Horrors/thrillers with great endings!

by ashturner-79373 | created - 20 Sep 2018 | updated - 1 week ago | Public

(Mostly) horror and thriller films I've seen that manage to end in a satisfactory way - not just your usual cheap jump scare or mindwarp that makes no sense. SPOILERS (obviously...).

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1. Psycho (1960)

R | 109 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

97 Metascore

A Phoenix secretary embezzles forty thousand dollars from her employer's client, goes on the run, and checks into a remote motel run by a young man under the domination of his mother.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles, John Gavin

Votes: 552,184 | Gross: $32.00M

While Bates' split personality is spelled out a little too much, hearing him speak as Mother a couple more times is super creepy.

2. The Innocents (1961) (1961)

Not Rated | 100 min | Horror

A young governess for two children becomes convinced that the house and grounds are haunted.

Director: Jack Clayton | Stars: Deborah Kerr, Peter Wyngarde, Megs Jenkins, Michael Redgrave

Votes: 24,186 | Gross: $2.62M

That super-weird ending where Miles (a little boy) dies and Miss Giddens (a full-grown woman) kisses him on the lips.

3. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

G | 149 min | Adventure, Sci-Fi

82 Metascore

After discovering a mysterious artifact buried beneath the Lunar surface, mankind sets off on a quest to find its origins with help from intelligent supercomputer H.A.L. 9000.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood, William Sylvester, Daniel Richter

Votes: 555,422 | Gross: $56.95M

David falls through a wormhole, finds himself in another dimension, becomes a star-child, and is deposited back into Earth's orbit.

4. Night of the Living Dead (1968)

Not Rated | 96 min | Horror

89 Metascore

A ragtag group of Pennsylvanians barricade themselves in an old farmhouse to remain safe from a bloodthirsty, flesh-eating breed of monsters who are ravaging the East Coast of the United States.

Director: George A. Romero | Stars: Duane Jones, Judith O'Dea, Karl Hardman, Marilyn Eastman

Votes: 107,348 | Gross: $0.09M

I understand that Ben was not written as a black man, rather Duane Jones was cast simply because he was best for the part - and so the politically charged ending in which a bunch of hicks shoot Ben, the last survivor, on sight is more of a happy accident that closes the film on a surprising note.

5. A Clockwork Orange (1971)

R | 136 min | Crime, Drama, Sci-Fi

80 Metascore

In the future, a sadistic gang leader is imprisoned and volunteers for a conduct-aversion experiment, but it doesn't go as planned.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Malcolm McDowell, Patrick Magee, Michael Bates, Warren Clarke

Votes: 704,376

It goes on a little, but the ambiguity and the sinister tone is great - Alex is cured, alright.

6. Duel (1971 TV Movie)

PG | 90 min | Action, Horror, Thriller

A business commuter is pursued and terrorized by the malevolent driver of a massive tractor-trailer.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Dennis Weaver, Jacqueline Scott, Eddie Firestone, Lou Frizzell

Votes: 58,131

Ends exactly when it needs to - the threat is defeated in a simple but clever way, and instead of exploding, the truck slowly and torturously tumbles down the cliff.

7. Black Christmas (1974)

R | 98 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

During their Christmas break, a group of sorority girls are stalked by a stranger.

Director: Bob Clark | Stars: Olivia Hussey, Keir Dullea, Margot Kidder, John Saxon

Votes: 28,443 | Gross: $4.05M

The credits roll. And the phone starts ringing...

8. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

R | 83 min | Horror

75 Metascore

Two siblings and three of their friends en route to visit their grandfather's grave in Texas end up falling victim to a family of cannibalistic psychopaths And must survive the terrors of leatherface and his family.

Director: Tobe Hooper | Stars: Marilyn Burns, Edwin Neal, Allen Danziger, Paul A. Partain

Votes: 123,730 | Gross: $30.86M

Sally gets away in the back of a truck, looking terrified, while Leatherface swings his chainsaw around, looking like a child having a tantrum.

9. Cannibal Holocaust (1980)

Unrated | 95 min | Adventure, Horror

22 Metascore

During a rescue mission into the Amazon rainforest, a professor stumbles across lost film shot by a missing documentary crew.

Director: Ruggero Deodato | Stars: Robert Kerman, Francesca Ciardi, Perry Pirkanen, Luca Barbareschi

Votes: 47,123

"I wonder who the real cannibals are?"

