A good plot twist is a special kind of thrill. Many TV shows—GOT immediately comes to mind—have mastered the art of the sudden character death or bombshell revelation, the big twist that changes the entire structure of the plot. A truly good twist is the kind you never forget.
Plot twists tend to work best for the horror or thriller genres; they can be especially great for these genres primarily because they act as the ultimate shock or surprise for an audience who already signed up to be on the edge of their seat. Whether it’s a twist-ending or a mid-story twist, a film that throws you for a loop is one that you likely won’t be quick to forget.
Unique movies with best twist endings and plot twists, these are some of those memorable films whose surprises we never saw coming. And of course, it goes without saying that there is a huge SPOILERS ALERT warning for this article, although they are still very good spoilers to read especially if you have seen the movies with best twists yourself.
Table of Contents
- 1. Parasites (2019)
- 2. Atonement (2007)
- 3. Gone Girl (2014)
- 4. Seven (1995)
- 5. The Game (1997)
- 6. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019)
- 7. Fight Club (1999)
- 8. Psycho (1960)
- 9. Scream (1996)
- 10. The Prestige (2006)
1. Parasites (2019)
- The plot: All members of the Kim family are out of work. When the older son begins tutoring at the wealthy Park mansion, the two families strike up a relationship with unpredictable results.
- The twist: Once settled in the Parks’ surroundings, the Kims discover that the family’s housekeeper also keeps a secret: her husband is locked in the basement of the mansion. Then she also finds out that the Kims are cheating on the Parks and this all leads to a bloody massacre that occurs right on the birthday of the latter’s young son. Not just one of the movies with the best twists but also one of the best movies, period.
2. Atonement (2007)
- The plot: 13-year-old Briony Tallis irrevocably changes the course of several lives when she accuses her older sister’s lover of a crime she did not commit.
- The twist: As a result of Briony’s false accusation, her sister Cecilia and her lover Robbie go from living a quiet life without financial problems to saying goodbye forever with the start of World War II. Robbie dies in the war and Cecilia is killed in a London bombing. As an old woman, Briony writes a novel in which she changes the end of the story and makes her sister and Robbie live happily ever after.
3. Gone Girl (2014)
- The plot: Nick Dunne reports his wife Amy has gone missing on their fifth wedding anniversary. But their public image as a happy couple begins to crumble under pressure from the police and the media.
- The twist: Amy finds out that Nick is cheating on her and then decides to meticulously prepare for her own disappearance, making it appear as if Nick has killed her. Her plan also includes seducing and murdering an old boyfriend to make it look like he had her abducted while she was missing. When Amy decides to go home with Nick, she is artificially inseminated with his sperm to make sure he will never leave her.
4. Seven (1995)
- The plot: Somerset is a retiring veteran detective who gets to work with Mills, a very impulsive young cop. Both investigate a particular murder that turns out to be the first in a series of crimes that are related to the seven deadly sins.
- The twist: The killer, John Doe, offers to lead the detectives to the two bodies that complete the seven-murder series. When they arrive at the place in the middle of the desert, Somerset receives a box: inside is the head of Mills’ wife. Doe admits he murdered her out of envy and challenges Mills to kill him, making anger the seventh and final sin to complete his macabre deed. One of the movies with the best twists of all time.
5. The Game (1997)
- The plot: Nicholas Van Orton is a San Francisco banker who experiences a mind-blowing journey through his own life when he is given access to a game by his brother Conrad. However, as he loses his fortune, Nicholas begins to fear the game and the company that runs it. Cornered by the employees of this company, Nicholas accidentally kills his brother and attempts to commit suicide.
- Script twist: Conrad and Nicholas are alive. In the end, it is discovered that the game was simply that, a game, not a conspiracy nor an attempt to end the life of Nicholas. Conrad decides to give the game to Nicholas as a gift because he thinks he works too hard and has to have a little fun. A more lighthearted ending among movies with best twists.
6. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019)
- The plot: In the late 60s, Hollywood begins to change and actor Rick Dalton has to adapt to the times. Together with Cliff Booth, his stunt double, they both experience problems that have been changing their fortunes. At the same time, a relationship is born between Rick and actress Sharon Tate, the real-life actress who was a victim of the Charles Manson massacre of 1969.
- The twist: When the three Manson family killers break into Rick’s house, they run into Cliff, who is under the influence of the acid he has consumed. A brutal fight between them, which involved a pit bull and a flamethrower, manages to rewrite the fate of Sharon Tate, who is unharmed. Not like the Manson killers who die at the site.
7. Fight Club (1999)
- The plot: An unidentified storyteller and his new friend, Tyler Durden, start a ‘fight club’ that grows into a national movement.
- The twist: The narrator suffers from an identity disorder. He and Tyler Durden are actually the same person. Out of all movies with best twists on this list, its ending has become iconic.
8. Psycho (1960)
- The plot: Marion Crane is murdered in a motel by the mother of the owner, Norman Bates.
- The twist: In reality, Bates murdered his mother years ago and then began to develop a dual personality disorder that led him to believe that he was his mother. He is the one who murders Marion while disguised as the mother. A classic among movies with best twists.
9. Scream (1996)
- The plot: A masked killer targets a group of high school students, including Sidney Prescott. At a party, the killer kills Billy, Sidney’s boyfriend, and later goes hunting for his friends.
- The twist: Two different people commit the crimes: Billy and his friend Stu. One the bloodiest among movies with best twists.
10. The Prestige (2006)
- The plot: Robert Angier and Alfred Borden are two rival magicians who are always racing to find the perfect trick in 19th century London.
- The twist: Two identical twin brothers pose as Alfred Borden. This is the mystery behind many of his tricks. The mystery of the illusions that Robert Angier creates is not far behind: he manages to clone himself with the help of Nikola Tesla, killing his clones after each trick.