Top 5 Unexpected Plot Twists In Films (Warning: Spoilers!)

The Purge

To celebrate the release of THE PURGE, out on Blu-ray and DVD now, we take a look at the Top 5 Plot Twists we just didn’t see coming…


Back in 1999, Hollywood Pictures brought us the physiological horror THE SIXTH SENSE. Starring Haley Joel Osment, Bruce Willis and Toni Collette, the film centres around a troubled, isolated boy, Cole, (Osment) who is able to see and talk to the dead, and an equally troubled child psychologist, Malcolm, (Willis) who tries to help him. However, not all is as it seems, since it transpires that all the while Malcolm is trying to help a distressed and petrified Cole find a purpose for his gift, it turns out Malcolm has been dead himself all along…coining the popular catchphrase, ‘I see dead people’, with the film cleaning up at various awards ceremonies. It’s clear to see why most viewers, us included, couldn’t sleep for weeks in the fear that we are not alone in an empty room…


Top of the list on many people’s all time favourite films is the epic THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION. Adapted from the Stephen King novel Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption, the film tells the story of Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins), a banker who is jailed for life in Shawshank State Prison for the murder of his wife and her lover despite him claiming innocence, and in the face of no-one believing him (even the viewer). After years of enduring brutality and corruption, the warden and prison guards find his cell empty one morning…here’s the twist – Andy’s been innocent all along and had been planning his escape the day he entered. It took him 20 years to chip away at the wall with a tiny rock hammer in order to get into the prison’s sewage pipes and out to freedom. WHAT. AN. ENDING!


Martin Scorsese’s SHUTTER ISLAND follows U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, who is investigating the disappearance of a murderess who escaped from a hospital for the criminally insane and is presumed to be hiding nearby. All turns sour as Teddy becomes convinced that the hospital is using the patients to perform questionable physiological experiments, and finding this out, he believes the doctors are trapping him and refusing to let him leave. However, turns out Leo is actually a patient of Ashecliffe Hospital himself and the movie is an elaborate game hatched by doctors to try and treat him. MIND BLOWN!


In 1999, 20th Century Fox brought us the classic FIGHT CLUB. The story centres around actor Edward Norton who plays an unnamed ‘everyman’ suffering from severe insomnia. He meets Tyler Durden, (Brad Pitt) a soap salesman, who becomes a force of chaos in his life. Together, Edward and Tyler start an underground fight club, where men blow off steam by beating each other. The fight clubs branch out across the country and become an anti-capitalist terrorist group called Project Mayhem. When Project Mayhem gets out of control, Tyler Durden disappears. Edward searches for him, but the other fight clubs think he IS Tyler. However, later we found out that Tyler Durden never existed. He is a projection of the Norton’s characters troubled, sleepless mind. He has been the one creating the mayhem in his own life…

Tip – If you haven’t already noticed, watch very carefully and you will find moments when Tyler flashes on the screen for a split second, subtly pointing out the fact that the narrator and Tyler are in fact the same person…


This finally brings us onto THE PURGE. Written and directed by James De Monaco and starring Ethan Hawke and Lena Headey, the film is set in an America wracked by crime, unemployment and overcrowded prisons. In order to combat this, the government has sanctioned an annual 12-hour period in which any and all criminal activity, including murder, becomes legal. The police can’t be called. Hospitals suspend all help. It’s one night when the people of America regulate itself without punishment.

On this night plagued by violence and an epidemic of crime, the Sandin family wrestles with the decision of who they will become when a stranger comes knocking. When an intruder breaks into their gated community during the yearly lockdown, here begins a sequence of events that threatens to tear the family apart. It’s up to James (Hawke), Mary (Headey), and their kids to make it through the night without turning into the monsters from whom they hide.

We are not going to spoil the epic plot twist for you…you’re just going to have to find out for yourself. Just a tip: keep your enemies close and your FRIENDS closer…

THE PURGE is available on DVD and Blu-ray now. Get involved via the Twitter hashtag #SurviveTheNight

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Considering Jazmine grew up watching CARRY ON SCREAMING, THE LION KING and JURASSIC PARK on repeat for weeks on end, it made sense for her to study film at London South Bank University. It’s also a good thing that her course requires a lot of sitting down because she’s very accident-prone. When she’s not examining her bruises, she likes pretending that she doesn’t live in Southend-On-Sea and spends hours mindlessly blogging. Favourite films include BLUE VALENTINE, ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND and TOY STORY 2.