10. The Burning (1981)

R | 91 min | Horror

42 Metascore

A former summer camp caretaker, horribly burned from a prank gone wrong, lurks around an upstate New York summer camp bent on killing the teenagers responsible for his disfigurement.

Director: Tony Maylam | Stars: Brian Matthews, Leah Ayres, Brian Backer, Larry Joshua

Votes: 14,021

Cropsy may be dead, but a nice shot paralleling an earlier scene in the film shows another group of kids around the campfire telling his story. The fact that this classic slasher never got a sequel makes the ending even more uncertain, and even more chilling.

11. RoboCop (1987)

R | 102 min | Action, Crime, Sci-Fi

67 Metascore

In a dystopic and crime-ridden Detroit, a terminally wounded cop returns to the force as a powerful cyborg haunted by submerged memories.

Director: Paul Verhoeven | Stars: Peter Weller, Nancy Allen, Dan O'Herlihy, Ronny Cox

Votes: 217,962 | Gross: $53.42M

"Dick, you're fired!" ... and then ... "What's your name?" "Murphy!"

12. Pin (1988)

R | 103 min | Horror, Thriller

Isolated by his strange parents, Leon finds solace in an imaginary friend, which happens to be an anatomy doll from his father's doctor office. Unfortunately, the doll begins to take over Leon's life, and his sister's life as well.

Director: Sandor Stern | Stars: David Hewlett, Cynthia Preston, Terry O'Quinn, Bronwen Mantel

Votes: 3,590

After Leon's death, Ursula visits Pin for one final conversation and gives him back his music box.

13. The Woman in Black (1989 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 100 min | Horror, Mystery

When a friendless old widow dies in the seaside town of Crythin, a young solicitor is sent by his firm to settle the estate. The lawyer finds the townspeople reluctant to talk about or go ... See full summary »

Director: Herbert Wise | Stars: Adrian Rawlins, Bernard Hepton, David Daker, Pauline Moran

Votes: 4,247

The woman appears to Arthur, standing on the surface of the lake - before a tree falls on his boat, drowning him and his family.

14. Basket Case 3 (1991)

R | 90 min | Comedy, Horror

Duane recovers from his delusional breakdown to find his freakish basket-bound brother Belial will soon become a father. But not everything is joyous as the once tight knit brothers no longer seem to trust each other.

Director: Frank Henenlotter | Stars: Kevin Van Hentenryck, Annie Ross, Gil Roper, Dan Biggers

Votes: 2,865

The freaks take over a TV studio and declare that this is their world now.

15. The Sixth Sense (1999)

PG-13 | 107 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

64 Metascore

A boy who communicates with spirits seeks the help of a disheartened child psychologist.

Director: M. Night Shyamalan | Stars: Bruce Willis, Haley Joel Osment, Toni Collette, Olivia Williams

Votes: 858,562 | Gross: $293.51M

The revelation that Malcolm has been dead the whole time! I knew it was coming but it was so effectively done that it was still a punch.

16. Shadow of the Vampire (2000)

R | 92 min | Drama, Horror

71 Metascore

The filming of Nosferatu (1922) is hampered by the fact that its star Max Schreck is taking the role of a vampire far more seriously than seems humanly possible.

Director: E. Elias Merhige | Stars: John Malkovich, Willem Dafoe, Udo Kier, Cary Elwes

Votes: 38,322 | Gross: $8.29M

Murnau shoots his final scene, sacrificing Greta and two of his crew to Orlok, then the rest of the crew arrive and kill the vampire. Murnau's picture is complete - "I think we have it."

17. He Loves Me... He Loves Me Not (2002)

PG-13 | 92 min | Romance, Thriller

63 Metascore

A young woman who is in love with a married doctor becomes dangerous when her attempts to persuade him to leave his wife are unsuccessful. However, when things are seen from his point of view, the real situation becomes clear.

Director: Laetitia Colombani | Stars: Audrey Tautou, Samuel Le Bihan, Isabelle Carré, Sophie Guillemin

Votes: 17,844 | Gross: $1.01M

The reveal that Angélique never took her pills, but instead used them to build a mural of Loïc behind her wardrobe!

18. Dead Man's Shoes (2004)

Not Rated | 90 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

52 Metascore

A disaffected soldier returns to his hometown to get even with the thugs who brutalized his mentally-challenged brother years ago.

