Cliffhanger endings have been keeping movie audiences on the edge of their seats since virtually the dawn of cinema. Not to be confused with stand alone films containing ambiguous, “open” endings, this storytelling device sees films draw to a close without a true resolution, but rather with the promise of more events to come.
First popularized in serials of the 1920s and 1930s – famous for the “To be continued” text that rounded each instalment – cliffhangers have long proven divisive among cinemagoers. After all, by their nature, cliffhanger endings typically prevent a film from having a truly satisfying conclusion.
How can they, when they’re designed to build anticipation for a follow-up movie containing the story’s actual finale? Even so, when done well, cliffhangers can be a thrilling way to wrap up a film, dramatically raising the stakes even as they surprise viewers with shocking revelations and happenings.
As cinema history is filled to the brim with famous – and infamous! – cliffhanger endings, we’ve pulled together this list of 10 Amazing Movie Cliffhangers (And 5 That Are Terrible) for your reading pleasure.
If there’s a common criticism levelled at films by moviegoers, it’s that they can be too hard to understand. Whilst some audience members enjoy the exciting sensation that comes with piecing together what a movie actually means, plenty of people just want to be entertained, not bewildered.
However, while some flicks are indeed a chore to follow – sometimes intentionally so (although not always!) – often times, they’re actually not that hard to figure out, with just a little effort. And why shouldn’t viewers meet filmmakers half way, when it comes investing themselves in the narrative?
After all, while we all enjoy the satisfaction of switching off our brains and relaxing in front of a film with a straightforward plot, there’s also something to be said for movies that force us to use our grey matter.
Sure, films by directors like Stanley Kubrick, Christopher Nolan, and Terry Gilliam may leave us scratching our heads at first, but the “Eureka!” moment when it all clicks into place – either in the cinema or days later – is always worth it.
With that in mind, this list takes a look at 15 “Confusing” Movies That Are Actually So Easy To Understand – if you’re prepared to use the ol’ noodle, that is!
Believe it or not, Batman Returnshas been out for 25 years. Tim Burton’s follow-up to his original Batman film pitted Michael Keaton’s Dark Knight against the dastardly schemes of the Penguin (Danny DeVito) and Catwoman (Michelle Pfeiffer), and was the third highest grossing film of 1992.
Whereas Burton toned down his distinctive style somewhat the first time around, Batman Returns represents the director well and truly cutting loose. The end result is a movie that’s even more visually impressive than its predecessor, and a story that’s darker and quirkier than any Batman adventure to date. It received mostly positive reviews from critics, however Burton’s approach to the source material divided fans (a debate which still rages even now on online message boards!).
Regardless of whether you love it or hate it, Batman Returns is an undeniably iconic piece of cinema, and its journey to the big screen (and what followed after) is a fascinating one.
Indeed, there’s plenty of interesting factoids surrounding the film’s production – ranging from outlandish early scripts through to crazy planned spin-offs. Of these, we’ve boiled it down to only the very best trivia, and present for your enjoyment 15 Things You Didn’t Know About Batman Returns.
Today marks the 100th anniversary of Roald Dahl’s birth, a man who was undoubtedly one of the greatest children’s authors of the 20th Century.
Dahl’s legacy can be seen today not only in the consistently strong sales his stories continue to enjoy, but also in the number of films that have used those stories for source material.
It’s fair to say Dahl had a rather dim view of many of the movies based on his works, many of which brightened up the darker undertones of his works or otherwise meddled with his tales of virtuous heroes and despicable villains.
The latest, Steven Spielberg’s take The BFG, scores points for its faithfulness to the source material, stunning visuals and top notch performances – particularly Ruby Barnhill as Sophie and Mark Rylance as the Big Friendly Giant himself – but somehow, it ends up feeling like less than the sum of its parts.
Still, that’s not to say that Dahl’s novels can’t be translated to screen successfully, and here are five of the best, most whizzpopping and downright scrumdidilyumptious adaptations of the author’s works.