10 Movies With The Most Chilling Plot Twists
Take a journey with me through the most thrilling shocks in movie history. Caution: Spoilers ahead!
There is nothing more satisfying in cinema than a clever, unexpected and preferably terrifying plot twist.
When you have been misdirected through a whole story so well that you fully believe you know exactly what is going on, just for that idea to be shot to pieces when the real happenings are revealed, is one of the most satisfying cinematic experiences.
A good plot twist is made all the more impressive because they are not an easy thing to pull off in both books and cinema. To create tension and misdirect your viewers or readers in such a way that they truly don't expect whats coming can be tricky, with a lot of suspenseful movies still proving to be fairly predictable.
A well executed twist in a story will make it memorable and keep you thinking about it long after it is over. You will often start to pick the story apart and reflect on potential clues in the plot to what was going to be revealed.
Dive into the list below to explore some of the most spine-chilling and memorable plot twists in movies that will blow your mind.
10. Get Out
Jordan Peele's 2017 horror thriller follows an African-American named Chris who is going on a trip with his girlfriend Rose to visit her parents. When he arrives, it seems clear that his race is uncomfortable for Rose's parents, although they do have two African-American employees that seem to be behaving in a very peculiar way as though they are brainwashed. Chris becomes increasingly more on edge about the situation.
Plot Twist: Rose and her family run an underground brain transplant organisation wherein they use young African-Americans as the vessel for older, rich white people to have their brains transplanted into so they can be young and experience the traits that they associate with the race because "black is in fashion." In order to achieve the transplant, the inhabitant of the body still needs to be alive and conscious, just suppressed deep within their own mind. Not only is this twist so much darker than the brainwashing that you expect to be happening, but the movie highlights racial issues with it being clear that the police are not taking the multiple disappearances of black men in and around the neighbourhood seriously. It is a masterpiece of the genre.
9. Cabin in The Woods
2011's Cabin in the Woods is a typical horror featuring a group of five friends that drive out to a secluded cabin in the woods for a break. This tired and overdone story is full of clichés and horror tropes, or so you believe. The true nature of the story is revealed fairly close to the beginning, but I still feel like it deserves a place on this list because it puts a new twist on the typical Cabin in the Woods story and uses horror tropes in a comical and fun way.
Plot twist: Cabin in the Woods turns the typical story on its head when it is revealed that there is an organisation operating underneath the cabin that are orchestrating the demise of the group with a warehouse of typical horror villains at their disposal. The employees at the organisation even take bets on which monster will prevail at murdering the unfortunate friends. It turns out that this is all to appease Gods by providing a sacrifice to stave off the end of days.
8. Fight Club
Fight Club is an obvious choice but that doesn't make it any less impressive. In the movie the narrator is an insomniac with a mediocre and boring life, who attends a support group for terminal illness to aid his sleep although he lacks a terminal ailment. At the support groups he meets a woman also lacking in a reason to be there. The narrator's life is turned on his head when he meets a soap maker named Tyler Durden and ends up forming an underground 'fight club' with him that grows into something much larger and more sinister.
Plot Twist: Tyler Durden doesn't exist and is just a figment of the narrator's imagination. All of the sinister goings on that take place throughout the story are at his own hand.
7. The Boy
Here we go again with a another predictable horror movie. An elderly couple hire a babysitter to care for their son while they go away. When the babysitter arrives she finds out that they are asking her to care for a porcelain doll and are treating it like a real boy, their real son died when he was only a child. Obviously, the doll is possessed by their son and moves around of its own accord and it is a typical haunted doll story. Right? Wrong.
Plot Twist: In The Boy, you find out that the couple faked their sons death to protect him after he killed a little girl. He is actually living within the walls of the house. His parents leave and commit suicide, leaving the babysitter as their gift to him.
