This whole piece will contain a lot of spoilers. We are talking about worst endings so we will of course talk about the endings.
The Descent (American)
I am not sure what to make of the American ending of this movie. For those that haven’t seen either version The Descent has two almost identical endings, just the American version randomly ends about two minuets earlier. In the original Sarah escapes and then is faced by a jump scare of Juno (who she has left for dead) only to wake and realize she is still trapped in the cave. It’s depressing but on point with the rest of the movie. With the American version the jump scare happens and the credits roll. Aside from the fact that Sarah making it out doesn’t fit with the tone of the overall movie it’s also just a super awkward ending. Jump scare then bam over? The original ending was deemed “too depressing” for American audiences, but considering how poorly received the edited version was depressing seems better than bad.
Life is a movie that desperately wants to build up to a Twilight Zone like ending. It puts a lot of care and effort to really try to sell this final moment. What made The Twilight Zone endings hit with such an impact is the rest of the episode supports them. What fails with Life is that the rest of the movie doesn’t. You are supposed to have this epic final twist where the not safe life boat ends up on Earth, and the safe one goes flying into deep space. The problem being… There is nothing surprising about this. The movie has become so predictable at this point that the actual twist would have been for the movie to have a relatively “happy” ending. In fact I found myself hoping that I was completely wrong when I thought “the wrong ship went to Earth” just so the movie could have surprised me for once. It didn’t. And it’s not that I hate dark endings, in fact had the movie been done right that ending could have hit hard and been brilliant. But either the entire movie would have had to have been better or the ending would have had to change for either to have an impact. As it is it’s just bad.
Halloween II (2009)
In all honesty I can’t say that there is anything good about this movie, but the ending is especially bad. The movie attempts to further give background and motivation to Meyers (something he didn’t need) by showing a shared psychosis between Michael and Laurie. This ends in a climax of them in a building together and Laurie being physically incapacitated by visions… I can’t make this up she is imagining a young Michael holding her down thus is unable to move. I just… this is just bad. This isn’t even just ha ha bad, it’s just bad. I respect Rob Zombie as a musician and like some of his movies, but even if the rest of this movie hadn’t been a joke (which it was) this climax is unforgivable.
I actually don’t mind the ending of this movie as much as everyone else seems to. I like the idea that everything has worked together to help this family (religious overtones aside). What crushes the ending however is just the massive and impossible to over look plot hole. The aliens can’t handle water so they come to a planet made of over 70% water. Wait… what? Everything working together for one climax that would save the family is kind of interesting and I actually really like that aspect, but it all focuses on water which doesn’t make sense. The aliens have mastered space travel but aren’t smart enough to avoid attempting to take over a planet comprised mostly of their biggest weakness. Whelp…
Overall I actually like this sequel. I don’t love it, but there are far worse ones out there. However, the ending leaves a lot to be desired. So like Scream we have our surprise killers, but unlike Scream, one of them doesn’t make sense. The do gooder reporter reveals herself to Billy mother’s from the first movie. This is bad for a number of reasons. One, her method of meeting the other killer is simply full of holes. Two, this doesn’t line up with the first movie at all. Billy is supposed to have been traumatized by his mother leaving him and simply not caring. Yet now Billy’s mother is ready to rush back in and seek revenge? On top of the lackluster reveals the whole climax feels awkward. Largely it gives the impression that the movie went into production before the ending was ever written, and then the ending was rushed at the last possible moments. It just doesn’t hold up.
I Am Legend
The ending of the movie departs from the ending of the novella (and The Last Man on Earth), and thus gives a giant middle finger to the impact it could have. The movie ends with Will Smith making some grand last stand, the woman he saves taking a cure to a nearby town, yay it’s so happy. The impact of the story comes when you stick closer to the novella (and apparently an ending they shot but didn’t use). I Am Legend actually refers to the main character, he discovers that he is actually a monster to those that he has been hunting. They are thinking, feeling, beings. He has been attacking them and they have responded. This is a much more complex and thought provoking ending. It also would have saved the film. Overall, I Am Legend is actually pretty damn good, and quite scary. Then it has this boring action film ending that leaves you with a bad taste. Sticking closer to the intent of the source material would have done a lot for this, and I only wish a version edited together with the other ending would be released.