10 Best Horror Movies With Shock Endings | TheReviewGeek Recommends

You should always expect the unexpected when watching a horror flick. Just like the protagonists in the movie you are watching, you should never assume you are safe! That happy ending that you were hoping for? Forget it!

In this article, we list 10 horror movies with endings that shocked audiences.

Did any of these movies make you jump from your seats? Did you have sleepless nights after watching them? Were you surprised by their twist endings? Let us know in the comments below.

The Mist (2007)

Based on Stephen King’s novella of the same name, The Mist tells the story of a group of people who are afraid to leave a supermarket because of the thick mist that has descended outside.

Within the mist are giant, otherworldly creatures that devour anybody who dares to venture outdoors. At the end of the movie, David (Thomas Jane), our main protagonist, has had enough of waiting around and decides to exit the store with Billy, his son, and three others. After making it to his car, they drive through the mist, hoping to find a place of safety.

But as the mist seems to be neverending, David comes to believe they are all doomed. To save his passengers from a grisly fate at the hands of the invading creatures, David shoots dead the people in his car, including his own son.

A few moments later, an army convoy arrives on the scene and David realizes that he and those with him were about to be rescued. The excruciating agony on David’s face is felt by the audience. This grieving father didn’t need to kill his son or the others and it’s this fact that makes this gut-punch of an ending both sad and shocking.

Invasion Of The Body Snatchers (1978)

This remake of a 1956 sci-fi-horror classic retells the story of an alien race that colonizes the earth by duplicating humans into blank, emotionless copies of their former selves.

At the start of the movie, we are introduced to Elizabeth (Brooke Adams) who begins to realize something is amiss when Geoffrey, her boyfriend starts to behave in a cold and distant manner that is quite unlike his usual personality. After she tells her colleague Matthew (Donald Sutherland) that her boyfriend has changed, the two discover that Geoffrey isn’t the only person in the city that no longer appears normal.

As the movie progresses, countless others undergo a personality switch after being picked off one by one by the pod people, and eventually, Elizabeth is also replaced with a passionless copy.

As the movie draws to a close, Matthew burns down a warehouse and kills some of the pod people inside. Later, we see him moving around the city and it would appear that he is trying to stay hidden in plain sight by pretending to be a duplicate.

One person who hasn’t been changed is Nancy (Veronica Cartwright), a friend of Matthew’s who has managed to evade capture. In the movie’s final scene, Nancy spots Matthew and she tries to get his attention. As she goes to greet him, he looks at her but there is no happy reunion. Matthew points his finger at the startled woman and emits an inhuman howl, thus revealing himself to be a pod person.

The movie ends on a freeze frame of Matthew’s distorted face – a shocking end to a terrifying film.

Friday the 13th (1980)

The first of the long-running franchise is possibly the best of them all and it’s certainly the one with the jumpiest shock ending. The movie is set at Camp Crystal Lake where the fresh-faced camp counsellors (including a pre-fame Kevin Bacon), are bumped off in increasingly horrible ways by a brutal killer.

Surprisingly, the person behind the murders isn’t actually the hockey-masked Jason Vorhees, the unkillable figure from the sequels. In this first movie, we learn that Jason drowned in the lake years before and that it’s his mother Pamela (Betsy Palmer), who is behind the brutal slaying of the luckless teens.

During the final few moments of the movie, Pamela is beheaded by Alice (Adrienne King), the last surviving camp counsellor. We think the horrors are finally over, but when Alice takes a canoe out onto the peaceful-looking lake, a horribly decomposed Jason suddenly rises up out of the water and drags her out of the boat.

Thankfully, this final sequence was all a dream, as Alice realizes when she wakes up in a hospital bed. Still, it was a terrific jump-scare moment that made audiences spill their popcorn back in the day.

The Sixth Sense (1999)

Bruce Willis stars as Malcolm Crowe, a child psychologist who, at the beginning of the movie, is shot by one of his former patients. Months later, when he has seemingly recovered from his injuries, he takes on a new client, a boy named Cole (Haley Joel Osment), who claims he can see and talk to dead people.

Malcolm thinks he can help Cole and believes this will be his opportunity to redeem himself after failing to treat Vincent, the patient who shot him. He believes Cole is delusional and that what the boy is seeing isn’t real. But we know the truth, as at several points during the movie we experience what Cole experiences when we also see the dead figures that are haunting him.

Cole tells Malcolm that ghosts only see what they want to see and that they are oblivious to their state. At the end of the movie, the truth of what Cole is saying is revealed.

It turns out that Malcolm himself is a ghost, which is something Cole had already realized. The psychologist had been killed by Vincent at the beginning of the movie, but Malcolm, who is as shocked by this revelation as we are, had no idea he was dead.

Carrie (1976)

Prom night sucks, right? For starters, you have to find a date and if you don’t find anybody to go to prom night with, you then have to turn up alone and stand around hoping that a hot chick (or a hot guy) will notice you.

Still, no matter what your experience of prom was like, it probably wasn’t as bad as it was for Carrie White, the bullied and emotionally neglected teen in this Stephen King adaptation, who is tricked into becoming the prom queen. No sooner does she take the throne than the wicked high school bullies empty a bucket of pig’s blood over her head.