6. Goodnight Mommy
Twin boys move to a big secluded house (because every family in a horror movie needs a massive house, right?) and their mother has had facial cosmetic surgery and returns with her face nearly entirely hidden in bandages. The boys believe their mother is acting strange and that there is someone else entirely under the bandages.
Plot twist: Although the viewers believes the kid's perception of what is going on, it is revealed that the family were involved in a car accident that left the mother disfigured and killed one of the twins. The living twin can't face it and fabricates the continuing existence of his brother.
5. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Quentin Tarantino does it again with this absolute gem of an interpretation of life in Hollywood over the summer that the Manson family murders occurred. The story focuses on Sharon Tate's neighbour and his stunt double. We all know how her sad story ends.
Plot twist: Although we all do know how that story ends, in this re-imagining of events Sharon survives and Charles Manson's followers are killed in an extremely brutal way by her neighbours and their dog.
4. The Usual Suspects
Five men are gathered for a police line-up and the criminals plot to embark on a job together. Police are investigating the crime that ended in 27 dead bodies, millions in drug money and two survivors. One, is a severely injured terrorist unable to shed any light on the situation in his current state, and the other is a physically disabled con-man who ended up being reluctantly pressed into revealing details of the story to the police. Investigators then let the man go.
Plot twist: As the man is leaving the building details of the crime and story start piecing together in the officer's minds and it is realised that the man they just let walk out of the door is the criminal mastermind that orchestrated the entire situation. They realise too late and he is gone.
2009's Orphan is about a couple who have lost a child and decide to adopt. They adopt a seemingly sweet 9 year old girl who is far from the cute little girl she appeared to be. Things get sinister and ideas flow in viewers minds around the girl possibly being possessed or just damn evil.
Plot twist: The child turns out to be a former prostitute in her 30's who was born with proportional dwarfism, she is a highly intelligent and dark psychopath.
Another absolute gem from Jordan Peele, Us follows a family who visit a beach where the mum experienced a traumatising experience that changed her when she was younger. That night, their doppelgängers appear on the doorstep to terrorise them. Their other selves are dark and grotesque versions of themselves and as they try to escape it becomes clear that this is happening to other people too. The 'others' are referred to as the 'tethered' and are enslaved underground, as the shadow of those living a normal life above.
Plot Twist: It is revealed that the mum, Adelaide, went into a house of mirrors type amusement when she was a child and there her doppelgänger abducted her and switched places with her. Her 'tethered' went on to live her life, which explains a lot about her past. After watching this life unfold above her, the real Adelaide inspires an uprising among the tethered. The movie is full of symbolism and really blurs the lines between good and evil. Absolutely one of the best movies on this list.
1. Shutter Island
Shutter Island is another classic and follows two investigators as they travel by boat to a hospital for the criminally insane which is situated on a secluded Island. It is clear from the beginning that the facility is corrupt and is hiding something. One of the men investigating the facility, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, reveals that the man who murdered his wife was locked up there and he has been informed by another source of the corrupt goings on at the institution. His aim was to take the job there so he can expose the conspiracy behind the hospital.
Plot twist: It is revealed that DiCaprio's character is a schizophrenic patient in the facility. His wife murdered their children by drowning them in a lake and then he shot her dead. He couldn't cope with the reality of the situation and fabricated a reality in which he is the hero. His psychologist tries to bring him to face his reality because without doing so they are going to have to perform a lobotomy on him. Although this revelation brings him back to reality temporarily, it appears as though he reverts to his fabricated reality and is taken for the procedure.
Plot twist: Although the character starts presenting as though he is in his fake reality again, his closing remarks suggest that is not the case. He says "Which is worse, to live as a monster or to die as a good man? " Which suggests that he is aware of his reality of being the monster, but is choosing to die as a good man, the man that he has created for himself.
I would love to know what your favourite movie plot twist is. Is there anything you would have included on this list that I didn't? Send me your suggestions @curiouslycreepy on Twitter and @creepyandcurious on Instagram. Stay creepy and curious, ghouls.