I originally planned this to be a top 5 list of abysmal movies or TV show endings, but…I couldn’t come up with 5. I realize I’m not that much of a movie goer. So I’ve decided to expand on the theme and talk about the most important part of a story, be it in movie form, TV show form or written form. And in my view, that part is of course the ending. Be advised, SPOILERS AHEAD!
Did you ever find yourself actually liking a movie with a bad ending? I’ve never heard anyone say “well, the ending sucked but the 30 minutes in the middle were the best ever!!!111”. Ok, I might be paraphrasing a little bit, but seriously, a bad ending ruins a movie way more than people give it credit for.
It’s like Johnny Depp’s character Morton Rainey said in Secret Window. The most important part of a story is the ending, because, being the last act of it, it also represents the last impression that people walk out of said story or movie.
Take Law Abiding Citizen for example. You’re telling me Gerard Butler’s character was so arrogant he didn’t think of a backup plan should his hideout be discovered? Total nonsense, given how he outwitted EVERY SINGLE FREAKING PERSON OF THE JUSTICE SYSTEM HE CAME ACROSS!! I’ve read somewhere that the ending was changed from Gerard Butler winning to Jamie Foxx winning, but honestly, it was for the worst.
And what about How I Met Your Mother? This long-ass sitcom turned…something weird…during the last 2 or 3 seasons was teasing us with the mother for so long and took us to one of the most interesting character development stories of recent years only to take the most giant of s**t on everything in the end. I mean come on, why in God’s name would you go through all the trouble of having Barney transform from playboy to reliable husband, giving The Playbook to the next generation, only to have him revert to his original form? Awesome writing guys. And killing off the mother so Ted can go and be with Robin, a thing that has NEVER worked time and time again…once again, awesome writing guys. No wonder there’s an alternate ending.
Speaking of Secret Window, some people hate the ending because of the somewhat unnecessary twist. I for one enjoyed it, it was a nice case of split personality with the person now being aware of his multiple personalities. Kind of like the movie Split, but with Morton not being aware of what he is doing until it was a bit too late.
I can almost guarantee the a bad ending makes a rating of 10 go down to 7 or 8 if you’re lucky. If someone is really pissed, he’d give that show a rating even lower than that. And all because of 10 to 15% of the entire thing. I’m not saying an ending should always be happy. Sometimes sad or bittersweet endings work. A good example of a very very horrifying ending was the movie Sinister, but it actually worked for the movie as a whole. I still get a bit creeped out when I think of it.
People look for closure in everything they do, it’s a human need, not basic, but very frustrating when you don’t have it. Why do you think people obsess over past lovers? Because they didn’t get the sense of closure from it, almost certainly because of the fact that they wanted it to go on, but the other person didn’t. It’s the same with movies and stories. People want them to have an ending, an ending that fits the series of events as a whole, be it happy, sad or nightmare inducing.