What Are the Best Plot Twists?

In this post, we go over what are the best plot twists and examples of plot twists in popular movies.

What is a Plot & What Are The Best Plot Twists?

Starting with a compelling story is essential when creating a quality motion picture. Most films have a three-act structure with an introduction, a mission for your characters, and a conclusion. Most of the movies you watch today were designed using this framework, which has been effective for many years. However, a skilled screenwriter can employ his methods to give his story a personal touch.

A movie's goal is to hold the audience's attention from beginning to end. To keep the audience guessing until everything is resolved, a good way to do this is to include unanswered questions in the story. By turning the tables and revealing something the audience didn't expect, the twist's conclusion is a satisfying way to surprise the audience.

A few filmmakers, like M. Night Shyamalan, are renowned for their suspenseful conclusions. Some of Shyamalan's conclusions have pleased his audience, while others, like the village, have infuriated them. Everything depends on how the twist is used and whether it makes sense concerning the rest of the narrative. This should be handled with caution as a storytelling device.

Some twist endings, like the one in Bryan Singer's The Usual Suspects, define the film and leave audiences with long-lasting memories. For the movie to be memorable, the audience must remain interested in what is happening, and a twist ending might be the answer. "Wow them at the end, and you've got a hit," says Robert McKee (Brian Cox) in Charlie Kaufman's Adaptation.

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Examples of the Best Plot Twists in Movies

  • Parasite (2019)

In Bong Joon Ho's Social Commentary on Classism and Best Picture-winning film Parasite, a low-income family scams their way into various jobs for a rich family, who have no idea that the workers are all related. In the film, the family arranges for the current workers of the wealthy family to be fired from their positions to take them over.

However, the infiltrators don't know that the previous housekeeper hid her husband from loan sharks in a secret basement the owners had forgotten, set up as a survival bunker. After the old housekeeper and the new family discover each other's secrets, a bloody twist leads to the patriarch of the new family on the run from the law.

However, as the months go by, it is revealed to the public that he is not on the run but in the secret basement bunker of the house where the crimes occurred.

  • The Others (2001)

The others are unsettling ghost tale that keeps you guessing until the final page. As the story opens, grace (Nicole Kidman) and her two kids are waiting for their father to come home from World War II.

The kids' condition necessitates keeping the curtains drawn at all times, and their crumbling old mansion provides the perfect backdrop for a spooky tale. Unknown ghosts cause havoc for the family.

The terrifying reveal that Grace and her kids are the ghosts haunting the new family who moved into their house sets the tone for the rest of the story.

  • Old Boy (2003)

One of the most disturbing turns in cinematic history occurs in Park Chan-crime Wook's thriller masterpiece. Dae-Su (Choi Min-Sik) spends most of the film searching violently for the person responsible for his imprisonment for fifteen years.

Dae-Su meets and falls in love with Mi-Do (Kang Hye-Jeong), a young chef who becomes involved in his mission. Dae-Su learns that Mi-Do is his daughter and that he is the target of a vicious plot by a wealthy man seeking revenge for past wrongs.

Old boy is an excellent example of South Korean cinema's brilliance.

  • Eleven Scream (1996)

In Wes Craven's 1996 meta-slasher film, a costumed killer roams Woodsboro, CA, picking out helpless teenagers. Throughout the film, audiences believe that Billy Loomis (Skeet Ulrich), the boyfriend of the main character Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell), is likely the killer.

Towards the end of the film, the audience sees Billy being murdered by the killer, only to return a few scenes later, revealing that the murder was intentional, and the murders were not just committed by him but by his best friend. Stu (Matthew Lillard) too.

This shocking ending of multiple people being one killer was new to the horror genre, and Scream has spawned four sequels since then, with the latest release in January 2022.

  • Coco (2017)

In Coco, the most beautiful film released by Pixar, aspiring musician Miguel has been banned from playing music by his grandmother because it is known throughout the family that Miguel's great-great-grandfather abandoned his family to play music and never more returned.

So Miguel takes the guitar from his great-great-grandfather and musical inspiration, Ernesto de la Cruz, and is transported to the land of the dead. There Miguel meets Héctor, and the two try to find Ernesto to give him his blessing to play music.

However, after finding Ernesto, the public finds out that it is Héctor who is Miguel's great-great grandfather, and in life, Héctor was killed not only by Ernesto but also by the one who wrote all the songs that Ernesto became famous for. Coconutwon two Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Original Song for "Remember Me."

  • Planet of the Apes (1968)

The story of Planet of the Apes is so compelling that it has spawned numerous spinoffs and remakes.

The first film in the series, directed by Franklin J. Schaffner and starring Charlton Heston, and inspired by the novel by Pierre Boulle, is often regarded as the series's best entry.

Astronaut George Taylor (Heston) crash lands on a planet inhabited by highly evolved monkeys who enslave humans. Upon his return to Earth, Taylor finds a nuclear wasteland with a shattered Statue of Liberty along the coast.

  • Se7en (1995)

David Fincher's classic Se7en film follows two detectives (Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman) who try to catch a serial killer who commits seven murders based on the seven deadly sins of the Bible. The script, written by Andrew Kevin Walker, is perfect from start to finish.

In the unforgettable climax, we learn that the killer, John Doe (Kevin Spacey), killed Detective Mill (Pitt)'s wife and delivered her head in a box to get Mills to kill Doe, leaving Mills and Let be the sixth and seventh deadly sin.

Here are resources I recommend to get more in-depth knowledge

Storytelling 101 teaches you how to write compelling stories worthy of commercial success. This is best for screenwriters, novelists, filmmakers, videogame writers and storytellers.

Children’s Books 101 teaches you how to write stories that children will love. This is best for aspiring children’s book authors and storytellers.

Owl AI is the revolutionary AI-powered content production platform that helps storytellers, writers, and bloggers of all subject matter easily create highly-polished content.

Success, Money & Mindset Subliminal is a self-hypnosis recording that we recommend to new writers to help with focus, concentration, creativity, and motivation.

Shadow Work Journal: 240 Daily Prompts contains inner work exercises related to relationships, anger, anxiety, self-love, healing trauma, abandonment issues, depression, forgiveness, etc.

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