Greatest Film Plot Twists
Film Spoilers and
Surprise Endings


Written by Tim Dirks

Greatest Movie Plot Twists, Spoilers and Surprise Endings
Title Screen
Film Title/Year and Plot Twist-Spoiler-Surprise Ending Description

The Game (1997)

The Birthday Gift was a 'Game' - A Unique Life Experience That Was Life-Threatening, Turned Elite Wealthy Investment Banker Nicholas Van Orton's World Upside-Down; It Was a Gift Given By His Younger Brother Conrad, To Make Nicholas' Life More Intriguing and to Prevent Him From Repeating His Father's Suicidal Fate

Director David Fincher's psychological thriller, his third feature film, was an account of the long 'journey' of its main character:

  • Nicholas "Nickie" Van Orton (Michael Douglas)

Nickie was a wealthy, cold-hearted, analytical, privileged and soulless, workaholic, "control-freak" San Francisco investment banker executive, divorced from his wife Elizabeth (Anna Katarina) who was living in Sausalito with her new doctor husband.

Nicholas was presented with a 48th year birthday gift - marking the same age that his similar Scrooge-like father had died from suicide, by jumping off the roof of their home onto the driveway (seen in scratchy Super-8 footage, a flashback).

The gift was delivered during lunch with:

  • Conrad (or "Connie") (Sean Penn), Nickie's estranged, rebellious, free-spirited younger brother

It was a gift certificate to Consumer Recreation Services (CRS), a game voucher for a unique, customized 'game' experience of a lifetime. Conrad mused to himself: "What do you get for the man who has everything?" He promised his brother:

"They make your life fun...It's an entertainment service. A profound life experience...I think you'll like this. I did. It was the best thing that ever happened to me."

Van Orton promised that he would contact CRS, though added: "I hate surprises." He ventured to the 14th floor of the high-rise building on Montgomery Street in SF, to enter CRS' secretive offices, where he was greeted by Jim Feingold (James Rebhorn), VP of Engineering and Data Analysis. He was told he had contracted for an intriguing game -

"Specifically tailored for each participant. Think of it as a great vacation - except you don't go to it, it comes to you...It's different every time...We provide whatever's lacking...You don't have to decide today. Take the silly tests, fill out the stupid forms. One day, your game begins. You either love it or hate it. Decide then. You know, we're like an experiential book-of-the-month club. You can drop out at any time with no further obligation. That was my sales pitch."

Van Orton was instructed to endlessly fill out psychological tests (including the MMPI), application forms, and submit to "cursory" physical examinations required at CRS. An ex-participant of the "game" experience told him he should reference John, Chapter 9, Verse 25 to know what it was all about: "Whereas once I was blind, now I can see." He was notified later that his application had been rejected. He didn't know that he had already started to play the increasingly-elaborate "game."

When he drove to his SF home-mansion (actually Filoli in Woodside, CA) that night, Van Orton discovered a life-sized wooden harlequin clown or doll lying in his driveway (in the same position his father had died). At the end of its long cloth tongue was a key marked CRS. Daniel Schorr (Himself), the anchor on the evening news, talked to him through the TV set and called him "a bloated millionaire fat-cat." And little things began to aggravate him - a leaky pen in his shirt pocket, a jammed lock on his briefcase, and a messy collision with a waitress named Christine (Deborah Kara Unger) - who was subsequently fired.

At first, he thought the incidents were only a series of "elaborate pranks." However, the ultimate object and purpose of the game became a life/death threatening proposition. The 'game' was composed of an unpredictable series of increasingly life-changing events, causing him to paranoically ask: "Is it real or not?" He wondered: "I'm being toyed with by a bunch of depraved children."

Along the way, he met up with his brother who exclaimed about CRS: "They just f--k you, and they f--k you, and they f--k you. Then, just when you think it's all over, that's when the real f--king starts."

  • He rode in the back of an ambulance to the hospital with a stroke patient; the electricity went out, and Christine and Van Orton were trapped in an elevator
  • He was pursued by CRS armed security forces and attack dogs
  • He jumped from a fire-escape into a dumpster
  • At the Hotel Nikko, he was astonished to find he had been a guest who had spent over $2,000 for one night in the Presidential suite; there, he found sexy Polaroid pictures of himself with Christine, and evidence of snorting cocaine, while a porno videotape played in the background
  • He was trailed by a private investigator (with a loaded gun) through SF's streets
  • His house was broken into and vandalized; a blacklight revealed the interior had been painted with graffiti, psychedelic designs, colors, and messages: "Welcome Home," and "Don't Cry, Pretty Boy" as Jefferson Airplane's White Rabbit song played
  • A ride home in a runaway taxi landed him in SF Bay, and he barely escaped from drowning
  • The 14th floor headquarters of CRS was now discovered to be unrented and vacant
  • While Van Orton was visiting, Christine's home was assaulted with gunfire by CRS (Cable Repair Specialists), and they escaped in his car; he learned that she was a CRS employee and the home was staged
  • Van Orton's Swiss bank account had been drained of $600 million, and he feared that his lawyer had duped him and was "in on it"; he was left broke
  • Christine drugged him into unconsciousness; afterwards, he was kidnapped, and found himself buried alive in a coffin-crypt in a Mexico cemetery (from which he escaped); he was reduced to begging in a foreign country, with no money, identification, or passport; he sold his gold watch to pay for transportation

When he returned to the US, he found his house foreclosed. He took some hidden money and the book "To Kill a Mockingbird" that was concealing a weapon. He confronted Feingold at the SF Zoo, who was revealed to be a TV actor named Lionel Fisher, who then confessed: "They (CRS) own the whole building. They just move from floor to floor." Van Orton, calling himself "extremely dangerous," forced Fisher to take him to CRS, believing it was a covert operation out to destroy him ("I'm pulling back the curtain. I want to meet the wizard").

After he took Christine hostage, guards opened fire on them and they retreated to the roof. She told him that everything was a hoax, but he didn't believe her:

"This is all a game...There was always a safety net...That's what you hired us for."

He shot his white tuxedo-wearing brother Conrad dead as he approached with a champagne bottle from behind the other side of a door. Devastated, Van Orton suicidally jumped off the multi-story building to his death (!). He crashed through two sets of skylight glass and onto a giant air-filled bag-mattress with an 'X' target in the middle.

After the fall and the breakaway glass was cleared, he opened his eyes and realized that he was experiencing the start of his own birthday party thrown by his living brother Conrad. A grand ballroom was filled with guests, applauding him and celebrating his special day - on the 20th of October. Conrad was holding up a T-shirt: "I WAS DRUGGED AND LEFT FOR DEAD IN MEXICO - AND ALL I GOT WAS THIS STUPID T-SHIRT." Van Orton spoke briefly with his ex-wife, and greeted others, and then split the expensive bill for the experience with Conrad.

Outside, Christine was getting in a taxi on her way to her next Game (or "gig") assignment in Australia (with a small "walk-on" role). After she revealed her real name was Claire ("You don't know anything about me"), Nicholas invited her to dinner. She counter-invited him to join her for coffee at the airport - the film's final line: "Would you like to have a coffee with me at the airport?"

