A TWIST IN THE TALE
5 GREAT CINEMATIC PLOT TWISTS
PUBLISHED 1 AUG 2016
David Fincher / 1999
“When you have insomnia, you’re never really asleep… and you’re never really awake.”
FIGHT CLUB is David Fincher’s stunning social commentary on capitalist culture and the triviality of consumerism. The film centres around a nameless insomniac office worker (Edward Norton) and soap salesman Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) who form an unlikely friendship and in doing so start the titular Fight Club. Truly an ingenious film, it begs for a second viewing to fully appreciate the story’s stealth and intricacy.
James Wan / 2004
“You don't know me, but I know you. I want to play a game. Here's what happens if you lose.”
Two strangers are trapped together in a room with nothing but a corpse between them. While the popularity of SAW paved the way for numerous sequels, it is still the 2004 film which has the most impact, forcing the audience to be a voyeur to its gruesome game. The twist is all but given away in the title but this horrific mystery is still a shock to the senses.
STAR WARS: EPISODE V - THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK
Irvin Kershner / 1980
“Search your feelings, Lord Vader. You will know it to be true. He could destroy us.”
With probably the most infamous and most parodied plot twists in the galaxy and pop culture history, THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK is also the most critically lauded of the STAR WARS films. Including epic space battles, nefarious villains and legendary lightsaber duelling, the twist may seem trivial now, but for someone watching it for the first time it is far from it.
THE USUAL SUSPECTS
Bryan Singer / 1995
“The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he did not exist.”
Five criminals are recruited for one final job by the infamous turkish crime lord Keyser Soze. The film opens at the narrative’s end as we are informed of the tragic fates that await these criminals. Yet this only heightens the suspense with an ingenious build up to the final scene. It is a perfect set up using basic predilections to avert our preconceptions.
Christopher Nolan / 2006
“Now you're looking for the secret. But you won't find it because of course, you're not really looking. You don't really want to work it out. You want to be fooled.”
In Christopher Nolan’s THE PRESTIGE, Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman play rivalling magicians in 19th century England. What is fascinating about this film is that the twist is given away within the first few minutes but you will only see it if you are looking really closely. The whole film is a magic trick in itself, deceiving the audience and diverting expectation while the illusion unfolds right before their eyes.