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The Fake Horror Movie Happy Ending That Majorly Tricked Fright Fans

In horror movies, victims may not escape, the killer stands undefeated, and surviving characters' hopes are slim to none. This is what defines horror, because a happy ending isn't usually expected or wanted. Horror films focus on impending doom, and that won't work if the audience believes the protagonists can easily get away with their lives. Sometimes, the real thrill comes from the tease and taunts of a perceived happy ending that turns out to be false.

According to TV Tropes, a "fake" happy ending in movies is called a "Hope Spot," which is the perfect term for this situation. Even though any movie genre can use this to seal a character's fate, none can pull it off better than horror genre. The storyline is already dark and threatening, so ending on a positive note would be a perfect surprise, right? Not according to a recent Reddit thread, which discussed this very topic and provided several horror films with epic hope spots. There's one in particular that blows the others away.

The Autopsy of Jane Doe is one big hope spot

The Autopsy of Jane Doe is directed by Trollhunter's André Øverdal and is a diamond-in-the-rough in the horror genre. By the time of its release in 2016, it was overshadowed by other popular releases that year, such as The Witch, The Conjuring 2, and Don't Breathe. Despite only grossing $6 million at the box office, it was a critical hit with an approval rating of 87% on Rotten Tomatoes. So what's all the fuss about? 

When coroner Tommy Tilden (Brian Cox) and his son Austin (Emile Hirsch) receive a body from a mysterious homicide, she's considered a Jane Doe. During the autopsy, they realize there's severe internal damage unlike anything they've seen before. As the night goes on, Tommy and Austin experience strange events that began as soon as the body entered the building.

In the end, Austin has been locked in the building, and everyone else has wound up dead. Once he's given up and begins mourning the loss of his father, he hears a voice outside the door hatch to the underground compound. Initially, he believes it's the police trying to break him out, complete with sirens and a chainsaw. Alas, it's all an act. 

It's unclear who's behind the voice or how it's happening, but the look on Austin's face is devastating when he realizes it's the supernatural presence taunting him. There's nowhere to go, and soon enough, he meets his demise as well. The hope spot scene is complete with the voice singing "Let the Sun Shine In" by The McGuire Sisters. If you're looking for a healthy dose of false optimism, The Autopsy of Jane Doe has you covered.