Nicholas Van Orton (Michael Douglas)

Conrad (or "Connie") (Sean Penn)

Birthday Gift For Brother Nickie


Harlequin Clown Doll in Driveway

Christine (Deborah Kara Unger)

Polaroid Pictures

Broken Down


Nicholas Shot His Brother

Suicidal Jump Into Target

Brother Was Alive

Birthday Party

Christine's Invitation

The General's Daughter (1999)

Vengeful, Sexually-Traumatized, and Promiscuous General's Daughter Elisabeth Campbell Permitted Herself to be Tied Up So That Her Respected, Retiring Father Would Be Forced to Deal With Her Covered-Up West Point Rape 7 Years Earlier; He Refused; Colonel Kent Was the Murderer (Via Strangulation) of The General's Daughter And Afterwards Committed Suicide

Director Simon West's often-offensive, misogynistic psychological military thriller was based on the 1992 novel by Nelson DeMille. It told about a sexual murderous assault (and its scandalous corrupt and "lunatic" underworld within a military base).

The film began by introducing its two main military characters - family members:

  • Lieutenant General "Fightin'" Joe Campbell (James Cromwell), a respected three-star military officer at Fort MacCallum, Georgia, who was soon to retire within a week and become a VP nominee
  • Captain Elisabeth "Lizzie" Campbell (Leslie Stefanson), his daughter, a pretty, blue-eyed, blonde-haired , a West Point graduate, and a specialist-teacher at 5th Psychological Operations (she described it thusly: "Mostly we f--k with people's minds")

At the Army base outside Savannah, Georgia, Elisabeth was soon found murdered. She was staked down with tent pegs and ropes, spread-eagled, mock-raped (there was no semen found and after tests, no sign of rape), and strangled in the middle of a training compound field for urban warfare training.

The case was investigated by two undercover warrant officers (from the US Army's Criminal Investigation Command or CID) who had a romantic history together:

  • Chief Warrant Officer Four Paul Brenner (John Travolta), at first aka First Sgt. Frank White, from Virginia; a Vietnam War veteran who was in town to arrest Belling (Peter Weireter) for illegal arms trading
  • Sarah Sunhill (Madeleine Stowe), Brenner's ex-wife, a rape counselor and specialist

During the initial investigation, Brenner met with the base's Provost Marshal Colonel William Kent (Timothy Hutton) and the general's overprotective adjutant Colonel George Fowler (Clarence Williams III). Brenner curtly summarized the motives for murder to Sunhill:

"Possible motives for murder are profit, revenge, jealousy, to conceal a crime, to avoid humiliation and disgrace, or plain old homicidal mania. Right there in the manual."

The CID officers had 36 hours to investigate before the FBI entered the case with a task force, when the media would make the death "a goddamn circus." Brenner was cautioned by Fowler to do things "the Army way" - not "the right way or the wrong way." Soon, secrets about the daughter's dark sexual past were revealed. A hidden room behind a false wall with a sliding door in her basement was found complete with a bed, condoms on a table, bondage paraphernalia (handcuffs, harnesses, a belt with a dildo on it, etc...) as well as a camera and videotapes. As Brenner left the room, he was attacked by an unidentified masked man who stole the bag of videotapes.

At the murder site, Sarah astutely examined the evidence. Strangely, there were no signs of a struggle, although there were tear marks on Elisabeth's cheek. Panties placed under the rope tied around her neck were there to presumably prevent rope-burn ("What's a little rope burn if you're going to kill somebody?"). Either more than one person was the killer/rapist, or she had been compiant with her killer(s)-rapist(s). Her clothes and dog-tag were found stashed in a plastic bag on a nearby rooftop. Headlights were seen at the scene the night of the murder at 3:00 am, 3:30 am, and again at 4:00 am.

Elisabeth's mentor and commanding officer Colonel Robert Moore (James Woods) was arrested on suspicion of murder (or accessory to murder) - with his fingerprints found on Elisabeth's dog-tag. Shortly later after being released under house arrest, he was found dead in his home - with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. It was assumed that his guilt caused him to apparently shoot himself - and the case appeared to be solved.

As the investigation proceeded, it was revealed that Elisabeth had been involved in flagrant S&M sexual activity with her father's officers and staff (many married) to embarrass her father ("The general's daughter banging his entire male staff"). She called it "psychological warfare, and that the enemy was daddy." Elisabeth was dating the Chief of Police's deputy son Wes Yardley (Chris Snyder), but only for outward show.

Seven years earlier, she had been gang-raped by six men as a West Point cadet (in her sophomore year) during a nighttime training exercise when she became separated from her group. Her rape was in the same manner she was found at the time of her death (held down with stakes in an isolated area) by men dressed in camouflage. [The gang-rape was committed by the 6 man recon squad led by Captain Bransford (Brad Beyer), who was fooled into confessing to the gang-rape.] She was hospitalized, and treated for venereal disease and pregnancy. However, this rape case was covered-up and kept confidential, when Gen. Sonnenberg (John Frankenheimer) convinced her Lt. General father to cooperate and protect his daughter:

"Better one unreported and unvindicated rape than to shake the foundations of West Point. To cast suspicion on a thousand soldiers who did not gang-rape a woman that night. All you have to do is convince your daughter that she, the academy, the Army, and the cause of equality would be best served if she just forgot about the whole thing."

In the hospital, the General had coerced and urged his daughter to forget the incident: "It never happened. None of this ever happened." When the General met with Brenner, he still believed that the rapists couldn't be caught, and that he had no other choice but to deny the rape. Brenner presented him with the list of 6 names - the men in Captain Bransford's squad, who had been arrested and faced 20 years in prison. Then Brenner described that sexually-traumatized Elisabeth had deliberately re-enacted or recreated the original rape incident from seven years earlier, just before her murder, to show her father first-hand what had been covered up:

"I think the whole recreation of the rape was Elisabeth's idea. God knows why she did it. Perhaps because you were going into politics, she thought this was her last chance. But I think she got Moore to put her in exactly the same position that the rapists did seven years ago."

It was revealed, in flashback, what had occurred. She had herself tied up at 3:00 am, aided by Col. Moore -- to force her father to deal with her earlier rape. Her father had given her an ultimatum - either resign her commission, or agree to undergo therapy. When she refused both options, he threatened to draw up charges of misconduct and present her for a general court-martial. Campbell strode onto the site at 3:30 am where Elisabeth was spread-eagled. She provoked him: "Do you see what they did to me?...I want to hear you say it happened." She called him a coward for covering-up and denying her rape. After betraying her and telling her: "I don't give a damn what happened to you 7 years ago," he walked away. As an aside, Colonel Fowler had wrongly thought all along that the General had killed his own daughter.

Afterwards, Kent met with Brenner and Sunhill on a training site, where she hypothesized: "I think this was a woman giving it out all over the post, and the one man who cared about her, the one who's willing to risk it all for her, is the person she doesn't want. And that's because she couldn't want anybody." Kent confessed to what had happened: "She owned my heart. She tormented me. She became my obsession. So I followed her and found her out there on the range, on display." When Kent came up to her after she had been rejected by her father, she threatened him - and was strangled to death by the spurned soldier:

"This time I won't be quiet. This time I'm gonna tell everything. About him. About you. I'm gonna tell your wife. I'm gonna tell your kids....You repulse me. You're a disgrace. You're not a soldier. You're not even a man. You're just a f--k. I f--ked you."

To avoid capture by Brenner, Kent suicidally killed himself by stepping on a "bouncing betty" mine that he had planted in the surrounding mine-field training site.

In the conclusion, Brenner reprimanded General Campbell, who still claimed he had done nothing wrong: "Nothing is gained by my involvement." He was planning on further covering-up his participation in the entire incident. Brenner was steadfast as he confronted the General:

"You really don't get it, do you? The only mind Elisabeth wanted to f--k with was yours. And you still don't get it....You killed her...7 years ago in that hospital room when you told her to just forget about it, you killed her....Kent just put her out of her misery. I once asked Moore what was worse than rape. Now I know. Betrayal...You traded her trust for your career. You made a deal, didn't you? You kept silent, and they gave you another star...I'm gonna say that in my report. That you knew she was out there, that you went out and talked to her and left her there to die....I'm gonna have you court-martialed, General, under Article 32 for conspiracy to conceal a crime. When this all started, I told you that we would find the son of a bitch, sir. I never expected that the son of a bitch would be you."

