These are films where the last moments of the film are simply astounding. If you think there has been an omission, please be sure to mention it in the comments – and link to youtube if you can. WARNING: This is essentially a list of spoilers – continue at your own risk.
15. The Asphyx 1973
This is not a hugely well known film but the ending is ultra creepy. A Victorian scientist and his assistant discover the secret of death: everybody has a kind of personal “death spirit”, the “asphyx”; when somebody is about to die, this “asphyx” comes in to claim his victim. If it can be caught at the right moment, immortality follows! The scientist succeeds in capturing his own asphyx, but when he starts experimenting on his daughter, he accidentally kills her. The assistant, his daughter’s fiance, commits suicide; the scientist, wanting to die with them, tries to set his asphyx free again, but has forgotten the cipher code to the safe in which the spirit is kept. He is doomed to live forever. The ending: you see the immortal scientist walking down a 1970s road looking his age (around 120-140) – he can’t die – but he can age. To make matters worse, he accidentally walks in front of a car! I couldn’t find the last scene so I have included the trailer.
14. The Blair Witch Project 1999
You either love it or you hate it – but there is no denying that this is one of the most chilling endings of a horror film ever. When I first saw it I had the pleasure of not having discovered it was fake and I will admit it – I nearly cried. You never once see the witch in this film but in this scene her presence is felt with intensity.
13. Batman Begins 2005
I loved Batman Begins – I think it is the best of the movies, and this last scene was outright awesome! Just as the great movie comes to a close, we are given a quick taste of what is to come: The Joker! One of the most famous enemies of Batman. I don’t know about you – but I can’t wait!
12. The Silence of the Lambs 1991
“I’m having an old friend for dinner” – this has to be one of the best ending lines of a movie ever. You just have to love this film – it is all good and no bad.
11. Carrie 1976
If you not seen this film, rent it for Halloween – it is one of the great horrors. In this final scene, we see one of the school companions of Carrie White laying flowers on her grave. If you have seen this film – you will know why this scene is here – if you haven’t – you will soon!
10. The Usual Suspects 1995
For two hours, Kevin Spacey’s spineless Verbal plays helpless lamb being lured to Chazz Palminteri’s slaughter. But with the drop of a coffee cup, and the shaking off of a limp, the true identity of a criminal mastermind is revealed.
9. Casablanca 1942
Okay – it is one big cliche, but this is probably the most memorable scene in any movie – it is certainly one of the most quoted. It has to be on the list.
8. The Godfather 1972
“Don’t ask me about my business!” – Michael, the otherwise gentle boy in the family becomes Don. His wife Kay asks him what his “business” is and he rebukes her. This dark ending to one of the greatest films ever made, foreshadows the secrets and horrors to come in the sequel. I find the very last section of this to be a very moving scene as the upper legions of the family come to pay their respects to the new Don. It gives me chills!
7. Boogie Nights 1997
“You’re a fucking star.” says Mark Wahlberg as he unexpectedly pulls out his penis in this final scene (remember, the penis is the focal point of much of the film but it is never shown on screen until this moment). For obvious reasons this scene has been slightly edited (only via an overlay) so it is not banned from youtube. The final scream is not in the film – it was added for humor presumably.
6. Rosemary’s Baby 1968
This scene is here because it is one of the most annoying scenes I have ever seen in film history! I just couldn’t believe it. I literally yelled at the screen: “throw it out the window!” – but Mia didn’t listen. An amazing film from an amazing director.
5. Bonnie and Clyde 1967
This one is not for the faint of heart. Here we see the last two minutes of Bonnie and Clyde full of unyielding shock and violence.
4. Planet of the Apes 1968
When I first saw this film as a kid I was blown away by this ending – I ended up renting the rest of the movies and the whole set is now one of my prize collections! This scene comes at the end when the main character realizes that all along he has been on earth in the future – a wonderful twist and an amazing ending.
3. Se7en 1995
It really doesn’t get much more dramatic than this. In the final scene we see the killer (Kevin Spacey) set the scene to become his own last victim. This is one for the moral dilemmas list. What would you do?
2. Fight Club 1999
Just when you thought the major twist was a shock, we get another one – bigger than before. This has to be one of the weirdest “romantic” moments in film history.
1. Dr Strangelove 1964
“Mein Fuhrer! I can walk!”. This is a masterful ending to a masterful work by Stanley Kubrick. You just have to love his choice of music.
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