Horror Movie Endings That Left Everyone Disappointed

A film's ending can make or break the experience. It doesn't matter if the soundtrack stays in your head for days, if the acting moved you to tears, or if the jokes made you fall out of the seat laughing. If the ending doesn't jive well with the rest of the film, the whole thing can easily be ruined.

Many films have fallen victim to bad endings. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull amazed audiences with its quizzical finale. War of the Worlds ended with the aliens getting sick for some reason. And there was definitely room for two people to float on that door at the end of Titanic.

When it comes to horror, a satisfying ending can be particularly challenging. Be it because of a cheap jump-scare, nonsensical finale, or even mediocre attempts at viral marketing, these horror flicks all left audiences feeling disappointed.

The Descent (U.S. ending)

The Descent is an excellent horror film about a group of friends who become lost during a caving expedition. While the premise is relatively simple, the film stands out due to its claustrophobic and hopeless approach, mixed in with thoughtful character dynamics and exchanges. Additionally, as it goes on, the film turns into a suspenseful, action-packed experience when it becomes apparent that bloodthirsty cave crawlers are hunting the group.

While the characters, story, creepy atmosphere, and even lighting are all masterfully executed, the film suffers from a less than stellar conclusion — at least in the American release. You see, The Descent has two separate endings, with audiences in the U.K. seeing a whole different ending. In the U.K. cut, as the cave crawlers close in around the main character, Sarah, she envisions a birthday scene with her deceased daughter. But then, the film cuts to black, hinting at Sarah's death. While this is a perfectly acceptable ending, the U.S. ending is not.

In the American cut, Sarah seemingly escapes from the cave and drives off. And instead of ending there, the film stops cold with a jump-scare involving one of the deceased women. In the U.K., this moment is followed by a scene in which Sarah then wakes up back in the cave, realizing she dreamed her escape and will never get out alive.

The Happening

Directed by M. Night Shyamalan, The Happening is a thriller about a group of survivors trying to make it through an apocalyptic disaster. However, like many of Shyamalan's films, it suffers from a strange twist that left audiences both confused and disappointed.

In Central Park, people begin to commit suicide en masse, causing a panic about a bio-terrorist attack. As the mass suicides spread across large swaths of the United States, Elliot Moore, a high school science teacher, travels with his wife and his best friend. Eventually, they figure out that the mass suicides are being caused by plants releasing a chemical into the air that targets humans. Eventually, though, the effects of the plants pass without killing everyone. At the end of the film, it is revealed that the plants only affected the northeastern United States and that another set of suicides has begun in Paris.

What makes The Happening less than stellar is the weird turn that the film takes after it is revealed that the plants are killing people. As it turns out, the plants randomly decide not to kill the protagonist. There isn't a specific reason why he is spared, making the story lack any real meaning or consequence.

The Devil Inside

After Isabella Rossi's mother killed two priests and a nun during an exorcism, her father died days later. Ever since the incident, Isabella has wanted to learn more about exorcism. To fully grasp the religious ritual, she travels to Rome to film a documentary visiting an exorcism school and accompanying two priests as they perform a series of unsanctioned exorcisms. However, things get dicey when the demons start to target Isabella and the priests.

The Devil Inside was created on a shoestring budget of just one million dollars, and it definitely feels unpolished as a result. The film is presented in a found footage, mockumentary style that purports to show real exorcisms. Still, everything about the demonic possessions looks fake, save for one scene featuring a professional contortionist.

Though the film isn't perfect, its faults could probably be forgiven if not for the terrible ending. As the story comes to a halt, there is a car crash, and then everything just cuts to black. A card then flashes on the screen imploring viewers to visit a website to help continue the investigation into this case. In the end, the film neither ties things up neatly nor leaves you with intriguing questions to ponder. Instead, it instead prompts the viewer to continue the story online, posing as a work of nonfiction. This marketing approach did not go over well among audiences. As a result, The Devil Inside has become infamous in horror-circles for its... uniquely horrific ending.

The Open House

While The Open House is regarded as a sub-par film all around, the ending still manages to be the most disappointing part. The film takes place following the death of protagonist Naomi's husband, leaving her alone to provide for her son Logan. In a fortunate turn of events, Naomi's sister offers to let them live in her mountain home until it sells. Once Logan and Naomi move in, things quickly begin to go awry with objects moving around the house, the water tank in the basement continually shutting off, and strange bumps in the night after prospective buyers have left the property.

Eventually, it is revealed that a third person is inside the house, and they intend to rid the home of its temporary residents. By the end of the film, Logan is the last man standing but is eventually drowned by the open house slasher. The closing shot reveals that the slasher then moves on to another open house, presumably to continue his murder spree.

What makes the ending of The Open House especially irritating is the lack of answers provided. Throughout the film, there are hints that tease the murder's potential identity, but none of these go anywhere. While not the worst of the worst in terms of disappointing endings, The Open House's conclusion helps to make this Netflix original completely forgettable and ultimately unworthy of a second viewing.


Unfriended follows Blaire, a teenager engaging with her friends over video chat. It isn't long before they notice a stranger going by "billie227" entering their chat. Confused, the group tries to uncover the anonymous person's identity. In response, billie227 threatens to expose private information about each of them. Eventually, Blaire discovers the stranger is actually the ghost of Laura Barns, a high school student who committed suicide after an embarrassing viral video was uploaded online.

The majority finds Blaire interacting with the rest of the cast over instant message and video chat as each of them is driven to kill themselves, one by one. Eventually, she's the only one left alive to face Laura's ghost. In the end, Laura reveals to all of Blaire's Facebook friends that Blaire was the one who uploaded the video that caused Laura to kill herself.

