10 Movies with the Best Twists
The “twist ending” has long been a Hollywood staple. Moviemakers lover to blow away their audiences with an unexpected and surprising plot turn that forces viewers to reassess everything they thought they knew about the story. While most great examples occur in a movie’s final moments, there are also several compelling twists which take place earlier in the story, sending it in a new and unpredictable direction. This approach is more commonly used in dramatic stories, while the straight-up twist ending is usually found in the thriller/horror genre.
Spoiler alert! Here are 10 examples of great plot twists nobody saw coming.
10. Orphan (2009)
This creepy 2009 horror/thriller divided audiences — some loved it, some didn’t. Even so, there’s no denying that the movie contains one of the most unsettling twists in recent movie history.
Orphan tells the story of a couple recovering from the recent loss of their infant daughter, and they decide to adopt an orphan girl to fill the void left in their lives by the tragedy. Soon after taking in the titular orphan, things take a dark turn and it’s soon clear that the couple has invited an unspeakably evil presence into their home.
The big twist? The orphan girl — who appears to be nine years old — is actually a grown woman with a rare growth disorder and a violent sexual appetite for the “daddies” who have previously adopted her. The twist comes as the movie moves into its third act, setting up an extremely creepy finale where the orphan girl attempts to seduce her adoptive father as her adoptive mother races home to reveal the truth.
9. Memento (2000)
Director Christopher Nolan’s Hollywood debut has gone on to earn a strong cult following. Memento centers on the efforts of Leonard, a man unable to form new memories, as he searches for the man who killed his wife and left him with anterograde amnesia. The story is famously told backwards, beginning with the ending and working its way back to the beginning. At the end of the movie (or the beginning of the story), it’s revealed that Leonard actually found the killer long ago, and has decided to keep forgetting that he’s already completed his mission. Instead, he continues to search over and over for the phantom murderer in a desperate ploy to give his life meaning.