We’re back for more of the most creative horror movie twists, and I think these are selections everyone can agree with.
The Orphanage – When The Orphanage made its debut at the 2007 Cannes film Festival, it’s safe to safe that the audience adored it; it received a ten-minute standing ovation when the final credits rolled. It’s a lovely, creepy film anyway, but it also earned its spot on the list of all-time great horror movie twists.
Laura spent her early years in an orphanage, which has since been closed. She plans to reopen the place exclusively for disabled children, and her husband Carlos and son Simon are 100% behind her plans. Simon is only seven years old, and he almost immediately tells his parents that there is boy named Tomas within the orphanage. He even draws a picture of Tomas, who is wearing a creepy-looking sack mask.
During the grand opening party for the orphanage, Laura and her son have an argument, and Simon disappears. Over the following months, Laura does everything she can to find her son, even as the mystery of Tomas amps up.
While Tomas’s story is engrossing and frightening, the big twist comes when Laura contacts the spirits of the children who are trapped in the orphanage, and is led to hidden door. On the ground inside this mysterious room lies the body of Simon; on the night he disappeared, his mother accidently blocked the door to the room, and he fell and broke his neck while trying to get out. Horror movie twists are at their best when they break your heart, so…mission accomplished.
The Dark and the Wicked – This Shudder film’s title accurately describes the mood and content of the film. Louise and Michael are adults who return to their family’s farm in Texas to help their mother. Dad is terminally ill and bedridden, and Mom seems overwhelmed and very stressed out.
She even seems upset that her kids came, and seems to believe that something evil is present at the farm. Her state of mind is further revealed when, in a very hard to watch scene, she cuts her fingers off. Even worse, she later hangs herself in the barn.
It soon starts to become evident that the evil presence may actually be possessing Louise and Michael’s father, and while they don’t believe it at first, some chilling events change their minds. The big twist comes when Michael flees the farm to go back home. When he walks into the house, he finds the bloody corpses of his wife and children in the kitchen. Distraught, Michael pulls out a knife and cuts his own throat. As he lies bleeding to death, he suddenly sees that the kitchen is empty – the dead bodies were a false image presented by the evil presence, which has targeted Michael (and Louise, as we find out later).
The Mist – You really can’t talk about twists without including this adaptation of Stephen King’s novella of the same title. While most of the film was very faithful to its source material (an excellent story all on its own), writer/director Frank Darabont gave audiences one of the biggest shocks in any modern horror film with his revised ending.
After a severe storm in a small Maine town, a thick, rolling mist can be seen advancing, and David takes his young son Billy to the local supermarket to get supplies for the family. Soon, the employees and customers are trapped in the store, because that isn’t just any mist – there are deadly creatures hiding within it, and they do NOT come in peace.
As the survivors start to actually listen to religious nut Mrs. Carmody, they begin to distrust and turn on one another, leaving David, Billy and three others to escape the area by car, hoping to find safety outside of the mist.
But, the mist seems to have no end, and the group runs out of gas, surrounded by the many different types of monsters hiding within. With no hope left, the group decides that the only answer is to utilize the gun they have; a gun with only four bullets. Thankfully, the camera moves outside of the car as we hear the four gunshots, then takes us back inside to witness David’s anguished screams. He has killed three adults and his own son, and has no remaining bullet to take his own life.
David steps outside of the car, still crying and screaming for the monsters to come take him. Then we see army tanks rolling up, as the soldiers kill the monsters, meaning the group was only minutes away from safety. It was a moment that punched me in the chest, ripped my heart out and made me want to curl up in the fetal position on the dirty movie theater floor. I stumbled out of the theater whimpering, seriously.
I wasn’t sure if that ending affected people the same way if they weren’t already familiar with King’s novella (as I was), but I have since found out that it was a real shocker either way.
Well, readers, I hope you enjoyed this two-part series on horror movie twists as much as I enjoyed writing it (and re-watching the twists as research). And if I left out any of your favorite horror movie twists, let me know in the comments section.
We want to know all about your own favorite horror movie twists, tell us about them in the comments section.