The General was court-martialed and found guilty for failing to report and concealing the West Point gang-rape. He subsequently withdrew from public life. The film's ending title: "Today, nearly 200,000 women serve on active duty in the military services."

Captain Elisabeth "Lizzie" Campbell (Leslie Stefanson)

Lieutenant General Joe Campbell (James Cromwell)

Sexual Assault and Murder of Elisabeth

Investigators: Sarah Sunhill and Paul Brenner

Elisabeth's Kinky Sexual Past

Colonel William Kent (Timothy Hutton)

Suicide of Colonel Robert Moore (James Woods)

Replay of Earlier Rape

Strangled to Death

Guilty Kent's Suicidal Death

Brenner with Court-martialed General Campbell

Get Carter (1971, UK)

After Seeking Revenge For His Brother's Murder, Carter Was Killed by Sniper Fire on a Beach

In the depressing and bleak ending of this thriller, ruthless London-based hitman/protagonist Jack Carter (Michael Caine) sought revenge for the murder of his brother Frank Carter, who was killed by underworld gangsters because he knew that his teenaged daughter Doreen (Petra Markham) was illegally involved in pornography.

Jack brutally dealt with Eric Paice (Ian Hendry), the last of the killers, on the beach. He forced him to drink a bottle of alcohol, butted Eric's skull with a shotgun, and dumped his body in the sea.

As he was walking along the deserted, blackened beach, he was whistling and relieved that his killing days appeared over. He was contemplating ending a life of brutality and violence (by throwing his shotgun into the water and moving abroad). But then he was shockingly and depressingly assassinated by a single shot in the forehead from sniper fire - from a man named "J" (identified from his signet ring near the trigger, in close-up).

The waves lapped around his corpse near the surf line, as the sniper packed up his killing gear and walked off.

Carter's Brutal Murder of Eric Paice

Sniper Fire

Carter Assassinated

Get Out (2017)

In a Wide-Reaching Conspiracy, Rose Armitage Was Luring Blacks That She Dated to Her Family's Estate, Where a Cultish Order of the Coagula Brainwashed the Kidnapped Individuals-Victims (Through Hypnotherapy), and Then Surgically Transplanted the Brains of Wealthy, Elderly White Relatives or Friends into the Physically-Fit, Superior and Younger Bodies of the Blacks; It was a Racist Method of Life Extension Through Brain Transplants; Her Most Recent 'Recruit' Was Her Boyfriend Chris

Writer/director Jordan Peele's directorial debut film, a low-budget ($4.5 million), R-rated horror-comedy titled Get Out was wildly successful ($176 million domestic revenue, and $252.4 million worldwide), due to its timely subjects of prejudice and systemic racism. From its four Academy Award nominations, the social satire won the Best Original Screenplay Oscar for its script, resembling in part The Stepford Wives (1975). Ultimately, it was the most profitable film of 2017 - with a whopping 630% return on investment.

In the film's opening (after a brief pre-title credits prologue), talented 26 year-old African-American photographer Chris Washington (British actor Daniel Kaluuya) was driving to the upstate NY countryside with his white girlfriend Rose Armitage (Allison Williams) of five months. Rose had assured him that although he was the only black guy she had ever dated, her parents would be welcoming. He arrived at the plantation-styled estate to meet her supposedly-progressive, non-racist, liberal parents during a weekend getaway:

  • Missy (Catherine Keener), a steely-eyed matriarch and hypnotherapist
  • Dean (Bradley Whitford), an affable neurosurgeon doctor

There, he met two odd black servants who acted stiff, catatonic, compliant and unnatural: maid-housekeeper Georgina (Betty Gabriel) and groundskeeper Walter (Marcus Henderson), and also encountered Rose's drunken, spoiled and violent, racist son Jeremy (Caleb Landry Jones).

Georgina - Housekeeper Servant
Jeremy - Rose's Brother

A strange foreshadowing was mentioned by Dean when he defended having black servants: "We hired Georgina and Walter to help care for my parents" - literally, they WERE his parents!

During Chris' visit, he was subjected to Missy's hypnotherapy to help him stop his nicotine addiction to smoking in a session to cure him. In an induced trance (caused by her teacup stirring), he became paralyzed in his chair when he described his guilt feelings and self-blame about a hit-and-run accident in his childhood (when he was 11 years old) that killed his mother. He had not done anything and had not called 911, but sat immobile in front of the television. Suddenly, Chris' consciousness left his body as he descended into blackness and screamed (in silence), and he floated paralyzed in the dark void that Missy called the "sunken place."

[Note: It was also a visual representation of his every-day reality, living as a marginalized, powerless individual.]

Chris' Hypnotherapy Session with Missy - The "Sunken Place"
(Catherine Keener)
Eerie Tea-Cup Stirring During Hypnotherapy
Chris- Under Hypnosis
Chris - Descending or Falling into "Sunken Place"

During the weekend, a group of privileged, wealthy white folks unexpectedly arrived (all in black vehicles) for an annual get-together. One of the couples (Alisa and Nelson) spoke to Chris and Rose - when Alisa inappropriately asked about their sex life: "So, is it true? Is it better?" Another gentleman made a second suspicious comment about how it was now fashionable to be black: "Fair skin has been in favor for the past what, couple of hundreds of years, but now the pendulum has swung back. Black is in fashion."

When Chris spoke to "another brother" at the party, he realized that the black man Logan King (LaKeith Stanfield) was acting stiff, vacant and distant, and was married to a much older white woman named Philomena (Geraldine Singer).

[Note: Logan was the same individual from the film's prologue, a Brooklyn native and jazz musician named Andre Hayworth, who was knocked unconscious at night on a dark suburban street in Evergreen Hollow by someone wearing a knight's helmet, and stuffed into a car trunk.]

Chris also spoke to a noted blind art gallery owner Jim Hudson (Stephen Root) of Hudson Galleries. Chris phoned his buddy Rod Williams (Lil Rel Howery), a TSA agent at the local airport, and told him his concerns:

  • "They haven't met a black person that doesn't work for them."
  • "I got hypnotized last night."
  • "Yo, and the black people out here too. It seems like they all missed the movement. It's because they probably hypnotized."

Rod warned: "They could of had you doing all types of stupid s--t. They could of had you barkin' like a dog, flyin' around like you're a f--kin' pigeon, lookin' ridiculous, OK. Or, I don't know if you know this. White people love makin' people sex slaves and s--t.... I think that Mom is puttin' everybody in a trance and she's f--kin' the s--t out of them."

In one of the film's increasingly strange and weird scenes, Georgina apologized profusely to Chris for accidentally unplugging his cellphone, and then uncharacteristically didn't recognize his use of the slang word 'snitch.' She asserted ("Don't you worry about that. I can assure you. I don't answer to anyone"). He responded by trying to relate to her racially: "All I know is sometimes, if there's too many white people I get nervous, you know?" But then she repetitively told him:

"No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no...."

Then, she made a most unusual statement: "The Armitages are so good to us. They treat us like family."

Feeling very spooked by the environment, especially when he was asked an embarrassing question: "Do you find that being African-American - more advantage or disadvantage in the modern world?", Chris tried to take an inconspicuous cellphone photo of Logan, who reacted to the flash with a nosebleed (excused later as an epileptic seizure) and screamed a raving-mad warning:

"Get out!...Get the f--k outta here!"

