Pretty much all Hollywood movies have happy endings. And while that's great for wish fulfillment, it doesn't exactly reflect reality. In life, every single hero's story eventually ends with "and then they died." And hey, turns out that movies work that way too if you think their events through to their logical conclusions. Here are a bunch of films which, if you kept watching, would slowly turn dark and horrifying.
The Incredibles is set in a world in which superheroes exist, but everyone hates them because of their nasty habit of breaking absolutelyeverything. At the start of the film, a series of lawsuits have forced all the superheroes to reveal their identities to the government, after which they are forcibly relocated into boring suburban lives. However, Mr. Incredible and his family regain the admiration of the public by destroying a giant robot, and by the end of the movie, they're kicking supervillain butt as a family.
It's kind of adorable that the Incredibles even bothered to put on their masks in that last scene, because remember, the government knows who they are. They know who every superhero is. So what's gonna happen the next time someone's Lexus turns into a crater during a superpowered battle? Those lawsuits are going to come roaring back with a vengeance. It's not like people are getting less litigious.
The Parr kids have gotten a taste of the hero life, but they'll inevitably be forced to relocate again. And that's the best-case scenario. At least their parents had a decent amount of time as heroes before being forced to shut it down, and even then, look how Mr. Incredible handled his newfound mediocrity:
It's not hard to imagine an adult Dash finding himself in a similar situation as his father, working a crappy day job while moonlighting as a frustrated superhero, ripping up his whole family's roots every time he slips up and tries to help someone. Of course, this is all pure speculation. It's not as if Pixar likes subjecting its characters to unbearably sad situations or anything.
In Evan Almighty (the sequel to Jim Carrey's Bruce Almighty and prequel to Billy Baldwin's direct-to-DVD Billy Baldwin Almighty), Steve Carell stars as Evan Baxter, a newscaster turned congressman. One day, Evan receives a message from Morgan "God" Freeman, telling him to build an ark to prepare for a flood. Evan reluctantly complies, while everyone in town mocks and ridicules him. That is, until the foretold flood happens and all those people rush right onto Evan's Ark for salvation.
In the end, not one person dies in a flood of literally biblical proportions, and Evan is celebrated as a hero, rather than a lucky crackpot with a boat, of which there are many.
Hey, did you know that according to a 2017 study, 26 percent of Americans don't believe in God? Now imagine all of those people finding out that their whole concept of life and morality has been wrong all along. (Now imagine that crisis being instigated by Steve Carrell, of all people.)
And what about extremists and fundamentalists? Definite confirmation that God is real and has yet to strike them down would tell them that they're onto something. How many sexual minorities and atheist holdouts would die on the first day alone? How many more on each subsequent day, as the extremists grow in number and conviction? But hey, Steve Carell patched things up with his wife, so it was all worth it.
There are a lot of twists and turns in Face/Off, the only movie to ask the question on all of our minds each and every day: "What would happen if Nicolas Cage and John Travolta switched faces?" But in the end, FBI agent Sean Archer (Travolta) successfully kills international terrorist Castor Troy (Cage) and gets his original face back. He comes home to his traumatized wife and daughter with a little surprise -- no, not Cage's disembodied face, but it's the next-best thing! Here's Adam, the adorable son of the terrorist who almost murdered them all!
Archer grew fond of Adam and his mom while posing as Troy, and promised to take care of the kid before she died. The family accepts Adam with open arms, and all is well.
Adam looks to be around four or five years old, which means he'll grow up with only vague memories of his mom and the weird Cagey guy who used to hang around from time to time. But at some point, Archer will be forced to sit the kid down and explain that not only was his real dad a deranged criminal, but also that Archer himself murdered said criminal with a spear gun after a wicked speedboat chase. If he wants to be completely honest with his adopted son, Archer will also have to disclose that he screamed "DIEEEEEEE!!!" while doing so.
So ... when is the appropriate time to reveal something like this to your kid? Their tenth birthday? 18th? The 47th? Is it even possible to deliver this information in a non-traumatizing way, at any age? Hell, we only watched a movie about it, and we're still traumatized to this day.
In 1996's The Rock, Sean Connery plays a former British spy who's been in an FBI prison for 30 years because he stole microfilm containing America's greatest secrets (JFK's true killer, the Roswell aliens, Eleanor Roosevelt's nudes, etc). Connery is recruited for a special mission alongside FBI chemist Stanley Goodspeed, played by Nicolas Cage. Yes, Cage's name in this movie is "Stanley Goodspeed." It is among his more subtle and restrained roles.
Together, Cage and Connery successfully thwart a squad of rogue marines and save San Francisco, at which point it's time for Connery to go back to his cell. But Cage does him a solid and fakes his death, which Connery repays by sharing the location of the long-hidden microfilm. The movie ends with Cage retrieving the film, about to spill the beans on JFK's killer to his new wife.
The FBI's hardass director seems to buy Cage's halfhearted explanation that Connery was "vaporized" in an explosion, but there's no way everyone else in the agency will. After all, this man could singlehandedly bring down the entire U.S. government. Once they realize there's no evidence whatsoever that Connery died, they'll start following Cage (with satellites if they have to), and will inevitably find out that he has the microfilm himself. Yes, the fate of the nation is in Nicolas Cage's hands.
At this point, there are two possible outcomes: 1) Cage is caught by the FBI and locked in the deepest, darkest hole they can find (after all, they already did that once), or 2) he eludes the agents, but is forced to go on the run. With a new wife and a baby on the way. Whatever happens, that kid is gonna have a messed-up life. Man, being Nicolas Cage's child in a movie sucks. It's like the total opposite of real life, where having Nicolas Cage for a dad is all we dream of, every single night.
The end of The Iron Giant isn't exactly happy, but it is hopeful. While the giant sacrifices himself to save the town, our protagonist, a little boy named Hogarth, does get an iron bolt found in the fallout of the nuclear explosion, which he keeps as a memento of his fallen friend.
Warner Bros. Pictures
Later that night, we see the bolt moving by itself, implying that the Giant's various pieces are slowly coming together again. Look for Vin Diesel to return in 2 Iron 2 Giant.
You know who wouldn't return if there was a sequel? Hogarth. Because he'd be dead.
Hogarth keeping a token from his buddy is a really sweet thought ... except for the fact that it was completely bathed in radiation. Radiation from nuclear catastrophes stays on scrap metal for a very, very long time. We're even experiencing a worldwide problem right now wherein metal used in military or industrial hardware has been melted down and reused, but the dangerous radiation lived on. In 2005, Taiwanese residents living in apartments made of this reused metal saw massive increases in leukemia and breast cancer. Again, this is reused and refined metal, decades after the fact.
Warner Bros. Pictures
Hogarth receives that bolt not long after it survived a nuclear explosion. If he doesn't die soon after from radiation poisoning, he has about a 100 percent chance of developing cancer. So if you weren't already weeping at the ending of The Iron Giant, you should be now.
Tim Chawaga writes here, on Twitter, and http://www.pentaxlas.com. Please follow him. Jordan Breeding also writes for Paste Magazine, the Twitter, himself, and has been described by his parents as the horrifying aftermath of an otherwise-great thing. S.S.A is also on TopBuzz.
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For more deceivingly happy movie endings, check out 6 Happy Movie Endings That Actually Ruin the Hero's Life and 6 Off-Screen Tragedies That Follow Happy Movie Endings.
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