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10 Captivating Fan Theories About Movie Endings And Twists

by Estelle
fact checked by Jamie Frater

Warning: If you haven’t seen these movies, there are spoilers ahead. But c’mon, you know you want to read them anyway. These fan theories are too cool to miss. So, without further ado, let’s get to it.

Imagine hearing the noises of horrifying monsters all around you as they hunt you down, but you can’t see them because of thick mist. Then imagine coming to the realization that no matter what you do, you can’t escape. You flee with your son and three other passengers by car, only to run out of gas.

The monsters are still around, hidden by the mist. So you do the unthinkable. You shoot your son and the other passengers with the four bullets loaded in your gun. Then you get out of the car while shouting at the monsters to come and get you.

Something rumbles through a crack in the mist. As it becomes clearer, you see that instead of a monster, it is an army tank picking up survivors. Soldiers are shooting down the creatures as the tank rolls along . . . 

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10 The Mist

The Mist (2007) – HD Trailer

 . . . That is the ending of The Mist, the movie adaptation of Stephen King’s novella by the same name. Many movie fans still believe that this is the most shocking movie ending they have ever seen. There are also many questions surrounding the events of the movie, such as where the monsters actually came from and why the little boy had to be killed.

A thought-provoking fan theory explains that the little boy had to die as a sacrifice to placate the gods so that they would destroy the monsters. During the movie, a female religious zealot wanted the boy killed as a sacrifice to God for the people’s sins. The theory has it that this is exactly what happened at the end when the boy was shot by his father. The boy became a sacrifice that led to the soldiers arriving to save the other people.

An extension of the theory is that the Netflix hit show Stranger Things is a prelude to The Mist. This would explain where the monsters came from in The Mist. It is also thought that the Upside Down in Stranger Things translates to the mist in the film being a cross-dimensional void.[1] A portal is opened by the military in the movie, allowing the monsters to cross over to our dimension.

9 Split

Split (2017) – How Powerful We Can Be Scene (10/10) | Movieclips

M. Night Shyamalan definitely got his groove back with Split. This horror-thriller is about Kevin Wendell Crumb, a man with 23 different personalities who abducts three teenage girls.

Eventually, it is revealed that Kevin also has a 24th personality called “The Beast.” However, the real twist comes at the end when there is a cameo by Bruce Willis (aka David Dunn) from the movie Unbreakable. Therefore, Split and Unbreakable play out in the same universe/setting.[2]

It didn’t take long for a fan theory to settle around this reveal. Since Kevin’s father got on a train and never returned to his son, it is thought that it must be the same train that was derailed by Mr. Glass in Unbreakable. This would mean that Kevin’s dad never returned home because he died in the crash and Mr. Glass then opened the door for a supervillain to be created.

With any luck, this theory will be either proven or debunked in the upcoming 2019 movie Glass which will be promoted as a sequel to Unbreakable.

8 Titanic

Dawson,Rose,Dawson-Titanic Scene

When Jack sank below the freezing waters of the Atlantic Ocean in Titanic, moviegoers were shocked. Why couldn’t Rose have just scooched up a bit on the massive door and let Jack climb on it, too?

Director James Cameron chimed in on the argument by saying that Jack wouldn’t have survived even if he had managed to tie both his and Rose’s life vests to the door to help it float better. (This was in response to a MythBusters experiment.)

Fans took the argument a lot further by inventing the theory that Jack never existed in the first place. Instead, he was a figment of Rose’s imagination that appeared during especially trying times.[3]

The theory goes that she had a mental breakdown on the Titanic which led her to hang off the back of the ship, ready to jump. Enter Jack Dawson. He becomes everything that Rose’s awful fiance is not. Jack becomes the embodiment of Rose’s strength during the times she stands up to Cal. Jack becomes her inner voice urging her to break free.

The theory gains traction when elderly Rose said at the end that there wouldn’t be any evidence of Jack’s existence: “He exists now only in my memory.”

7 Drag Me To Hell

Drag Me To Hell (2008) End of Movie

Drag Me to Hell was a gross comedy-horror. Think bodily fluids landing in the protagonist’s mouth and the creepiest old lady chewing on her chin, and you’ll have the gist of it. However, in spite of all the satire, the movie ends shockingly. The main character, Christine, is dragged off to hell while her boyfriend can do nothing but stand and watch.

A theory about this film reared its head not long after the movie was released. Instead of Christine being stalked by the old lady, Christine is actually hallucinating because she is starving herself as she is terrified of being overweight. When she dreams of being vomited on, it is actually Christine who is vomiting up the little food she may have eaten throughout the day. As soon as food appears in a scene, Christine is attacked or scared by the old woman.[4]

It is generally thought that Christine is dragged to hell at the end because the curse placed on her by the old woman at the beginning of the movie was never broken. According to some theories, however, Christine is actually dying of starvation at the end or committing suicide because of depression stemming from her eating disorder.

6 The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn–Part 2

THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN – PART 2 – “Carlisle’s Death” Scene

The fight sequence at the end of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn–Part 2 was both shocking to hard-core fans as well as a major plot hole. It was shocking because Aro was suddenly holding up Carlisle’s decapitated head and then things just escalated from there to the demise of Esme, Jasper, and Leah.

The plot hole came in the form of Alice being able to see this entire event as a vision even though she had previously been prevented from seeing the future when the werewolves were nearby. For example, she couldn’t see Bella being saved from the water after she jumped off a cliff because Jacob was the one who saved her. So it was rather strange that Alice could suddenly see the futures of vampires and werewolves at the same time.[5]

According to one fan theory, the rules may have changed for Alice because a strong bond formed between the wolf and the child when Jacob imprinted on Renesmee, the half-human, half-vampire offspring of Edward and Bella. Another theory says that Alice was forced to be around the wolves more than she would have liked, so she tuned into their “frequency.” Eventually, this enabled her to overcome the blind spot in her gift.

