Film Spoilers and
|Film Title/Year and Plot Twist-Spoiler-Surprise Ending Description|
Aliens Had Created the Crop Drawings as Landing Navigational Markers; One Remaining Stranded Water-Allergic Alien Was Killed, and Graham's Faith Was Restored
This alien invasion science-fiction film was about unusual crop drawings in corn fields from famed "twist ending" director M. Night Shyamalan. Strange crop circles were found near the Hess family farm, led by former preacher and single father Graham Hess (Mel Gibson). His faith had already been tested when his wife Colleen (Patricia Kalember) died in a horrible car accident - he had become embittered and left the church.
It was determined that the markings were navigational markers for an alien invasion, occurring all over the world.
In the film's conclusion, the Hess family emerged from their basement (after fighting off the aliens) when they heard on the radio that the alien spaceship had retreated and left Earth. However, one stranded alien creature took one of the Hess' hostage. It threatened weak, ill and asthmatic son Morgan (Rory Culkin), who couldn't breathe (without his inhaler) during an asthma attack and had passed out.
In order to protect his hostaged son from alien abduction, Graham recalled his wife Colleen's dying words ("Tell Graham... see. Tell him to see. And tell Merrill to swing away"). The advice to Graham to "see" referred to his observing a mounted baseball bat in the living room. Graham then told his younger brother Merrill (Joaquin Phoenix), a semi-pro baseball player: "Swing away, Merrill. Merrill... swing away."
Merrill grabbed his record-setting baseball bat from the wall and attacked the creature. Morgan was released, although he was exposed to poisonous cyanide gas. During the struggle, a glass of water spilled down on the alien (who was revealed to be allergic to water) and killed it.
Meanwhile, Graham grabbed Morgan, rushed him outside, and gave him a life-saving injection. [Morgan was saved from inhaling poisonous cyanide gas (because of his own asthma attack): "That's why he had asthma. It can't be luck. His lungs were closed. His lungs were closed. No poison got in. No poison got in."] Graham's faith in God was restored when he realized the random and tragic events of his life served a purpose. He saw his son saved - from his wife's prophetic words and the blessing that asthmatic Morgan couldn't inhale the gas with closed-off lungs.
Hannibal Lecter Was At-Large, Literally Planning on "Having An Old Friend For Dinner" - Dr. Chilton
FBI trainee Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) single-handedly located the home of transvestite serial killer Jamie Gumb (or "Buffalo Bill") (Ted Levine), at first not knowing the man who answered the door was her suspect. While the SWAT team and Crawford (Scott Glenn) were mistakenly breaking into the wrong house in Illinois, Clarice was face-to-face with the uptight serial killer who gave her a false name (Jack Gordon). When a Death's-Head Moth fluttered by and landed on a colorful spool of thread, she perceived two obvious clues linking "Jack Gordon" to the serial killer.
After a tense face-off in a darkened cellar, she shot him dead at point-blank range (after hearing him cock his gun and determining his location), thus saving the kidnapped Senator's daughter Catherine from being skinned.
The real climax of the film came after Clarice graduated from the FBI Academy. She received a long distance phone call from Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) at-large, disguised and calling from a phone at an open-air cafe at a tropical airport terminal (in the Bahamas?). He assured her that he wouldn't pursue her: "I have no plans to call on you, Clarice. The world's more interesting with you in it. Say, you take care now to extend me the same courtesy." Lecter ended their short phone call with a famous farewell line: "I do wish we could chat longer, but I'm having an old friend for dinner. Bye."
Lecter noticed that his arch-nemesis, the despicable Dr. Frederick Chilton (Anthony Heald) was deplaning. Lecter put on a Panama hat and slowly walked into the crowded, narrow street of the Caribbean village and disappeared.
