I sang my praises for Drag Me to Hell a few days ago, so I won’t spend too much time discussing that here. What I am presenting here are what I think would be adequately bizarre alternate endings to the movie, which was pretty great to begin with. From here on out we’re in spoiler territory, so don’t blame me if this ruins the ending for you. It’s your own damn fault.
The Original Ending:
Recall, if you will, the original ending. Christine just spent all night digging up the gypsy’s grave, in order to re-gift the curse that had been bestowed upon her. Opening the coffin, she crams what she believes to be the envelope of her cursed button into the gypsy’s mouth. Why she wouldn’t open the damn thing is beyond me. She meets her boyfriend at the train station, where he hands her the button she thought she had given away. He reveals to her that his rare coin was kept in a similar envelope, and asks if she has it. Well, she did. It’s not stuck in the gummy jowls of a corpse, but you’re about to have bigger problems. In 3…2….1…. Yup, a hole has opened beneath her feet and demonic hands pull her into the underworld.
Bummer. But I had some ideas as well.
Alternate Ending 1: Pawn It Off To Some Poor Stranger
I thought this would end up being darkly humorous. So Clay holds out the button, and Christine starts to panic. The night before, she wasn’t even willing to give the button to her asshole of a coworker, but now it’s crunch time, and the devils come to collect. So what does she do, when the only way she’ll be saved is to give the button to someone else?
She does that. She gives the button to someone else. She runs around frantically, trying to pawn the button off to someone, before some sap is stupid enough to take it. Oops, Whoosh! A pillar of fire comes up and sucks the poor bastard under. Everybody looks on in amazement. Perhaps they start to applaud the stunning magic trick. Even better, she gives it to some unsuspecting kid who would actually be excited about receiving a button from a stranger. Too dark?
This would certainly paint Christine in a negative light, after she’d been pretty admirable for the entire movie. But it would also strike home the old adage: desperate times call for desperate measures, even if those measures involve sending an innocent and unsuspecting soul to hell for all eternity. This is why I don’t take candy from strangers.
Alternate Ending 2: Let Your Boyfriend Do It For You
I’ll be honest, I was actually convinced this was going to happen. My first instinct was that, since Clay still had the button, he would get the short end of the fiery stick and get sucked down once Christine realized what would happen. But then I realized that wasn’t fair, because the button was never actually his. She had never given it to him. So what does she do?
She gives it to him! The man who has been kind and supportive of her, even as she unwound in what had to appear like absolute lunacy, gets betrayed in the end. Damn, what downer. He hands out the button for her, she freaks out and says, “Keep it. As a souvenir.” He looks confused, but as soon as he pockets it Whoosh! Pillar of fire. Can’t you just here the Halo multi-player announcer now? “Betrayal.” I thought this was going to happen, because Justin Long stayed outside of the central plot for the entire movie, and I thought there would be some dark humor in bringing him in for only the very end. And then for the rest of his eternity. That sucks.
Alternate Ending 3: The One That’s Actually Happy
To prove I’m not totally heartless and didn’t want to see Christine screw over the man she loves or some unwary six-year-old, I also thought it was possible the movie would end on a happy note. It would be a deus-ex-machina moment, but it already was anyway, so it might have worked. In this version, Christine was spared because she didn’t give the button away.
In other words, it could be written in some ancient gypsy curse book that if the accursed is told that giving away the object will spare her soul, but does not, she is saved because she she has shown selflessness. So Christine, despite her best efforts, did not gift away her button, and therefore would have been saved because she had been lead to believe it would have saved her. Hooray happy endings! I actually prefer the original. That’s just me though.