Never Before Seen Alternate Endings That Completely Change Your Favorite Films
You already know the ending of a film can make or break the entire flick. Who wants to sit through an incredible film, only to watch a crummy ending? You may not know it, but movie endings are usually well tested before they ever reach real commercial audiences.
Alternative endings are usually scrapped because they lack broad appeal, but sometimes those endings are just as fascinating, unsettling or thought-provoking as the final versions that play in theaters. Which version is better? Check out these fascinating alternate movie endings that would have completely changed your favorite films and decide for yourself. (Tons of spoilers ahead!)
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010)
In Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010), Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) attempts to navigate romance and life woes. He dates high schooler Knives Chau (Ellen Wong) before falling for Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). The catch? Before he can date Ramona, he must kill seven of her evil exes — all of whom have supernatural abilities.
Get Out (2017)
Jordan Peele's Get Out (2016) had horror fans shaken across the globe. The thriller genre applied a cinematically devastating edge to the issues of race, police and social justice. You couldn't help but feel relieved when Chris Washington's (Daniel Kaluuya) friend stepped out of that cop car, right?
The Butterfly Effect (2004)
In The Butterfly Effect (2004), Evan Treborn (Ashton Kutcher), a college student with violent migraines, finds out he has the ability to time travel. Using his journals as guides, he induces blackouts to return to the past to prevent trauma in his and his friends' lives.
In Rocky (1976), boxing champion Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) agrees to fight the unknown Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) after his opponent for the heavyweight championship is injured. Throughout the film, Rocky trains for the fight of his life and finds love with Adrian (Talia Shire).
In Heathers (1988), Jason Dean (Christian Slater) shakes up his high school when he begins murdering fellow students and staging their deaths as suicides. The film centers on the Heathers, including an honorary Heather, Veronica Sawyer (Winona Ryder), who aids JD's crime spree. The dramatic conclusion consists of JD blowing himself up on the school's front lawn.
Paranormal Activity (2007)
While expectations for Paranormal Activity (2007) were fairly low, the horror film captivated audiences worldwide. The flick comes to a boil when the possessed protagonist, Katie (Katie Featherston), leaves the bedroom and yells for her husband from downstairs — where she's waiting to kill him.
Fatal Attraction (1987)
The ending to Fatal Attraction (1987) was pretty intense. The film centers around Dan Gallagher (Michael Douglas) and the brief affair he has with editor Alex Forrest (Glenn Close). As Dan attempts to protect his family, his wife, Beth (Anne Archer), becomes aware of Dan’s affair and his crazy stalker.
Titanic (1997) is a love story set in a terrible place, namely aboard a ship doomed to sink. As debutante Rose DeWitt Bukater (Kate Winslet) falls in love with third-class passenger Jack Dawson, the two become entangled in a romance that is doomed to die with the Titanic.
Alien (1979) tops the charts of alien flicks. The film features a group of astronauts attempting to kill an alien that has infiltrated their ship, Nostromo. Weaver's character, Ellen Ripley, eventually escapes the Nostromo in a pod, unaware that the alien has hopped aboard.
Little Shop of Horrors (1986)
In Little Shop of Horrors (1986), overzealous Seymour (Rick Moranis) decides to take on the responsibility of a massive, people-eating plant that he names Audrey II (after his gorgeous crush). Throughout the movie-musical, Seymour attempts to win the love of Audrey (Ellen Greene) while feeding Audrey II flesh, blood and people.
Interstellar (2014) is full of striking visuals and has a killer score and tons of emotional moments as Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) tries to save planet Earth from climate change. After traveling through wormholes, Cooper is able to communicate with his daughter on Earth and send her his data.
The Shining (1980)
Who could forget the iconic final shot of Stanley Kubrick's The Shining (1980)? The thriller ends when Danny escapes to safety with his mother, Wendy (Shelley Duvall), and Jack freezes to death in the maze. The final shot focuses on Jack's smiling face featured in a photograph in the hotel — taken in 1921. Spooky.
Stephen King's 1408 (2007) is one of the best book-to-screen adaptations. In the film, author Mike Enslin (John Cusack) hunkers down in a paranormal hotel room (#1408) in a notoriously haunted hotel. Despite warnings from staffers not to rent the room, Mike insists, hoping to debunk the tales of the room's ghostly activity.
The Lion King (1994)
The Lion King (1994) is based on William Shakespeare's beloved tragedy Hamlet — only with lions instead of people. In the movie, Simba loses his father because of his scheming uncle, runs away with a warthog and a meerkat for several years and then returns to reclaim his kingdom with Nala at his side.
