Does anyone else NEVER guess twist/surprise endings?

Apropos of the two active threads about Shutter Island, I was thinking, surely I can’t be the only person who is always surprised by “twist” or surprise endings in movies, to the point of consistently never being able to figure them out even if I am told going into the movie that it has such an ending. It seems like there are an awful lot of Dopers whose attitude toward such movies can be summed up as a dismissive “yawn.”

In the OP of one of these threads, The New and Improved Superman said that Shutter Island had the “most obvious ‘surprise ending’ ever” and “it took me all of five minutes for me to figure out how it would all end.” Now, since I’ve already had this movie spoiled for me, and I know what the surprise is, I can say with reasonable certainty, based on past experience, that I never would have figured this out. In the very first reply, Tengu derisively mentions The Village, another movie I saw unspoiled, knowing it had a twist, but not being able to figure it out until the reveal. Several people in that and the other thread questioned whether the big reveal in Shutter Island should even be called a twist at all, implying that it’s too obvious. One guy says he guessed it just based on the trailer! Someone else mentions Angel Heart and A Beautiful Mind–two more movies whose twists came out of left field for me.

I actually enjoy this type of movie; I find it fun to be surprised. Years ago I started a thread asking for recommendations of movies with twist endings. I checked many of the recommendations out from Netflix, watched them knowing there was a twist coming, and in each case, if it was a movie I had not already had spoiled for me, the twist totally shocked me. The Wicker Man, Unbreakable, The Sting, The Usual Suspects, Primal Fear, Fight Club, No Way Out, Dead Again, you name it. Of course, it goes without saying that I was totally surprised by The Sixth Sense, despite all the hype surrounding it, even though I once read a thread on the SDMB where somebody was arguing that it doesn’t have a twist at all and if you didn’t see it coming the whole time you simply weren’t paying attention, not-so-subtly implying you’re also stupid.

Seriously, I cannot think of one time I have ever figured out a twist/surprise ending before the explicit reveal. I don’t think I’m stupid, but there are an awful lot of people out there who say they’re seldom if ever surprised by such movies. Is the ability to see this type of ending coming really that common, or is it just that those who possess it like to boast about it and those of us who don’t are the silent majority? :smiley:

(PS: Please spoiler-box any spoilers.)

I do not usually try to out-think a movie and try to guess what the ending will be. I much prefer to let it take me where it’s going to take me.

That said, if I smell a twist ending, figure it out, and then it actually unfolds the way I thought it would, I feel horribly disappointed. I’m looking at you, The Forgotten.

I wish people wouldn’t tell me that the movie I’m going to see has a twist ending, because then I’m acutely aware of it, and attempt to second-guess it. I don’t usually get it right anyway, but that’s beside the point; the expectation of it approaching takes me out of the story.

I would rather just sit down and watch and be amazed and surprised by a twist as the Director/Writer intended.

Ditto to KTK. I actively try not to figure out if there’s a twist, so if I figure it out, I generally hate the movie. My example of that is The Others.

Exactly. That’s my approach and it works pretty well for me too.

I’m one of those people. I NEVER expect or foresee surprise endings. I’m also the type of person who doesn’t pick up on symbolism in a book unless someone points it out to me. I also don’t notice patterns unless I’m expecting one to emerge (for example I wouldn’t notice that such and such a salesperson always stops in on Tuesdays).
I tend to take things at face value unless there’s a reason not to.
That being said, I prefer it that way. Watching a great movie is made that much better when the ending turns the entire movie on it’s head, it also gives you the ability to re-watch the movie ‘for the first time’ again.

Seven? Didn’t see it coming.
Sixth Sense? Nope.
Memento? Nuh-uh.
The Usual Suspects? Oblivious.
Identity, and The Game? No, but in my defense both were stupid twists.
Oldboy or Chinatown? Ewwww, no…and glad I didn’t.

Kill Bill? Okay, I did guess that one.

