Most movies go through numerous changes over the course of their production. Quite often when films are screened to test audiences their reactions can have a drastic impact on the final movie. Such was the case with the 1980’s thriller Fatal Attraction. Test audiences hated the originally planned ending. Looking back on it, this conclusion is so messed up it’s almost unbelievable that it nearly happened.
The original ending is simultaneously much more low key than the ending the film finally received and, at the same time, those final seconds of Glenn Close’s character are so utterly twisted that we can’t believe we’re witnessing them. Reportedly early audiences felt unsatisfied by this resolution so the ending was reshot and replaced by one that was much more action-packed and violent. The original ending recently resurfaced on Reddit with many Redditors claiming they actually prefer this version.
In the originally planned ending, Glenn Close’s character Alex Forrest commits suicide by slitting her own throat with a kitchen knife. Since Michael Douglas’ Dan Gallagher had handled the knife earlier, he’s suspected of killing her, because who commits suicide by slitting their own throat? Dan’s wife Beth, played by Anne Archer then discovers a tape of Forrest threatening suicide, which, one expects, will exonerate Dan. It is a fairly anticlimactic ending, though those last moments of Glenn Close calmly killing herself are the sort of things nightmares are made of.
It's not difficult to see that many fans would have problems with an ending like this. There's no clear resolution for one thing. This led to a new ending. In this version, Alex Forrest arrives at the Gallagher home, with plans to kill Beth. Dan attempts to drown her in self-defense and believes he has done so, before she rises from the bathtub one last time, like a slasher movie monster, only to be gunned down by Beth herself. There’s one thing to be sure, it is the polar opposite of the original ending.
Endings have been changed due to test audiences before. The results have been a mixed bag at best. While clearly some prefer the original ending on this one, we’re sure others probably like the ending they got. In other cases, like Will Smith’s I Am Legend, the original ending was much closer to that of the source material, but test audiences apparently didn’t care for it, resulting in a new ending which COMPLETELY NEGATES THE ENTIRE POINT OF THE STORY. Sorry, that one’s apparently still a sensitive topic for me.
Which ending do you prefer, the fast paced, violent one, or the slow and creepy ending? Let us know in the comments.