The Fake-Out Ending With Its False Sense Of Hope Is Grim As All Hell
I absolutely love the fake-out ending at the conclusion of Dawn of the Dead, but there was a time when I thought it was a little too happy-go-lucky, especially with what follows. That has changed, however, and I have learned to appreciate that falls sense of hope and just how grim it is when you remember what comes next.
At the end of the movie (following the true ending), everyone is presumably dead or “deadish” after meeting the undead welcoming party. But even before that with the quick cuts of handheld footage of the survivors’ mood slowly changing prepares you for what is about to happen. The foreshadowing, albeit brief, really drives the message home that no one is going to survive this.