Films Without Happy Endings

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martryn
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Films Without Happy Endings

Post by martryn »

This is hard to describe, as I'm not looking movies that are sad. Yeah, I cried for over an hour after finishing the English Patient for the first time. And Se7en sucked for Brad Pitt. And no one was in a happy place at the end of Requiem for a Dream. And everyone knows going into a movie based on a Nicholas Sparks book that something sappy is going to happen.

I am really looking for films where all the actions of the protagonists are for naught as they all end up dead or doomed or worst off than when the film began. Where there is no positive messaging or hope for redemption or anything of the sort.

Like, yeah, they all die in Rogue One, but we know that they succeeded and we get Star Wars, etc.
The Thing (remake) would count because all their actions are pointless due to the original film, but the original wouldn't count, as they probably contained the alien monstrosity due to the fact that everyone likely is dead at the end (or will soon be dead).

Like, Planet of the Apes sucked, but Beneath the Planet of the Apes ended with all our protagonists murdered and the planet being destroyed.
The Mist ended with our protagonist alive, but, honestly, how could he live with himself.
Cloverfield and Blair Witch are in the same vein.
Dear Zachary is the telling of a story with no winners.
Night of the Living Dead and the Dawn of the Dead remake both end with our group of heroes dead at the end of it, regardless of everything they did to survive up to that point.
The Grey is a good example, even if the movie is bleh.
Cabin in the Woods is another good example, even if two characters are technically alive at the end of it.

Really looking for these types of film specifically. Hoping for older movies, or indy films. Something that I haven't seen or heard of before, or at least not thought about in a long time.

Filmo
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Re: Films Without Happy Endings

Post by Filmo »

There are quite a few of them. At the moment I'm thinking of the for me very ominous Angel Heart (1987) and even more Martyrs (2008). :) Not a very original choice, but still ...

TheDenizen
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Re: Films Without Happy Endings

Post by TheDenizen »

Most Italian zombie movies end up with everyone dead and the zombies on an unstoppable rampage. :)

Maaxwell
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Re: Films Without Happy Endings

Post by Maaxwell »

Any of these count?

A Simple Plan, Blue Ruin, Free Fire, In Bruges, The Departed, The Big Lebowski?

iconogassed
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Re: Films Without Happy Endings

Post by iconogassed »

I am really looking for films where all the actions of the protagonists are for naught as they all end up dead or doomed or worst off than when the film began. Where there is no positive messaging or hope for redemption or anything of the sort.
If your ratings are current, it seems you remain mostly unexposed to the New Hollywood's hey-we-can-have-downbeat-endings-now! downbeat endings. I highly recommend these:

McCabe & Mrs. Miller
The Conversation
Mikey and Nicky
Two-Lane Blacktop
The Parallax View
Who'll Stop the Rain
Fat City
Chinatown
The Friends of Eddie Coyle
The King of Marvin Gardens

I'm also tempted to suggest you watch Easy Rider before all of those, and Out of the Blue (1980) after. (I think Easy Rider is worth watching mainly for context and Jack Nicholson).

bowfinger
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Re: Films Without Happy Endings

Post by bowfinger »

I'd highly recommend U Turn. It would be at the top of my list for this category.
https://www.criticker.com/film/U-Turn/

martryn
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Re: Films Without Happy Endings

Post by martryn »

Maaxwell wrote:
Sun May 15, 2022 11:27 pm
Any of these count?

A Simple Plan, Blue Ruin, Free Fire, In Bruges, The Departed, The Big Lebowski?
I haven't seen Blue Ruin or Free Fire, but...
In Bruges sees Colin Farrell basically learn a lesson and probably come out ok.
The Departed has our two main protagonists dead at the end, which is bad, but Mark Wahlberg was relatable enough to make the ending seem ok to me.
And the Big Lebowski ends in a kind of uplifting note with the Sam Elliot narration.

I had considered The Departed (and Infernal Affairs) for my list, too, but Mark Wahlberg, man. The minute he opened his mouth, he was the guy I was rooting for.
iconogassed wrote:
Mon May 16, 2022 12:31 am
I am really looking for films where all the actions of the protagonists are for naught as they all end up dead or doomed or worst off than when the film began. Where there is no positive messaging or hope for redemption or anything of the sort.
If your ratings are current, it seems you remain mostly unexposed to the New Hollywood's hey-we-can-have-downbeat-endings-now! downbeat endings. I highly recommend these:

McCabe & Mrs. Miller
The Conversation
Mikey and Nicky
Two-Lane Blacktop
The Parallax View
Who'll Stop the Rain
Fat City
Chinatown
The Friends of Eddie Coyle
The King of Marvin Gardens

I'm also tempted to suggest you watch Easy Rider before all of those, and Out of the Blue (1980) after. (I think Easy Rider is worth watching mainly for context and Jack Nicholson).
Yes! This is the sort of stuff I'm looking for. I am underexposed to a lot of films from the 70s. Jack Nicholson seems to appear a lot in these types of movies.

Bojangles
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Re: Films Without Happy Endings

Post by Bojangles »

No Country For Old Men? Ed Tom is the only main protagonist to survive, and his final message seems to be "well, at least I have death to look forward to."

coffee
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Re: Films Without Happy Endings

Post by coffee »

martryn wrote:
Sun May 15, 2022 9:20 am
I am really looking for films where all the actions of the protagonists are for naught as they all end up dead or doomed or worst off than when the film began. Where there is no positive messaging or hope for redemption or anything of the sort.
I can think of;
Das Boot
Oldboy (The original please)
Amadeus (A well known example)
Aguirre: The Wrath of God
Ed Wood
Hell, even Usual Suspects... there are many.

philamental
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Re: Films Without Happy Endings

Post by philamental »

My first reaction was The Mist which you've already mentioned. The second was Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Even though I don't think it doesn't exactly meet the criteria you outlined I found the ending utterly depressing and futile and I'll never watch that again .......... though I love The Mist despite (actually because of) it's ending.

Next one that came to mind was 'Never Let Me Go' .... in that I found it extremely depressing and had no purpose to it's existence for me. Can't talk about it in case of spoilers but it leans a little bit more towards Eternal Sunshine in terms of my suggestion.

Next is Irreversible. Again no spoilers but surely you've heard about it. The themes seem to fit your requirements.

I've now just remembered The Vanishing, specifically the Dutch original and that fits perfectly so I'll quit while I'm ahead :D

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