10 most shocking villainous plot twists in movie history
Audiences love good twists, and a movie can twist on anything. There have been twists and turns on who a narrator is, with the two main characters being one person and the whole story being a psychological experience.
But a twist is especially sinister when he tells audiences something shocking they didn’t know about a villain he was already terrified of. Darth Vader’s “I Am Your Father” reveal is obviously the pinnacle of villain-based storytelling, but there are plenty of other great examples.
ten Mr. Glass caused the train to crash (unbreakable)
While the twist in The sixth sense doesn’t quite stand up to repeat viewings, the carpet at the end of the M. Night Shyamalan follow-up movie Unbreakable is a classic version of Shyamalan. The plot revolves around a security guard played by Bruce Willis who discovers he has superhuman strength after surviving a train crash.
Throughout the film, a comic book nerd played by Samuel L. Jackson – nicknamed “Mr. Glass” because of his weak bones – takes an interest in David’s abilities. It turns out that Mr. Glass has deliberately caused the train crash (and various other fatal accidents across America) in search of a real superhero.
9 Amy faked her kidnapping (Gone Girl)
This twist only shocked moviegoers who haven’t read Gillian Flynn Missing girl before watching the David Fincher adaptation, but the reveal is just as shocking in the movie (which was scripted by Flynn) as it is in the book.
Throughout the first half of Missing girl, evidence begins to mount that Nick Dunne has an invisible dark side and that he has done something horrible to his missing wife Amy. Turns out that’s exactly what Amy wants everyone to think. She carefully orchestrated her own kidnapping and left a meticulous trail of breadcrumbs to distract the cops from the fact that she just ran away from her unhappy marriage.
8 Esther is a 33 year old serial killer (orphan)
At the beginning of Orphan, a couple bereaved by the loss of their child decides to adopt a nine-year-old girl, Esther, played by Isabelle Fuhrman. From the shift, it’s clear that something is wrong with Esther – but no one could have guessed the turn.
Turns out Esther is actually a 33-year-old serial killer who uses her rare hormonal disorder to masquerade as a small child and prey on an unsuspecting family.
seven The Vulture is Liz’s father (Spider-Man: Homecoming)
Jon watts Spider-Man: Homecoming achieves one of the most surprising twists in the MCU. The first two acts present Spidey’s pursuit of the vulture and Peter Parker’s romantic interest in Liz as two entirely separate storylines. Then, around the turn of the third act, a door opening shockingly reveals that the vulture is Liz’s father.
At the end of the second act, Peter gives up his pursuit of the Vulture to enjoy the teenage life. He asks Liz to go to the homecoming and enthusiastically walks to his front door to retrieve it, then his mortal nemesis – who yet has no idea he’s Spider-Man – opens the door. The scene plays on the tension beautifully, as Peter looks incredibly uncomfortable as an arms dealer who attempted to assassinate him innocently plays jokes on his father.
6 The corpse on the floor was a puzzle the whole way (Saw)
Inside James Wan’s low-budget horror gem Saw, two strangers wake up chained to pipes in a dark and seemingly abandoned bathroom. There’s a still corpse between them – which is taken for granted – and they begin to try to figure out who captured them and why they did it.
Towards the end of the movie, there’s a jaw-dropping moment that reveals the body between them is the killer of Jigsaw, the man who kidnapped them, alive and well. At the turn of the climax, he stands up calmly.
5 John Doe surrenders (Se7en)
Another Fincher film, Se7en is a macabre horror version of the ‘buddy cop’ genre. Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt are the classic couple of a veteran sleuth on the verge of retirement and his new top partner who is excited about his first major case. The criminal they are looking for is a serial killer inspired by the Bible’s Seven Deadly Sins.
In the middle of the film, with “John Doe” still a few kills from the full seven, he shows up at the police station and surrenders. This turns out to be a key point in his evil biblical plan, as Pitt, Pitt’s girlfriend, and Doe himself are expected to be the last three victims.
4 Rose’s Photo Box (Get Out)
From the moment Chris arrives in the gated community of his girlfriend’s parents in Jordan Peele Get outIt is immediately clear that something sinister is at play. But, throughout the film, it seems that Rose completely ignores her parents’ sinister ulterior motives.
After Chris uncovers a box of photos showing all of the black boyfriends (and one girlfriend) Rose has attracted to the community, it becomes apparent that Rose has been in the game from the start. When Chris tries to leave, Rose’s attitude suddenly changes from panic and compassion to pure evil as she tells him coldly, “You know I can’t give you the keys, right?” , baby ?
3 There never was an Aaron (Primordial Fear)
Arguably Edward Norton’s most iconic psychological twist is Fight clubThe revelation of Brad Pitt is that the character of Brad Pitt is the figment of his imagination. But Norton delivered an equally shocking psychological twist in his very first film appearance, Primary fear.
He plays a child accused of murder who claims to have a split personality between the innocent “Aaron” and the psychotic and murderous “Roy”. Richard Gere plays the lawyer who tries to defend him and finally realizes that he is concocting the split personality. He asks, “Has there never been a Roy?” His client said to him in an icy tone, “There never was an Aaron.”
2 Norman Bates is the killer (Psycho)
In the first half of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 masterpiece thriller psychopath, the public is led to believe that Norman Bates’ mother is the murderer and that he is just the mild-mannered son who desperately covers up his crimes.
It turns out that Norman himself is the killer. He disguised himself as his late mother to commit murders after merging his personality with his to face the guilt of killing her out of Oedipal jealousy.
1 Darth Vader is the father of Luke Skywalker (The Empire Strikes Back)
This is arguably the most shocking and unexpected twist in movie history, and with the internet ruining everything these days, it probably always will be. The original Star wars The film featured Luke Skywalker as a moisture farmer in the middle of nowhere and Darth Vader as the symbol of evil ruling the galaxy with an iron fist.
Then in The Empire Strikes Back, Vader shockingly revealed that he is the long-lost biological father of Luke. This dramatically raised the stakes for the conflict in the trilogy, adding a personal vendetta to the politics.
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