5 The Thing

The Thing (10/10) Movie CLIP – Why Don’t We Wait Here, See What Happens (1982) HD

The ambiguous ending of John Carpenter’s The Thing has given rise to many fan theories over the years. While R.J. MacReady fights the Thing, Childs is missing in action after running out into the snowstorm. After literally taking fire to the Thing, MacReady heads back to the ruined remainder of what used to be a base. Then Childs returns almost out of nowhere.

Suspecting that Childs may have been infected by the Thing, MacReady hands him a bottle of alcohol. Childs then takes a gulp of whatever is in the bottle. The End.

Many believe that Childs was now the Thing because they couldn’t see his breath at the end of the film while MacReady has puffs of air escaping from his mouth in the freezing temperature.[6]

Another fan theory has it that Childs was wearing a different colored jacket at the end of the film, meaning that the Thing had taken possession of his body and ripped his previously worn clothes to shreds.

Yet another theory on reddit says that there was gasoline in the bottle that MacReady gave to Childs. As Childs had no reaction to the liquid, it means that he was indeed infected by the Thing.

4 The Shining

The Shining Ending HD

By far, The Shining has some of the most wacky fan and conspiracy theories floating around the Internet. Like The Thing, the ending of the film is left open to interpretation.

A black-and-white photograph is shown at the end, featuring Jack Torrance at the Overlook Hotel in 1921. Of course, this should not be possible because the film in which Jack is the caretaker at the hotel is set 60 years in the future.

Popular theories include the possibility that Jack and the butler are continuously reincarnated to keep working at the hotel and, of course, time travel. Another fan theory claims that Jack is actually the Devil, considering that his pose on the photo is strikingly similar to that of the tarot card of Baphomet.[7]

However, the whole movie seems to bring the conspiracies to the surface. One well-known theory is that director Stanley Kubrick left coded messages throughout the film as an apology for faking the Moon landings. Other theories include the film being about the Holocaust, mind control (courtesy of the CIA), or even the legendary Minotaur.

3 Taxi Driver

Taxi Driver (8/8) Movie CLIP – Travis Is a Hero (1976) HD

In Taxi Driver, Travis Bickle is consumed by his rage toward Senator Charles Palantine and plans to assassinate him. However, Bickle is unable to go through with his plan after Secret Service agents notice him.

So Bickle focuses his rage on his ex-girlfriend as well as the whole of New York. He decides to attack and kill a bouncer at a brothel. By doing so, Bickle believes that he has rescued one of the prostitutes and given her a chance at escaping her life at the brothel.

When police catch up with Bickle, he is bloodied and aiming his own finger at his head as if to commit suicide. An overhead camera pans down the hallway to show corpses, more blood, and a crowd outside the apartment building.

The shot returns to Bickle’s apartment that now has newspaper clippings on the wall. They proclaim that Bickle has killed a Mafia leader and is now a local hero. In the last seconds of the film, Bickle is shown driving his ex home in his cab and then driving away.

According to the most popular theory about this ending, Bickle was mortally wounded in the shoot-out with police and the entire sequence leading to the end of the movie was just a vivid dream while Bickle was bleeding to death. A less popular theory says that the ending simply feeds America’s fascination with the morbid and bizarre. The psycho has now become a national hero.[8]

2 The Witch

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The Witch is a surprisingly disturbing horror film released in 2016. But as with most horror movies, people either love it or absolutely despise it.

Thomasin is a young member of a Puritan family who cannot escape her longing for worldly wealth and ultimately sells her soul to the Devil. This occurs after the awful deaths of her family and Thomasin murdering her own mother with a garden tool.

After Thomasin signs the Devil’s contract, she takes off her clothes and is led to a bonfire in the forest to join a group of naked, levitating women (a coven of witches). She starts levitating as well, and the screen fades to black.

A fan theory about everything turning out too dark for a Puritan girl emerged online in no time. This theory holds that Thomasin made herself an easy target for the Devil because she knew that she was corruptible and wanted to be saved from her fleshly desires. In other words, she was the easiest one to convince to join the dark side because of the already deep flaws in her belief system.[9]

1 The Boy In The Striped Pajamas

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas Ending

This movie features one of the saddest and most shocking endings in the history of filmmaking. A young boy named Bruno moves with his Nazi father and mother to Poland where his father can keep an eye on the concentration camp there.

In Poland, Bruno befriends a boy named Shmuel. He is a prisoner in the concentration camp who manages to duck the soldiers to chat with his new friend, Bruno, through the fence that separates them.

Eventually, the boys devise a plan to steal a prisoner uniform for Bruno and dig a hole under the fence so that Bruno can visit Shmuel inside the camp. Unfortunately, just as Bruno enters the camp, he and Shmuel are herded into a gas chamber along with other prisoners.

A fan theory on reddit has it that right after the two boys meet for the first time, the movie actually turns into a ghost story. The theory states that the Nazi soldiers caught Shmuel chatting with Bruno and murdered him.[10]

Shmuel returned to the fence as a ghost who then devises a plan to get Bruno inside, knowing that he would also be killed. It would either be out of anger after being killed or simply out of loneliness and wanting to have a ghost friend that Shmuel would have decided to ensure that his friend is murdered, too.

Estelle lives in Gauteng, South Africa.


Read more fascinating facts about movie endings on Top 10 Classic Movies That Almost Ended Differently and Top 15 Amazing Movie Endings.

fact checked by Jamie Frater

Estelle is a regular writer for Listverse.