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Some Of The Best Plot Twists In Horror Films

Orphan Horror Film

Horror Movies That Broke The Rules And Gave Us Some Great Plot Twists

Everyone loves a good plot twist. When it comes to horror movies, when you know the tropes, it’s easy to figure out who might die, or who the killer is, etc. However, there are still some scary movies that can pull a fast one on their intended audience. This list is comprised of 6 films that do just that. Whether they utilized the known tropes in their favor or just a moment to make the audience go, “WTF?” Here is the list of the movies with the best twists. If you wish to avoid spoilers, turn back now. 


Directed by Drew Goddard, Written by Joss Whedon & Drew Goddard

The Cabin in the Woods Horror Film
“The Cabin in the Woods” (2011)

This movie is on its way to being an absolute classic in horror films. It takes all of the horror tropes and uses them in a brand-new way. The story’s basic plot is about these college kids who are on their way to go camp in a cabin in the woods. Little do they know they are pawns for a secret society guiding them to the cabin and plans to sacrifice them. There are a few twists at the end of this film. First, the stoner character and the innocent girl survive a zombie redneck family. 

They find an elevator leading to the underground lair of the secret society. Then, Sigourney Weaver shows up and explains that their youthfulness is sacrificed to the “ancient ones.” If the innocent girl kills the stoner, they would all be spared. The final twist is that they decide to die at powerful Gods’ hands, allowing all of humanity to be destroyed. We are left with the image of a giant hand emerging from the ground destroying the cabin in the woods.     

It is an epic ending that absolutely no one could have possibly expected. This is about as close to a perfect twist as you can get with a movie with one of the best plots in horror movie history. 


Directed and Written by Jennifer Kent

The Babadook
“The Babadook” (2014)

This movie is more of a psychological horror film about a widow, Amelia Vanek. Amelia’s husband was killed in a car accident, leaving her to raise their young son, Sam, alone. One night, Sam asks his mom to read him a pop-up book called Mister Babadook. It’s a book about a monster who torments people when they learn of him. Amelia thinks the book is disturbing and tries to get rid of its multiple times, but it keeps appearing throughout the film. 

Sam starts to exhibit some strange behavior after not sleeping and talking about seeing the Babadook in real life. Amelia eventually has hallucinations of the Babadook herself and even tries to kill Sam at one point because of them. The twist ending is that instead of killing the monster like a viewer might expect, they keep the Babadook in the basement as a pet, feeding it earthworms. It’s not a huge twist, but it’s one you wouldn’t expect watching the film.

THE MIST (2007)

Directed and Written by Frank Darabont

The Mist
“The Mist” (2007)

This movie is a horror film based on one of Stephen King’s novels. The basic plot is about a man, David, going to the grocery store with his son after his home is damaged in a thunderstorm. While at the store, a mysterious fog emerges. Soon, anyone who goes out into the mist is attacked by praying mantis-like creatures. One woman ventures out to seek help, but they fear she most likely died. After David, his son, and three others escape the clutches of a God-fearing woman who took over the store by saying it was an Armageddon. 

David finds his home destroyed, and his wife is dead. He is left in an absolute desolate state and feels there is no escaping the mist’s creatures and doesn’t feel like hope. He uses the last four bullets in the gun to kill his group. The twist is moments later, the fog clears, and the Army has arrived to help people from these monsters with the woman who had left the store at the beginning. This is a gut-wrenching end but an excellent twist.

ORPHAN (2009)

Directed by Jaume Colleet-Serra, Written by Alex Mace and David Leslie Johnson

“Orphan” (2009)

This is the second but not last psychological horror film on this list. This film’s basic plot is about Kate and John, whose marriage is strained due to losing their third child, a baby girl. They now want to adopt a child in need bond with a 9-year old Russian child named Esther. Throughout the film, Esther becomes increasingly violent while being a picture of innocence for John. Kate suspects something is wrong with her, but John gives her the benefit of the doubt. 

Esther’s actions throughout the film escalate from killing a bird in front of her siblings, pushing a bully off the slide, killing a nun, threatening her adopted siblings, to almost killing her adopted brother by burning down the treehouse. She is not caught in any of these actions except by her adopted deaf sister. There is even a point where she tries to seduce John, her Father figure, which is a very awkward scene if you don’t know the twist. Killer children have become a horror film staple; however, there is a twist. 

Through some detective work, Jane finds out that Esther didn’t come from an orphanage in Russia but from a mental institution. Not only that, but she was actually a 33-year-old woman named Leena Klammer with hypopituitarism. This hormonal disorder stunted her physical growth. It was a twist that came out of nowhere and shocked audiences everywhere.


Directed by Fede Alavarez, Written by Fede Alvarez and Rodi Sayagues

Don't Breathe
“Don’t Breathe” (2016)

This is a thriller that will keep you on your toes throughout the whole film. The basic plot follows three delinquents, Rocky, Alex, and Money, whose M.O. is breaking into homes and stealing valuables. They get a tip that a blind man, Nordstrom, is sitting on $300,000 in cash and decide to rob him. Long story short, they break into his house, but Nordstrom is not the blind man to mess with, and he kills Money. Rocky and Alex hide, and the first twist is that they find a woman, Cindy, chained up in Nordstrom’s basement. 

When they try to free her, Nordstrom shoots at them and accidentally shoots Cindy. After appearing to kill Rocky with some garden sheers, he captures Alex with his Rottweiler. She finds herself now chained up in the basement. Here’s the twist: Nordstrom tells her that Cindy was pregnant with his “replacement child,” but he is not a rapist. He then prepares to impregnate Alex with a turkey baster and promises to let her go once she has given him a child. This twist was so shocking and will change the way you look at turkey basters forever. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

SAW (2004)

Directed by James Wan, written by Leigh Whannell

“Saw” (2004)

The last film on the list and the last psychological thriller, mixed with some gore, but what horror movie doesn’t have gore? Moving on. Here is the movie’s main plot if you’ve been sitting under a rock for years and haven’t seen this classic. It is about a photographer who finds himself in a bathtub with his ankle chained to a pipe. Lawrence Gordon is across the room from him. Between them is a corpse, a revolver, and a tape player. Both Lawrence and Adam, the photographer have tapes.

Adam’s tape tells him to escape, while Lawrence’s tape tells him to kill Adam by 6pm or his family will be killed. Later on in the film, Adam is a private detective who was hired to follow Lawrence and take pictures of him. Events escalate to where Lawrence is on the phone with his wife, and he hears only gunshots causing him to saw off his leg and shoot Adam. The apparent mastermind, Zed, who kidnapped Lawrence’s family comes back to kill Lawrence in accordance with “the rules.” Still, he is saved by Adam, who miraculously survived and killed Zed with the toilet lid.

Lawrence is crawling out of the room to find help, and Adam finds a tape on Zed’s body. Zed was just a victim himself who did what he did so he wouldn’t be killed by poison. The Twist: The corpse that has been in the room the whole time rises up. It is the real mastermind all along, John Kramer, the Jigsaw killer. To add insult to injury, he tells Adam the key was always in the bathtub, but he knocked it over in the beginning when he woke up. This is and always be the best twist in any horror film. It is perfectly executed and organized to be revealed at the perfect moment. The only way to end this article is the same way John Kramer did, “Game Over.”

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Shannyn Rose Cowart

Writer - Dead Talk News