Saturday, March 19, 2005

Bad endings - with a twist

Maybe I should scratch The Upside of Anger off my list too. (Or stop reading film reviews.) According to Slate's David Edelstein, its ending ruins the film. That got him thinking about bad movie endings, and which of them had the worst twists. His Top (or Bottom) 20 is listed as follows:

1. The Life of David Gale
2. The Game
3. Planet of the Apes (Tim Burton version)
4. Basic
5. The Woman in the Window (Fritz Lang)
6. Suspicion (Hitchcock)
7. No Way Out
8. The Village
9. Fight Club
10. The Forgotten
11. Secret Window
12. The Usual Suspects
13. Reindeer Games
14. Never Talk to Strangers
15. Man on Fire
16. I Bury the Living
17. The Contender
18. Swimming Pool
19. The Stepford Wives (remake)
20. The Upside of Anger

I'm not sure if I have anything to add to that list, as Edelstein already picked the choices that came to my mind. The ending to Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes is virtually incomprehensible and one of the all-time worst. I also thought the twist in Secret Window (which I recently watched on HBO) was near-laughable. I'm sure there's a blooper reel with the actors cracking up dozens of times as they try to work with the story they were given. But I think Edelstein's rather kind to M. Night Shyamalan, whose attempts to repeat the twist of The Sixth Sense have been three-strikes-and-you're-out. (In fairness, I haven't even seen The Village. But why should I bother at this point?)

Now I'll spend most of the day trying to think of some others. How about the rest of you? Anything to add? Or how about some good twists?