Most people enjoy their movies with happy endings. Remember how devastated everyone was when Jordan Peele revealed that, in an alternate ending to Get Out, Chris goes to jail? Yeah, that one hit hard, because we all know that’s how it usually plays out in the real world. In fact, I’d say there’s an even darker, depressingly realistic ending to this movie, but you all probably know what that is and boy, this intro is dark enough already.

The thing is, as much as we love the escapism of movies where we can all pretend like we’d totally outsmart the villain and absolutely know how to defuse bombs and fly choppers — what, we’ve practiced plenty in our dreams! — the reality is that in real life, these things probably won’t pan out the way we imagine it. This basically means that a lot of movies that have seemingly happy endings will likely have way darker sequels, if we’re being real about it.

For instance …

Disaster Movies Leave Out All The Horrible, Horrible Consequences

Disaster movies are absolute ragers to watch. Not only are they deliberate over-the-top joyrides, but they also have a very specific and comfortable formula: Introduce the stable world of the main characters, build up to that world getting thoroughly dumped on by either Mother Nature or some space rock, and have main characters miraculously survive said dumping so they can definitely get a book deal out of it. Even if one or two characters do not make it — RIP, that cow in Twister — these movies are always written in such a way that the ending is a happy one for our main posse who are still together, and who’ll probably never shut up about their shared experience. 

“Dante’s Peak” / Universal Pictures

“Man, these fries are giving me acid reflux. Hey, remember when Grandma died in that acid river?”

Let’s talk about Pierce Brosnan and the cute family he picked up in that small town where a volcano decided to flex and make Dante’s Peak less desirable to live in after all. These characters were put through the ringer. First, they experience the biggest earthquake of their lives before somehow making it up that mountain with ash raining down on them like a snowstorm. They then navigate their way through lava that flows hilariously, acidic rivers that eat boats and grandmas, before managing to escape a pyroclastic flow right into a deserted mine that collapses on top of them. Thanks to the magic of movie formulas, these characters who now probably have PTSD are rescued, reunited, and everyone is super happy. And yet they shouldn’t be, because they’re all probably minutes away from dying anyway.

See, that volcanic ash they experienced during Operation Save Grandma (Failed) is made up of rock and glass particles that they all inhaled buckets of, meaning we’re not looking at characters who are going to be just fine. We’re looking at people who are internally hemorrhaging. Add to that all the volcanic gasses they got to breathe in while on that family-bonding boat trip, and these folks would probably have suffocated on that mountain long before they had to say goodbye to grandma. 

Also, lava is hella hot, you guys. Everyone in Dante’s Peak, Volcano, and all the other B-movies will have way more skin burns that would need some serious attention to not get any worse. 

“Volcano” / 20th Century Studios

Pictured: Totally not okay people.

Then there’s the disaster movies that see people wading through flooded buildings as the infrastructure around them crumbles, which may not seem worse than, say, getting hit by a giant tsunami while playing with your dog on the beach. It totally is, though, because that water is contaminated to the max, especially if said disaster smashed the sewage system. Flooding is the predominant cause of death when it comes to natural disasters in the U.S., and while most of those deaths are due to drownings, there are a myriad of physiological problems people can pick up in these situations. Gastrointestinal and respiratory infections aren’t uncommon, and good luck getting any fast treatment when all the hospitals are flooded, too.

“San Andreas” / Warner Bros. Pictures

Then again, The Rock probably has some super power to make E.coli go away, too.

Every Alien Movie Leaves Behind A String Of Messed Up People

We’ve all joked about poor Elliot and his family who were probably most definitely screwed when E.T. and his drunken alien buddies left Earth and the government now had to deal with the family and friends who saw it all go down. That, and Elliot probably most definitely grew up to become a conspiracy theorist spewing smack about a holographic moon and aliens making rich people eat babies or whatever on his podcast. That shriveled-up space sac ruined the kid’s life.