It was apparent that the camera flash also acted like a trigger, and Andre (who was hypnotically buried inside) was brought to the surface.

Shortly later, Rod phoned and told Chris that he recognized "Logan" as Andre "Dre" Hayworth, a missing person for six months who used to work at a movie theater. Chris explained: "He came to the party with a white woman like 30 years older than him." Rod again warned Chris: "Sex Slave. Chris, you've got to get the f--k up out of there, man. You are in some Eyes Wide Shut situation," before the phone went dead.

The Auction Sequence - For Chris!

Chris was fairly certain that he must leave the house, and happened to notice an outdoor silent auction (a modern day slave auction) being conducted by Dean with the party guests - he saw a giant framed picture of himself on the front stage. To bid, each audience member held up bingo cards - the winner of the expensive bidding was Jim Hudson.

Next, as Chris hurriedly packed to leave, he discovered photos in the cubbyhole-closet of Rose in prior relationships with black people (contradicting her claim that Chris was her first black boyfriend), including pictures of her with Andre, Walter and Georgina.

Rose's Suspicious Pictures
With Other Black Guys
With Andre
With Georgina and Walter

Chris attempted to immediately escape and frantically asked Rose for the car keys, but was confronted by her father Dean who asked a sinister question as he stared at the fireplace:

"What is your purpose, Chris?...In life. What is your purpose?...Fire. It is a reflection of our own mortality. We are born, we breathe and then we die....Even the sun will die someday. But we are divine. We are the gods trapped in cocoons."

Dean Armitage: "We are the gods trapped in cocoons."

Rose: Refusing to Hand Over Car Keys

Hypnotic Trigger: Clinking of Missy's Teacup

Jeremy blocked Chris' exit, and Rose who finally held up the car keys admitted: "You know I can't give you the keys, right babe?" This was a turning point - Chris now realized that Rose was a willing participant and had deliberately lured him into the home of her family for ominous reasons. Missy clinked her spoon on her teacup to trigger a hypnotic response from Chris, who was knocked to the floor and again began to descend to the 'Sunken Place.'

In the next sequence, Chris was bound in the Armitage game-room basement and told the family's evil ploy - the film's major plot twist. It was explained via a videotaped info-mercial delivered by Rose's grandfather Roman (Richard Herd) on an old TV. The cultish Order of the Coagula assisted their beloved older white friends and relatives to live longer, by first brainwashing (through hypnosis) young blacks, and then transplanting (via neurosurgery) the elderly whites' brains into the bodies of the far younger and physically superior black people:

"You have been chosen because of the physical advantages you enjoyed your entire lifetime. With your natural gifts and our determination we could both be part of something greater. Something perfect. The Coagula procedure is a man-made miracle. Our order has been developing it for many, many years and it wasn't until recently it was perfected by my own flesh and blood. My family and I are honored to offer it as a service to members of our group."

Meanwhile, Chris' TSA friend Rod spoke to female Detective Latoya (Erika Alexander) (and two other detectives Drake and Garcia), and claimed his friend Chris had been missing for two days. The two detectives were very skeptical and dubious about his assertion that the missing Andre had been brought back to life as Logan, and that anything else was out of the ordinary, when he told them:

"What I'm about to tell you goin' to sound crazy. You ready?...I believe they've been abductin' black people, brainwashin' 'em, makin' 'em work for them as sex slaves and s--t....See I don't know if it's the hypnosis that's makin' 'em slaves or whatnot, but all I know is, they already got two brothers we know and there could be a whole bunch of brothers they got already."

Roman's TV video, supplemented by an interactive session with Jim Hudson, further explained how the black subject's consciousness would be trapped in the dark void known as 'The Sunken Place,' although they would live on as a "passenger" in a white body:

"Transplantation. Well, partial, actually. The piece of your brain connected to your nervous system needs to stay put, keeping those intricate connections intact. So you won't be gone. At least not completely. A sliver of you will still be in there somewhere. Limited consciousness. You'll be able to see and hear what your body is doing, but your existence will be as a passenger. An audience. You will live in - The Sunken Place."

The blind artist Jim Hudson was being prepped in a surgical operating room by having his scalp removed. His brain was about to be transplanted into Chris' body that he had bought at auction. Others who had been surgically modified were:

  • Walter - implanted with Roman, Rose's grandfather (Dean's father)
  • Georgina - implanted with Marianne, Rose's grandmother (Dean's mother)

Cleverly, Chris stuffed his ears with stuffing from the chair he was sitting in, and blocked Missy's teaspoon clinking sound to hypnotize him. He knocked out Jeremy with a blow to the head using a yellow bocce ball, then impaled Dean in the chest with a mounted set of "buck" deer antlers. Dean stumbled back into the prep room and overturned a candle, setting the entire room on fire and consuming Hudson. Chris broke Missy's teacup, leaving her defenseless and killed her by stabbing her in the head (or eye) with a letter opener. When Chris was attacked by a revived Jeremy, he was able to stab him in the leg with the letter opener, then brutally stomped Jeremy's skull.

Meanwhile, Rose was unaware of the killings - she was cruising the Internet with earbuds, looking for her next potential victim, while symbolically eating colorful dry Fruit Loops cereal with a separate white glass of milk.

Driving away in Jeremy's 2-door car, Chris also eliminated Georgina (who he had hit with the car) by deliberately crashing the car into a tree. In the final moments of the film, Walter (not the 'grandpa' Roman persona, but the original Walter) shot Rose in the stomach with a rifle, and then suicidally shot himself. Chris began to strangle the lethally-wounded Rose (who avowed: "Chris, I'm so sorry. It's me. I-I love you. I love you"), but stopped when he realized he couldn't do it.

Chris was rescued by Rod, who drove up in an airport TSA vehicle (with flashing lights and siren) to whisk him away. Rod reminded Chris: "I mean, I told you not to go in that house," and then explained how he had figured out the case:

"I'm TS motherf--kin' A. We handle s--t. That's what we do. Consider this situation f--kin' handled."

As the film ended, Rose lay dying by the side of the road.

Dean (Bradley Whitford) and Missy (Catherine Keener)

Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) with Girlfriend Rose (Allison Williams)

Logan King and His White Wife Philomena

Blind Art Dealer Jim Hudson

Logan's Cellphone Photo - Caused Blood to Flow from His Left Nostril

Chris' Friend: TSA Agent Rod Williams Speaking to Two Detectives About His Suspicions

Dean's Surgical Prep Room - Jim Hudson About to Have His Brain Transplanted Into Chris' Body

Roman's Video Info-mercial: "Behold the Coagula"

Chris Saved from Hypnosis by Cotton Stuffed in His Ears

Dean Impaled in Abdomen with Deer Antlers

Rose's Dying Vow of Love for Chris

Ending - Rod to Chris: "I told you not to go in that house."

The Ghost Writer (2010, UK/Germ./Fr.)

The New 'Ghostwriter' Was Murdered Like the Previous One; Prime Minister Lang's Wife Ruth (A CIA Operative) Was The Power Behind His Decisions

"Read between the lies" was the intriguing tagline for Roman Polanski's taut and increasingly-claustrophobic film about paranoia and power struggles. It had similarities to real-life political figures, including British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his wife Claire, US Sec. of State Condoleeza Rice, and the Halliburton corporation.

It opened with the hiring of a new unnamed ghostwriter or "The Ghost" (Ewan McGregor) for retired, semi-disgraced British PM Adam Lang (Pierce Brosnan) forced into foreign exile. The body of the previous writer of Lang's autobiography and memoirs, Mike McAra, mysteriously and suspiciously washed up on the shore of Martha's Vineyard (supposedly he had fallen off the ferry to the mainland and drowned due to drinking), after his vehicle aboard the ferry was found abandoned (it was rumored "it was the book that killed him").

