No matter how many plot twists the universe serves us IRL, we just can’t get enough of them cinematic surprises. For the past few years, some good ones have come along, worthy of their predecessors like Sixth Sense or Fight Club. What with Steve Harvey’s monumental “oops” moment resurfacing in the reminiscent 2017 Oscars snafu where Moonlight took the stage for Best Picture as the La La Land cast and crew slowly passed them by, we’d like to give the award of best plot twists of late. Caution: heavy spoilers ahead.
You’ll never hear the end of Park Chan-wook praises from us. In his 2003 thriller, we thought we’ve seen it all. Leading us on a wild goose chase as to why protagonist Dae-Su was mysteriously imprisoned for 15 years, the bigger picture is revealed: his imprisonment and what took place after was a meticulously planned plot of revenge that led Dae-Su unknowingly falling in love (and having sex) with his daughter.
The Machinist (2004)
Arguably one of Christian Bale’s performances, we see him as Trevor Reznik, an emaciated machinist who hasn’t slept in about a year (same lol jk) who starts getting death threats and thinks his co-worker Ivan is behind them. As his paranoia escalates to him killing Ivan, he realizes there is no Ivan; Ivan was a figment of his imagination, manifested from his guilt of a hit and run of a boy who resembles another made-up person, which caused his insomnia.
Haute Tension (2005)
Alexandre Aja’s French horror may seem like a badass escape route of two girls from a serial killer. Marie is staying over at her best friend Alex’s house when a man breaks in and murders Alex’s entire family. Marie, who stays hidden from him, plots to get revenge for Alex, but then discovers (here it comes) that she is the killer, delusional and in love with Alex.
The Orphanage (2006)
With the help of Guillermo del Toro, J.A. Bayona stages a crude and cruel story of Laura, a mother who visits the orphanage she lived in as a child. After her son seemingly plays with an unseen Tomas, he goes missing, while the Tomas the imaginary friend keeps haunting her. Fast forward to a few months later, she realizes her son was hiding in a secret closet, which she blocked with construction scaffoldings in her search to find him.
The Secret in Their Eyes (2009)
Undoubtedly one of the most disturbing Argentine-Spanish crime films ever, The Secret in Their Eyes retells the 25-year old story of a detective after a man who raped and murdered a married woman. After a few escapes and one dead-end, the victim’s spouse comes forward and says he murdered the man. But plot twist, he actually hunted down the rapist and kept him in a cage all those years.
Shutter Island (2010)
Martin Scoresese clearly did the novel justice. Leonardo DiCaprio’s character investigates the disappearance of a patient at a hospital for the criminally insane. But after a series of inconsistencies within the ward and further investigation to their methods of psychotropic medication, a rude awakening and a couple of anagrams reveal that he is a patient–the most dangerous yet–who murdered his manic depressive wife after she drowned their children.
Side Effects (2013)
Aside from being visually stunning, Steven Soderbergh crafts a convincing and mind-boggling psychological thriller, with a heavy loaded cast in Rooney Mara, Jude Law, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Channing Tatum. What starts as a psychological episode ending with murder becomes a huge con framed by two lovers.
The Handmaiden (2016)
As the most recent and probably best entry in this list (Park Chan-wook does it again), we will hold on the spoilers for you to get a chance to watch the thriller-erotica, but we’ll tell you this. A sneaky pickpocket is hired to play handmaiden by a conman to carry out his plan in marrying a rich Japanese heiress. But here’s one of the many plot twists in store for you: the two women fall in love.–JANROE THE BOAT