‘The Thing’ (1982)
John Carpenter’s 1982 classic The Thing offered up one of the most ambiguous endings of all time. After an alien monster turns everyone else around into an extension of itself, we’re left with two people stuck in a snowstorm: Kurt Russell’s MacReady and Keith David’s Childs. MacReady had just supposedly killed The Thing, but he’s not sure if Childs is one last assimilation. Likewise, Childs doesn’t know if MacReady is now The Thing. The two exhausted warriors share some drinks while possibly freezing to death, eyeball each other, and then … credits. We never find out which one is The Thing, if neither one is, or if they simply died before finding out for sure. Over 30 years later, however, we still have no direct sequel, meaning this cliffhanger has become one of those “Lady And The Tiger”-esque, open-to-interpretation endings.
That said, it seems there was once going to be an actual answer in the form of a sequel. According to Coming Attractions, in 2005 the Sci-Fi Channel announced plans for a mini-series titled Return Of The Thing. Based on the write-up presented by Corona, the big reveal would’ve been that MacReady and Childs froze to death, with neither revealing themselves as The Thing. That may or may not have been the plot they would’ve filmed, but we’ll never know because Sci-Fi shelved the series before starting. Childs and MacReady are still staring each other down to this day.