  1. bfg666

    November 2, 2013 at 4:18 am

    Any top about unexpected plot twists should have From Dusk Till Dawn at #1 position. It turns from road movie to all-out gorefest in the blink of an eye.

  2. Pronk

    November 14, 2013 at 8:21 pm

    Lame article. HOW much did they pay you to promote the purge?

  3. JoshM1976

    November 14, 2013 at 8:50 pm

    What exactly is the twist of The Purge? The one that was completely telegraphed at the beginning? (I’d say the death of a major character a little bit before the climax was a minor surprise, but that’s about it.)

  4. Curtis Troy

    November 14, 2013 at 8:58 pm

    I should have known I was reading an ad. I was wondering how the hell The Purge made it onto this list. Epic twist? Pssh.

  5. Brett Lovejoy

    November 14, 2013 at 9:06 pm

    ‘The Purge’ beat all of those other films? ‘Oldboy’ didn’t make the list? Definitely advertising for the film. I don’t even understand what the twist is.

  6. Mike

    November 14, 2013 at 11:58 pm

    You typically don’t see twists coming… The Purge foreshadowed its ending WAY at the beginning with the “angry neighbors”. Seriously, who didn’t see that coming. And what a stupid reason, they didn’t have to buy the damn security system if they thought it was too expensive!

    That’s like buying a Ferrari, and then shooting the dealer because he’s rich.

  7. Jazmineislame

    November 15, 2013 at 8:35 am

    Wow, this article blows.

  8. Tiara

    November 15, 2013 at 10:29 pm

    That’s not even the full twist in shutter island. At the end teddy says “what’s worse, living as a monster, or dying as a good man” which suggests he’s faking his mental illness at the end

  9. Cd

    December 10, 2013 at 12:22 am

    I echo the sentiments of,the,other users saying there was no plot twist for The Purge.

  10. Cd

    December 10, 2013 at 12:23 am

    It should have stayed a road movie. One of the potentially best films turns into utter crap.

  11. thekinkyafro

    December 10, 2013 at 12:50 am

    I’ve seen The Purge and i’m struggling to think of the twist ending.

  12. bfg666

    December 10, 2013 at 2:58 am

    I think the words you were aiming for were “into pure awesomeness.”

  13. Abbey_of_Thelema

    December 16, 2013 at 4:56 am

    “The Ususal Suspects” with it´s Kaiser Szöse should be no.1

  14. Steve Croft

    December 16, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    The Purge? Are you kidding me? THE PURGE? That was the most TELEGRAPHED ending in a movie ever. It made no sense, it was obvious, it was crap, it was just bloody stupid, highly illogical and just so damned rubbish. Sorry but The Purge was the worst movie of the last five years.

  15. Coos

    January 6, 2014 at 11:45 pm

    I’ve seen over 2,000 movies. I’m not saying I know everything about film (I don’t,) but I’ve seen enough to know what makes a movie good and what makes one bad. The Purge is literally the worst movie I have ever seen. This article is a joke.

  16. seth cohen

    January 7, 2014 at 11:02 pm

    yeah, no shit… i called the purge “twist” 5 min into the movie…

  17. Kenneth Serenyi

    January 9, 2014 at 5:21 am

    Andy escaping prison is far from the ending in Shawshank Redemption…

  18. Peter Whitney

    January 12, 2014 at 8:26 am

    First off, the Shawshank Redemption… That’s not a plot twist. The most famous promotional photo is the ending.

    Second… Is this just an ad for The Purge? Is this written by people born in the 90’s? Brush up on your movies. What about:

    Sunset Blvd?
    Empire Strikes Back?
    Soylent Green?
    The Crying Game?
    Usual Suspects?
    Sleepaway Camp?
    Planet of the Apes?
    The Wicker Man (the original)

  19. Luke

    January 20, 2014 at 3:45 pm

    How could they not include Primal Fear?? I think that’s one of the best twists in a film ever.

  20. Rain1

    January 23, 2014 at 2:07 am

    Presumed Innocent with Harrison Ford should have been picked…had two twists right at the very end.

  21. Skyhawk

    January 24, 2014 at 6:47 pm

    Dont forget to add in the The Purge was garbage. Seriously one of the most moronic screen plays Ive ever seen and a boring, predictable plot.

  22. MMorse

    February 13, 2014 at 8:20 pm

    Apparently the author of this piece has never seen a movie released before 1994, and has seen few movies released since then.