The Japanese Letter to the Unfaithful French Silk-Trader Was Written by His Long-Suffering, Dead Wife Helene
Canadian director Francois Girard's visually-lush but sluggish 19th century period film was a tale of unrequited love, lust, and betrayal. The tone of the film was set by its opening - a sensual scene of a Japanese female bathing in a hot steamy outdoor bath surrounded by snow (shown in more revealing fashion later in the film).
The entire film, a flashback, was told by remorseful widower Herve Joncour (Michael Pitt), a young silk trader in 1862 France, to his young gardener Ludovic (Mark Rendall), regarding the "real story" of his life with his wronged and long-suffering, childless wife Helene (Keira Knightley) - the film's story.
After a second arduous journey to a remote Japanese village to purchase healthy, uncontaminated silkworm eggs, he again saw the mesmerizing mistress (Sei Ashina) of the local Japanese warlord Hara Jubei (Koji Yakusho) who had elaborately and gracefully prepared tea for him during his first visit. This time she bathed him, slipped him a note written in Japanese, and offered a second concubine-servant for a night of adulterous, wordless passion. The next morning, he had a brief glimpse of her bathing naked in the outdoor hot springs and dipping under the water, but he never saw her again.
Upon his return to long-suffering, loving and understanding Helene, he guiltily vowed to himself: "I wanted to tell her everything" but never did ("and it tore me apart"). His life became obsessed with returning to Japan another time, especially after having the note translated by Lyon brothel owner Madame Blanche (Miki Nakatani): "Come back, or I shall die." His third trip was befouled by political chaos in Japan, and the death of silk worms he had purchased.
Later that winter after he had returned home, he received a long letter in Japanese - again translated by Madame Blanche for him. The letter, in part, told him that he would never see the mysterious Japanese woman again:
The Madame left a small blue flower on the letter, similar to a bouquet of flowers left by her on the grave of Helene after she weakened and died in 1875. He tracked the Madame down in Paris, who disclosed in the film's twist, that it was Helene who had written the long letter and had it copied out in Japanese script. According to the Madame, after Helene had unforgettably read the letter outloud, "...more than anything, she wanted to be that woman." Herve responded: "She was that woman."
The film concluded with Helene's voice-over, reading most of the contents of the letter - she had prophetically declared that she and her husband would always be together, even after she died:
Single White Female (1992)
Homicidal and Psychotic Roommate Hedy (Who Killed Both Sam and Mitch) Was Actually Ellen Besch Who Had Survived Her Twin Sister's Drowning Death But Remained Guilt-Ridden; Allie Stabbed Hedy to Death
Barbet Schroeder's edgy psycho-erotic thriller told about the ensuing problems brought on by a psychotically-compulsive, disturbed and menacing roommate (a 'single white female') with a very dark side beneath her heart-of-gold exterior. [Note: The lesser, more recent film The Roommate (2011) was a duplicate that shared many plot points with this film.] The film opened with two unidentified twin girls in a bathroom applying makeup together - a foreshadowing of one of the film's characters.
NYC software designer and sophisticated career woman Allison "Allie" Jones (Bridget Fonda), living in a cavernous Victorian apartment in the West 70s, was happily engaged to be married to live-in boyfriend Sam Rawson (Steven Weber), but in the opening scene at 4 am, she discovered through a phone call by his ex-wife Lisa that Sam had been unfaithful. Their argument as they broke up was overheard through the iron floor grille air vent by Allison's sympathetic upstairs gay neighbor-friend Graham Knox (Peter Friedman).
To cover the costs of rent and not wanting to live alone, she advertised for a SWF in the newspaper to share her apartment, and after a series of personal interviews with candidate prospects, chose shy, timid, eager-to-please, unfashionable bookstore clerk Hedra "Hedy" Carlson (Jennifer Jason Leigh), assuring her that her break-up with her boyfriend was permanent ("Well, nothing's gonna change, Hedy"). After only two weeks together as roommates, the two had bonded and Hedra expressed her emulation of Allie when she told her: "Anything of mine that you want, just go ahead. Share and share alike." She then revealed: "I was supposed to be a twin, but she was stillborn...I grew up feeling a part of me was missing." Allison resisted Sam's persistent efforts to contact her and restore their relationship. Fearing the inevitability of a reconciliation, Hedra secretly erased Sam's pleading phone message for a second chance and intercepted a letter, and bought a puppy dog named Buddy to deepen their female friendship.
