Movies that when they ended you went "Whaaaaat?"

Let me explain. Movies that ended and you never saw the ending coming. Meaning, plot resolution wise you thought there had to be some 20 minutes left so when the credits start rolling, you’re sitting there saying, “Are you S**tting me? It’s over?”

I can’t think of any I’ve seen in a lonnng time, but I know there were a couple when I was very young because I remember my parents saying, “WHAT?!”

I don’t think “Empire Strikes Back” was one, but I do remember that sinking feeling when the music started swelling and thinking “Awwww nooo.”

“Tommy” may have been one.

When I was walking out of The Fellowship of the Ring, the woman in front of me said to her boyfriend/husband “That ending didn’t make any sense! Now they have to make a sequel!”

I said “Maybe two.”

For me: Jacob’s Ladder.

A Serious Man, by the Cohen Brothers.

Barton Fink, by the Coen brothers.

Really, just about anything by the Coen brothers.

A few years back there was a shitty movie called Skyline that doesn’t end; it just stops with the story unfinished. I know that sounds like “That Restaurant has terrible food and such small portions!” but it felt more like it was giving you one last kick in the pants on your way out for wasting time with the movie.

For an example from a good movie: the recent Hobbit sequel has an ending like this.

I would assume a good many other people were thrown by the ending to Monty Python’s Holy Grail. I first saw it on VHS, and I had to rewind the last few minutes because I thought someone else had rented the tape and taped over it somehow.

I got it eventually, of course.

I watched a Romanian movie a couple of weeks ago called 4 Weeks, 3 Weeks and 2 Days. It was interesting, but the ending what just kind of there. I guess it resolved things, but I didn’t think all that great. There was a “Chekhov’s Gun” That was nothing. They made a big deal out of something twice and then it was never brought up again.

I’ve actually noticed this about some European movies, they sometimes just kind of end and I don’t always know if the resolution was good or not.

Oh yes. That’s a very good example. I was more upset that such a funny movie had ended though.

Edit: Similar in spirit to what we’re talking about. I remember watching “Best of Both Worlds” (ST: TNG) when it aired, glancing at the clock and seeing only five minutes left and saying, “Uh-oh”.

The Third Man seemed to end kind of brusquely, with lots of unfinished business.

Bill Murray in Broken Flowers:
“As the extremely withdrawn Don Johnston is dumped by his latest woman, he receives an anonymous letter from a former lover informing him that he has a son who may be looking for him. A freelance sleuth neighbor moves Don to embark on a cross-country search for his old flames in search of answers.”

Safety Not Guaranteed. The ending wasn’t totally unpredicted, but I was shocked they actually went there.

How about the second Planet of the Apes? Aperaham Lincoln? What the fuck?

Broken Flowers and My Own Private Idaho. The ending of the original Dino De Laurentiis version of Dunewas also a serious WTF. I had read the book and the movie ending (and much of the action) was not the same.

Yes. Not even much of a build-up or wind-down like the first one (or the first two LOTR movies); just BAM roll credits. Middle in a trilogy and all, but definitely had a Whaaaat? vibe to it.

I read a marvelous comment today in the NYT, about “those dreary movies of the 70s that didn’t seem to be about anyone in particular, had bad lighting and ended on a note of sullen depression.” Wow, is that on-target. Don’t Look Now, I am thinking of you… and Bullitt, barring the five minutes of chase scene. Klute. A thousand others, even the raggedly edited MASH. A whole decade of “Whaaaaat?”

Orson Welles’? I didn’t think so.

Red State by Kevin Smith

I understand what Goddard & Whedon were going for, but I still don’t like the ending to The Cabin in the Woods.

You mean the remake with Mark Wahlberg (I’m still pissed that he didn’t even take his shirt off when Charlton Heston was willing to get naked in the original)? I think the ending was a sequel hook that never paned out, but year it was really weird.

I think a lot of people with Match Point. I wasn’t so shocked b/c I’d heard people saying how the last few minutes really mess with you, so came in primed, but if I hadn’t, I think it would have been more of a mindfuck.

When Alfred Hitchcock’s THE BIRDS was first released, there was a lot of “huh? but what happens?” after the ending.

I figured someone else was going to mention ‘The Birds’, but I have a take on it too. At the time, no movie ended without notifying the audience with ‘The End’, followed by the end credits, and no movie ended without a resolution in some way.

Hitchock really roped us in here. I assumed that it was an intermission and that the movie would continue in 15 minutes.