  23. TW

    February 17, 2014 at 1:34 pm

    The movie “Seven” – and that courtroom one with Richard Gere and Edward Norton.

  24. t-6

    February 27, 2014 at 11:47 am

    The Prestige? Anyone? Had actually two twists.

  25. Daniel Krone

    February 27, 2014 at 6:04 pm

    This is CLEARLY an article written to advertise for “The Purge” your journalistic pass should be revoked forever. On another note, “Shutter Island” is the most easily expected predictable, trite, obvious and overused plot twist in film. Terrible article.

  26. Daniel Krone

    February 27, 2014 at 6:05 pm

    Said what was on my mind. Thank you.

  27. Daniel Krone

    February 27, 2014 at 6:06 pm


  28. James

    March 2, 2014 at 5:16 pm

    hi Pronk

  29. Roman James Christopher lui XI

    March 2, 2014 at 5:16 pm

    fuck u men in pink skirts

  30. James

    March 2, 2014 at 5:16 pm

    hey that’s me

  31. UberHaxorNova

    March 2, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    you are amazing mr Lego man

  32. UberHaxorNova

    March 2, 2014 at 5:18 pm

    that’s some scary shit dude
    Go to my webpage

  33. Lige

    March 5, 2014 at 7:32 pm

    Jacob’s Ladder.

    Hell, even the Wizard of Oz had a better twist than most of what’s on the list.

  34. Soaring Raven

    March 10, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    Haven’t seen “The Purge” so can’t comment on that, but they really missed a few great plot twists.
    No Way Out-never would have guessed Kevin Costner was really a Russian spy.
    Vacancy-All the people were really just the multiple personalities of one person.
    Basic-Everyone including Travolta was in on the ruse from the beginning.
    The Recruit-Although I called it early on, Pacino as a traitor? REALLY?
    The Usual Suspects-I know it has been mentioned, but since I love Kevin Spacey, I have to argue, one of the best plot twists ever!

  35. Faith

    March 20, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    This. And what the hell is up with not giving away the ending. It’s not even that good.

  36. derek_the_one_and_only_alpaca

    April 9, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    IRON MAN 3

  37. Derick Mendoza

    April 10, 2014 at 4:49 am

    so the friends were the ones who were more evil jeez who didnt see that coming 8 min into the movie the moment i saw those too peeps in the car roll by with their fake smiles and quick little wishes of “stay safe” i was like ” oh yea theyre going to be paying you a visit later.

  38. Darien Rachelle

    May 12, 2014 at 7:12 am

    Except.. the twist was THE ENTIRE POINT OF THE MOVIE. If you picked up this movie, by the cover you see what kind of movie it’s going to be. Staying a road movie would’ve even changed the genre of the it.

  39. Big F'N Show

    May 13, 2014 at 5:43 am

    Anyone with the ability to read a book knew the ending to Shawshank. Oh I am sorry look who I am speaking to.

  40. Chase Webster

    May 17, 2014 at 3:35 am

    Each of these movies was predictable. Shame this list didn’t include The Prestige and Memento. I didn’t even know Shawshank Redemption and The Purge were meant to have “twist” endings.

  41. GG

    May 18, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    the purge SUCKED, can’t be compared in any way to the masterpieces listed in this article.

  42. Shon Lee

    May 18, 2014 at 5:42 pm

    U totally left out The Skeleton Key. At least honorable mention.

  43. Hylian Wizard

    June 6, 2014 at 3:28 am

    Perhaps this list also has a plot twist, which is the promotion for the Purge.

  44. Ezequiel Forte

    June 7, 2014 at 2:37 am

    what about Saw? the first one?

  45. ScooterGirl

    June 29, 2014 at 9:48 pm

    Damned straight.

  46. ScooterGirl

    June 29, 2014 at 9:50 pm

    An author who doesn’t know that Stephen King didn’t include “the” in “Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption”

  47. ScooterGirl

    June 29, 2014 at 9:51 pm

    “Primal Fear”

  48. John

    July 2, 2014 at 6:37 pm

    The big twist of The Purge was that it had an awesome premise and then completely blew.

  49. Jon

    July 7, 2014 at 2:42 am

    Hello? Orphan?

  50. gordon hotchkiss

    July 10, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    I guessed the plot twist to “Shutter Island” after 5 minuites and found the rest of the film boring. The worst film I found that was supposed to have a plot twist was ” The Happening”. The plot twist being that nature is doing the killing. The first thing I heard about the film before it came out was the Nature killing everyone and that was months before its release.

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