The 10 most shocking plot twists in horror movies

Shocking twists and horror pretty much go hand in hand. Pulling the audience rug is what horror movies thrive on, because all they need is a reaction from the theater to know it was a success.

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Over the years, the horror genre has had its fair share of twists and turns that viewers haven’t seen coming. Perhaps the film excelled at hiding the reveal in plain sight. Maybe the filmmakers used horror genre tropes against audiences because they expected one thing and got something completely different. These twists did just that. This should go without saying but … beware of spoilers!

ten Don’t breathe

In Don’t breatheRocky, along with his two friends Alex and Money, attempt to rob blind veteran Norman Nordstrom, who recently received a major settlement after his daughter was killed in a car crash. What appears to be an easy heist turns out to be a nightmare as Norman is a skilled killer despite his disability.

What follows is an atmospheric thriller where intruders become the hunted. While Rocky is hiding in Norman’s basement, she discovers that Norman has a woman tied up and imprisoned there, the same woman who killed Norman’s daughter.

9 You are next

You're the next holding an ax

In You are next, Erin comes to visit her boyfriend Crispin’s wealthy family for a reunion. Sadly, their night is marred by a gang of masked killers. What the killers don’t know is that Erin is a survival specialist, having grown up in a complex with her father.

Erin soon becomes the real hunter, using her surroundings to take on the killers in brutal ways. It is first revealed that one of the brothers, Felix, had hired these killers in order to inherit their family’s fortune. By the end of the movie, Erin was able to take out all of the killers, including Felix. Except there is another twist; Erin discovers that her boyfriend Crispin was also working with Felix on this deadly plan. It is clear that Crispin had no knowledge of Erin’s special skills.


8 Get out

Daniel Kaluuya with tears in his eyes, scared in Get Out

As the audience follows Chris in Get out, there is a constant feeling of unease. Since this is a horror movie, it was inevitable that something would go wrong when Chris visited his girlfriend’s family for the weekend. One would also expect some social commentary from writer and director Jorden Peele.

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After being hypnotized by Missy for her smoking habit, Chris walks into what’s called “The Sunken Place”. It turns out that was the start of The Coagula, where a cult of wealthy whites asked blacks to take control of their bodies through brain surgery. The original host’s subconscious would only be a passenger while the new host would live in the body. Not only that, but you also find out that the Gardener and the Maid are actually the original Armitage Grandma and Grandpa.

seven Final destination 5

Final destination 5

the Final destination the series has always had a simple premise that spanned five films. Final destination 5 started out like any other where a group of colleagues narrowly avoids a bridge collapsing, only to be eliminated later by death itself.

Fortunately, Final destination 5 ended up being one of the better entries, with suspenseful death sequences and the unique premise of survivors being able to kill someone to take their lifespan. The film also had a final kicker; it turns out to be a prequel, taking place before the first movie. The remaining characters ended up boarding the dreaded Flight 180 at the end of the film.

6 Identity

Identity focuses on a group of people stranded in a motel during a rainstorm who soon begin to be killed one by one. At the same time, there is a man named Malcolm Rivers who is awaiting execution after having previously murdered several people.

The controversial twist is that everyone at the motel is a manifestation of Malcolm’s multiple personalities, with one of them being evil. Malcolm’s psychiatrist, Dr. Malick, hopes to find out which one is the evil so that he can be killed. After believing that they had succeeded, Malcolm is no longer to be executed. However, it turns out that they failed, as the personality of a young boy named Timmy, who was also reportedly killed, was the real evil personality. Now Malcolm’s only personality is Timmy. It’s a very unique take on the ‘it was all in their head’ twist.

5 Orphan

Isabelle Fuhrman as Esther in Orphelin

Orphan is a very weird and disturbing movie, but it is effective nonetheless, especially when it comes to the twist. It revolves around Kate and John, a couple who adopt a nine-year-old girl named Esther. Since this is a horror film, there is obviously something far more sinister behind Esther’s innocent personality.

After a series of violent events, Kate begins to distrust Esther. After digging a little deeper, Kate discovers that Esther is not a little girl. It’s actually a 33-year-old woman named Leena with hypopituitarism, a rare condition that makes her look like a little girl.

4 psychopath

psycho mother normand bates

This twist may seem tame by today’s standards, but audiences in 1960 were completely stunned by the end of psychopath. Viewers were even urged not to talk about the ending so that the twist wasn’t messed up for later audiences.

During the infamous shower scene, Marion is killed by a figure believed to resemble Norman’s mother. Audiences have been tricked into believing that she was the killer in the entire movie, as Norman has routine conversations with her behind closed doors. As everyone knows by now, it was Norman from the start, dressing his mother, whom he had killed.

3 April Fool

april fools 1986 poster

April Fool came out in a slew of ’80s slasher flicks, so audiences figured they knew what to expect. It was also common to make a slasher movie from any other holiday, so April Fool seemed normal for the course.

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The film has the usual slasher tropes, with the bodies of the characters being found. At the end of the movie, it is revealed that this was just a giant, elaborate April Fool’s joke, and none of the characters were actually dead. The joke was actually the public’s all the time, playing on their expectations of the ’80s slasher craze.

2 Mist

Stephen King’s Frank Darabont adaptation Mist has one of the cruelest, darkest twist endings in all of cinema. It revolves around a small town invaded by a mysterious mist that releases deadly creatures from another dimension.

The controversial ending shows David and his son Billy, along with three other survivors, driving through the endless haze. In order to avoid a slow and painful death from the monsters, David shoots everyone in the car, including his own son. Without a bullet to himself, David pleads with the creatures to take him, only to find that the army was only minutes away from arriving and saving them.

1 Night camp

Angela at the end of Sleepaway Camp

Night camp is pure horror cheese in the best possible way. He’s set up your typical ’80s slasher of teenagers at a summer campsite who are murdered one by one. The reason Night camp which is still remembered to this day is due to his infamous end of shock.

After an accident that kills her brother Peter and their father, Angela is taken in by her aunt Marthe. Years later, Angela is at a summer camp where other counselors meet a gruesome end. However, the audience weren’t prepared for the end of the twist. It is revealed that the innocent Angela has always been the killer. Except that she’s not Angela; Angela is Peter, her brother. Angela was actually the one who was killed in the crash and Peter was raised as a girl by his aunt.

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Andrea G. Henderson