If you havent seen the movie and dont want to know the ending stop reading.
Instead of them making it out to a Howard Johnson's... Instead of them turning on the Radio and hearing the word "hope" They end up running out of gas on a road, unable to see anything, but hearing the sounds of the Other wordly creatures. Having only Four bullets, but five of them in the Car It is up to the main character to shoot them all, including his own son... Then he would die by letting the creatures eat him.
Earlier in the Film the son asks the Dad to promise that he wouldn't let the monsters get him... So this was a following through on that promise... So after he shoots them he steps out of the car and "presents" himself for the creatures to come and eat him.... But they do not come... instead, soldiers and armored vehicles come out of the fog, battling the creatures... you can see where they have created a systematic approach to killing them with flamthowers while in full battle gear....
The Dad just sits there, screaming... Then, as he continues to scream you see the people that stayed behind... and one who left early on in the movie... in the military trucks, safe.
I hate this ending. Perhaps this is how Stephen King would have finished it... He did approve the movie... and many of King's works end this way... But I fill this is a betrayal of the novel. King makes these people into smart and thoughtful people... determined to survive... Yet instead of going were gas stations might be, or somewhere they might be able to hold up the movie ends with them on a open road...
Great Movie, Bad ending.