Sometimes a great twist results in a fantastic movie. Upon the release of The Sixth Sense, fans gasped and felt their brains explode over the twist ending. Despite the fact that it's harder to surprise an audience in the age of the Internet, viewers still enjoy a fantastic red herring... when it works. When it doesn't, we're left wanting our two hours and ten bucks back.
Some perfectly normal movies that should've delivered what theater audiences expected in terms of thrills, laughs, and even mawkish tears only managed to dole out disappointment in droves due to their ridiculous twists. In some cases, the twists completely negated entire film trailers, duping audiences into paying for a movie that they'd opt never see in the first place.
It's not that we don't like twists and unexpected plot points; it's that certain expectations are a given in some genres (or even with some directors) and when those aren't met, it's a terrible letdown.
There are stupid plot twists so bad they've been made into South Park episodes. You can mention a single scene from a movie and earn a chorus of disgruntled groans from everyone who's seen it.
From dream sequences to unnecessary fantasy, ridiculous premises to underwhelming resolutions, here are 15 Normal Movies RUINED By Insane Plot Twists.
M. Night Shyamalan has a reputation for delivering twist endings and turning points, but they sure aren't always popular. In fact, he's featured on this list a couple of times.
In his movie Signs, Shyamalan comes so close to delivering a decent twist that you want to give him a gold star for sheer effort. We get that it takes guts to attempt bold moves like his, but unfortunately this one just fell flat. Not only were the aliens in signs underwhelming, but all of that delicious tension he built fell flat when we discover that the aliens' weakness is... water.
Didn't Shyamalan get the memo that the Wicked Witch of the West already ran with this twist? Why the heck would aliens land on a planet that is almost completely composed of the substance that can kill them? It's almost as stupid as making plants able to control humans and kill them... oh wait.
It's the end of the world as he knows it, but Nicolas Cage feels fine-- or fine enough to leave his child unattended in the middle of the night while he investigates a creepy trailer.
The premise behind Knowing is that the Apocalypse is near, and throughout the entire movie it seems as if Cage's character, Professor John Koestler, is going to get to the bottom of it and save the world... somehow. But if the disasters and horrified animals aren't enough to dissuade audiences from believing that, the twist ending will do the trick: Koestler's son and his new Apocalypse buddy are meant to survive the solar flare coming at Earth, but most people aren't.
It's like Noah's Ark, but with a spaceship and fire.
A bunch of spaceships leave the planet with these "chosen" people on them while Cage's character is left to die in the fire of a destroyed Earth. His kid and the kid's friend live on in some Utopian alien society. At least Koestler makes up with his estranged dad before the blast destroys the planet?
13 Collateral Beauty
It's a movie that you really want to love but just can't. When Will Smith loses his daughter to a terrible illness in the film Collateral Beauty, it's a tragedy that too many parents can relate to. His portrayal of a grieving father is superb and the real reason to see the movie, but the cheerful holiday ghost of Christmas past resolution the movie has as a twist is awful.
When the father bitterly composes letters to Love, Death and Time, the film's trailer confirms that they come to answer his letters, but in the span of the movie we see that they are actors hired by his coworkers to prevent his company from going bankrupt.
This makes sense and should lead to a realistic resolution, except it doesn't, because these people truly are Love, Death, and Time. The twist is not only an unbelievable piece of fantasy, but it almost cheapens the message of an otherwise moving film.
12 The Book Of Henry
It's one of the worst-rated films of 2017. The Book of Henry has so many mixed genres and unmet expectations that people actually walked out of the theater before finishing it, and director Colin Trevorrow ieven left Star Wars: Episode IX.
The Book of Henry looks like one of those precocious kid flicks that makes us all say, "Awww!" We expected Matilda and got a highly inferior version of Rear Window with a pinch of Black Swan.
Not only is the titular child genius a completely unlikable jerk who is treated like a saint, but he is also actually dead throughout the movie. Oh, and he's instructing his poor motheron how to murder his crush's abusive father through a book he wrote before he died.
The entire adult cast fail to speak to this young girl about her abuse and every female in the film is thinly drawn, which is enough to ruin the film, but the whole "I was a childhood murder prodigy!" kills it completely.
