Sommerleigh Pollonais, Horror Head Writer
While cruising through Netflix this week I came across a movie that I had seen before but was in the mood to check out again. The conclusion of said movie (if you’re wondering which movie it was, don’t worry it made the list) always left me wondering what happened next. But because it didn’t make that much of an impact critically or financially (the latter would’ve been the deciding factor though) it never got a follow up. And like Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory, I was left sitting with my eye twitching because the completionist in me felt unsatisfied.
When it comes to movies no matter the genre, I’m sure I’m not the only one out there who has been made to feel this way. With horror movies habitually ending their stories with the possibility of continuing somewhere down the road only to have something hinder them, it’s no wonder horror fans are sometimes left pulling their hair out as they wonder aloud, “What the hell happens next?!”
Call it OCD, call it curiosity, call it whatever you will, I’m sure you have your own list of films that did you dirty here are Five More Horror Movies That Left Us Wondering, ‘What Happened Next?‘ And beware MAJOR SPOILERS for the following films:
- The Mist
- Trick ‘r Treat
- The Crazies
- Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon
Before I start off, I just want to clarify that this list isn’t about the quality of the movie and just about the ones that were interesting enough for me to want to have seen it reach its final conclusion, instead of the open-ended one audiences was given. That said, I truly enjoyed Identity on my first watch and would even go as far as to say it’s worth sitting through a second time, just to see all the clues you may have missed that led up to the big reveal. Don’t worry, I won’t spoil that here in case some of you missed out on this well-crafted thriller directed by none other than James Mangold (Logan, Ford v Ferrari) but what I have to get into is the conclusion we got.
Without giving much away I’ll only say that after it seems like all the right moves were made and a happy ending was in sight, the killer comes back annihilates anyone who could stop him and walks away.
While this may be par for the blood-soaked course when it comes to the genre it still begs the question, “What happened next?” Did he “rebuild” his identity (I promise this question makes sense if you’ve seen the movie, so go see it!) Was he ever caught, or did he continue on his killing spree? Considering his state of mind by the end, the latter is probably the truth, but I would love to see a continuation of Identity if just to enjoy another star-studded cast of actors playing a horror version of Clue with one helluva twist.
#4 The Mist
Whether you enjoyed the entire movie or not I think everyone whose seen it can admit Frank Darabont’s adaptation of Stephen King’s The Mist packs a huge emotional punch with its climax.
While Darabont famously changed the ending from that of the book (don’t worry, the King of horror stories approved) there’s still a moment after where audiences see the mist roll back, the army comes marching in and the screen slowly fades to black. Yet we still have no idea where the mist and its Lovecraftian inhabitants came from or, worse yet, whether they were going to come back!
Now to be fair, fans of the book and movie were given an opportunity to further explore the nature of this fog from hell when the story was once again adapted for television. Take it from someone who watched this, it was a complete letdown and an utter waste of an opportunity to do something truly memorable with such an intriguing premise.
Here’s hoping some other talented folks (fingers crossed Mike Flanagan reads this) give The Mist the proper exploration it deserves and answers the questions some of us so desperately want to know.
What the hell is Legion? some of you are asking and I totally understand as this is one of those movies a lot of folks didn’t bother seeing, unless you’re a Paul Bettany fan and you know he’s done his share of heroics long before he ever donned the magenta makeup as Marvel’s Vision.
Simply put, Legion is one of those action-horror mashups that make angels out to be the bad guys with all of them wanting to end humanity save one in the form of the archangel Michael (Bettany). There’s a McGuffin in the form of a baby that supposed to somehow be the future saviour of humanity and the rest you can fill in with your typical characters and action set pieces and you would probably be ninety per cent right without ever having seen the film.
Here’s the thing though, I really like this movie! Unapologetically, unironically, unequivocally like this movie, which is why the ending makes me so damn annoyed every time I see it.
After surviving waves of possessed humans and a bloodthirsty angel Gabriel, our heroes who are basically stand-ins for Mary, Joseph and Baby J drive off into the sunset. But before that happens strange tattoos have appeared on the male lead’s body and Michael told him to find the prophet who can decipher them. Michael then fights with Gabriel and wins. So, what happens next?!
