Happy versus sad endings

Two of my favorite Stephen King stories have dark endings. Children of the Corn, about a couple who gets lost in rural Nebraska, stumbles upon a child-led religious cult, ends with the couple’s deaths. Apt Pupil, about a cocky teenager who discovers a fugitive Nazi and tries to blackmail him into divulging gory information, ends with the kid going on an inglorious shooting spree.

Lessons to be learned: from Children–trust your instincts. If you can see you’re in a dangerous situation, get out of Dodge before it’s too late.

From Apt–never underestimate an opponent that you have the advantage of at the moment.

The movies, though, were bad. Both had happy-ish endings. Apt Pupil’s ending looked very strained, as though a happy ending didn’t really work but they didn’t want to risk offending test audiences by using the real ending.

I like dark endings that are appropriately done, just because they remind us that we live in an evil world that is often unjust and unfair.

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