The naive and apolitical Brit replacement writer, hired by publisher Rhinehart, Inc. in London was told that the 624 page manuscript was a "crock of s--t" - and needed complete revamping within a month. The site of the rewrite was Marty Rhinehart's secure, isolated, modernist beach house on Martha's Vineyard off the coast of Massachusetts in the town of Old Haven, where Lang was staying with his wife Ruth (Olivia Williams). The 'ghost' was to be assisted by Amelia Bly (Kim Cattrall), also his mistress.

At the time, Lang was front-page news - he was being accused of illegally using British forces five years earlier to seize (secretly kidnap) four suspected Al-Queda terrorists (all British citizens) in Pakistan, and then authorized secret torture flights to hand them over to the CIA for questioning (and torture with waterboarding). He was threatened with extradition by the Hague's International Criminal Court to be charged with war crimes (the "extraordinary rendition" of terror suspects) - accused by his former cabinet minister British Foreign Secretary Richard Rycart (Robert Pugh).

During his research into Lang and the highly sensitive material in the manuscript, the 'ghostwriter' uncovered a tangled web of secrets, conspiracies and lies involving Lang's long-suffering wife Ruth when he began to follow the trail of his predecessor McAra. He discovered hidden files and photos (in an envelope taped under a closet drawer) that demonstrated how the deceased biographer had begun to discover the real truth about Lang and his wily wife (the power behind the throne). There was a discrepancy of two years regarding apolitical Lang's 1975 membership in the Labour Party, and his work with Ruth in the party two years later.

The 'ghost' suspected that McAra was murdered, after a frail and elderly resident (Eli Wallach in a cameo) told him the currents couldn't have carried McAra's body so far west to wash up on the beach where it did, and that a local woman named Annabeth Wurmbrand saw flashlights on the beach the night the body washed up (but had fallen down stairs and gone into a coma a week earlier).

Another secret involved a former acquaintance of Lang's at Cambridge - suspicious and shady Harvard Law Professor Paul Emmett (Tom Wilkinson) who (during a visit in his Belmont, MA home) claimed he didn't really know Lang, although pictures showed he was a graduate student actor at Cambridge with Lang. Also, a current Internet search identified Emmett as a member of a think-tank and connected to an anti-terror defense conglomerate named Hatherton (with strong ties to Lang's regime). Further searches revealed that academia expert Emmett was a nefarious CIA operative in the Foreign Resources Division (who joined the covert organization in 1971) - implying that Lang went into politics soon after and became his puppet, and Emmett was his "handler." The 'ghostwriter's' predecessor was presumably killed because he had discovered a link between Lang and the CIA.

The 'ghostwriter' also met with Rycart, and learned that McAra found the documents that linked Lang to the "torture flights" - and passed them onto Rycart - presumably the reason for the writer's murder. Rycart had been told by McAra that there was a clue in the "beginning" of the manuscript "that explained everything that had gone wrong" when Lang was in power ("the truth was in Lang's memoirs - it's all there in the beginning").

Then, Lang was unexpectedly shot dead at the local airport by an embittered peace protestor (a British military veteran outraged at his son's death during "one of Mr. Lang's illegal wars"). His memoirs were published posthumously and the publisher hosted a book-release party in London, attended by the ghostwriter and both Ruth and Emmett [Emmett had been Ruth's tutor at Harvard]. The 'ghost' finally pieced together clues regarding Lang's hidden 'beginnings' left by McAra - the first words of each chapter revealed the message:

"Lang's wife Ruth was recruited as a CIA agent by Professor Paul Emmett of Harvard University."

[It meant that Ruth, also a CIA operative under Emmett's tutelage, helped nudge her husband into politics, who thereafter made decisions in the US' interest - Iraq, Middle East policy, Star Wars defense, buying American nuclear missiles, support of terrorist rendition.]

The 'ghostwriter' wrote the sentence on a piece of paper, passed through a number of hands to Ruth, and shortly after, as he stepped outside with the original manuscript, he was run-down (off-screen) in the street (the same thoroughfare in the film's opening). He was murdered like McAra, in order to silence him - or were both deaths just an accident? His manuscript papers blew down the street in the wind as the film faded to white before the credits.

British PM Adam Lang (Pierce Brosnan)

Unnamed ghostwriter (Ewan McGregor)

Previous Ghostwriter's Hidden Photos

Discrepancy of Two Years

Harvard Law Professor Paul Emmett (Tom Wilkinson)

Emmett - a CIA Operative

The Secret Message - First Words of Each Chapter

Lang's Wife Ruth (Olivia Williams)

Ghostwriter Run Down in the Street

The Gift (2000)

Jealous Wayne Collins (not Donnie Barksdale) Killed Jessica King; The Murder was Seen in Annie's Vision; The 'Ghost' of Buddy Saved Psychic Annie From the Same Fate

In this supernatural thriller's twisting plot, spoiled, promiscuous sexpot Jessica King (Katie Holmes) - the sultry daughter of a prominent citizen in Brixton, Georgia, was suddenly and mysteriously missing in a baffling case.

The Southern swamp town's widowed psychic and single mother Annie Wilson (Cate Blanchett) ultimately had a vision that backwater resident Donnie Barksdale (Keanu Reeves) was innocent, but because of his violent abuse of wife Valerie (Hilary Swank), he was erroneously charged with the crime of Jessica's murder - and imprisoned.

The twist ending was revealed in a flashback of Jessica's demise, when she unexpectedly ripped off her shirt and bared her breasts in front of her fiancee Wayne Collins (Greg Kinnear) - an established, nice-guy Georgia school principal. He was jealously angered over her affair with 'redneck' Barksdale:

"You just f--ked him, didn't you? Donnie Barksdale!...Why would you do this to me? I love you!"

She replied: "Maybe I wanted to be with a man for a change?" He slapped her, and she responded by slapping back and pushing him: "Watch your mouth! F--k you! We're through. I don't like being spied on. (She removed her ring and tossed it away) The only reason I'm with you is my daddy likes you."

He strangled her as he forcibly held her over the car hood. During the strangulation, there were two views of the victim - one of Jessica being killed, and one of Annie who was envisioning the murder. Afterwards, Collins deposited Jessica's body in the misty swamp water.

At the Time of Jessica's Murder

Collins was then about to kill Annie by assaulting her with a flashlight, because she knew of his guilt during the vision at the lake with him, but she was saved from a similar fate by the 'ghost' of mentally-deranged Buddy Cole (Giovanni Ribisi), who punched Wayne and knocked him out.

Buddy was thought to have been institutionalized at the state hospital at the time, but Annie was stunned to learn that he had suicidally hanged himself earlier that day in the shower room. However, she had proof that his "ghost" had been there to protect her - a washcloth that he had returned to her. Afterwards, Wayne confessed to his guilt.