Director: Shane Meadows | Stars: Paddy Considine, Gary Stretch, Toby Kebbell, Stuart Wolfenden

Votes: 46,789 | Gross: $0.01M

The reveal that Anthony is dead, and Richard has been talking to his memory of him the whole time, is consistent and makes perfect sense (it's what "High Tension" [2003] should have been). The final scene between Richard and Mark, in which Richard confesses he was embarrassed by Anthony but now just wants to join him in death, is very moving.

19. The Descent (2005)

R | 99 min | Adventure, Horror, Thriller

71 Metascore

A caving expedition goes horribly wrong, as the explorers become trapped and ultimately pursued by a strange breed of predators.

Director: Neil Marshall | Stars: Shauna Macdonald, Natalie Mendoza, Alex Reid, Saskia Mulder

Votes: 187,964 | Gross: $26.02M

Sarah escapes the caves and makes a triumphant getaway to this wonderfully uplifting music, and then runs into a monstrous Juno. Then she has another hallucination of her late daughter holding a birthday cake, which she's been dreaming about throughout the film. Pull away to reveal she's still in the cave...

20. Still Life (III) (2005)

9 min | Short, Horror, Sci-Fi

A pill-popping, over-caffeinated driver accidentally hits something. Panic-stricken, he searches for help in a strange and desolate town that offers very little in the form of human kindness.

Director: Jon Knautz | Stars: Trevor Matthews, Kyle Brydges, Joe Newton, Sam Pollack

Votes: 979

It's revealed that the mannequins were all real people - this guy just committed a hit-and-run and murdered a family of three!

21. 1408 (2007)

PG-13 | 104 min | Fantasy, Horror, Mystery

64 Metascore

A man who specialises in debunking paranormal occurrences checks into the fabled room 1408 in the Dolphin Hotel. Soon after settling in, he confronts genuine terror.

Director: Mikael Håfström | Stars: John Cusack, Samuel L. Jackson, Mary McCormack, Tony Shalhoub

Votes: 244,608 | Gross: $71.99M

Mike and Lily hear Katie's voice on the tape - Mike makes the tiniest little smile.

22. The Mist (2007)

R | 126 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

58 Metascore

A freak storm unleashes a species of bloodthirsty creatures on a small town, where a small band of citizens hole up in a supermarket and fight for their lives.

Director: Frank Darabont | Stars: Thomas Jane, Marcia Gay Harden, Laurie Holden, Andre Braugher

Votes: 265,091 | Gross: $25.59M

David mercy-kills the remaining survivors (including his son), only for the army to arrive and start clearing the mist. It's so absurdly tragic that you'll either laugh or cry, but it's great!

23. Martyrs (2008)

R | 99 min | Horror

A young woman's quest for revenge against the people who kidnapped and tormented her as a child leads her and a friend, who is also a victim of child abuse, on a terrifying journey into a living hell of depravity.

Director: Pascal Laugier | Stars: Morjana Alaoui, Mylène Jampanoï, Catherine Bégin, Robert Toupin

Votes: 76,296

Mademoiselle learns what's on the other side, and kills herself.

24. Wanted (2008)

R | 110 min | Action, Crime, Fantasy

64 Metascore

A frustrated office worker learns that he is the son of a professional assassin and that he shares his father's superhuman killing abilities.

Director: Timur Bekmambetov | Stars: Angelina Jolie, James McAvoy, Morgan Freeman, Terence Stamp

Votes: 344,960 | Gross: $134.51M

"What the fuck have YOU done lately?"

25. Drag Me to Hell (2009)

PG-13 | 99 min | Horror, Thriller

83 Metascore

A loan officer who evicts an old woman from her home finds herself the recipient of a supernatural curse. Desperate, she turns to a seer to try and save her soul, while evil forces work to push her to a breaking point.

Director: Sam Raimi | Stars: Alison Lohman, Justin Long, Ruth Livier, Lorna Raver

Votes: 179,380 | Gross: $42.10M

Christine gets dragged to hell!

26. Orphan (2009)

R | 123 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

42 Metascore

A husband and wife who recently lost their baby adopt a 9 year-old girl who is not nearly as innocent as she claims to be.

Director: Jaume Collet-Serra | Stars: Vera Farmiga, Peter Sarsgaard, Isabelle Fuhrman, CCH Pounder

Votes: 179,218 | Gross: $41.60M

"I'm not your fucking mommy!"

27. Wake Wood (2009)

R | 90 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller

The parents of a girl who was killed by a savage dog are granted the opportunity to spend three days with their deceased daughter.

Director: David Keating | Stars: Aidan Gillen, Eva Birthistle, Timothy Spall, Ella Connolly

Votes: 7,592

Patrick begins the cycle anew, bringing Louise back so she can give birth to their child.

