Warning: every inch of this article contains spoilers.
Everyone remembers the first time they saw The Sixth Sense. Viewers are lulled into a false sense of uncertainty during most of the film, believing it to simply be a scary-ish film about a kid who “can see dead people”. Little did we know that we were about to witness one of the biggest cinematic plot twists of all time: Bruce Willis is a ghost.
It’s one of those movies that you feel compelled to watch again, just to see how abundantly clear everything is now that you know the twist – and a film you’ll make your friends watch just to see the look of shock spread across their faces.
Films are remembered and revered for their plot twists – it is an integral part of movie culture. A good plot twist is one that you never see coming and can cement the difference between a flop and a cult hit.
Some plot twists hit you out of nowhere, like perhaps the most famous plot twist of all – the revelation that Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker’s father in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. While other twists are more of a slow burn, like when you find out that Lupita Nyong’o’s character in Us was switched with her underground version as a kid – confirming the unease you felt during the 90-minute period leading up to that.
It’s not just thrillers that contain plot twists either. Rom-com Crazy, Stupid, Love led viewers to believe the only connection between the two leading male characters, Steve Carell and Ryan Gosling was their makeover situation but viewers later discover that Gosling’s on-screen girlfriend Emma Stone is actually the adult daughter of Carell’s character, neatly tying the whole film together.
Even Disney movies have jumped on board that plot twist action. When Frozen came out in 2013, we thought Prince Hans (Princess Anna’s love interest) was just a regular Prince Charming, one true love-type situation but it turned out he was the villain all along (a refreshing antidote to the evil stepmum trope).
If you’re a plot twist fiend and are in need of something to watch, we’ve detailed our favourite films with stellar plot twists below (skim through if you don’t want to see the spoilers!)