Universal Pictures

Pictured: Trash.

Of course, there’s also the story of Roy Neary, the guy who saw a UFO in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, became erratic in his obsession with aliens, and eventually abandoned his wife and kid to follow his new alien pals into space. Take out the aliens and it kind of sounds like Elon Musk's life story. Now, for Roy Neary it may have felt like an escape from a world where he felt no one understood him. For his kid, it’s just another father bestowing onto his child years and years of therapy. Oh, and little Barry who was freaking kidnapped by these cocky aliens probably grew up with a severe drug addiction. That’s how that story formula goes, folks.

Not to mention everyone — who didn’t mysteriously disappear — being all messed up in that town in Super 8, where a school teacher under the psychic connection of an alien held a bunch of kids at gunpoint early on in the film. Yeah, probably no future issues there.

And speaking of child abuse …

Those Kids In Matilda Are Royally Screwed

Probably a quarter of this film is spent showing kids being tortured at the hands of actual human canonball, that woman of our nightmares, one Agatha Trunchbull. Here, look at this:

And this:

And, of course, this:

Sure, the movie tries to balance out all the horrible and gross violence against children by letting Miss Trunchbull have it, too, as Matilda uses her wit and powers to make the former Olympiad and living boulder go mad and eventually flee the school and town. Yay, all those kids can now experience what it’s like to go to school without worrying about their principal picking on them. And by picking, we mean possibly breaking every bone in their bodies.  

Only, those kids are going to need a lot of therapy. Having to experience the inside of an Iron Maiden torture chamber at a prepubescent age will do things to a person. These kids likely developed severe anxiety problems already, and they probably have some mental health issues due to childhood trauma and abuse. They’ll also have a pretty hard time trusting adults and authority figures ever again. But hey, it’s Roald Dahl, so it was always going to be dark as hell.

And sure, one could argue that the genteel Miss Honey, who grew up under the constant abuse of Auntie Trunchbull herself, came out alright. But did she though? Miss Honey doesn’t seem to have anyone else in her life — her only friend is a six and a half year old — and she clearly has some anxiety issues herself. Not to mention that she probably suffers from Stockholm Syndrome. In any case, it’s unwise to make an argument that because one person seemed to have developed into a semi-functioning adult, everyone else will. Wait until all these kids hit puberty. Total carnage.

Wait, Is Peter Parker An Illegal Alien Now?

We won’t say Spider-Man: No Way Home ends all happily — what with Peter Parker having to make the ultimate sacrifice and have all his social media accounts erased. It’s a sad ending, really, as Peter watches his besties MJ and Ned talk about going off to college and living their lives, without him, because they don’t know who the heck he is. When Doctor Strange erased his existence from everyone’s memory, Peter Parker became just another youngin’ roaming the streets of New York in a fancy haircut.

Sony Pictures

“Woe is me.”

When Strange did his memory-reversal trick, he erased Peter from everyone’s memory. As in everyone — meaning that the kid probably doesn’t have things like a birth certificate or a social security number anymore. We see that he's studying for a GED because his HS records apparently don't exist. He made himself a homemade Spidey suit, so we know he doesn’t have access to Stark’s fancy tech, because he has no known identity whatsoever. And yet, we see him move into a small NY apartment. That immediately raises some red flags. Did Peter somehow forge the documents needed to sign a lease? Or does he now have some dodgy landlord wielding power over him since they’re bypassing all the legalities involved? How does he have a bank account? Does Peter have a secret stash of cash buried somewhere in New York? 

Some strange questions start popping up once you realize that the identity of Peter Parker has been nullified, and that the young white boy who up until this point was living comfortably with his Aunt May in their spacious New York apartment now has to feel what it’s like for an immigrant without any papers finding themselves in the Big Apple.

Then again, his privilege will probably work in his favor.

You can find Zanandi here and also here.

Thumbnail: Warner Bros. Pictures, Sony Pictures

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