5 best movie plot twists according to Reddit
From 'Gone Girl' to 'Se7en,' these films feature a sleight of hand that any magician can appreciate.
Warning: Spoilers ahead!
As narrated by British actor Michael Caine in the 2006 film "The Prestige," every great magic trick consists of three parts: the pledge, the turn and the prestige. While these tenets are expertly woven by director Christopher Nolan into his story about dueling magicians, culminating with one of the best surprise endings in Hollywood history, they can also be applied to other films with unexpected twists.
Below are just a few of the films chosen by the members of the social networking site Reddit as well regarded for their plot twists as for their memorable characters and storylines. As Caine's character explains, feeling tricked is all part of the fun.
"Now you're looking for the secret... but you won't find it, because of course you're not really looking," he says. "You don't really want to know. You want to be fooled."
Based on American author Gillian Flynn's 2012 novel of the same name, "Gone Girl" is a psychological thriller that revolves around the disappearance of a young woman and the actions of her suspected husband. Crafted by American director David Fincher and Arnon Milchan, a prolific Israeli producer, the film has garnered praise for its dark, intelligent and original storytelling.
"People go to the movies to discover things," Fincher told Film Comment about his attraction to adapting Flynn's novel. "They want to see actors as they’ve never seen them before and to see them in situations you never imagined them in because hopefully you never imagined seeing yourself in that situation. I need that sense of discovery when I look at movies."
Part of the beauty of "Gone Girl" is the way it messes with how you relate to the main characters. It's an effective technique that manages to make the coming twist even more dramatic.
"Without majorly spoiling it, I watched with my boyfriend (who had not seen it) and the first half of the movie, he was SO angry with Nick's character," one Redditor shared. "By the second half/the first twist, his attitude completely reversed. It was amazing. And he can usually call a twist pretty quickly."
'10 Cloverfield Lane'
"10 Cloverfield Lane," directed by American filmmaker Dan Trachtenberg, follows the story of a young woman who, after a car crash, wakes up in an underground bunker with two men who swear the surface of the Earth is no longer habitable. With intense performances by American actors Mary Elizabeth Winstead, John Goodman and John Gallagher Jr., the film has been praised by critics and audiences alike for its intense and unexpected plot twists.
As they would soon discover, the film was also a spiritual successor to the 2008 found footage monster film "Cloverfield" from director Matt Reeves.
"I knew it would be incredibly divisive, and some people would hate the movie for what it is," Trachtenberg told Syfy. "And I knew some people would love it for what it is. If you like a ride, it would be a one-of-a-kind experience for you, and I loved the idea of making something that could be special like that. Those are the movie memories that I treasure, so that excited me much more than intimidated me."
Perhaps the best part of this "sequel" is that it's completely unnecessary to have seen the first film to enjoy the ride. "As someone who never saw 'Cloverfield', '10 Cloverfield Lane' was a hell of a surprise," wrote one Redditor. "Made me go back and watch both but in order this time."
A third film in the "Cloverfield" universe is expected to be released in February 2018 under the title "God Particle."
Based on a 1995 novel by British author Christopher Priest, "The Prestige" is a mystery thriller from director Christopher Nolan and his long-time collaborator and wife, producer Emma Thomas. The film tells the story of two stage magicians, played by Australian Hugh Jackman and British star Christian Bale, who competitively attempt to outdo each other with the best tricks. As the stakes rise, their machinations take a dark and deadly turn.
"The real paradox, which is the paradox of magic, but this is to me what's interesting about the subject, is that much as the audience wants to know the secret, the secret ultimately will be disappointing," Nolan told CanMag. "That's the nature of magic. And that's, to me, the key thing which I'm trying to do in the film."
In addition to a fantastic cameo performance by David Bowie as the inventor Nikola Tesla, "The Prestige" also features one of the more haunting twist endings in Hollywood history. As one Redditor commented, seeing that final reveal will make you want to revisit the whole film. "The prestige is even better when you know the twist," they shared. "There are so many details you notice when watching it a second time."
I mean, this one had to make the cut, right? "Se7en," another classic directed by David Fincher, tells the story of two detectives tasked with hunting down a serial killer. The twist is that this villain uses the seven deadly sins as a motif in his murders. The 1995 film also features a very dark ending and a classic one-liner that continues to resonate with audiences long after the credits rolled.
"There’s nothing wrong with up endings, it’s just that the dark ending of 'Seven' was what it was about," screenwriter Andrew Walker told Uproxx. "To change the ending to something else was to remove the very heart of the story. It’s about 'optimist Mills,' Brad Pitt’s character, going up against this pessimistic kind of world-weary detective in Somerset, Morgan Freeman’s character. Those dramatically-opposed points of view are pushing and pulling each other throughout the story."
What's interesting about "Se7en's" twist ending is that it almost never happened. Walker's original script was rewritten by studio heads to include something much tamer. By sheer accident, Fincher received his first draft and fought tooth and nail – along with Pitt, Freeman, and Spacey – to keep the macabre final pages as written.
"[They] fought-fought-fought to save that ending, and they are the reason that that ending was maintained and is the ending that’s in the movie," Walker added. "Without them, no one was going to listen to me, the lowly screenwriter – that’s just the way it goes."
Directed by American filmmaker Martin Scorsese and based on author Dennis Lehane's 2003 novel of the same name, "Shutter Island" is a psychological thriller that revolves around two U.S. Marshals sent to investigate a disappearance at a psychiatric facility.
"Once I read it, I had to do it," Scorsese told Time Out of the novel's impact. "It was like a moth to the flame. It’s a chance to go deeper with a character, to walk a tightrope stylistically and to deal with parts of myself, parts of being human that other projects didn’t allow me. I may not want to go there but I’ve simply got to go there."
In addition to stellar performances from American actors Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, and Michelle Williams, "Shutter Island's" greatest strength is the clever storytelling that pulls you down the rabbit hole of insanity. According to Scorsese, once you know the twist, part of the fun lies in looking for the clues you may have missed the first time through.
"It’s interesting with this film because all the clues are there through the entire picture and I think, without giving away too much, if you see it and you don’t know anything, and you do at least find it satisfying by the end, you might then want to go back and see it a second time or a third time," he hinted.
MORE FROM THE GRAPEVINE: