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The Best Plot Twists In Movies

 Ed Norton in Fight Club.
Ed Norton in Fight Club.

Did you see that coming? Because I certainly didn't with these excellent plot twists.

There comes a time in everyone's life when we watch a movie, and it's going all fine and dandy, and then suddenly a twist happens so suddenly that it's something we would never expect. Perhaps it's someone's true origins that finally reveal themselves or who the murderer is in some of the best horror movies. Regardless, these twists will sit with you for days, making you think about how you didn't see that coming.

Today, we will talk about eighteen of the best plot twists in movies, many of which you probably know. Some of you might not. Either way, this article is all spoilers, so tread carefully!

Mark Hamill in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.
Mark Hamill in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.

Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back - The Truth About Luke's Father

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back contains one of the biggest movie twists. In this film, during an epic battle between Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker, it is revealed at the last second that Darth Vader is Luke's birth father.

This not only sets up the rest of the Star Wars franchise but also sets Luke on an even more determined path to beat the Empire, which he does in the next movie with the help of his allies. It's from this twist that we get to know who Anakin Skywalker is, and years later, people still regard him as one of the best Star Wars characters, who we get to know even better in the Star Wars prequels.

Norman Bates at the end of Psycho.
Norman Bates at the end of Psycho.

Psycho - What Happened To His Mother

Psycho is probably one of the most classic horror movies out there, directed by Alfred Hitchcock. And Hitchcock always had some twist in his movies. The twist in Psycho was one that no one saw coming and still hits today if you've never seen the film.

The twist is that Norman Bates, who had been speaking about his mother the entirety of the film, had killed her before the main character had even arrived, and just her skeleton remains.

Edward Norton and Brad Pitt in Fight Club
Edward Norton and Brad Pitt in Fight Club

Fight Club - The Truth About Tyler

There are so many cool behind-the-scenes facts about Fight Club. It's one of my favorite David Fincher movies. But let's be honest – no one (who hadn't read the book, anyway) saw this twist when we first watched the movie.

The main twist of Fight Club is that the unnamed Narrator and Tyler, the man he supposedly met and started the Fight Club with, actually the same person -- two identities existing in the same person.  So Tyler never really actually existed. It was all in the Narrator's head.

Moon-gwang’s husband in Parasite.
Moon-gwang’s husband in Parasite.

Parasite - Who's Is In The Basement

Parasite won Best Picture at the Oscars in 2020, and it deserved every award it got and more because this movie had the twist of a lifetime. The film's first half feels almost like a drama-comedy as we watch the main family start to take over the Park house while they are away, finally feeling as if they are living comfortably for the first time in their lives after a lifetime of suffering.

But then, we find out that the former housekeeper, Moon-gwang, has kept her husband hidden down below the Park's house, hiding him from loan sharks in a secret bunker. The film takes an unexpected turn in genre, and the twist is unlike anything else.

Betsy Palmer in Friday the 13th
Betsy Palmer in Friday the 13th

Friday The 13th - Who's Responsible For The Deaths

Fun fact – the Jason that we all know from the Friday the 13th movies didn't even appear in the first film. He wasn't the person killing all the teenagers in the first film.

The twist is that it was Pamela Voorhees, the mother of Jason, and she was looking to get revenge on the teenagers who had left her son to die years ago. She uses this night as a way to kill everyone.

Matthew Lillard and Skeet Ulrich in Scream 1996
Matthew Lillard and Skeet Ulrich in Scream 1996

Scream - The Face(s) Behind Ghostface

Scream has to be one of the most iconic films of the 1990s and of horror in general, where audiences across the world were introduced to Ghostface. But at the end of the first Scream movie, we discover that the serial killer isn't one person – it's two.

Stu Macher (in one of Matthew Lillard's best roles) and Billy Loomis (Skeet Ulrich) work together to kill everyone. Their reveal is one of the best in the Scream franchise. You can't help but feel Sydney's fear as they chase her down.

Orson Welles in Citizen Kane
Orson Welles in Citizen Kane

Citizen Kane - The Meaning Of Rosebud

Another classic movie on this list is Citizen Kane, where, at one point, the main character says, "Rosebud." We're only sure what it means at the film's very end.

It turns out that Rosebud was the name of Kane's childhood sleigh, as it symbolizes the time when he was happy in his childhood before the money and fame corrupted him. It's a profound moment that shows that sometimes, money and fame aren't the most memorable moments, but the things we cherish are.

Keira Knightley and James McAvoy in Atonement
Keira Knightley and James McAvoy in Atonement

Atonement - Their Romance Was Just A Novel, And Both Died

Atonement was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay at the Oscars, and I can see why. This famous movie, based on the 2001 novel of the same name, details a love story between the main characters that an aspiring novelist documents, but later on, it's revealed that the happy ending they were given in the book was never real.

Cecilia and Robbie were never reunited, and both died due to incidents that occurred during World War II. It's heartbreaking in every sense of the word.

Gwyneth Paltrow in Se7en.
Gwyneth Paltrow in Se7en.

Seven - The Fate Of Mills’ Wife

David Fincher is known for his twists, and the one in Se7en is heartbreaking in many ways. Throughout the film, we have two detectives who are on the hunt to chase down a serial killer who is murdering people based on the seven deadly sins.

