At the end of the dramatic apocalyptic movie “The Road,” Viggo Mortensen’s character dies, leaving his son (Kodi Smit-McPhee) alone in a world full of famine, drought, and cannibals. A family approaches him, wanting to take him in, but he is mistrustful.
They convince him to go along with them, and the movie leaves the audience to decide if this was a good decision or not. Will he be able to live for very long without his father? Will the family treat him well? Like the road the two main characters travel for the movie’s duration, the ending is wide open.
Marketed as a “Taken” style film with Liam Neeson fighting against nature and wolves, “The Grey” actually turned out to be a thoughtful, almost poetic look into man against nature. In the final scene of the film, Neeson's character John Ottway prepares to fight the alpha wolf, armed with a knife and broken bottles.
We don't actually get to see the fight, and after the credits, we see Ottway's head lying prone on the wolf's body. Did he survive? Will he go on to reach safety after crashing in a frozen wilderness? Is the rest of the pack waiting to tear him to shreds? His fate is unclear, but he still fought.
There are few movies with as many shocking and disturbing twists as the South Korean action-drama “Oldboy.” At the end of the movie, Oh Dae-Su (Choi Min-Sik) gets his revenge on the person who kept him captive for fifteen years, but then the villain reveals that the woman he's fallen in love with and made love to is actually his daughter.
Reeling, Dae-Su chooses to have a hypnotist wipe his memory. In the final scene, his daughter says she loves him. The enigmatic expression Dae-su has on his face doesn't let the viewers know if the hypnotism worked, or he is stuck with the awful knowledge and unwilling to tell his daughter the truth.
Though straightforward on the surface-level, the dark comedy/crime film “In Bruges” raises questions on repeated viewings. At the end of the movie, guilty assassin Ray (Colin Farrell) takes a bullet in the streets of Bruges and is carried into an ambulance. Did he die? The movie doesn't tell us. It also doesn't tell us...if Ray is already dead.
During the length of the movie, Ray is complaining about discomfort and boredom, leading some film theories to posit that Ray is already dead, and Bruges is some form of purgatory. Others believe Ray will be forced to live out the rest of his life in Bruges, bored, cold, and annoyed.
The dark fantasy film “Pan's Labyrinth” by Guillermo del Toro has an ending that can be interpreted in several different ways. At the end of the film, the main character, Ofelia, dies in the mystical, magical stone labyrinth, but the film continues to show her being reborn as Princess Moanna, taking her place at her father the king's side.
Did Ofelia imagine her rebirth into royalty as a last gasp at a happy life after a childhood full of darkness and despair? Or did it really happen? She died with a smile on her face, so it is impossible to tell, and it's all up to the audience to decide.