Allison reestablished her relationship with Sam, and had overnight sex with him in his Hotel Davenport room. When Allison returned to her apartment over 24 hours later, Hedy ominously confronted her in her bedroom: "Where the hell have you been?" Now that Allison had "patched things up" with Sam, Hedy rightfully feared being evicted soon ("You'll be very happy and I'll be alone"), and commiserated about how she was in a "different league" and would never find a boyfriend.
A series of strange incidents began to occur:
Hedy demonstrated the lengths she would go to insinuate herself, steal (or control) the life of someone else and become nearly identical.
Now suspicious, Allie snooped in Hedy's closet, finding a shoebox with clues about Hedy's real identity: letters addressed to Tampa, Florida to an Ellen Besch, Hedy's actual name. A newspaper article stated that her 9 year-old twin Judy Besch had drowned at a family picnic and the "circumstances surrounding her death remain unclear." An intercepted letter that Sam had claimed he sent to Allie was also in the shoebox. Allie followed Hedy as she went to a nightclub and saw her chatting with a guy named Jim, similar in appearance to Sam, with Hedy claiming she was Allie's 'sister': "Jim, you look like my sister's boyfriend."
That evening, a distraught Allie spoke to Graham upstairs about her concerns, overhead by Hedy through the vent, who advised that Hedy move out immediately ("She's a lunatic, Allie. She's got to go. Do it tonight"). Shortly after, Hedy who had snuck into Graham's apartment, knocked him unconscious. When Allie demanded that Hedy had to leave, Hedy vowed: "It's me, isn't it? I'll change Allie. I can change." And then she predicted that Sam would again be unfaithful: "He will cheat on you again. That's a promise." Then she lashed out at Allie for going back to Sam: "You're so f--kin' weak."
To insure her promise that Sam would be unfaithful, Hedy (looking exactly like Allie) even went to Sam's Hotel Atherton room when he returned late that night from a trip and had fallen asleep and coquettishly seduced him under the covers with oral sex. She told him: "I knew it...I told her. Guys like you don't change. You can't be faithful....I think she should know that." He lashed out at her, calling her "too needy," "always clingy," "constantly in her face" - declaring her "nuts." She then vengefully murdered him with the spiked stiletto heel of a shoe thrust into his eye, when he threatened to confess to Allie.
Hedy hurriedly prepared to move out, obsessively cleaning her sub-let room (and erasing all evidence of her presence), before the murder was detected. Allie heard news of the murder on the morning news show, and suspected Hedy, who when confronted changed the scenario: "He came in my mouth and then tried to beat the s--t out of me because I wanted to tell you. You know, it was an accident. But, he deserved it." She intended to frame the murder on Allie, and escape undetected as Hedy ("No one's seen her. She's not on the lease. There's not even a fingerprint of hers here"). Hedy held Allie bound as a hostage in Graham's upstairs apartment and came close to slitting her throat. She revealed that another incident with a similar woman in Tampa ended badly, when another female exposed Hedy's "secrets" to put her away. Allie pretended to want to be with Hedy, and planned to book a flight to LA with her. Meanwhile, Allie's flustered client Mitch came looking for her (when his computer programs self-erased due to non-payment), and when he attempted to free Allie, was bludgeoned and then shot to death by the unhinged Hedy.
