Who does not love good plot twists? It is the absolute best to invest your time and mental energy in a movie only for it pay off magnificently in the end. We all have our own personal favourite twist moments in a film. So much so that, that we go back to them often. That is because the feeling of having the rug pulled out from under you or basically being fooled, is actually quite a fulfilling experience. The thrills and chills, the dropping of jaws, the wide eyes and the frequent exclamations that follow these are moments we never forget and rightly so.
Even as you read this, you can probably think of a couple of good twists in films. Keeping that in mind, we decided to a compile a list of our favourite plot twists of all time. Now some of these would be some really popular ones. But some may be from films you have not seen or want to see soon. In that case, we must warn you of some immense spoilers. Please be mindful of them as you read this list and do not blame us if a movie you were looking forward to gets spoiled.
1. The Sixth Sense
Yeah, so let us begin with a classic first. Nobody saw this coming, absolutely nobody. The Sixth Sense is almost like a masterclass in horror film making. It uses genuine human emotion as the basis for its scares. It is a brilliant movie and is basically iconic now. However, at the time, people were destroyed by the sheer mind-numbing twist at the end. However, which in hindsight made a lot of sense with respect to the film.
A child sees dead people and decides to get help from a therapist. This therapist has a failing marriage and is suffering from some form of PTSD after getting attacked in his home by a former patient. Both these damaged people help each other. But only for it to be revealed in the end that the therapist has been dead all along. Yup. That is right. It has since become one of the most iconic twists of all time. Thus, it still features on many lists such as this one.
2. Planet of The Apes
Wait, what? Planet of The Apes? Bear with me, fellow film lovers. Planet of The Apes is an old movie, yes, but it has withstood the test of time and also has one of the most brilliantly executed twists of all time. Think about it. A bunch of astronauts travel through space and land on an unknown planet that has all varieties of apes as rulers and humans as second or even third-class citizens.
Sound familiar? Our astronauts have to fight their way through all of these apes to get to their crashed ship to get back home, with some help from some renegade apes of course. Only one survives towards the end and the final shot is of him stumbling across the remains of what is quite clearly the Statue of Liberty. Yes. You read that correctly. The astronauts have been on Earth. All. This. Time.
David Fincher’s Se7en is an unabashed masterpiece. It is gloomy and rainy when it comes to atmosphere and is downright horrific when it comes to depicting violence and horror. It does not hold back in any shape or form, whether it be the brutal story or the performances by Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt or the razor sharp skill of its director. This is a murder mystery that still shakes people and that is purely because of the final twist that quite literally made me scream as badly as Brad Pitt’s character did. The two actors play detectives who are on the hunt for a killer who is killing victims according to the seven sins.
Towards the end, the killer decides to turn himself into the detectives and takes them on a wild goose chase to some random location where he tells them there is another body hidden. But to the horror of the detectives, and the audience, what actually ends up there is a box that contains the head of Pitt’s character’s wife. In his anger, Pitt’s character shoots the killer, forcing him to give in to Wrath, while the killer, who is jealous of normal people, dies as a punishment for committing the sin of Envy. You would not see it coming, I guarantee you, but even without the twist this film is spectacular. Watch it.
Possibly the most tragic story you will ever see, Oldboy is considered a classic now. A man is kidnapped and kept in a room for 13 years, for no reason at all. He is then released after that time, once again with no reason. All he has is the taste of dumplings that he cannot forget, a murderous rage, and the voice of the man who imprisoned him.
He has no answers, no direction and only a hardened, limitless desire for vengeance towards the man who destroyed his life. In the end, however, once the true reason is revealed, he realizes that he has been the subject of someone else’s vengeance all this time, in a twist that will shake you to very soul. I refuse to spoil it here, as putting it in words takes away from the horribly tragic story, but yes, Oldboy needs to be seen to be believed.
5. The Prestige
There are a lot of people who would have gone for Seven or Empire Strikes Back or even The Usual Suspects here. These are movies everyone talks about when twists come to mind, and The Prestige is one of them as well. However, there are reasons why The Prestige stands out. That is the immaculate way the film is structured, making it one giant magic trick.
The elements are there. Our attention is focused. The trick is performed much to the chagrin of Christian Bale’s character, only for the prestige, the final reveal, that shows us that throughout the movie Bale’s character had a twin brother. It is a superbly executed twist and it fits astonishingly well with the rest of the movie. It is kind of like when you know the secret to a trick and it feels so obvious. But as they say at the beginning of the film, the closer you look, the less you see.
I believe that is enough twists for the day. In case you have any more, feel free to comment about them. We always welcome people with actual taste (wink wink). And if you have not seen any one these films then we recommend that you do so ASAP.
Check out the part 1 of our list of movies with plot twists.