Best Suspense Films With Surprise Endings: NO SPOILERS, PLEASE!

I love to see films that have an ending you cannot spot a mile away.

First nominees:

SLEUTH (great plot twists to the surprising end)
WAIT UNTIL DARK (will have you jump)
REBECCA (didn’t see that coming)

Give me some more, but please, DO NOT SPOIL ANY FILM!

‘You’ being the keyword here. You may observe something I don’t. So, the ‘twist’ is not really a twist for you, but is for me.

Usual Suspects comes to mind barring two deficiencies

  1. There’s one sequence in between from which you can figure out the twist.

  2. Clichés. If you’ve seen a lot, then a similar structure or screenplay kinda gives away clues without it being the film’s fault necessarily.

Sixth Sense is another one. Except if you overanalyse, you can figure it out. I mean, if you know going in, there’s a twist and then you start paying extra attention to details and contexts, you can figure it out. I suppose that’s true of most movies. The best ones are those which are consistent and yet are not fallible to such scrutiny.

I hate to break it to you, DMark, but for these sorts of movies, Gyan9 is right: just knowing that they have a twist ending is often more than enough to spoil the movie. There’s only so many “big revelations” that fit into any one plot (and the “…I am your father” thing has been dead since… well geez, even mentioning what film that’s from would spoil it!).

Another vote for Sixth Sense. Had no idea.

However, “Sleuth” was never destined to be a big surprise for me. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone, so I’ll put my explanation in a spoiler box. (note: I don’t reveal the end of the story, but just some hints that you should not read if you’ve not seen the film.)I have an uncanny ability to recognize people, no matter how radically different their appearance is (through make up, special effects, radical changes in facial hair, whatever). It’s just so obvious to me. Hint: Teeth are a dead giveaway.

Well, Apos, sometimes you hear about the ending, look for the ending, and then get surprised nonetheless. But yeah, in general even knowing that a surprise ending occurs can ruin a film.

Sometimes it’s good to think a surprise ending is coming and then be totally thrown for a loop by having something else entirely occur.

Maaaan… I figured out something was up about two minutes into the movie… And had completely forgotten about it by the end. At the end I was feeling like yelling at that one guy for being an idiot, untill it suddenly clicked. Doh :slight_smile:

Deathtrap. Much fun.

That’s only if any of the 3 reasons below are true.

  1. It’s inevitable that for a story to make sense, the twist must make sense in retrospect. In other words, events must appear consistent when viewing it knowing the twist. If this doesn’t ring true, the twist is implausible. Often, to my disappointment, this occurs in these surprise surprise endings.

  2. You didn’t see the actual twist coming. Which makes the real twist being a surprise, contingent on you.

  3. The twist is such that while it doesn’t suitably explain the story in retrospect, it is vaguely molded to not contradict it either.

If you know of a surprise ending that has a good chance of not satisfying either of the 3 criteria above, let us know.

Maybe I’m a dumbass, but I didn’t see the ending of “Unbreakable” ahead of time, but I know that a lot of people did. And I knew that there was a twist to “Sixth Sense,” but I just sat there and enjoyed the movie, didn’t TRY to figure it out, and was surprised by the end.



God, I love that movie. I didn’t see the end coming at all!

As a big fan of the movie, you’ve got me interested. Could you possibly explain exactly what you mean, but in a spoiler box so that only people who want to know will read it?


I can highly recommend:

*What Lies Beneath

Not so much a twist at the end, more or a twisty tale throughout. Had me guessing.

I can also highly recommend becoming friends with the Preview button. D’oh!

Here it is

during the ship raid, the scene where one of the raiding party looks up from the back of a van. Entire narrative that Spacey describes has no interaction with the narrative “camera”, but this one does. Might not be a concrete clue, but I knew :slight_smile:

Body Heat - a very fine movie which for some reason is much forgotten.

I have yet to meet the person who wasn’t surprised by The Usual Suspects.
Another movie that has a very good surprise ending is Presumed Innocent.
Also No Way Out with Kevin Costner comes to mind.

The Game had a great ending.

The Killer Meteors. Who’s the bad guy? When will the twistiness end!?

Dragonfly with Kevin Costner had a suprise ending.