Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Reader Top Ten Greatest Science Fiction Film Endings: Jeremy Meyer
Reader Jeremy Meyer offers our next list for the monthly “Top Ten Question,” regarding Science Fiction Film Endings.
He writes: “Another great question. Something I'd thought about often with regards to movies on the whole, but never to just science fiction in particular. Not too comfortable with the order here, I've been chopping and changing for a while. Oh well...”
10. Threads - The incredibly harrowing 1984 BBC drama showing Britain devastated by nuclear war ends with Jane looking at her newborn child, just about to scream in horror. Absolutely brilliant.
9. 2001 - For the same reasons you mentioned. The Star Child symbolizes the potential future of mankind if we overcome the evil and conflict of today. Beautiful and ethereal.
8. The Thing - Ambiguous and nihilistic, classic Carpenter.
7. Blade Runner - Not just the final scene (especially as there are so many variants) but the final 10 minutes or so are fantastic.
6. Donnie Darko - So bittersweet; Donnie is really gone this time, but his sacrifice saves Gretchen. That look Gretchen and Mrs Darko exchange...
5. A Clockwork Orange - "I was cured, all right!"
4. The Empire Strikes Back - I can't imagine how it must have felt to watch not knowing about the big paternal reveal. Seriously. Wow.
3. Brazil - The happy ending was all a lie - Sam is still strapped to that chair, and abandoned in such an off-hand way by those he once considered friends. To my mind this is a stronger ending than the movie version of 1984, though they are very similar.
2. Planet Of The Apes - You know this one.
1. Invasion Of The Body Snatchers - It's just perfect. The tension in that long, long final scene, following Donald Sutherland, never quite sure what's going to happen. Then, that face, that shriek..."
Jeremy, you have a great list, and an awesome number one choice. The final moments of Invasion of the Body Snatchers gave me nightmares for years. I saw the movie in the theater in 1978, when I was eight, and I was afraid to go to sleep for weeks. I wish I had thought to include this film on my list, because that ending is unforgettable...and scarring as hell.
I'm also glad you selected Donnie Darko, another film that I admire deeply, and which is ceaselessly haunting. Great selections!
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