We have seen these movies time and time again. Movies are an investment on our time. We put 90 minutes or so into them for entertainment or separation from life’s problems. We don’t expect every movie to be great. Sometimes, we just want to watch some dumb movie. How else are there 5,000 direct to video movies about ocean monsters in the last 3 years? Still, quite a few movies have endings that can be guessed mainly because of their genres. Less than 5 minutes into the movie, you know the ending even without knowing more than the basic plot. When I saw the first Wishmaster movie, by the end of the opening voice over, I knew how the movie would end. However, you just can’t believe that these movies would be so predictable. The mere thought of a writer being unable to think of a single original ending should raise your blood pressure. Well, a lot of the typical slasher movies from the 80s and many of the current b-movies seem to be forced to have these ridiculous endings.
Warning, I will be mentioning the endings to several movies. So spoilers will ensue.
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1. The "Is It a Dream or Not?" ending
This ending has been driven approximately 841 feet into the ground. The "dream" ending can always give the shock ending without any semblance of logic whatsoever behind the cheap scare. A number of the Nightmare on Elm Street movies have done the "dream ending". Though to be fair to Freddy Kreuger, most of his movies have numerous scenes where reality is hard to distinguish at first from the dream world to excuse them from the far lazier movies using the "is it a dream or not" ending. The most famous of the terrible dream endings would be I Know What You Did Last Summer or Event Horizon.
2. The "Movie That Sets up Its Own sequel" ending
This is typically the shock ending that is just different enough not to count as the "Is It a Dream or Not?" ending. Yes, this is the "Wait, we did everything right to stop Freddy, Jason, Santa Claus. How can this be???" ending. The slasher, monster, etc is defeated but still they somehow aren’t 100% dead just mostly dead. The monster will be killed but it has left a few eggs behind that must always start to look as if they’ll hatch right before the credits start to roll.
3. The "Monster Drives the Hero Insane" ending.
Yes, the main character has faced the fires of hell and not cracked. However, something small causes our hero to snap like a twig. This is more commonly referred to as the HP Lovecraft ending. Why actually have the hero driven insane? It starts to make the idea of a sequel easier. If the hero then becomes the killer, we get the Friday the 13th: A New Beginning version of the ending. How does the hero always seem to get possessed by the monstrous demon at the very end of the movie?
4. Time travel movies have to walk a very thin line to keep from logically undoing the entire movie.
The paradox of making sure history isn’t unwritten is hard for the typical moviegoers to follow. If a time traveler from the future tries to change a historic event or stop a future villain from altering some past event, was the event going to happen no matter what? Time travel has a hard time escaping the feel of predetermination or that all the consequences are completely ignorable. When the 2 best explanations of time travel and its consequences are the Terminator or the Star Trek "City on the Edge of Forever episode, you aren’t going to get very technical explanations of time travel. Every single action continually alters and compounds the number of changes from the original timestream like in Sound of Thunder or Butterfly Effect.