The film concluded with a brutal catfight between Allie and Hedy that began in Graham's apartment, continued in the elevator, and ended in the basement of the building, where Allie stabbed Hedy to death in the back with a screwdriver. In the aftermath, Allie told (in voice-over) how Hedy's parents said that their young daughter never forgave herself for surviving her sister's death. The last image was a composite-split view of the photographed face of Allie & Hedy, with Allie's voice-over:
There Was No Psychotic, Siamese Twin Sister Named Dominique; Danielle Was the Killer
In this Brian De Palma Hitchcock-like suspense horror thriller with a Bernard Herrmann score, it was revealed that the dual, once-conjoined Siamese twin characters were one and the same:
Dominique had died on the operating table during the separation-operation, so there was no Dominique, even though a red herring scene of Danielle arguing with her sister was inserted to be misleading!
Other plot elements: a huge scar was left on the body of Danielle after the operation, and there was a surreal link-transference established between snoopy journalist/murder witness Grace Collier (Jennifer Salt) and Danielle.
The 6th Day (2000) (aka The Sixth Day)
There Were Two Adam Gibsons (The Original and a Clone) - The Original Adam Was a Clone, and His Clone Was the Real Human Adam
This science-fiction action thriller set in the very near future was titled "The 6th Day." The film title referred to a verse in the Book of Genesis, where it was stated that complete DNA cloning of humans was restricted, and a violation of God's law ("God created humankind in his image...the sixth day").
Arnold Schwarzenegger starred as married family man and charter helicopter pilot Adam Gibson. At first, he began to question his society's cloning practices in the year 2015, which allowed for human organs, food cloning (meat, fish, fruits, and vegetables) and pet cloning (Adam's own dog Oliver was cloned through Re-Pet).
After he luckily survived a transport trip to a ski resort (he had switched piloting with his business partner Hank Morgan (Michael Rapaport)) in which everyone was killed by a laser gun-armed skier, he discovered at his own surprise birthday party that he had been illegally and mistakenly cloned against his will. He found that he had a scientifically-created human imposter-doppelganger, and that he must be murdered in turn, to cover up and keep secret the illegal human cloning operation. He was pursued by security agents (near indestructible cloned thugs) from the Replacement Technologies cloning center, set up by scientifically-cloned, multi-billionaire genetic engineering tycoon Michael Drucker (Tony Goldwyn).
In the slightly ambiguous film (in which one continually asked: "Who was the real Adam?") and twist conclusion, it was revealed that Adam was the actual clone, and that his clone was the real Adam. The two Adams worked together to destroy their mutual enemies - the Replacement Technologies cloning center and Drucker.
The cloned Adam said goodbye to the real Adam as he left to set up another helicopter service in Patagonia, Argentina.
The Sixth Sense (1999)
In the Film's Prologue, The Shooting of Child Psychologist Malcolm Crowe Was Fatal; He Became the 'Ghostly' Therapist - Seen as One of the "Dead People" by Troubled and Haunted Young Patient Cole
In this classic 'twist' ending supernatural drama from the master of unexpected plot twists director M. Night Shyamalan, it was revealed that child psychologist Dr. Malcolm Crowe (Bruce Willis) never did survive the lethal gun-shot wound in the stomach by angry suicidal ex-patient Vincent Grey (Donnie Wahlberg) in the prologue.
Crowe eventually discovered that he was a 'ghost' - one of the "dead people" seen by troubled and disturbed 8-year old clairvoyant patient Cole Sear (Haley Joel Osment). One of the most subtle clues of the whole film was that the color red was prominent whenever the worlds of the living and the dead came together.
In the revelation scene, he returned home to find his mourning wife Anna (Olivia Williams) watching their videotaped wedding on TV. With her eyes closed, she was asking questions, such as: "Why, Malcolm?...Why did you leave me?" She was clutching the wedding ring that used to be on his hand. After it rolled noisily in a circle across the parquet-wood floor, he held his own left hand up, realizing that he was not wearing his wedding ring. He heard patient Cole speaking to him about seeing 'dead people' all the time:
He staggered from the room, suddenly discovering that he was dead, and that the wound from the gunshot was lethal (the prologue was replayed, with additional footage). Realizing that he must let go, Malcolm told sleeping Anna on the couch: "I think I can go now. I just needed to do a couple things. I needed to help someone. I think I did. And I needed to tell you something. You were never second. Ever. I love you. You sleep now. Everything will be different in the morning." In her sleep, she answered and smiled: "Good night, Malcolm." He replied: "Good night, sweetheart." The film ended with a brief image from their wedding tape.
