62 years after it was released, the end of 1960s psychological horror Psycho remains one of the greatest plot twists of all time. Adopted from Joseph Stefano’s 1959 novel of the same title, the Alfred Hitchcock thriller has antagonist Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) revealed to have carried out murders under the guise of an alternate personality based on his mother.
A film’s plot twist can do wonders in the way of shaping or ending a story. Some outcomes are spellbinding while other conclusions are infuriating. Users of Reddit have spoken on which cinematic twists have been the most intriguing.
2009’s psychological horror film Orphan was a thrill ride from start to finish. In addition to having brilliant performances from Vera Farmiga, Peter Sarsgaard, and Isabelle Fuhrman, the film had a rather unexpected twist. Reddit user broken_neck_broken felt there was “absolutely no way to see that twist coming!”.
What makes Orphan‘s twist of Esther (Fuhrman) actually being an adult so jarring is how life unintentionally imitated art. Ukrainian-born Natalia Grace, who has a rare form of dwarfism, was famously accused by her adopted American family of being an adult woman (via Buzzfeed).
The 2007 film Atonement has one of the best cinematic kisses, with the film’s highlight being the evergreen chemistry between Cecilia (Keira Knightley) and Robbie (James McAvoy). However, the twist ending that the lovers never actually reunited is quite disappointing for fans. Redditor DubMeNikki “still hasn’t forgiven Briony to this day”.
Cecilia’s younger sister Briony (Saroise Ronan) was the catalyst for Cecelia and Robbie’s separation. This is a twist that directly affects the three core characters. Not only did Robby and Cecelia die without ever reconciling, but Briony never righted the wrongs of her life-altering mistakes.
Disney Pixar’s Coco is a visual splendor and heartfelt tale. The 2017 film centers on Miguel, a little boy with musical aspirations, leading him to enter The Land of The Dead to seek out famed musician Ernesto de la Cruz. Reddit user RifleShower thinks “when Miguel finds out Ernesto is a killer” is quite unexpected.
Miguel’s idol Ernesto had been at the helm of his family’s demise and musical band. The twist of Héctor not only being Miguel’s great-great-grandfather but that he didn’t abandon his family is both gratifying and devastating. Thankfully, Coco ends on a high note.
Once Upon A Time in Hollywood
Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is a cinematic love letter to the 1960s. The 2019 film chronicles the diminishing careers of a formerly popular television actor (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his stuntman best friend (Brad Pitt) and ends in a surprise twist. Redditor jacklord392 was “convinced everyone in bold was going to die”.
The film’s events lead up to the night of the horrific LaBianca/Tate murders at the hands of Charles Manson’s gang. Hollywood‘s twist actually has the gang going to kill Rick (DiCaprio) and Cliff (Pitt) over actress Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie) and crew, resulting in the duo’s violent retaliation.
Planet of the Apes
Based on Pierre Bouelle’s 1963 French novel La Planète des Singes, Planet of the Apes broke the mold for science fiction movies and special effects makeup. The 1968 film revolves around astronaut George Taylor (Charlton Heston) crash landing on a usual planet. Redditor Alert_Salt7048 feels the twist had “some clues throughout the movie but you don’t figure it out until the end…”.
After a nuclear war, the anthropomorphic apes turn the tables on humans by enslaving them. In the now iconic scene with the Statue of Liberty’s head, Taylor realizes that he has been on planet Earth the entire time.
Adopted from Gillian Flynn’s 2012 novel of the same name, Gone Girl is a compelling psychological thriller. The 2014 film’s case of a man named Nick (Ben Affleck) becoming the top suspect in his wife Amy’s (Rosamund Pike) disappearance draws parallels to the case of Scott and Laci Peterson. In regards to the twist ending, Redditor filipelm wishes “I could forget I ever watched it just to experience the second half of the film again”.
While idolized, Amy Dunne shouldn’t be admired for her conduct. Amy is a new-age femme fatale, beguiling and cunning in her nefarious actions toward Nick.
Moviegoers are anticipating the release of Knives Out 2, but since nobody could be trusted in Knives Out, there are bound to be some twists in the sequel. This Reddit user feels the predecessor’s twist “kind of changed the genre of the film that it was advertised”.
2019’s mystery film is centered on the murder of acclaimed novelist/Thrombey patriarch Harlan (Christopher Plummer), with Harlan’s nurse Marta (Ana de Armas) as the prime suspect. Harlan’s death being accidental over murder not only further proved the ulterior motives of the Thrombey family, but gave Marta an opportunity to turn the tables.
Adapted from Christopher Priest’s 1995 novel of the same title, The Prestige concocts a bewitching illusion of psychology and science fantasy. The 2006 thriller revolving around the competition between two rival magicians (Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale) has an ace up its sleeve. Reddit user bgea2003 loved “how the plot is presented like a magic trick”.
Director Christopher Nolan is renowned for incorporating twists into his innovative works. The fact that both magicians completely tricked the audience both on and off-screen with the use of doubles was sharp and unpredictable.
2018’s Andhadhun is a Bollywood film worthy of a Hollywood adaptation. Translated as the blind melody, the black comedy thriller is scored in notes of mystery and intensity. This Reddit user‘s suggestion of “Andhadhun: Bollywood movie” highlights a fantastic twist.
The film’s antiheroic protagonist Akash (Aysuhmann Khuranna) still pretends to be blind despite actually losing his sight and gaining it back. Where the twist lies is in the outcome of how he received his new eyes. Andhadhun‘s conclusion has sparked a huge Reddit debate, leaving the ending open to interpretation.
1996’s legal thriller Primal Fear is a riveting case of crime and deception. Based on William Diehl’s 1993 book of the same name, the film revolves around a prominent defense attorney Martin (Richard Gere) attempting to get his client Aaron (Edward Norton) acquitted of murder. Redditor bokchoysoyboy thought that Norton’s film debut performance was “phenomenal in the whole movie but especially the end”.
Throughout the movie, Aaron is believed to have dissociative identity disorder. The revelation of his murderous alternate personality Roy being Aaron’s real form was quite jarring, with Norton executing a sinister apathy in his delivery.