Donnie Barksdale
(Keanu Reeves)

Wayne Collins (Greg Kinnear) with Jessica (Katie Holmes)

"Ghost" of Buddy Cole
(Giovanni Ribisi) Saved Annie

The Gift (2015)

A Childhood Acquaintance from Simon's Past, Gordon Moseley, Was Actually the Victim of Simon's Bullying and Torment - And Simon Was Revealed As the Real Villain of the Film. In High School, Simon Had Spread the Lie that Gordon Was Gay and Had Been Seen Being Molested by an Older Boy in a Car. Afterwards, the Accusation Ruined Gordon's Life. Gordon Set up an Elaborate Scheme to Get Payback Revenge over 20 Years Later, Including Possibly Impregnating Simon's Drugged-Up Wife Robyn During an Alleged Rape

Writer/director Joel Edgerton's twisting vengeance-based thriller (his directorial debut film) had some elements of Fatal Attraction (1987), The Hand That Rocks the Cradle (1992), and Michael Haneke's Cache (2005). A suburban LA couple had just relocated from Chicago due to a change in the husband's work (and after Robyn had lost a pregnancy):

  • Simon Callum (Jason Bateman), a sales executive at a computer security firm
  • Robyn (Rebecca Hall), an interior designer

They lived in a mid-century modern in the Hollywood Hills, when they happened to connect with Simon's former HS classmate:

  • Gordon "Gordo" Moseley (Joel Edgerton, the director), off-balanced and unpredictable, and known as a socially-awkward misfit "Gordo the Weirdo" from childhood.

The first impression given was that the Simon and Gordon did not know each other very well, yet Gordon began to show up unexpectedly, and lavish inappropriate gifts on the couple, such as an expensive bottle of wine ("How do you think he got our address?").

Due to unusual findings when Robyn and Simon were invited to Gordo's home for dinner (Gordo mused: "I believe that the bad things in life - they can be a gift"), the couple discovered that Gordo was recently divorced and had a family. Simon abruptly broke off the relationship ("Don't visit us anymore!"). Unusual things then began to occur:

  • At the Callum's home, the death of koi pond fish (a previous gift), and missing dog Mr. Jangles
  • The discovery that Gordo's "home" wasn't really his home
  • Unusual noises and the fear that Gordo was stalking Robyn in her own home
  • A mysterious and apologetic letter from Gordo to Simon, making a request: "After all these years, I was willing to let bygones be bygones"

After questioning one of Simon's other best childhood friends, Greg (David Denman), Robyn learned that her husband had been a sociopathic childhood bully and tormentor of Gordo. Simon had completely fabricated the accusation that Gordo was gay, and it had subsequently ruined his life. Gordo still held a grudge, now wanted payback revenge, and threatened Simon:

"You think you're done with the past, but the past is not done with you."

In further developments, Simon's promotion at his company was the result of his own manipulative fabrication of information about his major competitor for the job, Danny McDonald (P.J. Byrne). When Simon's deception was revealed, he was fired. As a result, Robyn (who had just given birth to their child in the hospital) threatened to separate from Simon, at the same time that Gordo revealed (through a DVD recording) that he may have raped Robyn after drugging her and causing her to black-out, while he was wearing a monkey-mask.

Gordon's plan to sow doubt and discord between the couple had apparently succeeded (Robyn feared: "I have no idea who you really are"), although Robyn was 'collateral damage' and an unwitting victim of their conflict. There was the possibility that Gordo was the father of her newborn child (both had brown eyes!).

The plot twist actually seemed to reset the dynamic between the two male protagonists -- Gordo was indeed a monstrous character, and Simon was now a victim.

Robyn and Simon Callum
(Rebecca Hall and Jason Bateman)

Gordon "Gordo" Moseley
(Joel Edgerton)

Gordo's Monkey-Mask During Rape?

DVD Recording of Alleged Rape Incident

Robyn in Hospital After Birth

Ginger Snaps (2000, Canada)

Ginger Fully Transformed Into a Werewolf, Killed Sam, and Then Was Killed by Sister Brigitte

The tagline of director John Fawcett's werewolf horror cult film was:

"They Don't Call It the Curse For Nothing."

The film's theme tied together puberty with blood, sexual desire and metamorphic body changes (including possession and infection).

The main protagonists were morbid, late-developing teenaged sisters:

  • Ginger Fitzgerald (Katharine Isabelle), 16 years old, red-haired, the older sister
  • Brigitte Fitzgerald (Emily Perkins), 15 years old

They were rebellious, death-obsessed, world-hating Goths and disdainful school outcasts in a suburban Ontario high school (in the town of Bailey Downs, a "safe and caring community").

When Ginger was attacked/bitten by a beastly lycanthrope ("The Beast of Bailey Downs") while walking through the woods, linked to the time of her first menstrual period ("the curse") and a full moon, she developed spiky tufts of body hair and a phallic-tail, feral teeth, cramps, a craving for flesh, and a foul temper. The changes caused a major rift between Ginger and her sister, who had made a pact to never be "average" and to suicidally "go together" when puberty arrived.

Ginger also became more sexually interested in previously-taboo males, and drew male wolf-whistles when she strutted (and bounced) down the school hallway. Sexually adventurous and hormonal, Ginger was lustily aggressive during her loss of virginity to football player Jason McCarty (Jesse Moss) in the back seat of his car, and during sex, she "infected" him.

Unsatisfied by the blood-inducing date in which she delivered bite wounds to Jason, Ginger expressed her predatory teenaged blood-lust by killing the neighbor's dog. She also killed a school janitor (Pat Kwong-Ho), disemboweled him with her hand, and then told her sister that she loved the blood - linking the violence to solitary masturbation. Threatened, Brigitte argued back:

"I'd rather be dead than be what you are."

The film concluded with Ginger transformed into a monstrous Ginger-Wolf engaging in a killing spree, including a threatening showdown with her sister, who up until this point had attempted to rescue Ginger from her animalistic urges. Brigitte felt she no longer had a bond with her sister - she had a choice to either cure her sister with a syringe of "werewolf antidote" or to kill her with a knife, and chose the latter ("I'm not dying in this room with you"). She was intimately close to Ginger-Wolf, hugging her when she exhaled her last breath.

Ginger's Murderous Transformation into Ginger-Wolf

Brigitte's Mercy-Killing of Sister Ginger

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (2009, Swe.) (aka Man som hatar kvinnor, or Men Who Hate Women)

Martin Vanger Was The Serial-Killer; Harriet Was Found Alive in Australia; Mikael Blomkvist Was Acquitted of the Charge of Libel, While Guilty Wennerstrom Committed Suicide; A Disguised Lisbeth Had Swindled Wennerstrom

Danish director Niels Arden Oplev's slick and haunting thriller-who-dun-it became a Hollywood remake in 2011, directed by David Fincher and starring Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara in the lead roles.

It was both a complex serial-killer procedural and a neo-noir, with themes of generational sexual abuse, sadistic violence against women, revenge, family secrets, corporate corruption, and Nazi racism. It was the first adaptation of the Millennium Trilogy, a series of books by Stieg Larsson. There were a number of questions to be answered in the film as it told its story.

In the opening scenes, discredited, middle-aged Millennium magazine investigative journalist and publisher Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist) was sentenced to serve a three-month sentence after being convicted of libeling a corrupt but successful Swedish businessman named Hans-Erik Wennerstrom. He firmly (and rightly as it turned out) believed that he had been framed, for uncovering incriminating information about how the businessman was gun-running and conducting other serious felonies.

In the six months before serving his prison term, he resigned from the magazine when he was hired by aging, reclusive, brooding and obsessed 82 year-old industrialist Henrik Vanger (Sven-Bertil Taube). He was commissioned to find the truth about the disappearance (was she dead or not?) of Henrik's favorite 16 year-old niece Harriet Vanger in the fall of 1966, 40 years earlier, from a family reunion/board meeting at their retreat on Hedeby Island. Harriet was the daughter of Henrik's brother Gottfried. Mikael was chosen to find out about her, because he was often baby-sat by Harriet. It was known that a crash of a fuel tanker truck on the only bridge from the island had blocked access for 24 hours, causing Henrik to believe one of the detestable Vanger family members was responsible.