I’m with you, Arcite…

Like KneadToKnow, I don’t think too much about the twist at the end, mostly because I like to be surprised. FWIW, I know many very intelligent people who watched The Sixth Sense, and none of them figured it out, so whoever said that is full of shit.

I didn’t get the ending to The Usual Suspects, but I’m pretty sure it’s because the ending didn’t make any sense.

I didn’t see the Shutter Island movie, but I read the book, and I had it figured out about halfway through. Maybe the codes were either too hard and ambiguous to plausibly figure out or they were too easy (Dennis Lehane should have known better than to include word-scrambles in an attempt to outwit mystery buffs), or maybe I’d seen it done too many times before, but I was a little disappointed in the ending. Unless the visuals were fantastic in the movie, I’m going to wait until it shows up on cable before I watch it.

I almost never guess the ending either. I think some people who claim they knew are not telling the truth.

I never figure anything out from textual clues. I often will get a “feeling” as to who a mystery person will turn out to be, but that’s based more on knowing story-telling conventions.

F’rinstance, when I read Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn books, I guessed who the Hero of Ages would be early on. Because it couldn’t be a leading character because that was too obvious, but it still had to someone important enough that it wasn’t coming out of the left field… I felt very proud of myself in book 3 when my guess turned out to be correct.
Then I went to the Barnes & Noble book forum, where they were discussing Mistborn in small installments. I was shocked to find them picking up on all the small clues that turn out to be significant in the end- not just the Hero of Ages, but pretty much every plot twist. Instead of being :p, I was :smack:.

I guess this generally applies to me, too, in that I normally just let a movie unfold naturally insted of trying to actively analyze it while I’m watching it. But it doesn’t seem to make a difference whether I try or not, since even when I do try I never figure it out. And I certainly have never figured out a twist by accident.

Exactly. I had no idea Sixth Sense had a twist ending when I saw it in the theater, and the ending blew me away.

I might have guessed if I knew there was a twist.

I never ‘figure it out’, but that’s for two reasons. Or one, if you want to twist them together.

  1. I knock down that fourth wall, grind it into dust, and shoot it into space when I go into a theatre. I am paying good money to be entertained, and I usually am. <I don’t see movies I think I’m not going to enjoy anyway> This has caused me to go ‘wtf, that sucked’ a week later, but at the time, I’m happily seduced.

  2. I hate build-ups to the big finish. If the ride isn’t enjoyable, I want out. So…I’m probably already enjoying the movie, regardless of what I think the ending might be. <See #1>

A movie bad enough to build up a 4th wall for me, such as 2012 <OMG that movie needs MST-3K’ing SO bad, it sucked!!! It was SO horrible!!> Anyway…if the movie’s that bad, my guessing the ending is the least of the problems.



my wife just says, " fuck off. what a lot of crock!" and stomps off to the sounds of my laughter.

Well, now that I know there is a twist I guessed it. (I just went to The Movie Spoiler… sometimes I like going there because I want to know what happens even though I know I wouldn’t waste the time to watch it).

Never guessed The Sixth Sense… really I like not guessing. Takes the fun out of a movie if you over analyze it IMO, just like some books (though sometimes it adds another interesting dimension but its hard to say what it will be until you’re actually analyzing it…)

I guess twist endings when I can see the mechanics of the twist beforehand. For instance, the killer in Murder at 1600 is obvious one you apply the Rule of Conservation of Characters. I also spotted the twist in The Prestige, mostly because the director gave it all away (he probably had to; and, to be fair, the evidence had to be portrayed somehow).

However, I don’t usually guess a well-done twist.

The only twist I figured out was The Village and I only did so because I was looking for it; it was an M. Knight movie, and all his movies have twists.

I often see twist endings coming in books (Shutter Island, from about 50 pages in), but hardly ever in movies. I was surprised by just about every one mentioned up-thread, probably the most by The Sixth Sense.

I generally never see twists coming. The only exception might be a movie that is for other reasons horrible - my mind can wander and make predictions. But at that point I already hate the movie. If the movie is otherwise good and has sucked me in I will be pretty oblivious, and only see what the movie wants me to see.