How exactly does the film end? Well, if we look at how every other character died, the best assumption would be that Blaire would also commit suicide. However, the film deviates from this pattern by having the ghost of Laura attack Blaire from behind her laptop for a last-minute jump-scare. Not only is it a cheap move derivative of so many other horror movies, it breaks Unfriended's otherwise clever gimmick of taking place entirely on a computer screen.


The events of Mama kick off at the beginning of the 2008 financial crisis. That's when Luke Desange murders his coworkers and his wife, then takes his two daughters, Victoria and Lily, out of the house and drives them down an icy mountain road. Driving too fast, he goes over a cliff, and the three then trek to an abandoned cabin, where he is killed by a paranormal creature.

Five years later, the girls are rescued and sent to live with their uncle Luke and his girlfriend Annabel. Now feral and suffering from five years of isolation, the girls are difficult to care for and refer to someone called "Mama." Though Mama is initially brushed off as a coping mechanism created by the girls, it quickly becomes apparent that Mama is very real. More chilling is that she intends to keep the girls all to herself. Annabel and Luke confront Mama, who has taken the girls to a cliff where Mama had previously killed herself and her infant child a century prior. In a hilarious twist, Victoria simply tells Mama she doesn't want to go with her. Shockingly, the evil spirit kindly heeds her request. In the end, Mama takes a willing Lily, and the movie ends. 

It seems like the children could have just told Mama to go away, and that would have been the end of it. Additionally, the ending scene utilizes a prominent blue filter and unconvincing CGI that helps the showdown not only feel terrible, but look terrible as well.

Paranormal Activity

The first Paranormal Activity may have launched a found footage franchise, but it certainly didn't do so on the strength of its final scene. After moving into their new home, young couple Micah and Katie come to believe that Katie is haunted. The two set up a camera in their new home to witness some evidence of paranormal activity. When consulted, a psychic says that Katie is being followed by a demon that preys on negativity. As the nights go on, the supernatural activity gets progressively more intense as the two grow more frightened. What starts as lights flickering turns into demonic screeches, a Ouija board spontaneously combusting, and the demon attacking Katie physically.

At the end of the film, Katie exits the bedroom and begins screaming, only for Micah to rush to her side off-camera to try and help her. Suddenly, Micah is hurled at the camera, and Katie emerges from the hallway covered in blood. She crawls over to Micah's body and then lunges at the camera as she roars, and her face transforms to reflect that she's been fully possessed.

After the film cuts to black, text appears on the screen saying that the police found Micah's body, but that Katie has yet to be found. The film then ends abruptly. It all feels cheap, but not solely because of the jump-scare. The filmmakers very obviously wanted to emulate the marketing of The Blair Witch Project but were unable to achieve the same effect. In the end, Paranormal Activity wastes its buildup on a sub-par marketing choice and ends on a decidedly flat note.

High Tension

In this French slasher, two friends, Marie and Alex, find themselves hunted by a vicious serial killer who breaks into Alex's family home in the middle of the night. He kills off Alex's family one by one and eventually captures Alex, forcing Marie to save her.

Though High Tension may seem on the surface like nothing more than an average slasher, what really makes it stand out is its outlandish twist ending. By the end of the film, we learn that the big, burly killer that has been pursuing Marie and Alex throughout the film was actually a personality invented by Marie. So in actuality, Marie was the killer the entire time, despite this being impossible based on what the film had shown previously.

When Marie is revealed to be the actual killer, the entire logic of the film crumbles apart, resulting in massive plot holes that are impossible to ignore upon a second viewing. While the premise could have worked if executed with a more careful focus on perspective, the end product feels lazily tacked on to create a cheap twist under the guise of something psychologically sophisticated.

The Village

M. Night Shyamalan's The Village is a period piece (or so it seems) about a rural town surrounded by dangerous creatures. The film hints that the unstable peace between the village and the red-robed dwellers in the woods will soon come to an end when a group of young people must venture into the trees. Despite the protruding spikes, the long claws, and the grotesquely inhuman grunts that these creatures make, it is later revealed that these creatures are really just people trying to scare the young residents into never leaving the village. While this may seem like the final twist, the real twist is much harder to swallow.

After a blind girl manages to make it through the woods, she encounters a man who can help her find medicines needed to aid the village. Unbeknownst to her, he's actually a park ranger who spotted her while driving his car. It is here that it is revealed that the village actually exists in the modern day. The children have been excluded from all forms of modern life simply because the adults wanted to get away from the troubles of the world. Surprising, sure, but it's hard to get much satisfaction from such a left-field curveball.


Adapted from the Japanese horror film Ringu, 2002's The Ring saw a fair amount of success among American filmgoers. The haunting Samara and her cursed VHS tape certainly left an impression among audiences, and even resulted in a sequel in 2005, though it performed poorly compared to its predecessor. After The Ring Two, the series seemingly disappeared with no plans for another film. However, in 2017, Rings was released, bringing Samara back to the center stage. 

Similar to The Ring, Rings follows a girl who is exposed to a cursed video that will result in her death unless she finds a quick solution. While the entirety of the film is contrived and filled with questionable cinematic and narrative choices, the ending is absolutely baffling.

By the end of Rings, Julia, who struggles to defeat Samara throughout, is seemingly in the clear after dispelling the evil spirit. However, in typical horror fashion, not everything is as it seems. Julia begins to suffer from strange occurrences, her skin peeling as she coughs up hair, ultimately culminating in Samara sending a digital copy of the cursed video to everyone on Julia's contact list. In the end, the cursed video goes viral, despite looking like spam that most people would ignore. In a matter of minutes, any progress made by Julia is unraveled, and the video spreads to the rest of the world.