho
Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

Psycho may not have invented the plot twist, but it did it perfectly. Norman Bates owns a motel and has a rocky relationship with his mother. One day he takes a liking to a young woman (Marion) staying there for the night. He sneaks into her room and kills her in the shower, introducing the cinematic world to one of the most famous death scenes in history. When Marion's sister and boyfriend arrive at the motel looking for her, they realize Norman's strange behavior signals something sinister.

Ten years prior to killing Marion, Norman murdered his mother and kept her corpse, developing a split personality. He acts as “Mother” whenever he is around a woman he likes.

16. Coco (2017)

Coco Alfonso Arau, Selene Luna, Dyana Ortelli, Herbert Siguenza, Anthony Gonzalez
Image Credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.

Twelve-year-old Miguel's grandmother forbids him to pursue his passion, music. The family holds a deep grudge against anything relating to music since Miguel's great-great-grandfather deserted his family to follow his love for music. Miguel plays his great-great grandfather Ernesto De La Cruz's guitar, which sends him to the land of the dead, where he tries to meet up with his relative and ask for his permission to welcome music back into his family.

Miguel befriends a man named Hector, and once they find Ernesto, the truth comes out that Hector is his real relative who wrote all of the songs that made Ernesto famous. And, out of jealousy, Ernesto killed Hector.

17. Donnie Darko (2001)

Donnie Darko Jake Gyllenhaal
Image Credit: Newmarket Films.

Donnie Darko wanders out into the night to meet Frank, a large, life-sized speaking rabbit who tells him the world will end in 28 days. This happens after an airplane crashes into Darko's bedroom. Frank instructs Donnie to commit crimes and live out his life before the world ends. Since his parents frequently send him to therapy and alert him, he does not always see reality; he cannot tell if Frank is a hallucination or a real friend.

The film ends with a time loop, sending Darko back to the point the airplane crashes, which kills Darko.

18. American Psycho (2002)

American Psycho Christian Bale
Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

Patrick Bateman lives a perfect life, introduces the world to a “killer” skincare routine, and works as a successful businessman in New York City. During his downtime, he becomes a serial killer and targets innocent individuals. Eventually, his actions catch up to him, and his coworkers discover his journal featuring gruesome depictions of his killings.

He confesses to everything, but the coworkers do not believe him and claim the victims he says are no longer alive are still alive. This confuses Bateman and leads him to wonder if he imagined everything.

19. Orphan (2009)

Orphan Isabelle Fuhrman
Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures.

A family adopts a nine-year-old girl from Russia named Esther, who sweet-talks them for a few days until her true colors come out. The adoptive mother notices Esther's strange behavior and tries to speak with the father about how she acts, but the father likes Esther and thinks the mother is overreacting.

Esther acts maniacally, causing havoc at school and hurting animals and people. The mom contacts the orphanage. Esther says she's from Russia, but they have no record of her. They discover she actually escaped from a mental institution in Estonia and has a rare disorder that makes her appear a lot younger than she is. The real Esther is named Leena and is 33 years old.

20. Gone Girl (2014)

Gone Girl
Image Credit: 20th Century Fox.

When Amy Dunne disappears, her husband, Nick, becomes the prime suspect. Nick doesn't seem to be affected by his wife's disappearance, causing the cops to raise eyebrows about the situation and lean into their suspicions about Nick. Yet, the audience finds out Amy framed her disappearance to get back at him for cheating on her.

Once she returns to the picture, Nick learns she killed her ex-boyfriend and has framed men for crimes they didn't commit. Nick attempts to leave, but Amy warns him he can't since she impregnated herself with a DNA sample she obtained from a clinic.

21. Parasite (2019)

Parasite Song Kang-ho, Jang Hye-jin, Choi Woo-sik, Park So-dam
Image Credit: CJ Entertainment.

A Korean family (the Kims) struggles to make enough money to support themselves, so they befriend a wealthy family (the Parks) and infiltrate their house by getting the workers fired so they can overtake their jobs. Sounds like a great plan, but the old housekeeper kept her husband in the basement to avoid paying his debt.

To add to the first twist, a bloody battle ensues between classes, leading to the death of Kim's daughter and the imprisonment of the mom and son. The dad finds his way into the underground bunker, where he sends his family Morse code messages.

22. Last Night in Soho (2021)

Last Night in Soho
Image Credit: Focus Features.

A wide-eyed fashion student, Eloise, moves into an apartment in Soho, London, and begins to time travel between the current day and the 1960s. She sees visions of a talented singer named Sandie, who appears to be climbing up the ladder of success. Eloise follows Sandie's story, determined to see how her fame plays out.

Sadly, the story doesn't turn out how Eloise hoped, and she begins to suffer mental breakdowns at school when she realizes her landlord is Sandie. Sandie kills all the bad men she ever encountered and buries them under the house.

23. Malignant (2021)

Annabelle Wallis Malignant
Image Credit: New Line Cinema.

Madison begins to notice horrific visions of real events, and she knows they are related to her first eight years of life, but she can't pinpoint how. She remembers her imaginary friend, Gabriel, whom she used to speak to as a child. The film uncovers that Madison has a twin attached to the back of her head who controls electricity and operates her body to commit crimes.

24. The Invitation (2015)

Logan Marshall Green in The Invitation 2015
Image Credit: Drafthouse Films.

Will and Kira attend a dinner party thrown by Will's ex-wife, Eden. During the dinner, tensions rise, and grievances come out, leading to conversations surrounding the past. Will and Eden lost their son, which caused her to vanish from society. Two years later, she reemerged with a new boyfriend and a willingness to spend time with Will.

Eden and her new boyfriend inform the guests of the cult they joined, “The Invitation,” a group designated to living through grief. Eden explains that the participants of The Invitation have to carry out murder-suicides. Will and Kira escape but see that all of the neighboring houses have red lanterns, signifying everyone else is involved in the cult.

25. The Matrix (1999)

The Matrix Keanu Reeves Laurence Fishburne Carrie-Anne Moss
Image Credit: Warner Bros.

Red pill or blue pill? A mysterious figure asks a hacker, Neo, which pill he'd like to take. Red will introduce him to a brand new world, while blue keeps him settled in the same world he always lived in. The curious man chooses red and learns that the world, or The Matrix, is a simulation.

Author: Gabrielle Reeder

Title: Entertainment Journalist and TT Writer

Expertise: Film, Travel, Taylor Swift, Music, Lifestyle

Bio:

Gabrielle Reeder is a vibrant entertainment and travel journalist with over six years of experience in the field. She serves as an Entertainment writer and a Trending Topics Writer at Wealth of Geeks. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Creative Writing and Human Development from Eckerd College, allowing her to see the intersection between entertainment and humanity in her writing. She specializes in weird film, music, Taylor Swift, travel, and lifestyle topics.