Feb 01 2012
The catch here, though, is another ending. I know Paul (EIC at Unreality) saw it, but did any of you guys know that the original ending to Paranormal Activity is incredibly disturbing? In typical Hollywood fashion, Steven Spielberg bought the rights (I want another Poltergeist, b*tches! That is a direct quote) his production company decided to spiffy up the ending. I.E Shit Cheese Whiz all over it. BUT, when you watch the original ending, it makes the entire film much more disturbing. Gone is the safety net of CG eyes and stupid scurrying, replaced with a genuinely horrifying scenario that is VERY unsettling, especially when taken in the context of the events that preceded it. I won’t ruin it here, because most people don’t even know this movie has a much better ending. I will say this (spoiler), in both cases, the demon wins. But in the real ending, the demon wins in a far more realistic way, and the whole movie that came before it is better as a result. It flows so much better with the film, and leaves a much more pungent aftertaste in your mouth, kinda like blue cheese in comparison to Swiss. Bam! The return of metaphors!
And for my last example, I will go with something more subtle. REC is (much like The Descent), a perfect horror film. It is fairly relentless in it’s aggression, and every time you catch your breath, it is sucked out of you again. I like that feeling. The rollercoaster ride of not knowing when the hills or turns are coming. So I was rather unhappy when I heard that it was getting a remake for America. The original film, directed by Paco Plaza, was flawless. I never understand needing to remake a flawless film for people who don’t like subtitles. If you don’t want to read, than YOU miss out on it. But it is the American way. Take something that doesn’t belong to us and call it ours. Just ask The Native Americans ( shout out to my boy, Crouching Leaf! ).
I will haunt your f***ing nightmares!
I was finding any reason to hate Quarantine ( What, they changed the name to Quarantine!??! What the hell, that sucks. Actually, come to think of it, that fits quite well. Damn.) And when I finally saw the trailer for the remake I was DOUBLE PISSED because they feature the final shot of the film in the trailer. What kind of dumb shit is that? Featuring your ending in your trailer is up there with screwing up an ending. It is pretty unforgivable. But I noticed for the most part that is looked pretty spot on and accurate. And honestly, it was. I would put Quarantine up there with Let Me In as movies that didn’t need remakes, but got decent ones anyway. There was a subtle and distinct difference between the two endings to the films, though. Did anyone else notice this?
It is subtle, but the original ending of REC is far creepier than the ending to the remake, Quarantine. Because a lot of people won’t notice the differences, this piece is going to be a little more spoiler heavy from here on, just so you guys know. So the difference between the two endings all lies in the final room they are ( The Penthouse ) and the person(?) that inhabits it. In the original Paco Plaza film, the thing in the pitch black apartment is decidedly inhuman. It is lanky and far taller than any old person normally is. Its fingers are longer and gnarled, like tiny tree branches. It’s limbs hang long, well past it’s hips, and it is ever so slightly disfigured, with long tufts of white hair jutting down from its misshapen head. From the way it moves to how it reacts to noise, it is animalistic and it is genuinely creepy. I feel like even the director of the remake (John Erick) missed these subtleties. Why, you ask? Because in the American counterpart, it is pretty much a creepy old person at the end. It is in its underwear, and it is somewhat lanky, but missing are the longer limbs, the sounds it makes, and the lumbering yet seemingly brittle frame.
For further proof that the American director may have missed the point, we cite the two VERY different directions the two sequels have gone in. REC got a sequel in Spain, and it ties in to the minute the first movie ends. There is also a HUGE plot reveal that throws the whole thing on its ear. Did I like the plot twist, no? But I liked it far more than the crappy American sequel, Quarantine 2. REC 2 plays out like a horror movie with supernatural elements and a fairly creepy twist ending that gets points for being ballsy. Quarantine 2 plays out like a terrible, straight to DVD, American zombie film, which is exactly what it ends up being. In an ironic twist, REC 3 & 4 are both being filmed at the same time, with the trailer for part 3 already in rotation. It takes place at a wedding, and looks violent and effectively scary. Meanwhile, no one is making a sequel to Quarantine 2 because it sucked ass. Not like that has stopped Hollywood before. Watch REC again and pay attention to the difference between the two endings. The one we got here in America, versus the one they released with the original film. It is subtle, but 4 sequels speaks volumes about which ending worked and which one didn’t.
Shown: Impractical ways to itch the roof of your mouth.
And on the other extreme, you have some decent horror films that play out so much better because of a cool or somewhat nihilistic endings. The Mist, Fallen and The Ring are three such examples, but that is rare to find in Horror. Mostly we get jump scare endings that leave things open so they can spit out another franchise at us, year after year. I am looking at you, Saw.
What do you guys think? What was the worst ending you ever saw to a great horror film? And what was the best?
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