Top 10 Twists in Movies by Sam (No Spoilers)

We’ve all probably watched a film that has led us down one path, but then at the very end, does a complete 180, and reveals something crazy. This is often referred to as a twist, or a surprise ending, and I myself, am an avid lover of a film with a solid twist. In light of this, I thought I would put together a list of the top 10 twists that I’ve seen. Yes, I am aware I normally compile lists of five, but I couldn’t fit all my favourites, so I made it ten.

10. Primal Fear (1996)

Directed by Gregory Hoblit

Primal Fear PosterThe twist in this film was quite good, and kind of unexpected. The reason I say “kind-of” is because the type and style of the film don’t really lead audiences to be waiting on the edge your chair, waiting for something to be revealed, but when I hired this film, it was because I personally had heard it had a pretty good twist in it. It still does belong on this list.

9. Identity (2003)

Directed by James Mangold

Identity PosterThe twist in this film was a little left of field compared to what I thought it could have been. I thought it was just going to be a “who-dunnit” type twist, but it takes quite an unexpected turn at the end. Definitely a worthy inclusion to the list.

8. The Usual Suspects (1995)

Directed by Bryan Singer

The Usual Suspects PosterThis film is known to be a classic, but I only actually watched it in the last year or so. I will say that the twist is really good, but I had been told prior to watching that there was a twist, and I semi-guessed it towards the start. It was only a brief thought that popped into my head, and it’s because this type of twist is now quite common, and has been seen in a lot of films of the last decade. In saying this, it would have been a mind-blowing twist had I not seen so many films that were made after this film.

7. Memento (2000)

Directed by Christopher Nolan

This was such a clever film, in the way that it was made, and the way the story unfolded. Who would have ever thought to play out the events of a movie in reverse? This led to there being surprises placed all throughout the film, explaining how Guy Pearce’s character got to the events we just saw him in (is that as confusing as it sounds?). The final twist was very cleverly executed, and whilst it delivers satisfaction, it also leaves the viewer thinking for a while long after the credits have rolled. A sign of a great film.

6. The Skeleton Key (2005)

Directed by Iain Softley

This film left me thinking for weeks after I had watched it. The twist was extremely eerie and creepy, and it was awesome! The entire film itself was very spooky, and had some very dark themes, but the final twist that was delivered was very thought provoking. My family and I were asking questions about what had just happened, and were very impressed, scared, but impressed nonetheless.

5. The Others (2001)

Directed by Alejandro Amenábar

This film had a ripper twist. Yes, the entire film was very supernatural, but the twist was well conceived, and executed extremely well. One of those twists that completely rips out what you had just originally thought, and shoves something completely new in your face – awesome stuff!

4. Se7en (1995)

Directed by David Fincher

This film was so well written, and you have to be a genius to think of a twist like this. It’s so complicated, yet so simple at the same time. It just delivers an awesome blow to the face when the ending is revealed.

3. The Prestige (2006)

Directed by Christopher Nolan

Chris Nolan once again delivers a brilliant film, with a brilliant twist ending. Actually, there are multiple twists in this film, and they are all awesome. I remember constantly thinking about it for some time after it ended. I was blown away by this film.

2. Fight Club (1999)

Directed by David Fincher

Fight Club is one of the greatest films of all time. I love the line that the protagonist says when the twist is revealed, “We have just lost cabin pressure.” That exactly sums up the feeling I had when this twist was revealed.

I must admit, I wasn’t expecting anything of what I saw when I watched Fight Club. I was expecting a film more to the likes of say, Green Street Hooligans, a film that focuses primarily on fighting. What I got was a plot-driven thrill ride, with a sweet as twist at the end.

1. Saw (2004)

Directed by James Wan

Personally, this is one of my favourite films, due to the sheer cleverness of the story, and how mind-blowing the twist was. I thought I had this one figured out. I knew that this film had some sort of twist before I watched it, I just didn’t know what it was. When about the 75-minute mark hit, I thought I had figured it out, and I was a little disappointed to say the least. But, I was punched hard in the face when the actual twist revealed itself. My jaw literally dropped, and I couldn’t believe the creativity of the twist. How does someone come up with a twist like this? I wish I had that skill. This is definitely the greatest twist in my books. The film as a whole is brilliance, but this twist is just shocking, excellent, mind-boggling… you get the point.

Honourable Mentions

I know that I have to mention The Sixth Sense, and I thought I would explain the reason why it’s not on my top 10 list. I have never had the privilege of watching this film without knowing what the ending was. You can blame 50 First Dates, or maybe the fact that it is just such a famous twist, but regardless of the reason, I have never experienced the true shock value of what the twist is, and therefore I can’t make a just decision whether it belongs on this list.

I love a brilliant twist, and would love to know of some more films I haven’t yet seen that have an awesome twist. If you know of any, let me know in the comments below.

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4 Comments on “Top 10 Twists in Movies by Sam (No Spoilers)”

  1. Angry Reader Says:

    No mention to shutter island… why is that?

    • filmstank Says:

      Whilst on a whole that film was brilliant, I don’t think the twist was as good as the films I’ve mentioned here. That’s not to say it wasn’t a great twist, I just didn’t feel it belonged on this list, for some reason.

  2. Ben Says:

    How about the ring?

  3. Dave Says:

    This is unrelated to movie twists as such, but that scene in The Ring where the horse is on the ferry and it goes crazy and eventually jumps off (or falls off- I cannot remember)… that was an epic scene!! Freaky. But Epic! Boom!

    Dave @ filmstank

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