During the beginning of his search (conducted like the film Blow-Up (1966)), Mikael became suspicious that he was being tracked and someone had hacked into his computer.

[In fact, Vanger's secretary Dirch Frode had employed a hacker/researcher to do a background check on Mikael and continually monitor his computer during the trial. The researcher concluded regarding the recent case: "Blomkvist's totally clean...I think he was set up."]

The smart hacker was a bisexual, black-leather clad, punk-goth, 24 year-old, nose-ring wearing biker named Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace), who had a history of sexual abuse and man-hating in her own life (flashbacks revealed she had murdered her father by setting him afire with gasoline after repeated abuse) and was raised by the state from a young age. She also suffered brutal sexual abuse from her new guardian - a perverted, manipulative probation officer (Peter Andersson), who first demanded blow-jobs in exchange for money and favorable reports, and then forced rape after handcuffing her to a bed - until she found retributive revenge. She secretly videotaped her rape, threatened blackmail, beat him and tied him up, subjected him to dildo-anal rape, and tattooed his abdomen with the statement: "I'M A SADIST PIG AND A RAPIST."

Lisbeth (the "girl with the dragon tattoo" on her back) was curious about Mikael's quest into the Vanger family, and provided him with an essential clue (regarding some strange numbers). She soon after joined him on Vangers' remote island, exemplifying her advanced computer research skills and photographic memory. Together, they pursued leads from photographs, news articles, Harriet's belongings, unsolved police cases, and the Vanger's own business records.

One of the major breaks in the case of Harriet's disappearance was a set of intriguing multiple photographs taken during a Children's Day Parade in 1966 in the town of Hedestat, shot in rapid sequence and viewed as a film. The most important of the photos was the one seen from Harriet's point-of-view - she was fearful of the startling sight of her teen brother Martin Vanger (in a tell-tale blue striped sweater) stalking her from across the street during the parade - after which she fled and disappeared.

The major step forward in their investigation came from a set of puzzling strange names and numbers (not phone numbers) in the back of Harriet's diary. As Lisbeth suspected, they referred to verses in the third book of the Bible, Leviticus, with descriptions of rationales for the racist murders of five female victims, all with Jewish names ("It fits with the pseudo religious rituals"). Harriet undoubtedly knew the killers and had "discovered a pattern" of murder (from 1949 to 1965) - that's why she disappeared.

Victim Name
Jewish Form
Bible Citations
Rationales for Murder
Actual Unsolved Murder
Magda (Lovisa Sjoberg)
Leviticus 1:12
"He is to cut it into pieces...including the head and the fat. And the priest shall arrange them on the burning wood on the altar." Murdered in Dalarna, 1954. A mutilated body (with fat cut from buttocks), also beheaded. (The head and fat were burned.)
Sara (Witt)
Leviticus 20:16
"If a woman approaches an animal to have sexual relations with it, kill both the woman and the animal. Their blood will be on their own heads." Murdered in family's barn, 1962, in Vilhelmina. Body was mutilated in a religious ritual, as well as an animal.
BJ (circled in red) (Rebecka Jacobsson, nicknamed Bea)
Leviticus 20:27
"A man or a woman who is a medium or spiritist among you must be put to death. You are to stone them." Stoned to death, in Karlstad, 1965. (Worked for Vanger Group until her death, as secretary for Gottfried)
LJ (Liv Ingvartsson)
Leviticus 12:8
"She is to bring two doves or two young pigeons, one for a burnt offering, and the other for a sin offering. The priest will make atonement for her, and she will be clean." Prostitute, murdered in Ange, 1949.
Leviticus 20:18
  17 year-old, killed (strangled) in Uppsala, 1964.

Mikael and Lisbeth pursued the business accounts of the Vanger Group family, finding evidence that Martin had traveled to the five murder locales with his father Gottfried. Along with other victims, Harriet was being raped by her father Gottfried Vanger (a member of Hitler's youth group in the 30s and later a Nazi, along with two other Vanger brothers, Richard and Harald) and her own brother Martin.

At the family dock (witnessed by Martin), in an act of self-defense in 1965, Harriet clobbered drunken Gottfried with a rowboat oar and drowned him, and then fled in a car (hiding under a blanket) with the help of look-alike cousin Anita (who later died of breast cancer in England at the age of 37), her closest friend. Anita had covered up the fact that she had aided Harriet in escaping the island. (Mikael realized he was mistaken. Both Anita and Harriet were his baby-sitters.) Gottfried's death was blamed on his drinking and a fall into the lake.

Ultimately the two uncovered evidence to incriminate Martin, who was the current head of the Vanger group and befriending the quest of Mikael. (Martin's father Gottfried was a racist Nazi sympathizer who had passed on the love of killing "whores, immigrants" to his son, although Gottfried "mixed his hobby with race and religion"). Martin was still active as a serial sex-killer and had lost count since the mid-60s regarding how many he had killed (Mari was his first kill in 1964 - Gottfried had showed Martin how to strangle her.)

Martin admitted he left behind no bodies like his father had, by dumping his corpses in the sea. When he was found out, Martin almost killed Mikael by hanging him in his underground torture cellar, but was saved by Lisbeth at the last minute. She watched as his fleeing vehicle crashed, overturned down an embankment, and caught fire, and his immobilized body was incinerated in the blaze. She had no sympathy for him, unlike Mikael: "He was a killer and a rapist and he enjoyed it...He wasn't a victim. He was an evil motherf--ker who hated women."

Harriet (taking the name Anita Vanger when she fled) was found grown up and living in Australia, although every year on her birthday from a different worldwide location, she had sent Henrik a framed, pressed and dried flower (he had thought they were coming from her taunting killer).

In the conclusion, Lisbeth provided Mikael with "reading material" during the last few weeks of his incarceration. The material consisted of hacked documents proving that Mikael had been set-up. Mikael's next issue of Millennium exposed Wennerstrom for using his companies to commit serious financial crimes (setting up cartels for drug trafficking and gun-running).

An unidentified woman was seen in a surveillance tape, recognized as Lisbeth only by Mikael. She had extorted money from 44 year-old tycoon Wennerstrom (he had withdrawn funds from his offshore bank account in the Cayman Islands) before he committed suicide in his apartment in Marbella, Spain. In the final image, she had taken a new disguise, was chauffeured in a limousine, and strolled along a resort beach area.

Convicted, but Framed Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist)

The Headlines

Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace)

Disappearance of Harriet Vanger in 1966

Mikael's Search

Revenge on Lisbeth's Probation Officer

Lisbeth's Dragon Tattoo on Back

Lisbeth Setting Her Abusive Father on Fire

Look-alike Cousin Anita and Harriet Were Both Mikael's Babysitters

The Killer: Martin Vanger in Parade Photograph

Mikael Confronting Martin in His Underground Torture Cellar

Martin Dying in Fiery Crash

Harriet Found Alive in Australia

Harriet's Father Gottfried's Death

Mikael's New Issue of Millennium - An Expose

Disguised Lisbeth

GoldenEye (1995)

British Agent 006 Trevelyan Had Faked His Death; Bond Battled And Killed Both Villainess Assassin Xenia Onatopp and Trevelyan

The title of director Martin Campbell's Bond crime-thriller, GoldenEye, was a code-name that referred to an awesome, top-secret space weapon system. It was to be used on London to cripple its economic system and cause a worldwide financial meltdown.

In the pre-title credits sequence, nine years before the events of the film, British agent 007 James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) was working alongside British secret agent 006 Alec Trevelyan (Sean Bean). Their assignment was to destroy a Soviet nerve gas factory at the Arkangel Chemical Weapons Facility, but the mission went awry and Trevelyan was executed. As he was shot by General Ouromov (Gottfried John), Trevelyan called out: "For England, James."

