21. Night of the Living Dead
Night of the Living Dead is credited with igniting interest in the zombie movie, and it remains a hugely popular subgenre of horror to this day, but few have mastered it quite like George A. Romero.
The director always made a point of lashing his gore-drenched output with plenty of satire and social subject, and nothing encapsulates his mindset better than Night of the Living Dead’s ending.
Having survived an onslaught of the undead, Duane Jones’ Ben finally escapes from the cellar, only to be immediately shot and killed by people who mistake him for a zombie. He’s discarded onto a bonfire and burned along with the rest of them, a shocking and ignominious conclusion for the hero of the story.