28. F (2010)

R | 79 min | Crime, Drama, Horror

A group of teachers must defend themselves from a gang of murderous kids when their school comes under siege after hours.

Director: Johannes Roberts | Stars: David Schofield, Eliza Bennett, Ruth Gemmell, Finlay Robertson

Votes: 3,735

This one ends when it needs to, as Robert escapes the school with his badly-wounded daughter and rushes her to the hospital, being forced to leave his ex Helen to her fate.

29. You're Next (2011)

R | 95 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

66 Metascore

When the Davison family comes under attack during their wedding anniversary getaway, the gang of mysterious killers soon learns that one of the victims harbors a secret talent for fighting back.

Director: Adam Wingard | Stars: Sharni Vinson, Joe Swanberg, AJ Bowen, Nicholas Tucci

Votes: 81,283 | Gross: $18.47M

The police intrude on the house that Erin has turned into a hunting ground, and one of them triggers her door-trap.

30. The Possession (I) (2012)

PG-13 | 92 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

45 Metascore

A young girl buys an antique box at a yard sale, unaware that inside the collectible lives a malicious ancient spirit. The girl's father teams with his ex-wife to find a way to end the curse upon their child.

Director: Ole Bornedal | Stars: Natasha Calis, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Kyra Sedgwick, Madison Davenport

Votes: 54,276 | Gross: $49.13M

Tzadok is (probably) killed in a car crash, which takes you by complete surprise - then the camera pans away from the scene, and over to the dybbuk box...

31. Storage 24 (2012)

R | 87 min | Action, Horror, Mystery

52 Metascore

In London, a military plane crashes leaving its highly classified contents strewn across the city. Completely unaware that the city is in lockdown, a group of people become trapped inside a storage facility with a highly unwelcome guest.

Director: Johannes Roberts | Stars: Noel Clarke, Colin O'Donoghue, Antonia Campbell-Hughes, Laura Haddock

Votes: 6,288

Sort of like "10 Cloverfield Lane" [2016], except this is good - the characters escape the locked-down building to discover that aliens have invaded.

32. The Call (II) (2013)

R | 94 min | Crime, Drama, Horror

51 Metascore

When a veteran 911 operator takes a life-altering call from a teenage girl who has just been abducted, she realizes that she must confront a killer from her past in order to save the girl's life.

Director: Brad Anderson | Stars: Halle Berry, Evie Thompson, Abigail Breslin, Morris Chestnut

Votes: 105,461 | Gross: $51.87M

"It's already done."

33. In Fear (I) (2013)

R | 85 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

66 Metascore

Driving to a music festival in Ireland, a new couple become lost and are then set upon by a tormentor with an unknown motive.

Director: Jeremy Lovering | Stars: Iain De Caestecker, Alice Englert, Allen Leech

Votes: 8,244

Lucy accelerates towards Max in her car, but the film cuts before the impact - simple but effective.

34. The Babadook (2014)

Not Rated | 94 min | Drama, Horror

86 Metascore

A single mother and her child fall into a deep well of paranoia when an eerie children's book titled "Mister Babadook" manifests in their home.

Director: Jennifer Kent | Stars: Essie Davis, Noah Wiseman, Daniel Henshall, Hayley McElhinney

Votes: 177,376 | Gross: $0.92M

Amelia has the Babadook under control, and Samuel isn't scared of her any more.

35. Black Mountain Side (2014)

Not Rated | 99 min | Horror, Thriller

Black Mountain Side follows a group of archaeologists after they uncover a strange structure in Northern Canada, dating over ten thousand years before the present. The team finds themselves... See full summary »

Director: Nick Szostakiwskyj | Stars: Shane Twerdun, Michael Dickson, Carl Toftfelt, Marc Anthony Williams

Votes: 3,088

Jensen blows himself up. Olsen is caught in a bear trap - alone on the mountainside.

36. Honeymoon (2014)

R | 87 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

65 Metascore

A newlywed couple finds their lake-country honeymoon descend into chaos after Paul finds Bea wandering and disoriented in the middle of the night.

Director: Leigh Janiak | Stars: Rose Leslie, Harry Treadaway, Ben Huber, Hanna Brown

Votes: 23,241 | Gross: $0.01M

Bea drowns Paul, then meets Annie and walks into the lights with her.

37. It Follows (2014)

R | 100 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

83 Metascore

A young woman is followed by an unknown supernatural force after a sexual encounter.