[An additional plot point: In an earlier scene at the funeral reception when the ghostly young girl Kyra Collins' (Mischa Barton) videotape was played, it was revealed that the dead girl was slowly poisoned by her own mother.]
The Skeleton Key (2005)
Caroline Cared for Elderly, Ailing Ben for His Wife Violet - Discovering Evidence in the Attic of a Sinister Voodoo Cult; The Previous Servants (the Justifys) Had Survived Many Years Through Soul Transference; Violet Was Possessed by Mama Cecile Justify; Luke Was Already Possessed by Papa Justify; Caroline Was Hired So She Could Become the New Body for Mama Cecile After Her Soul was Trapped in Violet's Aging Body
This creepy, gothic ghost house tale told about strong-minded, pretty 25 year-old blonde Caroline Ellis (Kate Hudson) from New Jersey, who was hired by family estate lawyer Luke Marshall (Peter Sarsgaard) for $1,000 per week to act as a hospice nurse. Her New Orleans-area employer was matriarch Violet Devereaux (Gena Rowlands), who lived in an old Louisiana plantation in the swampy bayous, where Caroline was paid to take care of Violet's elderly comatose, bed-ridden husband Ben (John Hurt) who was haunted by ghosts from the past, and suffered a near-fatal stroke in the attic. The house had no mirrors, and there were suspicious red-brick dust lines in front of doors ("Nobody that means you harm can cross it. It's how you tell who your enemies are").
Caroline's possession of a 'skeleton key' allowed her access to the entire house, including the attic (where she found, behind a second hidden and locked attic door, records (Papa Justify's Conjure of Sacrifice, dated 1920), potion jars, books, dolls, recipes/spells, and other instruments for practicing black witchcraft). According to the haunted house legend (seen in flashback), two "colored" house servants (husband Papa Justify (Ronald McCall) and wife Mama Cecile (Jeryl Prescott Sales)) from the 1920s had been lynched and burned to death. They were found teaching Hoodoo ("American folk magic") to the children (Martin (Forrest Landis) and Grace (Jamie Lee Redmon)) of the plantation owners, the Thorpes. Caroline suspected that Violet had put an evil spell on Ben.
In one of the supernatural film's twisting reveals, she found that Luke was helping Violet. To protect herself, Caroline spread red-brick dust in front of doors, and set up a protective candle-lit circle around herself but it wasn't enough to prevent Mama Cecile's spirit from being transferred into her body (through a mirror image). Luke's body was already possessed by Papa Justify's spirit (the spirit that was originally possessing the body of Ben).
The film ended with Luke's and Caroline's souls transferred into the bodies of the Devereaux couple (both incapacitated and mute stroke victims) as they were taken away in an ambulance, while the two house servants were revitalized within their young bodies and remaining in the house, now entrusted to "Caroline."
[Note: when Papa's and Mama's bodies were lynched in the 1920s, their spirits had already been transferred out into the bodies of young children Martin and Grace, and when they grew older by the 1960s, the pair did another transfer into the bodies of Ben and Violet, and now forty years later, another transfer into the bodies of Luke and Caroline.]
Sleepaway Camp (1983)
'Angela' Was the Killer - She Had Assumed the Identity of Her Brother Peter
The surprise ending in this slasher/splatter horror film was that the murderer was shy and withdrawn 14 year-old Angela Baker (Felissa Rose). Angela was revealed in a transgendered identity switch to actually be her brother Peter.
The film opened with a boating accident 8 years earlier in 1975, when young Angela's (Colette Lee Corcoran) brother Peter (Frank Sorrentino) and their father John (Dan Tursi) (with a gay lover named Lenny (James Paradise)) were 'killed.'
