Unhappy endings

  • dannyboy1101

    Posts: 977

    Dec 24, 2012 8:44 AM GMT
    ...To books and movies, you sicko.

    So there are a lot of people I know that can't handle an ending that isn't resolved in a clearly positive way. What I've noticed is that some of my favorite books and movies end with either endings open to interpretation or just that are plain bleak. Most people I know are so turned off by it that they will call a movie bad just cuz of the ending even if the whole damn thing was amazing leading up to that.

    Anyone else? Any good recommendations for me to watch or read next?

    Just finished watching Thinner which I've also read. Also love me some Requiem for a Dream, Arlington Road, inception, mist, memento, machinist.

    Also love the ending of the books Misery and Gerald's Game. I guess I just need varied endings outside of Stephen King. I'm noticing a pattern. Recommendations?
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    Dec 24, 2012 10:06 AM GMT
    dannyboy1101 said...To books and movies, you sicko.

    So there are a lot of people I know that can't handle an ending that isn't resolved in a clearly positive way. What I've noticed is that some of my favorite books and movies end with either endings open to interpretation or just that are plain bleak. Most people I know are so turned off by it that they will call a movie bad just cuz of the ending even if the whole damn thing was amazing leading up to that.

    Anyone else? Any good recommendations for me to watch or read next?

    Just finished watching Thinner which I've also read. Also love me some Requiem for a Dream, Arlington Road, inception, mist, memento, machinist.

    Also love the ending of the books Misery and Gerald's Game. I guess I just need varied endings outside of Stephen King. I'm noticing a pattern. Recommendations?


    I really enjoy bleak endings, too. I mean, c'mon; it's the defining point of postmodern films! Some "great" movies with bleak/challenging endings are: The Mist, The Master, Mulholland Dr. Young Adult, Solaris (1972), Scorsese's Casino, Taxi Driver, Caché...there are so many movies that keep you thinking in the end.
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    Dec 24, 2012 11:54 AM GMT
    Lost in Translation is open to interpretation.
  • NJVetteGuy77

    Posts: 452

    Dec 24, 2012 12:23 PM GMT
    This movie
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    Dec 24, 2012 12:32 PM GMT
    Good thread topic.
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    Dec 24, 2012 1:52 PM GMT
    The Nines, but you may need to watch it a couple times.
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    Dec 24, 2012 1:58 PM GMT
    Battle Royale in the end everyone but 2 are dead and the remaining 2 will forever be haunted by their classmates they once knew before being forced to kill one another
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Dec 24, 2012 3:56 PM GMT
    sophie's choice has a peachy ending
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    Dec 24, 2012 7:03 PM GMT
    From Hell -- a masterpiece of a graphic novel and a very grim, Hammer-esque movie adaptation to boot.

    tumblr_letkax63Um1qcair0o1_500.jpg

    fromhell3.jpeg
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    Dec 24, 2012 7:06 PM GMT
    Blood Meridian has a really ambiguous and frankly creepy ending, also if you're into anime The End of Evangelion's ending is incredibly bleak (everyone dies,m except for two characters).
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    Dec 24, 2012 7:09 PM GMT
    I always looked at a movie or book's ending and thought how a different ending would change the mood and tone of the piece. For example Harry Potter, as much as I liked the ending, I still can't help but feel that it would have been more meaningful and emotional if Harry would have died. But the content of the previous books gave it room to go either way. Another example was The Mist (not to spoil it), but what happened just fit with the tone of the piece. If it ended up being a happy conclusion, it just wouldn't have fit and felt awkward.
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    Dec 24, 2012 7:57 PM GMT
    Most novels by Dean Koontz! I had to stop reading any of his work because of his annoying ''two pages from the end and it's all neatly wrapped up with a bow" style.icon_confused.gificon_cool.gif
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    Dec 24, 2012 8:15 PM GMT






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    Dec 24, 2012 11:29 PM GMT
    The Rice Mother- its a book by Rani Manicka.
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    Dec 24, 2012 11:38 PM GMT
    Wanna get really creeped out with a page turner? One of the most memorable books I have ever read, especially if you like New York, or are familiar with it

    alienist.jpg
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    Dec 25, 2012 12:02 AM GMT
    Any film by Michael Haneke
  • rustoleum

    Posts: 52

    Dec 25, 2012 6:44 AM GMT
    Well, as evidenced by my profile, two books that fit that aesthetic:

    The Haunting of Hill House
    We Have Always Lived in the Castle

    I would also add, if you're a connoisseur of painful/unresolved endings:

    Shadow Tag -- Louise Erdrich
    The Good Mother -- Sue Miller
    Tender Buttons (good fucking luck) -- Gertrude Stein
    Bridge of Sighs -- Richard Russo
    The Great Gatsby -- F. Scott Fitzgerald

    A very Merry Christmas to you and yours!

