10 Movies with Unsettling Endings That You Can’t Stop Thinking About

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Written By William Butterworth

Will Butterworth first started reporting on entertainment news when he was a kid in Barney pajamas giving news reports to his parents while sitting in a cardboard box. Now, he still sits in a cardboard box, but his audience has grown in number (at least that's what his mom tells him). Entertainment junkies unite!

Discover a darker side of cinema with our handpicked selection of 10 movies with unsettling endings. These are the movies that leave you sitting in your seat, wondering what you just watched.

Take a look and add some for your next movie night.

The Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)

The Invasion of the Body Snatchers
Image Credit: Solofilm.

Perhaps the scariest part of the film comes right at the end. We follow the main character, who is walking amongst the San Francisco populace. At this point, we don’t know who’s an alien and who is still a human.

When an old friend approaches him, we discover he, at some point, had been replaced, too. He screams at her in a chilling way that sticks with the audience long after the credits finish rolling.

The Thing (1982)

The Thing
Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

All throughout the film, the researchers at a remote station in Antarctica have been trying to escape from a menacing creature that can look just like them. In the end, we find ourselves sitting with the two surviving characters.

There’s a very good chance that one of them is the creature, but the movie pans away before it’s ever revealed what happens to them.

Oldboy (2003)

Image Credit: Tartan Films.

Oh Dae-Su ends up kidnapped and imprisoned for 15 years. When he’s released, he’s tasked with finding whoever captured him in five days. The movie is violent and unsettling throughout, but it’s the end that really horrifies.

Dae-Su discovers that the young woman he’s had a sexual relationship with is actually his daughter. The reveal is so shocking that he ends up torturing himself.

The Mist (2007)

The Mist
Image Credit: Dimension Films.

Say what you will about The Mist’s poor CGI; it’s the ending that’s really haunting. Thinking that whatever lurks in the mist is about to kill him and his family, the main character ends up killing them out of mercy. Just as he’s about to kill himself, the mist clears, and they’re rescued by the government.

He killed his family moments before rescue. It’s a horrifying moment for him and the audience.

The Others (2001)

The Others
Image Credit: Miramax.

The big reveal that the main character and her kids are the real ghosts in the house is already stunning enough. However, the real chilling part is when you see the husband return home. As a war veteran, he’s likely seen a lot.

However, seeing him grieving is so raw that it makes the sequence difficult to get through.

The Witch (2015)

The Witch
Image Credit: A24.

The Witch is a slow-burn thriller with quite a few creepy moments. Nothing quite compares to the end, however, with Thomasin speaking to Black Phillip. With nowhere else to go, she ends up following him deep into the woods, where a coven of witches rises into the air, accepting her as one of their own.

Hereditary (2018)

Image Credit: A24.

There are quite a few unsettling moments in Hereditary. One might even say the movie, as a whole, is unsettling. However, the ending has some really terrifying moments that will stick with you for a while.

From Annie slamming her head into the door over and over to cutting through her own throat, the last few minutes of this movie are truly uncomfortable.

Sophie’s Choice (1982)

Sophies Choice
Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

Sophie’s Choice originally seemed like it was a film about a woman falling in love with two different men. The choice she’d have to make is between which one she wants to be with. You discover at the end, however, that during her time in the Holocaust, she had to choose one daughter to go to the gas chamber and die.

It’s a horrendous choice that makes the remaining time in the movie difficult to sit through.

The Boy in Striped Pajamas (2008)

The Boy in Striped Pajamas
Image Credit: Miramax.

If a movie involves the Holocaust, then it’s probably going to be pretty unsettling. You’re not prepared for what happens in The Boy in Striped Pajamas. A German boy ends up befriending a young boy in a concentration camp.

At the end, the German boy ends up crawling into the camp with the boy, but they’re discovered by guards. It also just so happens to be an execution day. Both boys end up being taken into the gas chamber and killed. The German boy’s family comes running to find and save him, only to arrive just as the chamber goes off.

It’s an uncomfortable scene that’s heavy with different layers to it.

The Blair Witch Project (1999)

The Blair Witch Project
Image Credit: Artisan Entertainment.

The herald of “found footage” films, The Blair Witch Project had tons of moments that you left feeling uncomfortable. Its ending scene, however, is one of its most unsettling. The two friends end up finding an odd house in the middle of the woods.

When they descend into the cellar, they find their missing friend just standing in the corner and unresponsive. The footage cuts out from there. It’s a horrific and haunting moment that sits with you for a long time.

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Under the Silver Lake
Image Credit: Vendian Entertainment

The marketing department sometimes has a lot of fun developing the poster for a movie. They’ll put in secret clues or Easter Eggs for eagle-eye fans to find. Did you spot these hidden or creepy details? Check them out here:

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Dirty Harry
Image Credit: 1971 Warner Bros. Ent.

They don’t make anything like they used to, including movies! If you want to relive the nostalgic past, check out this collection of Baby Boomer-era movies that can never be topped.

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