11 I Am Legend
Will Smith's performance in I Am Legend is one of the most memorable in his career, and between his daily routine, commitment to finding a cure and relationship with his beloved dog, it makes the movie worth watching. The film's twist ending still kind of ruins it, though, and for more reasons than one.
When Smith's character, Robert Neville, is attempting to save the world, he fails to realize that the Darkseekers are people, too. They prove it to him a few times but none clearer than the ending when the monsters come to rescue the woman he experiments on. This is the entire point of the 1954 horror novel written by Richard Matheson, and it would have been incredible to have that realization on screen. Nope.
Instead, he blows them all up, along with himself, which pretty much ruins the movie.
Danny Boyle's sci-fi movie Sunshine began as a breathtaking venture into outer space. The premise was pretty exciting: the dying sun needed humans to revive it in order to continue our survival. A previous team had failed to complete the mission and the movie centers around a new team.
If it sounds promising, it was, with gorgeous cinematic elements and an interesting premise. The only problem is that Boyle decided it wasn't enough to jumpstart the sun; a serial killer needed to amp up the story.
In a completely ruinous twist, a member of the previous crew shows up and kills the new team one by one because he thinks humankind deserves its demise. And if that twist isn't enough, filmmakers decided that the killer should also be some kind of supernatural weirdo with super strength and impossible powers.
9 The Dark Knight Rises
There is so much wrong with The Dark Knight Rises that it makes you want to curl up into a ball and cry. Since Christopher Nolan's first two takes on the Batverse proved to be so effective, we felt this sucker punch even harder. It also gave us one of the biggest red herrings in modern times: Talia al Ghul.
It was ridiculous enough that countless memes and jokes have featured it front and center: Bruce Wayne, who is finally getting over his beloved Rachel's death, hooks up with Miranda Tate, a philanthropist who seems to be just the balm his grieving soul needs but turns out to be none other than Talia al Ghul, the daughter of his nemesis and the true mastermind of Gotham's chaotic state. Bane who?
The Sleeping with the Enemy twist, combined with several other unbelievable twists, ruined the film for many viewers.
8 The Village
Here's another movie from M. Night Shyamalan that is so promising until the twists barf all over it.
In The Village, a late 19th century community lives in fear of creatures only known as "Those We Don't Speak Of" that are really... their own elders in costumes. Yep, the entire village is controlled by a bunch of old people who were so scared of the real world that they decided to create their own old-timey utopia and keep everyone too scared to leave it, even at the cost of the lives of their own children that could've been saved with some simple penicillin.
But wait, there's more! The monsters are real after all, or so a blind villager named Ivy realizes while in search of medicine in the woods! Oh, nevermind, it's just another villager playing a prank, something she never discovers since she leaves it to die in a hole. When Ivy finally reaches her destination to obtain medicine for her dying love, it's revealed that the movie takes place in modern times and her charming village is entirely made up by her father and his friends. Since she can't see the world, Ivy returns with the medicine and allows the entire village to stay frozen in time.
7 Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Fans of the Indiana Jones franchise nearly lost their minds upon hearing the news that another film was in the works, but their excitement paled in comparison to the utter disbelief and outrage that followed the film's release.
Elements of the supernatural are staples in the Indyverse; with previous installments centered around long-coveted archaeological goldmines like the lost Ark of the Covenant and the Holy Grail, fans largely expected another artifact, religious or otherwise, to drive the movie. Instead, we received a hot mess that's so disappointing it even makes the History Channel wince.
Yep, in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Cate Blanchett's Soviet agent is after all of the information that aliens can give her. The idea is so preposterous that some fans like to pretend that the movie doesn't even exist.
6 Table 19
The warmest, fuzziest scene of Table 19 will make you feel sleazy when you realize the handsome stranger is practically cheating on his bride-to-be.
The group of ragtag new buddies supposedly reminiscent of the Breakfast Club at a wedding? It's full of actual losers (one plans on cheating on her husband at the very event) and people you can't quite connect with. But the worst part of Table 19 is that a film disguised as a light-hearted date movie is really a stupid movie about young adults and their mess of a pregnancy.
By the end of the film, the baby mama and baby daddy are back together again after a completely unbelievable makeup, name their kid after one of the people they met at the wedding, and make everyone who went to the movie wish they'd watched Kong: Skull Island instead.
