It's fair to say the ending of sci-fi horror Life took many by surprise in 2017, so here's what happens in the finale. Alien became an instant classic upon release in 1979 thanks to its claustrophobic tension, stellar cast and art direction, and the terrifying beauty of the central Star Beast itself. In addition to kicking off a franchise that's running to this very day, it also inspired a wave of similar creature features, including Galaxy Of Terror and Saturn 3 starring Harvey Keitel (The Irishman).
Alien was also a big influence on 2017's Life, starring Rebecca Ferguson, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool). The story follows the team of a space station that discovers a living organism they dub "Calvin," who was found in a soil sample from Mars. This organism soon turns hostile and starts absorbing crew members to nurture itself and grow larger. Life is a rare blockbuster horror film and while it may not do anything hugely original, it's still an effective b-movie with a great cast. The movie was also suspected of being a stealth prequel to Tom Hardy's Venom, which would explain how the Symbiote ended up on Earth; this was ultimately proven not to be the case.
Despite numerous attempts to kill Calvin throughout Life - including burning him with a flamethrower or a failed attempt to eject him from the station - the final two survivors David (Gyllenhaal) and Miranda (Ferguson) hatch a plan. They know that under no circumstances can Calvin reach Earth since he'd quickly snack his way through the human race, so David proposes to sacrifice himself by luring Calvin into an escape pod and heading for deep space. Meanwhile, Miranda will take another pod and head back to Earth to warn of other lifeforms from Mars.
The final few minutes of Life finds David succeeding in luring Calvin into his pod, while Miranda also escapes. The pods are hit by some debris as they detach, however, sending one into space. While David attempts to manually steer the pod Calvin soon overwhelms him, and the movie cuts to the Earthbound pod as it breaks the atmosphere. Some Vietnamese fishermen see it lands and quickly rush to help, and as they look inside they can see David covered in some kind of cocoon.
The cruel ending of Life reveals it was Miranda's pod that was sent flying into space, with the last viewers see of her is the character screaming as she spirals into the void. Meanwhile, David desperately begs the fishermen not to open his pod, but the final scene is the door being pried open as more boats arrive.
Life's ending is a real shocker and apes the downbeat tone of other sci-fi movies like The Thing. While the movie was a modest success its highly unlikely it will receive a sequel, so it's up to audiences to decide what happens once Calvin makes his way out of the pod.