    -Rusty
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    Dec 25, 2012 7:22 AM GMT
    As conventional and lacking in originality as Stephen King's Cell may seem for the most part, I really liked the ambiguity in the ending and the deep characterization of the protagonist. Another book similar to Cell that ends in a cliff hanger - written by Stephen King as well - is The Mist, which its movie has a more firm, yet bleak ending.

    If you are into sci-fi that is more subtle in its portrayal of the future but focuses more on characterization and the narrative, i would highly recommend Never Let Me Go, and The Blade Runner. Both of these movies have complicated, three dimensional characters along with conflicts that are daunting yet appropriate for us to consider at all times.

    If you don't mind graphic novels, I have to recommend you to check Watchmen and The Fountain. Watchmen is slightly more conventional than the latter, but the characters are sophisticated and extremely realistic. It's a terrific novel that I see more as a piece of admirable art rather than a simple comic. The Fountain, on the other hand, is more abstract and requires more than one reading to be appreciated. With that said, it is definitely worth reading through both of these graphic novels more than once.

    Last but not least, you should read The Little Prince if you have not read it yet. While the book is recommended for young teenagers, it covers a lot of complicated themes that can only be understood as one matures in his lifetime. It is a book worth reading at least once every few years, and no, it does not have a happy ending.

    Well, hope this list helps.
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    Dec 25, 2012 7:43 AM GMT
    dannyboy1101 saidSo there are a lot of people I know that can't handle an ending that isn't resolved in a clearly positive way. What I've noticed is that some of my favorite books and movies end with either endings open to interpretation or just that are plain bleak. Most people I know are so turned off by it that they will call a movie bad just cuz of the ending even if the whole damn thing was amazing leading up to that.

    I've never understood that. I loaned my copy of "Chasing Amy" to a co-worker and when she gave it back she said it was a horrible movie. I asked what she didn't like about it and she said she loved it up until the end and when things didn't work out happily, it ruined the whole movie for her and it was a waste of time.

    She called me pessimistic when said the movie was realistic when you realize that that everyone breaks up with a lot of people in life until that one time they don't...just like she did with the half-dozen or so boyfriends she had before she met her husband, but she just couldn't understand that.
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    Dec 25, 2012 7:59 AM GMT
    It's no movie or book.

    But "The Sopranos"
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    Dec 25, 2012 8:04 AM GMT
    Thelma and Louise?
  • Fable

    Posts: 3866

    Dec 25, 2012 10:02 AM GMT
    BlackCat90 saidThelma and Louise?


    took the words right out of my mouth
  • drypin

    Posts: 1798

    Dec 25, 2012 10:15 AM GMT
    I'd add 'Melancholia' to the discussion.
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    Dec 25, 2012 11:39 AM GMT
    Roguewave saidWanna get really creeped out with a page turner? One of the most memorable books I have ever read, especially if you like New York, or are familiar with it

    alienist.jpg


    +1
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    Dec 25, 2012 5:06 PM GMT
    I'm okay with sad or ambiguous endings as that reflects what's often found in life along with the happy stuff. And some stories can only end badly.

    The part of story-telling that always threw me was what I considered to be--and complained about--all the plot breaks. I'd be reading or watching something and there'd be this total twist and I'd think well, no one would ever do that, that doesn't make any sense at all. So I thought of it as bad writing, terrible story-telling, what a horrible movie.

    It wasn't until late in life that I experienced my first betrayals, the last one quite throwing me into betrayal trauma that has taken me years to recover from. I either had a long run of luck before that or--as at least one friend likes to tell me that I can be naive--I simply hadn't noticed. I do, frankly, very Anne Frank-like enjoy believing in the ultimate good of others. Which of course leaves me to be frequently disappointed. Oh well.

    So now that my life no longer makes any sense at all to me, now that I've experienced my own real life plot break, I might have to reread a few things and see if I don't feel differently about that writing.

    Even if so, I will always prefer a happy ending