In truth, Peter was the one who survived, and took over his sister Angela's identity. Peter was raised as a girl by eccentric and psychotic Aunt Martha Thomas (Desiree Gould), who had a son named "Ricky" (Jonathan Tiersten):
When the film returned to the present time at the summer sleepaway camp named Camp Arawak, introverted camper Angela-Peter was continually bullied by other campers, who soon after suffered vengeful accidental injuries (and many deaths). The camp cook Artie (Owen Hughes) was scalded, tormentor Kenny (John E. Dunn) was drowned, Billy (Loris Sallahain) died, camp counselor Meg (Katherine Kamhi) was stabbed to death in the shower, camper Judy (Karen Fields) was killed with a hot curling iron, and camp director Mel Costic (Mike Kellin) was shot and killed by an arrow in the throat.
As the killings intensified (with four more young childrens' deaths) before the film reached its conclusion, the final scene's shocking image was of Angela-Peter seen naked, sitting on a beach (in a long shot) with a bloody knife and the decapitated-severed head of camper Paul (Christopher Collet) in her/his lap. After Angela-Peter stood up, the head rolled over at his feet (with others reacting: "How can it be?...My god, she's a boy!" when she revealed her penis) - while Peter made a loud, open-mouthed hissing noise as the film faded to black.
This cult film was made two more times in sequels: Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers (1988), and Sleepaway Camp III: Teenage Wasteland (1989).
Writer Jack Landford Was the Killer of Murder Victims in the Apartment Building (Named Sliver)
This erotic psychological thriller with a love triangle had a muddled and disjointed plot, especially its hastily-altered ending and the identity of the killer. It was due to a last-minute Joe Eszterhas rewrite and reshoot demanded by the studio. In the original script, Zeke, the most obvious suspect, was the killer, so the rewrite that concluded with a different killer made some earlier portions of the film seem inconsistent and unlikely.
Sharon Stone starred as recent divorcee and New York publishing house book editor Carly Norris in a non-femme fatale role. She was introduced to a world of kinky and seamy thrills by the voyeuristic building owner and game designer Zeke Hawkins (William Baldwin) of her upscale Manhattan high-rise East Side apartment building named Sliver. She and all the other tenants were secretly and voyeuristically watched and recorded in Zeke's control room of banks of TV monitors - he had even recorded himself making love to Carly.
In the film's conclusion, it was revealed that sleazy writer Jack Landford (Tom Berenger), another apartment resident, was the killer who had thrown Carly's previous 33 year-old apartment tenant Naomi Singer (Allison Mackie) from her 20th floor apartment balcony. Carly discovered an incriminating videotape - one of Zeke's many surveillance tapes, and as it played in the video room, Jack's face was clearly seen at the scene of the killing. Angered by his sleazy hobby, she blasted most of the monitors with a gun, and then told Zeke with the film's final line: "Get a life" as she killed the power on the remaining monitors.
Evidence from videotapes also showed that sexually-exploitative Zeke had recorded himself having sex with both of the complex's murder victims before their deaths, Naomi and British neighbor Vida (Polly Walker), but he wasn't their killer. However, he knew of the murders, but because he didn't wish to divulge the existence of his complex surveillance system, he didn't report them.
Greatest Movie Plot Twists, Spoilers and Surprise Endings
(alphabetical by film title)
Intro | A1 | A2 | B1 | B2 | B3 | B4 | B5 | C1 | C2 | C3 | D1 | D2 | D3 | E1 | E2 | F1 | F2 | G | H1 | H2 | H3 | I | J-K | L1 | L2
M1 | M2 | M3 | M4 | M5 | N | O | P1 | P2 | Q-R1 | R2 | S1 | S2 | S3 | S4 | S5 | S6 | T1 | T2 | T3 | U-V | W1 | W2 | W3 | X-Z