When they take the killer to an undisclosed location to properly have him sentenced to prison, they discover that the wife of one of the detectives, David Mills, has been killed as a part of his plan, where Doe (the murderer) represents envy, and Mills represents Wrath. This, in turn, leads to Mills shooting Doe, completing his plan.

Christian Bale in American Psycho.
Christian Bale in American Psycho.

American Psycho - Bateman’s Victims Might Actually Be Alive

As someone who loves American Psycho and had her friends watch it, it's great to see how people react to this twist. American Psycho follows Patrick Bateman, an investment banker by day and a serial killer by night. Still, near the end, we find out that many of his victims might just be alive.

This leads to Bateman possibly believing that all of his murders were just inside of his head, and none of it was real, which is a crazy twist.

Matthew McConaughey in Interstellar
Matthew McConaughey in Interstellar

Interstellar The "Ghost" Is Murph’s Father

Interstellar is my Christopher Nolan movie; a big reason is this moment. During the last act, we find out that the supposed ghost trying to help Murphy from the other side isn't a Ghost at all – it is Murph's father.

He was trying to communicate with her through dimensions to give her the answer to save everyone's lives on Earth.

Faye Dunaway in Chinatown.
Faye Dunaway in Chinatown.

Chinatown - Evelyn Reveals Her True Relations To Her Sister

Chinatown is another classic movie with a detective story where a young woman named Evelyn hires a detective to see if her husband is having an affair, but this leads to the detective discovering conspiracies that shake up the investigation, leading to a woman who could be the key to everything.

However, it's later revealed that the woman is related to Evelyn, who hired him in the first place – she's both Evelyn's sister and daughter, as her father had sexually assaulted her when she was fifteen.

Ernesto De La Cruz in Coco.
Ernesto De La Cruz in Coco.

Coco - Ernesto De La Cruz Killed Hector

Coco is hands down one of the best Pixar films, and this twist shook me to my core. Coco has spent most of the movie trying to get to Ernesto de la Cruz, the man he believes to be his grandfather. However, it's revealed later on that Cruz isn't his grandfather, but Hector is the man who helped me get to Cruz's home in the afterlife.

Furthermore, Cruz is the person who killed Hector in the first place, stealing his music to make it on his own. I still remember gasping in the theater.

Charlton Heston falling to the ground in Planet of the Apes
Charlton Heston falling to the ground in Planet of the Apes

Planet Of The Apes - The Astronaut Discovers The Statue Of Liberty

Released in the 1960s, Planet of the Apes set off the franchise we know today. The first movie is about an astronaut who crash lands on a strange planet where apes are in control, and humans don animal skins.

The twist comes later in the movie where the astronaut stumbles upon the Statue of Liberty, meaning he isn't on a new planet. He was on Earth the entire time, and apes now rule the human species.

Bruce Willis and Haley Joel Osment in The Sixth Sense
Bruce Willis and Haley Joel Osment in The Sixth Sense

The Sixth Sense - The Truth About Malcolm

We can't have a twist article without mentioning at least one M. Night Shyamalan movie, and The Sixth Sense is undoubtedly the one that ranks the highest. The movie mainly follows a child psychologist who works with a young boy who can see dead people.

Later on, it's revealed that the psychologist was dead the entire time and that only Cole could see him and was helping him learn to move on.

Shauna Macdonald in The Descent
Shauna Macdonald in The Descent

The Descent - The Truth About Sarah's Escape

This British horror film is unlike anything else. The Descent follows six women who enter a cave system, but while underneath, they discover creatures that are looking for their next bite to eat, and now they have to find a way to escape this hell that they have put themselves in.

The twist of this movie is that the main character, Sarah, seems to find a way to escape, but then at the very end, it's revealed that she hallucinated her escape and that she is still stuck in the caves – and the crawlers are coming closer and closer to kill her.

Mark Ruffalo and Leonardo DiCaprio in Shutter Island
Mark Ruffalo and Leonardo DiCaprio in Shutter Island

Shutter Island - The Truth About Teddy

Shutter Island is an excellent Leonardo DiCaprio movie with a twist that's hard to forget. The film mainly follows two detectives who arrive on an island to investigate someone who has disappeared from a mental hospital. But in the end, it's revealed the investigation was all a ruse.

It was all meant to show that Teddy is Andrew Laeddis, who was imprisoned after killing his manic-depressive wife after she drowned their children. His delusion came from the guilt he felt over killing his wife, and for his children's deaths, so he created this persona inside his head to cope.

Rosamund Pike and Ben Affleck in Gone Girl
Rosamund Pike and Ben Affleck in Gone Girl

Gone Girl - What Actually Happened To Amy

Last but not least, we need to talk about Gone Girl. Starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike, the movie details the story of a man named Nick who becomes the prime suspect when his wife suddenly vanishes without a trace.

Gone Girl’s Rosamund Pike Wondered If She Was Actually A Bad Person During Filming

Tyler Perry and Ben Affleck in Gone Girl
Tyler Perry and Ben Affleck in Gone Girl

Rosamund Pike thought a lot about while she was filming Gone Girl, thinking she might be a bad person too.

But the twist is that she didn't just vanish – she orchestrated the whole thing after she discovered that Nick was having an affair. It was all a scheme to get back at him for what he did. Of course it doesn't really work out incredibly well for either of them in the end, but it was still a great twist.

These twists have truly blown my mind repeatedly, and I think you should get other people to watch these movies because they are unlike any experience you could imagine. I think it's time for another movie marathon.