Hell hath no fury than a psychic teenager scorned as the unfortunate prom members discover when Carrie uses her telekinetic powers to take vengeance upon them. They aren’t the only ones to die horribly as shortly after, Carrie is killed by her own powers when she causes her house to collapse.

In the movie’s final scene, Sue, one of her high school tormentors, now feeling guilty about Carrie’s death, visits the dead teen’s grave. As she steps closer to lay down some flowers, Carrie’s hand emerges from the dirt and grabs Sue.

This jump-scare moment is another dream sequence but while Sue wasn’t really grabbed by the cold dead hand of Carrie White, this final scene still has the power to grab us by the throat in our very worst nightmares!

The Wicker Man (1973)

In this horror classic (that is way better than the 2006 remake starring Nicolas Cage), Edward Woodward stars as Police Sergeant Neil Howie who visits the Scottish island of Summerisle in search of a missing girl. Not long into his visit, this devout Christian is appalled to discover the inhabitants of the island have forsaken Christianity for a dark form of Celtic paganism.

The people on the island deny the missing girl exists, much to Howie’s frustration. But during his investigation, he discovers evidence of human sacrifices and begins to believe the girl is somewhere on the island and is the next to be sacrificed. When he eventually finds her, they attempt to escape the island together. But not long after, they are intercepted by the islanders to whom the girl (surprisingly), happily returns.

As the movie draws to a close, Howie discovers he is the intended sacrifice and not the girl. According to Lord Summerisle (Christopher Lee), he is “the right kind of an adult for such an occasion,” and in the movie’s horrifying final scene, we watch them burn him alive in a giant wicker man as they celebrate his sacrifice to the Mighty God of the Sun.

Sleepaway Camp (1983)

Sleepaway Camp is one of many copycat horror movies that were released after the success of Friday The 13th. Unlike the other titles on this list, the movie can in no way be considered a classic. However, this summer camp slasher does have one thing going for it: the shock twist ending.

After a number of slayings take place, the killer is revealed to be mousy teenager Angela Black. But this isn’t the movie’s biggest surprise. As it draws to a close, this shy camper is revealed to be Peter, the twin brother of Angela, who supposedly died sometime before in a boating accident. We know this because he stands naked by the lake, armed with a knife and the severed head of a dead camper.

It turns out that Angela previously died and not Peter, and that his aunt raised him as a girl. This twist is a surprise but the biggest shock is the nude reveal which nobody saw coming.

The Blair Witch Project (1999)

If you do down to the woods today, be sure of a big surprise. And by surprise, we aren’t talking about a teddy bear’s picnic! In these woods is a witch, as can be guessed by the title, but the only clues to her existence are the mysterious stick figures hanging from the trees that are discovered by three film students.

After a terrifying night in the woods, one of the group, Josh, goes missing. The other two, Heather and Mike, desperately try to find him and become alarmed when they hear the sound of his screams. Their search eventually leads them to a rundown house which is covered in bloody handprints.

After Mike and Heather become separated, there is an ominous sense of dread as Heather descends into the basement. The camera slowly pans to the corner of the room, where Mike is standing facing the wall. What is he looking at? And why is he standing there? We can’t be sure but it is likely he has been placed there by the Blair Witch. Moments later, Heather is attacked by something and her camera falls to the floor.

At that point, the movie ends so we don’t discover the fate of the students. The final image of Michael standing in the corner is extremely disturbing, more so for audiences who first saw this found footage horror movie and believed that what they were seeing was real!

Halloween (1978)

Halloween is one of the greatest slasher films of all time and is much better than any of the sequels. It’s a classic because of how suspenseful the movie is, as we never know when or where Michael Myers, the masked killer will strike next.

At the time of the movie’s release, audiences likely breathed a sigh of relief, along with Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), when Micheal seemingly died after being shot by Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasance) and falling off a balcony. “It was the bogeyman” exclaims Laurie, as Loomis looks outside the window expecting to see Michael’s body.

As we all know by now, Michael isn’t one to die easily. As the camera cuts to where Michael’s body was, we see the killer is no longer there. He lives on to kill again, something that is less of a surprise now than it was back in 1978 when first-time viewers were shocked at the “bogeyman’s” sudden disappearance.

Night Of The Living Dead (1968)

George A. Romero’s movie is still one of the finest zombie movies ever made, over 50 years after its original release. It tells the tale of a group of people who barricade themselves into a farmhouse as protection from the zombies who are roaming the Pennsylvania countryside looking for their next prey.

The zombies are terrifying enough but they aren’t the reason why the movie is so shocking. During the final few moments, Ben, who is the only member of his group that has survived the zombie invasion, thinks he might be safe when he hears a rescue team outside. He looks out of the window at the people approaching but when they spot him, they shoot him dead.

The final shot of Ben is of his body being thrown into a bonfire. It can be assumed he was killed because the armed men thought he was a zombie. But as he was a Black man, it would appear that Romero is also alluding to racial injustice. The movie’s ending is shocking, not only because it is so tragic but because it is reminder that Black people like Ben are still killed by prejudiced police officers.

So, there we have it, our pick for the 10 best horror movies with shocking endings. Do you agree with our picks? Or have we missed any movies that you think deserve a mention? Let us know in the comments below. 


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