10 Twist Endings So Bad They Ruined The Film, According To Reddit

10 Twist Endings So Bad They Ruined The Film, According To Reddit

If the upcoming film Orphan: First Kill proves anything, it’s that movies with memorable twists can leave a lasting impression on audiences. However, not every movie twist is for the better, and some films have been downright ruined by their attempt at a clever surprise ending.

From superhero epics like Iron Man 3 to horror films like The Village, a twist ending can sometimes do more harm than good. Though there have been plenty of ill-advised twists over the years, users on Reddit took to the site to vote for the ones they thought ruined the entire movie.

Knowing (2009)


Knowing was never going to top anyone’s best movie list, but for the most part, it was a serviceable enough thriller until the ending changed everything. A deleted user lamented the lost opportunity of the film, saying “Knowing…introduces the mystery of numbers…but then NOPE! Forget about that mystery because now it’s the end of the world.”

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Numerology was at the heart of the Nicolas Cage vehicle, but many viewers were extremely disappointed by the film’s turn towards aliens. Even if Knowing was just about the end of the world, it wouldn’t have been as much of a letdown as the strange inclusion of extraterrestrial interference. In the end, the cop-out ending negates any of the tension that was built up to that point.

Now You See Me (2013)

A group of characters in a private plane in Now You See Me

Making a film about a team of thieving magicians was bound to lead to a bunch of interesting twists, but the end of Now You See Me left a lot of fans in the dark. A deleted user summarized many viewers’ frustrations, saying, “It was actually a really enjoyable movie until they straight up harmed the movie with the ‘twist’…There’s no art in straight up lying to an audience”.

The best movie plot twists are usually cultivated throughout the story, and after the fact, they make sense. However, Now You See Me didn’t play by the rules and actually misrepresented facts in order to trick the audience. Considering the fact that the entire film hinged on the final reveal, its weaknesses were also the weaknesses of the movie as a whole.

Iron Man 3 (2013)

Ben Kingsley as Trevor Slattery in Iron Man 3

Generally considered one of the worst MCU movies, Iron Man 3 was greatly harmed by its unnecessary twist. Dew-Orb was not pleased with the film’s bait-and-switch, commenting “Iron Man 3 was ruined for me with that one plot twist that I never imaged would ever happen in a super hero movie”.

The Mandarin is a well-known villain in the Iron Man canon, and his treatment in the third film was downright blasphemous to many comic fans. By replacing his usual character with a cliche corporate villain, the movie limited itself to being defined by its weak twist, and nothing else.

The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

The Dark Knight Rises Batman Facing Off Against Bane

Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy helped to elevate the superhero genre, but that didn’t make The Dark Knight Rises immune to a common twist ending problem. Anonymousthrowaway4 didn’t mince words when they said “Bane was a complete badass and I really enjoyed the villain…Then they just throw that entire legend away…for a huge reveal that someone with paper thin development is the big bad.”

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Making Talia al Ghul the main villain wasn’t a bad idea, but the way it was handled completely negated Bane’s entire backstory. The film spends so much time building him up, only to have him upstaged by a clumsy reveal in the final act.

Orphan (2009)

Orphan (2009)

Of all the genres that lean hardest on twist endings, horror is perhaps the most prevalent. Spideyismywingman took down a specific horror film when they said “Orphan. It’s a fairly standard horror film until the last half hour…Everything from that point on became so laughable when you’re seeing the events through that lens.”

Twists are supposed to recontextualize the events of the film for the better, but Orphan was certainly for the worse. Though some fans consider it one of the best underrated horror films of the 2000s, others were less than impressed with the twist. The absurdity of it is disturbing in its own right, but when examined closely, it elicits laughs instead of screams.

The Boy (2016)

Brahms the doll in The Boy, a 2016 horror movie

Viewers weren’t expecting much from The Boy, but what they got was a stale twist that left them bored. MovieMike007 summarized the movie well when they said “The Boy. The film starts out fine…then at the end we get the big reveal…and it’s lame and ridiculous.”

With the premise of the film, viewers knew that a twist of some sort was bound to happen eventually. When it did finally come, it was a mix of confusing and predictable that left almost no one happy. The film was on thin ice at the start, and the lackluster twist only helped to bury it further.

The Village (2004)

Director M. Night Shyamalan’s early films were heralded for their greatness, but only a few years into his career it became clear that he was too focused on twist endings. User FilmStudentFincher went after a particular Shyamalan film, writing “The Village’s ending feels really tacked on and doesn’t add much to the film.”

Even though it is still one of Shyamalan’s highest-grossing films, The Village’s twist is usually met with groans from most viewers. The film is a creepy experience all throughout, and revealing that it takes place in the modern day has no bearing on the plot. The forced nature of Shyamalan’s twist actually leads many fans to question the validity of his other works.

Spectre (2015)

Bond in his tan suit outside Blofeld's complex in Spectre (2015)

The James Bond franchise was more or less loosely plotted for most of its existence, but Spectre aimed to tie them all together with an unusual twist. User Mad_Mayhem broke things down when they commented, “Spectre. The villain who apparently has been orchestrating the events of the previous films (despite there being barely to almost no evidence or hints to this prior).”

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Blofeld is one of Bond’s most famous villains, but making him the ultimate baddie was an odd choice. The beauty of the 007 franchise is that the events of the films rarely connect, and each adventure is a fresh slate. By insinuating that Blofeld has been the mastermind the whole time, it completely tangles the movies into a confusing web.

Planet Of The Apes (2001)

A different Lincoln Memorial statue at the end of Planet Of The Apes (2001)

The original Planet of the Apes film is famous for its shocking twist, but the remake’s attempt to one-up its predecessor fell flat. Samuraislider was more confused than anything else when they said “Planet of the Apes remake by Tim Burton. Just didn’t even make any sense.”

Though it drew its ending from the original novel, the remake’s finale nevertheless left audiences in the dark. Returning home to an earth that is overrun with apes could have been done well, but the imagery that was chosen was more comedic than anything else. The viewer couldn’t enjoy the ending because they were left with far too many questions.

High Tension (2003)

As its name implies, the French horror film High Tension aimed to give viewers a suspenseful ride, but its twist left something to be desired. Haberwoky felt let down by the film, saying “High Tension. That movie was so…well tense…Then the ending. Completely ruined it for me.”

Slasher films usually feature an element of mystery, and High Tension thought it was quite clever with its killer reveal. Unfortunately, upon revealing who the slasher is, the film begins to make less and less sense until it finally spirals down into an unsatisfying conclusion.

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About The Author

Dalton Norman
(310 Articles Published)

Dalton Norman is a senior writer at Screenrant who authors lists on a variety of topics from movies and TV, to comic books, and pretty much anything that strikes his fancy. He is an avid lover of film history, and enjoys imparting as much trivia onto his readers as possible. He has also contributed several essays to various online publications that pertain to film theory and criticism, and he brings his filmmaking experience to the table as a writer for the site.

A graduate of the exclusive BFA Film Production program at the University of Central Florida, Dalton specialized in screenwriting and producing with an eye towards low budget filmmaking. In his free time, Dalton writes novels which he independently publishes online. His influences include the works of authors like John D. MacDonald and Tom Wolfe, and he tries to channel a bit of their unique energy whenever he writes.

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