Director: David Robert Mitchell | Stars: Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist, Olivia Luccardi, Lili Sepe

Votes: 188,898 | Gross: $14.67M

The ending with Jay and Paul walking down the street, holding hands, and a figure walking behind them is surprisingly effective.

38. The Gift (VI) (2015)

R | 108 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

77 Metascore

A young married couple's lives are thrown into a harrowing tailspin when an acquaintance from the husband's past brings mysterious gifts and a horrifying secret to light after more than 20 years.

Director: Joel Edgerton | Stars: Jason Bateman, Rebecca Hall, Joel Edgerton, Allison Tolman

Votes: 126,275 | Gross: $43.77M

Gordo tears Simon's life apart, and doesn't even clarify which of them is the father of Robyn's newborn baby!

39. The Invitation (I) (2015)

Not Rated | 100 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

74 Metascore

A man accepts an invitation to a dinner party hosted by his ex-wife, an unsettling affair that reopens old wounds and creates new tensions.

Director: Karyn Kusama | Stars: Logan Marshall-Green, Emayatzy Corinealdi, Michiel Huisman, Tammy Blanchard

Votes: 74,805 | Gross: $0.23M

Lanterns like the one in Eden's garden are lit across the city - the killings have been happening everywhere else.

40. Pressure (II) (2015)

R | 91 min | Adventure, Drama, Thriller

A group of men are trapped in a small pod on the sea bed, after diving down to fix an oil pipeline and becoming separated from their ship.

Director: Ron Scalpello | Stars: Danny Huston, Matthew Goode, Joe Cole, Alan McKenna

Votes: 4,535

Engel sacrifices himself so Jones can swim to the surface.

41. The Triangle (2016)

Not Rated | 94 min | Horror, Mystery

Four filmmakers take their cameras into the Montana wilderness to document the mysterious inner workings of a young community with a giant secret.

Directors: David Blair, Nathaniel Peterson, Adam Pitman, Andrew Rizzo, Adam Stilwell | Stars: Andrew Rizzo, Lee Rizzo, Brick Patrick, Nathaniel Peterson

Votes: 608

Simple but mysterious and visceral.

42. Bad Match (2017)

TV-MA | 90 min | Thriller

56 Metascore

An internet-dating playboy's life spirals out of control after meeting a woman online.

Director: David Chirchirillo | Stars: Lili Simmons, Brandon Scott, Noureen DeWulf, Kahyun Kim

Votes: 3,041

The final twist that Riley isn't responsible for all the shit that's happened.

43. Cam (2018)

TV-MA | 94 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

71 Metascore

Alice, an ambitious camgirl, wakes up one day to discover she's been replaced on her show with an exact replica of herself.

Director: Daniel Goldhaber | Stars: Madeline Brewer, Patch Darragh, Melora Walters, Devin Druid

Votes: 19,537

In a very suspenseful scene, Lola forces her doppelganger into killing itself and takes back her account.

44. The Strangers: Prey at Night (2018)

R | 85 min | Horror

48 Metascore

A family of four staying at a secluded mobile home park for the night are stalked and then hunted by three masked psychopaths.

Director: Johannes Roberts | Stars: Christina Hendricks, Martin Henderson, Bailee Madison, Lewis Pullman

Votes: 23,169 | Gross: $24.43M

Kinsey and Luke escape in a pastiche of "The Texas Chain Saw Massacre" [1974], but Kinsey is clearly traumatised. In a subversion of clichéd slasher movie endings, when we see Kinsey next she's jumping at someone just knocking on the door.

45. Unfriended: Dark Web (2018)

R | 92 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

53 Metascore

A teen comes into possession of a new laptop and soon discovers that the previous owner is not only watching him, but will also do anything to get it back.

Director: Stephen Susco | Stars: Colin Woodell, Stephanie Nogueras, Betty Gabriel, Rebecca Rittenhouse

Votes: 15,992 | Gross: $8.78M

The camera pulls out to reveal that everything we've just seen is being live-streamed on the dark web for entertainment. It's all a game!

46. Ready or Not (I) (2019)

R | 95 min | Comedy, Horror, Mystery

64 Metascore

A bride's wedding night takes a sinister turn when her eccentric new in-laws force her to take part in a terrifying game.

Directors: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett | Stars: Samara Weaving, Adam Brody, Mark O'Brien, Henry Czerny

Votes: 18,166 | Gross: $26.74M

Turns out the family superstition was true, and they all comically die as Grace watches.



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