Is the apocalypse averted? Do they still need to be on the run? It seems that way considering the arsenal of weapons in the back seat of their car. And why haven’t the tattoos disappeared if Michael has convinced God to give humanity a second chance?
If you haven’t guessed by now this is the movie I was talking about in my intro, the one that sets me off and makes me want to rearrange my DVD collection in alphabetical order, just to have some sense of control every time I see it! Unfortunately, this is one of those movies I’ll probably never get proper answers to and like another one of Paul Bettany’s movies Priest the biggest question might be exactly why it is I find these to be so much fun to rewatch!
Honourable Mention: Trick ‘r Treat
Arguably it’s one of (if not the best) horror anthology out there and while each story is self-contained, there is one huge connecting narrative thread in the form of Sam, the little pumpkin-headed candy eating demon that pops up whenever someone breaks the laws of Halloween.
Fans have been begging for a follow-up to this for years and unlike the others on this list, there’s a strong possibility we will be getting one sometime soon, so maybe I won’t be a Golden Girl before I learn the origins behind this wonderfully twisted character.
#2 The Crazies
Speaking on the remake here, The Crazies (2010) is one of those horror movies I think doesn’t get the attention it deserves. It’s a really good movie folks and the ending without a doubt left room open for more craziness.
Starring the always charismatic Timothy Olyphant (Justified, Santa Clarita Diet) as a small-town sheriff who never had to deal with anything more than maybe a drunk or a missing cow his entire career until one day a toxic virus enters his quiet farming community and causes the peaceful folk to go ballistic. The sheriff and his wife, played by Radha Mitchell (Pitch Black), along with his deputy and a young woman played by a then unknown Danielle Panabaker (The Flash, Friday the 13th <2009>) try to make it out of the town alive but have to contend with a government that wants to keep the whole thing under wraps, no matter what.
The ending unfolds to reveal this government conspiracy is much larger than one small farming town and as our heroes walk off towards the big city audiences are left to wonder how far does this thing go?
This was a really solid start of a story that could’ve been developed into something akin to The Purge franchise but sadly nothing ever came of it. Then again you can always do what I do—watch World War Z right after The Crazies and pretend that was the sequel we never got.
It works right? You don’t have to thank me; it’s what I’m here for.
#1 Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon
Released back in 2006, I’m honestly flabbergasted Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon never got a sequel.
Framed as a documentary in its first half and a straight-up slasher in the latter, this is the story of a normal looking man named Leslie Vernon who lives in a world where iconic killers like Michael Myers, Jason Voorhees and Freddy Krueger are real. Leslie wants to follow in their footsteps to become the next big name and hires a documentary filmmaker to shadow him while he shows them how he goes about stalking his intended victims.
Darkly funny and ripe with love and attention for the genre, if there was any movie I wanted to see develop into something bigger it was this one. Nathan Baesel strikes the perfect balance between fun everyman and depraved killer (not something easily done) and could’ve gone on to become as memorable a name as any of the others previously mentioned. Not only was the film well received by critics and viewers alike the ending leaves you in no doubt about Leslie’s fate. So why not take things further?!
Now there was an intended sequel/prequel/remake called Before the Mask: The Return of Leslie Vernon that never came to pass (Bloody Disgusting has a great piece written on this that you can check out) but it seems like no studios so far have been interested in financing it, so instead the creators released a six-part comic book issue to cover the story.
Not a total loss but not what I or any of the fans of this inventive indie-horror movie wanted. I haven’t read it (yet) and I may not find the time to do so, but I’m still hopeful that one day I’ll get to see Leslie Vernon again on my screen because if the sequel is as good as this is, it will be well worth the wait.
So that’s my list. What horror movie endings had you clamouring for what happened next? You can check out Part 1 of this list and more great horror movie lists below:
Sommerleigh of the House Pollonais. First of Her Name. Sushi Lover, Queen of Horror Movies, Comic Books and Binge Watching Netflix. Mother of two beautiful black cats named Vader and Kylo. I think eating Popcorn at the movies should be mandatory, PS4 makes the best games ever, and I’ll be talking about movies until the zombie apocalypse comes.
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