5 Horror Movie Endings That Were Cut Because They Were Too Dark
When it comes to horror movies, the ending is often one of the scariest parts. Horror movie endings can contain some of the most unpredictable and surreal moments compared to any other movie genre. If the film decides that the journey has been tormenting enough for the protagonist, the film may well end in triumph, but often in these films that is not the case. They can be a dark twist on what seems like a happy ending or just wrap up in the darkest way possible despite the rest of the movie already feeling so dreadful.
Some horror movies originally planned to have much darker endings, but decided not to pursue them for the good of the audience. They were either cut because the studios deemed the content too dark, upsetting the reactions of test audiences, or altered by the director to make them more upbeat. These quirky conclusions touched on harrowing themes surrounding the protagonist and his survival, his inability to make it out alive, or even his continued suffering despite the tragic events he endured throughout the film.
This list contains spoilers for upcoming movies: Hostel, Get Out, The Descent, The Blair Witch Project and Alien.
Hotel is a film known for its excessive amount of nudity and violence and is not shy about the images it chooses to show. The film follows a group of three backpackers who travel through Europe. However, find themselves in a predicament when they come across a particular organization that captures and tortures tourists as they attempt to search for accommodation.
In the original ending, one of the students, Paxton (Jay Hernandez), manages to escape from the prison and ends up meeting and murdering the man who caused all his anguish. However, the director’s edit has a different version of the ending. Instead of murdering the man, Paxton kidnaps his daughter. Both endings occur at a train station, but in the alternate cut, Paxton can be seen with the man’s daughter aboard a departing train. The original script even depicted Paxton cutting the girl’s throat. However, the director Eli Roth suggested that Paxton was saving her in the footage seen in the director’s cut. Ultimately, this ending was not released in the original version due to two main reactions from the test audience. The main takeaways were that the ending was either too dark or too convoluted and out of place for Paxton.
“Get Out” (2017)
Jordan PeleBeginnings as a director: get outis one of the most innovative horror films of the 2010s. The film consists of great performances, especially from Daniel Kaluuya in a role that skyrocketed his career after his release. The film is an excellent satire of racism and conveys these themes in an interesting and unconventional story. The film follows a black man named Chris, who uncovers shocking secrets when he meets his white girlfriend’s family. The narrative is very gripping and feels so fresh in a stream of more generic horror movies, which we currently have priority.
Even though the film tackles a darker subject matter, it ends on a very light note, for a horror movie at least. After Chris has to deal with the fear of killing and escaping the kidnappers, he finally finds himself arrested as a police car approaches him. However, the person in the car turns out to be his friend Rod, who we know is a TSA officer earlier in the film. Rod and Chris share a moment of relief before the film ends. In the original ending, the police still appeared, but under less optimistic circumstances as they are not Rod. It was the real cops who led Chris to being arrested and ending up in jail, without convincing anyone of the events that happened to him. Peele and company decided to change the ending as they felt the audience deserved the lighter alternative. This was due to the grim reaction of test audiences and the tragic events surrounding the recent police shootings.
‘The Descent’ (2005)
This British horror film has by far one of the most unique locations in the genre. The film tells the story of Sarah, her group of friends and their descent into an unknown cave system. The film’s horror is triggered by the darkness and claustrophobia as the group is trapped in the cave. It’s a very atmospheric film, and if the fear of being trapped in this dark abyss wasn’t enough, the film only becomes more terrifying when bloodthirsty cave creatures stalk them.
The original British ending to the film, who is also a director Neil MarshallSarah’s favorite ending is that Sarah desperately escapes the cave, leading the audience to believe she’s made it through this disaster. It’s truly a feel-good moment as we watch Sarah frantically wander away from the cave system. However, she eventually stops the vehicle and a vision of one of her dead friends brings her back to reality, revealing that she never actually escaped the cave. The American version of the film decided to cut this scene as it was deemed too depressing for American audiences. The director thought this change was unnecessary because the American version always ends on a dark note. Although the American ending only cut a small scene, it’s still a very impactful moment that leaves audiences wondering if Sarah actually survived.
“The Blair Witch Project” (1999)
The Blair Witch Project has one of the most compelling stories of its release. It’s one of the most popular independent films of all time, with a budget of just $200,000, but it grossed over $200 million. The film sparked many theories; some audiences even believed that the events during the performance were real. This was due to its “found footage” style, which gives the impression that real events are being documented. As well as its self-referential story which made the film very realistic. The story follows three student filmmakers who decide to shoot a documentary about a local myth known as the Blair Witch. They leave for the woods but do not return, and their only remains are their camera footage discovered a year later.
The end of the film is quite ambiguous but simple and effective. We see two of the students, Heather (Rei Hance) and Mike (Michael C. Williams), enter a house until they eventually stop working. Mike is shown standing in the corner of a darkened room motionless, and Heather witnesses this before quickly falling to the ground (as seen in the motion of the camera dropping.) It is unclear what exactly is to them happened to both of them, but it’s supposed that are killed by the Blair Witch. There are different alternate endings for the movie, one of which includes Mike looking directly at the camera. Others include Mike hanging from a noose, as well as being crucified. None of the different endings really changed the overall tone from the original, but all of them feel a lot scarier and have a few extra details.
Ridley Scottit is Extraterrestrial is one of the most iconic horror films of all time, starring one of the most iconic horror characters of all time, Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver). The film follows the crew of the commercial spacecraft Nostromo. They follow a distress signal to a distant planet but instead discover a nest of alien eggs. A creature from one of the eggs attacks an explorer and unleashes a deadly alien threat on the Nostromo.
The film’s ending sees Ripley as the last survivor as she confronts the notorious Xenomorph and overcomes it by opening an airlock and blasting it into space. Despite Ripley’s status as a horror icon, she almost met her death in the very first movie. This decision could have changed the course of the whole Extraterrestrial franchise by killing off such a popular character. Scott’s original plan was for the Xenomorph to brutally kill Ripley and wreak havoc on another hapless crew attempting a rescue. However, this darker ending backfired hugely and garnered a lot of backlash. It even nearly got Scott fired unless he changed him for the more promising ending to Ripley’s survival.
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