E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982) follows the adventures of a stranded alien in suburban California and his new friend, a child named Elliott (Henry Thomas). When E.T. becomes sick on Earth, Elliott must help him return to his ship to go home.
A Quiet Place (2018)
The haunting premise of John Krasinski's A Quiet Place (2018) took audiences by storm. The film follows parents Lee and Evelyn Abbott (John Krasinski and Emily Blunt) as they try to protect their children, Regan (Millicent Simmonds) and Marcus (Noah Jupe) from noise-hungry creatures who hunt their prey using sound.
I Am Legend (2007)
In I Am Legend (2007), esteemed scientist Robert Neville (Will Smith) is attempting to find a cure for an infection that has turned humans into killer mutants. Using his plague-resistant blood as a baseline for his research, Neville also searches for fellow survivors.
Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
The refreshing humor, quirky characters, stellar soundtrack and epic cast make Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) a universal hit. At the end of the film, Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) and the Guardians are successful in saving the universe, and the gang montages to "Ain’t No Mountain High Enough."
National Lampoon's Vacation (1983)
In National Lampoon's Vacation (1983), the Griswolds head across the country to spend a fun-filled day at Walley World. Unfortunately, when they arrive — after a disaster-filled car trip — the park is closed for repairs. At the end, Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) holds the Walley World security guard at BB gunpoint and demands he open the rides.
Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (1983)
Return of the Jedi's jolly conclusion included the explosion of the Death Star, the rebels celebrating with the Ewoks and Luke receiving spiritual visits from his former mentors. Many fans felt the uplifting ending too starkly contrasted with the former films in the trilogy.
Pretty Woman (1990)
In this Cinderella story, hooker Vivian Ward (Julia Roberts) captures the attention of Edward Lewis (Richard Gere) on one of his business trips. After hiring her for the weekend, Edward starts to develop a real connection with Vivian, ultimately cultivating a romance that runs far deeper than either of them expected.
Dawn of the Dead (1978)
Dawn of the Dead is an OG zombie apocalypse film set in Pennsylvania. A group of ragtag citizens attempts to survive and fight the undead (and a biker gang) from inside a local shopping mall.
Pretty in Pink (1986)
In John Hughes' Pretty in Pink (1986), wallflower student Andie Walsh (Molly Ringwald) is stunned when popular Blane McDonagh (Andrew McCarthy) asks her out. As she falls head over heels and leaves her nerdy best friend Duckie (Jon Cryer) behind, she faces the challenges of dating the socially elite.
In Orphan, Kate (Vera Farmiga) and John (Peter Sarsgaard) decide to adopt a child after losing an unborn baby. After adopting an orphan named Esther, the couple discovers she is actually a middle-aged woman with hypopituitarism, giving her a youthful appearance.
In the 1995 mystery Seven, Detective William Somerset (Morgan Freeman) and David Mills (Brad Pitt) are on the hunt for a serial killer (Kevin Spacey) who chooses his victims based on the seven deadly sins. David's wife, Tracy, (Gwyneth Paltrow) becomes an unlikely target.
My Best Friend's Wedding (1997)
In My Best Friend's Wedding (1997), Julianne (Julia Roberts) attempts to wreck the wedding of her childhood best buddy, Michael (Dermot Mulroney) after she realizes she’s in love with him. She spends the movie trying (and failing) to put a stop to his wedding.
The Birds (1963)
In The Birds (1963), Melanie Daniels (Tippi Hedren) pursues Mitch Brenner (Rod Taylor) by gifting him two lovebirds. Ironically, San Francisco is soon swarmed by a hoard of vicious birds. The citizens try to survive the terrifying attacks, unsure what caused them.
Donnie Darko (2001)
In Donnie Darko (2001), teenager Donnie Darko (Jake Gyllenhaal) is greeted in his quasi-dreamscape by a massive, demonic rabbit who claims the world is ending in 28 days. The oddball film follows Donnie's 28-day descent into madness.
The Princess Diaries (2001)
In The Princess Diaries (2001), San Francisco high schooler Mia Thermopolis (Anne Hathaway) finds out that she is heir to the throne of Genovia. Her grandmother, Queen Clarisse Renaldi (Julie Andrews), attempts to turn the geeky American girl into princess material.
Clue (1985) was meant to mirror the board game of the same name: multiple possibilities for killers, weapons, crime scenes and motives. As a result, the filmmakers filmed and released multiple endings with different killers and victims defining each conclusion.