Content Warning: The following article discusses suicide.
Horror movies are known for throwing curveballs to audiences. This could be something like an unexpected ending or a killer whose motives were not what they seemed.
Sometimes the curveball is not entirely logical. There may be a plot twist that reveals a villain that was obvious to everyone except the film’s cast – or a load of credibility that is just too much for the attentive viewer to buy. Either way, some plot twists are more realistic than others. But just because a twist strains credibility, does not mean it is bad.
9 Alternative Personities – Identity (2003)
Identity was an early sniper with a unique twist, albeit one that derails everything the audience had seen before. The story primarily follows a group of unique characters trapped in a hotel on a rainy night. People are killed, others are blamed, and there is only one man responsible.
The twist is that this one man is serial killer Malcolm Rivers, and the hotel is in his mind. All the characters the audience just got to know are imagined by a man without much of an unfolded personality. A twist should not negate the significance of the characters the audience has come to know. Regardless, Identity is still a funny murder-mystery movie.
8 Topsy Kretts – The Number 23 (2007)
The number 23 starred Jim Carrey in a dramatic role as Walter Sparrow. Sparrow is a man who becomes obsessed with number 23 after reading a book that shares the film’s title.
The author of the book is called Topsy Kretts (Top Secrets), who is actually Walter Sparrow. His choice of this pseudonym both strains credibility and is a narrative. Moreover, Sparrow’s obsession with the number 23 is due to his father writing it in a notepad before taking his own life. The twists in The number 23 are somehow at the same time predictable and too foreign to be credible.
7 Human Puppet – Dead Silence (2007)
Dead silent was an early, trademark James Wan film that did not hit it big with either fans or audiences. It follows Jamie Ashen, a young widower out to solve the mystery of his wife’s death. He returns to their hometown and learns the legend of the slain belly talker Mary Shaw.
The twist in Dead silent is multilayered. Jamie’s father has several scenes throughout the film and never looks completely alive. The end of the film reveals that he is not; he is a doll. His wife, Ella, is actually inhabited by the evil Mary Shaw. “Ella” has mimicked the voice of Jamie’s father and controlled his movements via a massive wound on his back. The ending strains credibility because Jamie would have noticed that there was something seriously wrong with his father from the first moment.
6 Jamie Lloyd Is A Killer Now – Halloween 4 (1988)
Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers follows Jamie Lloyd, daughter of Laurie Strode (who is now dead). When Michael returns to create more chaos, Jamie must survive with the help of his adoptive family.
Jamie, holding the bloody scissors, comes out of nowhere and blunts the effect of an otherwise solid substance Halloween successor. Audiences are expected to believe that Michael Myers’ soul has taken over his niece and caused her to kill a relative. The ending is more reminiscent of the beginning of the original film than it is a logical ending to a narrative. Nor has it ever been established that Michael’s spirit can be transferred, so the ending does not even make sense within the rules of the franchise.
5 Esther’s Identity – Orphan (2009)
The action of Orphaned focuses on a grieving couple adopting a girl named Esther. Soon, the Colemans discover strange behavior from Esther, escalating in severity.
Like the rest of the film, twist off Orphaned succeed, but it does not quite make sense. Esther is actually a 33-year-old woman named Leena Klammer. Klammer was diagnosed with hypopituitarism when she was young. Her growth has been hampered and she has retained the appearance of a nine-year-old. Hypopituitarism stunt growth and Isabelle Fuhrman are amazing as Esther, but she does not look like an adult woman with a pituitary gland disorder.
4 Mrs. Voorhees – Friday the 13th (1980)
Sean S. Cunninghams original Friday the 13th (1980) follows several teenagers as they arrive to reopen Camp Crystal Lake. Throughout the evening, they are pursued by a mysterious killer one by one.
Friday the 13th is an overall effective film, but Mrs. Voorhees is the killer a non-twist placed as a twist. The character is not established in any way prior to her introduction in the third act. Her motivation for revenge is good and there is something effective about her relative anonymity. Even so, owning one is still beyond the reach of the average person.
3 Brahms Isn’t A Doll – The Boy (2016)
Boys follows Greta (Lauren Cohan), a woman hired to serve as a nanny. However, she is supposed to supervise the creepy horror movie puppet Brahms, who she is told is alive.
The film takes the usual steps and gradually becomes more eerie. First, Greta does not believe in the doll’s feeling. Then she starts taking it seriously. Finally twist: Brahms is not a boy who died 20 years ago and now inhabits a doll – he is a man who has lived in the walls. There are many times in the film where this would have been obvious to Greta. Moreover, not all of the adult Brahms’ movements follow logically. Greta leaves a room for a moment and then returns to see the doll Brahms in another position. Throughout the film, there is no way in which adult Brahms could repeatedly easily get in and out of the walls of the house without ease.
2 It’s All A Lie – The Village (2004)
M. Night Shyamalan’s The city takes place in a secluded, Amish-like community surrounded by ominous forests. The inhabitants of the village are told that in these forests there is a group of evil monsters.
The twist of The city is that the elders of society have produced all aspects of the realities of the inhabitants; the monsters are really just humans in costumes. The elders are not afraid of anything in the forest, but rather what is outside it. They are not in the 19th century; they are in the present. It is stated that the property is a nature reserve, so it is logical that they were left alone. It is also revealed that the government got a pay-off to make it a flight zone. But it’s hard to believe that there has never been an off-course aircraft flying over since the late 1970s.
1 Will Benson is Ben’s son – I still know what you did last summer (1998)
One year after the events of the original, I still know what you did last summer again follows Julie James, this time in the Bahamas.
This is followed by I know what you did last summer contains two killers, neither of which makes sense. The first killer revealed is Will Benson, who is the son of the fisherman. Benson (“Ben’s son”) appears a bit throughout the film. His revelation should have been as obvious to the characters as to the audience. The other killer is the fisherman himself, Ben Willis, who apparently survived his fatal injuries in the original.