All things must come to an end, but the greatest finales leave a lasting impression. We’ve already explored the best opening scenes in cinema, and now it’s time to dig into a few of film’s greatest movie endings. Not all stories provide audiences with closure, happy resolutions, and loose ends neatly wrapped in a bow. Some of the best tales reveal jaw-dropping truths, narrative twists, and allow questions that go unanswered to linger in our minds. We’ve rounded up some of the most epic film endings past the break. There’s plenty of room to discuss your favorites in the comments, so chime in with your thoughts after clicking through our gallery for more memorable movie goodbyes. Oh, and consider this your big-time spoiler warning.
One of the earliest slasher films to chill audiences to the bone, John Carpenter’s Halloween painted a disturbing portrait of absolute evil with masked killer Michael Myers. There is so much to love about the 1978 film — just take your pick: the piercing and unforgettable synth score, an atmospheric Midwestern setting (on the spookiest day of the year), Jamie Lee Curtis’ brave final girl, and a grimacing Donald Pleasence as an unrelenting doctor hunting down the madman. The tension-filled final moments in the movie stand as one of the best in horror cinema. People were scared to leave the theaters when the movie premiered, and the ending quickly reminds us that the evil is still out there. Pleasence’s closing line to Curtis about the bogeyman — uttered with a sinking look on his face as he realizes the truth — is brilliant.