It's not that everyone wanted a regurgitated rom-com; they just wanted a decent rom-com, period.
5 Don't Be Afraid of the Dark
Guillermo del Toro can deliver a terrifying movie. We dare you to watch Pan's Labyrinth and disagree. That's why when Don't Be Afraid of the Dark came out, so many fans looked forward to his masterful storytelling and cool creatures.
Unfortunately, with his script, del Toro seemed to take the tooth fairies from his Hellboy 2: The Golden Army set, turn them into house gremlins and set them loose in a home with the most incompetent adults on the planet instead.
Critics celebrated the atmospheric quality that we've come to expect from del Toro, but the film flopped largely due to its director Troy Nixey's inability to bring the scare factor. The twist in the remake, which involves the demons kidnapping the child instead of an adult, fails when she's rescued and the demons drag off the adult after all.
The fact that it was a remake of a 1973 film, and that it even utilized a child as the focal point of the story and still wasn't as scary as its predecessor left even the staunchest horror fans disappointed.
The twist behind the film Surveillance is so disturbing that you may never think of Bill Pullman or Julia Ormond as the loveable, quirky characters you're used to connecting with in films like Sabrina and While You Were Sleeping. Normally that's not a bad thing; it's nice to see an actor's range expand that far. In this instance, however, it feels as if it's really for nothing.
To be fair, the entire movie is beyond messed up, but we expect that with a serial killer movie. Between the cops' reprehensible behavior, shady actions performed by nearly every person in the movie, and how the murders are carried out, the film presents a pretty uninhabitable world filled with violence and horror, but that's only the tip of it.
When it's revealed that the real killers are the FBI agents, the twist should really make the movie, but its shock value merely continues the world-on-fire theme. There's no catharsis, no resolution; simply two murderers who literally get off on torturing their victims. Ormond's character remarks that it's "romantic" that Pullman's character allows one hostage, a child, to live, leaving her behind as they drive off into the sunset.
Serial killer movies can be addictive like We love to see murder if it's not real, and we love to watch it unfold in a clever manner that keeps us guessing and gives us a powerful kick to the gut by the end. In the case of the 2003 slasher movie Identity, it felt as if that's exactly what we were in for... until the movie's twist ending.
The story of serial killer Malcom Rivers is unraveled as the audience believes we are witnessing some of the murders that he has committed. Even though it's revealed that Rivers has disassociative identity disorder, no one puts two and two together until the end of the movie when the big twist occurs: it's all been in Rivers' mind the entire time.
His own personalities have been killing one another, leaving only his seemingly most innocent yet most deadly personality, that of a young boy named Timmy.
Critics gave the movie mixed reviews because it ultimately was a good movie-- it just had a rotten twist.
2 The Forgotten
If you don't know what the term gaslighting means, watch the movie The Forgotten. The film centers around a mother played by Julianne Moore who has lost her son in a terrible tragedy, but suddenly everyone in her life starts to act like she's never even had a son. Her own husband tells her that she's lost her mind and that they've never had a child.
She finally connects with the parent of another "forgotten" child and together they learn that they are part of-- the awful twist! --an alien experiment to test the bonds of parenthood.
It's one of the most frustrating plot devices ever used, especially when the agent who confirms the experiment gets sucked up with the roof by the aliens, literally "blowing the roof" off the truth of their experiment. The reasoning behind the stupid experiment is never even fully explained, and with the premise of the movie thereby rendered outrageous, the rest of the otherwise compelling film is ruined.
Nicolas Cage knows things before they happen... next! That must be where this movie got its title! His clairvoyant powers only allow him to see two minutes ahead, though, so it doesn't really help all that much.
Cage hasn't had a lot of luck with movies in the past couple of decades; some like to joke that The Croods is his best recent movie. In the 2007 film Next, he has some decent action sequences, and why wouldn't it? Between nukes, terrorists, Jessica Biel and an FBI chase, you'd think there would be plenty of breath-stopping scenarios to move the film along.
Except... remember when you had to write stories in the third grade and you couldn't think of an ending, so you decided to just say it was all a dream? That's the lazy extent to which Lee Tamahori and company went in making this movie. The twist, which seemingly resolved the movie, was something out of a nine-year-old's spiral notebook.
Which movie twists ruined decent movies for you? Let us know in the comments!
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