The most unforgettable plot twists come from thrillers and horror movies. That’s because in these types of shows, our sense of normalcy has already been thrown off balance by all the frights and scares. Thus, when the big reveal comes around, it hits us even harder – because our reality is already teetering from jangled nerves. Films like the Thai thriller Homestay (an adaptation of the Japanese film Colourful) have especially memorable plot twists. But we’re not giving away anything about the film!

Such films with huge plot twists are especially ripe for a second viewing, because that’s when you can catch all the little clues and minor giveaways regarding the plot twist. You’ll be smacking yourself for not realising it all along, because it seems just so obvious when you watch it a second time. What are the films with the best plot twists we’ve seen? Here are our top picks.

1. The Boy (2016)

The Boy starts fairly predictably, when Greta (Lauren Cohan) is hired to take care of an aged couple’s son, Brahms, so that they can go on a holiday. The odd thing is that Brahms is a doll. A boy doll. She never quite sees him moving or taking any actions, but he’s definitely “alive”. He changes position when she’s not looking, plays with his toys when she’s in another room, and leaves a trail of destruction when he’s been mistreated. She later discovers that the couple did have a living, human son, also named Brahms, who died in a horrific fire long ago.

It all seems pretty pedestrian, and some of the frights seem like cheap tricks. In fact, the movie seems like a terrible one with plenty of loopholes – until the horrific climax, when you discover what’s been happening all along.

In the climax, it turns out that [highlight to read the spoilers] the human Brahms didn’t actually die all those years ago – he survived to adulthood, albeit terribly disfigured and with the mental age of a child – and he’s been moving the doll around by travelling around the house through secret, hidden tunnels. His parents never found out that he was still alive, and their “holiday” was actually a double suicide, because they could no longer stand living with “Brahms” the doll. There’s nothing supernatural at all in the film.

If you’ve been sharp, the genres that The Boy is usually classified under (i.e. horror, mystery, thriller) will give away part of the plot twist – but who reads movie genres carefully, right?

 

2. Identity (2003)

Psychological thriller Identity sheds insight into a murderer with dissociative identity disorder (multiple personality disorder). While he awaits his trial, the ten personalities in his mind (who each represent a different aspect of the murderer) find themselves trapped – and it’s evident that one personality wants to reign supreme and destroy the other personalities. It’s this personality that’s the true homicidal maniac, while the other personalities are relatively not as psychopathic.

Of course, it’s eventually revealed that [highlight for spoilers] none of the adult or criminal personalities are the true maniacs. It’s the little boy personality, the one whom we previously assumed represented the innocence of the murderer, who’s the one who has truly been behind the elimination of all the other personalities. The film ends with the murderer being “cured” of his disorder – but it’s the homicidal personality that now reigns supreme.

And that chilling line – “Whores don’t get a second chance” – showed us who was really in charge in the end.

 

3. The Others (2001)

The very first thing The Others did was to scare you with Nicole Kidman’s character screaming in fright at the top of her voice. The film revolves around a family living in a big house – and there seem to be “others” living in the house. Just that they can’t seem to see the “others” who live there – even though they can certainly feel the effects of the actions of the “others” living in the house. But why doesn’t Nicole Kidman and her family escape? Well, that’s because the house is surrounded by a thick mist that they can’t seem to find their way through.

The mist is actually a huge clue to the big plot twist of the film, because it’s revealed at the end that [highlight for spoilers] Nicole Kidman’s character and her family are the ghosts of the house – and the “others” are the human inhabitants. 

How’s that for a twist, eh? It’s not too different from The Sixth Sense (1999), which came out only about a year and a half before The Others.

 

4. The Sixth Sense (1999)

The Sixth Sense was the film that shot actor Haley Joel Osment (Cole Sear) and director M. Night Shyamalan to fame. Cole’s most famous line is “I can see dead people”, and in the film he is treated by child psychologist Malcom Crowe (Bruce Willis). Eventually, Cole comes to terms with his “sixth sense” and helps the ghosts he sees with their unfinished business. With his work done, Crowe departs, going back to his home and cold, unresponsive wife.

The big twist of The Sixth Sense is probably the most famous plot twist in cinema history, but we’re going to hide the spoilers for the 0.01% of the population who hasn’t watched the film yet. It turns out that [highlight for spoilers] Crowe has been dead all this while – which is why Cole can see him and why his wife has been cold and unresponsive. When Crowe realises this, his unfinished business is resolved, and he gets to move on to another life.

Thank goodness The Sixth Sense never succumbed to sequel-itis – can you imagine how convoluted the sequel would have to be to have Cole and Crowe return in another movie?

 

5. Homestay (2019)

In Thai mystery thriller Homestay, a wandering spirit is given a second lease on life. He’s “reincarnated” in the body of teenager Min (James Supapunpinyo) who committed suicide, but he’ll only stay “alive” for 100 days unless he can discover why Min committed suicide in the first place. The wandering spirit is told that he shouldn’t get too attached to Min’s life, and that he should treat it just as a sort of “homestay”, since it’s only temporary.

Eventually, the wandering spirit discovers the true reason for Min’s suicide – along with another, horrifying revelation. We’re not spoiling the twist for you here, but suffice it to say that it’s based on Colorful, a Japanese movie and novel by Eto Mori. Cinematic sleuths can work the rest out from this clue.

Homestay. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

Homestay. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

Will the wandering spirit find out why Min (James Supapunpinyo) died? After all, he’s got loving parents, an elder brother, and the girl of his dreams – Pi (Cherprang Areekul). Fun fact: Cherprang Areekul is not only a bona fide star, as a member of BNK48, the Thai sister group of the Japanese idol group AKB48, she has also coauthored research papers at Mahidol University International College and worked as a research assistant. In fact, her academic achievements are so lauded that her portrait will be carried in a satellite to be launched into space this year! We’re sure that the fact that she’s part of an idol girl group has nothing to do with this, though.

Homestay is a heartwarming film that’ll have you being thankful for your life – especially after you catch the big twist. After all, our life on Earth is more than just a Homestay.

 

Interested in M. Night Shyamalan’s other films? Check out this article!

 

Credits: Golden Village Cinemas

 

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