Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Butler Did It

I have just gone to to learn how the new movie "The Mist" ends. I read the ending was bleak and disturbing and worthy of Cormac McCarthy -- I call him Catnip McCarthy -- and so I wanted to know.

But I certainly don't want to see the movie. I like only a few horror movies that have downbeat endings. For instance, I like the "real" cut of the original "Invasion of the Body Snatchers," with poor Kevin McCarthy screaming in traffic. But usually I prefer that the good guys win, sentimental as that is. There need not be many good guys remaining, nor with all their parts, and the preceding gore may have been excessive and depressing to anyone with a trace of human feeling.

That's fine. But *I don't like the final surprise shot showing The Thing is down but not out, the whole point of which is setting up the sequel.*

Let it be down. Let it be out. I like the ending of "Alien" and of "Aliens": plenty of room left for sequels without immediately suggesting the futility of resistance.

(But there's no denying the next two movies in that sequence were grotesque, though in very different ways. Then came "Alien vs. Predator." That I watched that movie on cable damns me for all time. And it had an "It ain't over till it's over, and it's never over" ending.)

I like to end on a slight uptilt or at least on a very artful downbeat, as the intended ending of "The Birds" would have been, with the Golden Gate Bridge, not just some phone wires, covered with a flock of ...

Little Alfred Hitchcocks. (Just kidding.)

I'll take a final sadness in most movies. Give me a war movie and you can kill the hero in the last reel anytime, which works equally well for pro-war propaganda and for anti-war angst. But I want my escapism to allow me to escape, at least for the span of time it takes to consume some popcorn and one large box of Raisinettes.

Oh, the end of "The Mist." The dog is actually not a gynecologist, though he was premed in college.

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