A great ending can save a mediocre horror movie, making something otherwise dismissible worthy of consideration. A great ending to a great movie, though, is something rare and treasured, so it’s no surprise that the best of the best all come from quality films. A great horror movie ending can be worth re-watching countless times over; it doesn’t matter that we know what’s coming when powerful visuals and storytelling elements explode in a thrilling climax!
One of the most recent video lists for our friends at WatchMojo is right up our alley: Top 10 Best Horror Movie Endings of ALL TIME! These aren’t necessarily the scariest endings of all time; for their criteria, they’re looking at conclusions that shocked us, defined the horror genre, and/or left us talking for days/weeks/years after seeing them.
Related Article: Another Top 10 Scariest Opening Scenes in Horror Movies
Have a watch and let us know what you think in the Comments section! Did your favorite horror movie ending make the list? What are some other awesome horror movie endings that deserve a shout out? Let the debates begin!
If you can’t stream, or you want to relieve the endings discussed in their entirety, the films and scenes are listed below. Enjoy!
Warning: Below There Be Spoilers!
Official Synopsis: Scary, shocking, and memorable, the greatest endings to your favourite classic and modern horror films! WatchMojo presents the Top 10 most amazing endings to horror movies ever! But what will take the top spot on our list? Carrie, The Sixth Sense, or Psycho?
[REC] (2007, Directed by Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza)
Official Synopsis: A reporter (Manuela Velasco) and her cameraman record the horrifying outbreak of a disease that turns humans into vicious cannibals.
The Thing (1982, Directed by John Carpenter)
Official Synopsis: In remote Antarctica, a group of American research scientists are disturbed at their base camp by a helicopter shooting at a sled dog. When they take in the dog, it brutally attacks both human beings and canines in the camp and they discover that the beast can assume the shape of its victims. A resourceful helicopter pilot (Kurt Russell) and the camp doctor (Richard Dysart) lead the camp crew in a desperate, gory battle against the vicious creature before it picks them all off, one by one.
Saw (2004, Directed by James Wan)
Related Article: Photographer Adam Stanheight (Leigh Whannell) and oncologist Lawrence Gordon (Cary Elwes) regain consciousness while chained to pipes at either end of a filthy bathroom. As the two men realize they’ve been trapped by a sadistic serial killer nicknamed “Jigsaw” and must complete his perverse puzzle to live, flashbacks relate the fates of his previous victims. Meanwhile, Dr. Gordon’s wife (Monica Potter) and young daughter (Makenzie Vega) are forced to watch his torture via closed-circuit video.
The Blair Witch Project (1999, Directed by Eduardo Sánchez, Daniel Myrick)
Official Synopsis: Found video footage tells the tale of three film students (Heather Donahue, Joshua Leonard, Michael C. Williams) who’ve traveled to a small town to collect documentary footage about the Blair Witch, a legendary local murderer. Over the course of several days, the students interview townspeople and gather clues to support the tale’s veracity. But the project takes a frightening turn when the students lose their way in the woods and begin hearing horrific noises.
The Mist (2007, Directed by Frank Darabont)
Official Synopsis: After a powerful storm damages their Maine home, David Drayton (Thomas Jane) and his young son head into town to gather food and supplies. Soon afterward, a thick fog rolls in and engulfs the town, trapping the Draytons and others in the grocery store. Terror mounts as deadly creatures reveal themselves outside, but that may be nothing compared to the threat within, where a zealot (Marcia Gay Harden) calls for a sacrifice.
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984, Directed by Wes Craven)
Official Synopsis: In Wes Craven’s classic slasher film, several Midwestern teenagers fall prey to Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund), a disfigured midnight mangler who preys on the teenagers in their dreams — which, in turn, kills them in reality. After investigating the phenomenon, Nancy (Heather Langenkamp) begins to suspect that a dark secret kept by her and her friends’ parents may be the key to unraveling the mystery, but can Nancy and her boyfriend Glen (Johnny Depp) solve the puzzle before it’s too late?
Sleepaway Camp (1983, Directed by Robert Hiltzik)
Official Synopsis: Bunks and the showers are a mad stabber’s beat at a summer camp strictly for teens.
The Sixth Sense (1999, Directed by M. Night Shyamalan)
Official Synopsis: Young Cole Sear (Haley Joel Osment) is haunted by a dark secret: he is visited by ghosts. Cole is frightened by visitations from those with unresolved problems who appear from the shadows. He is too afraid to tell anyone about his anguish, except child psychologist Dr. Malcolm Crowe (Bruce Willis). As Dr. Crowe tries to uncover the truth about Cole’s supernatural abilities, the consequences for client and therapist are a jolt that awakens them both to something unexplainable.
Carrie (1976, Directed by Brian De Palma)
Official Synopsis: In this chilling adaptation of Stephen King’s horror novel, withdrawn and sensitive teen Carrie White (Sissy Spacek) faces taunting from classmates at school and abuse from her fanatically pious mother (Piper Laurie) at home. When strange occurrences start happening around Carrie, she begins to suspect that she has supernatural powers. Invited to the prom by the empathetic Tommy Ross (William Katt), Carrie tries to let her guard down, but things eventually take a dark and violent turn.
Psycho (1960, Directed by Alfred Hitchcock)
Official Synopsis: Phoenix secretary Marion Crane (Janet Leigh), on the lam after stealing $40,000 from her employer in order to run away with her boyfriend, Sam Loomis (John Gavin), is overcome by exhaustion during a heavy rainstorm. Traveling on the back roads to avoid the police, she stops for the night at the ramshackle Bates Motel and meets the polite but highly strung proprietor Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins), a young man with an interest in taxidermy and a difficult relationship with his mother.
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