Later, it was revealed that the "murdered" Trevelyan had faked his own death ("Back from the dead"). Trevelyan showed himself in a St. Petersburg, Russia scrapyard littered with broken-down statues and busts of former Soviet leaders. Within the maze of bronze objects, a dark and backlit figure emerged ("Hello, James") -- Bond was shocked as he looked upon the half-scarred face of the traitorous defector. Trevelyan sneered as he greeted his former friend who was so doggedly loyal to MI6 and its missions.

Trevelyan was the villainous terrorist of the Russian crime ring named Janus Syndicate, based in Cuba in the mid-1990s, and the mastermind behind the theft of GoldenEye.

In the film's tense conclusion, the two agents engaged in a fight-to-the-death combat atop his destroyed control center-lair in Cuba. Bond raced to disarm the transmitter-antenna of a large satellite dish communicating with a second, deadly rogue GoldenEye satellite nuclear-weapon.

Reversing the situation, Bond held his enemy over the massive parabolic dish by his ankles, and they exchanged a final brief conversation before Bond dropped him: ("For England, James?" "No. For me"). After the villain fell to the ground, the massive satellite transmitter-antenna crashed down on him to end his life.

The "Execution" of Alec Trevelyan (Sean Bean)

Trevelyan Alive Nine Years Later - A Faked Death

Bond vs. Trevelyan

Gone Baby Gone (2007)

Abducted Young 4-Year Old Amanda Was Thought to Have Died By Falling From a Cliff and Drowning in a Quarry, But Her Death Was Faked. She was Alive and Safe, in the Household of Captain Jack Doyle

Ben Affleck's directorial debut film was an adaptation of Dennis Lehane's 1998 detective novel Gone, Baby, Gone. In the film's opening voice-over narration during the credits, private investigator (PI) Patrick Kenzie (Casey Affleck) spoke about how his job was to find missing people because of his connections in the tough neighborhood where he grew up (in the working class area of Dorchester near Boston):

I always believed it was the things you don't choose that makes you who you are. Your city, your neighborhood, your family. People here take pride in these things, like it was somethin' they'd accomplished. The bodies around their souls, the cities wrapped around those. I lived on this block my whole life; most of these people have. When your job is to find people who are missin', it helps to know where they started. I find the people who started in the cracks and then fell through. This city can be hard. When I was young, I asked my priest how you could get to heaven and still protect yourself from all the evil in the world. He told me what God said to His children. 'You are sheep among wolves. Be wise as serpents, yet innocent as doves.'

The police were making little headway on the case of a missing and abducted 4 year-old daughter Amanda (Madeline O'Brien), along with her favorite toy doll "Mirabelle" (actually "Annabelle"). She was the daughter of slutty, cocaine-addicted, ignorant and neglectful mother Helene McCready (Amy Ryan), who deceptively appeared as a tearful, doting mother on television. Two police detectives were assigned to the case:

  • Remy Bressant (Ed Harris), a veteran
  • Nick Poole (John Ashton)

Amanda's Aunt Beatrice McCready (Amy Madigan) hired two private detectives to help in the case (who were familiar with the neighborhood), including:

  • Patrick Kenzie (Casey Affleck, the director's brother)
  • Angie Gennaro (Michelle Monaghan), Patrick's own girlfriend/partner

Patrick entered into Boston's world of gangs, drug dealers, murderous child-molesting pedophiles, and a web of corrupt cops. He came to believe that young Amanda had been kidnapped because her mother Helene and boyfriend "Skinny Ray" had ripped off a Haitian drug dealer named Cheese (Edi Gathegi) for about $130,000 dollars. It was confirmed that Ray had been murdered by Cheese's thugs, and it was possible, according to the two police detectives Bressant and Poole, that Amanda had been kidnapped.

During a confrontation at a local quarry with Cheese's gang to negotiate an exchange involving Amanda's return, a gunfight broke out and under mysterious circumstances, Amanda appeared to drown (although her doll was retrieved from the water).

As it turned out, however, Amanda's kidnapping (and her murder) had been set up and faked. She was found living happily with recently-retired police Captain Jack Doyle (Morgan Freeman) and his wife Francine (Kippy Goldfarb), after he orchestrated the fake exchange to frame Cheese and throw Patrick off the trail. Doyle reasoned that the child was better off with them (they had also suffered their own daughter being kidnapped and murdered years earlier).

Doyle begged with Patrick to reconsider turning him in, but Patrick refused:

Doyle: I did what I did for the sake of the child. All right. For me, too. But now I'm asking you for the sake of the child. I'm begging you. You think about it.

There were many unsettling and unresolved ramifications of Doyle's arrest and the discovery of Amanda, including Patrick's breakup with an argumentative Angie (who hadn't wanted Patrick to notify the authorities), and Amanda's return to her irresponsible and negligent mother (her mother oddly exclaimed to the press: "I feel like 9/11 right now").

In the final lines, Patrick visited Amanda and Helene and volunteered to look after Amanda as her irresponsible mother went out on a date with someone she met during the ordeal, without arranging for a baby-sitter. He spoke to Amanda on the sofa, who was holding her doll and watching television:

Patrick: "Is that, uh, Mirabelle?"
Amanda McCready: "Annabelle."

"Is that, uh, Mirabelle?"

It was clear from their conversation that Helene did not know the name of her daughter's favorite toy.

PI Patrick Kenzie
(Casey Affleck)

Angie Gennaro (Michelle Monaghan)

News Broadcast of Abduction: Helene McCready (Amy Ryan) Mother of Child

"Missing" Abducted Amanda McCready

Captain Doyle (Morgan Freeman) Asking Patrick to Reconsider Turning Him In

The Arrest of Captain Doyle

Amanda Released to State Police by Mrs. Doyle

Amanda Returned to Mother Helene

The Last Scene

Gone Girl (2014)

The "Gone Girl" Amy Had Faked Her Own Disappearance, in Order to Frame Her Husband Nick for Her Murder

Director David Fincher's positively-reviewed dark crime thriller had the advantage of being adapted for the screen by the writer of the original 2012 best-selling novel, Gillian Flynn (with her debut script). The trashy who-dun-it story and cautionary tale was conveyed mostly through flashbacks, dialogue and major plot twists.

The five year loveless, dysfunctional, and disintegrated marriage of a young couple on the verge of divorce - with financial problems and frequent domestic disputes - was the kickstarter for the plot:

  • Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck), a lowbrow, frustrated and failed writer for a men's magazine
  • Amy Elliott-Dunne (Rosamund Pike), a privileged Harvard grad wife and icy-blonde Manhattanite with "high standards"

The couple were reduced to lower social status due to stock market crash losses and unemployment for both of them, and they were forced to move out of NYC and relocate to Middle America. The story really began when Nick's wife went missing from their fictional suburban North Carthage, Missouri home (Nick's Ozark Mountains boyhood home), on their fifth wedding anniversary. Nick became the prime suspect of foul play in the tabloids.

The homicide detectives, led by Rhonda Boney (Kim Dickens), uncovered many clues and possible motivations or complications in the case. Meanwhile, tabloid journalists, influenced and spearheaded by shameless Ellen Abbot (Missi Pyle) (a character similar to TV's Nancy Grace), rushed to judge Nick as the major suspect for the murder-disappearance of his wife, although he couldn't be arrested without evidence of a body:

  • There appeared to be a struggle (smashed furniture and glass scattered) and traces of Amy's blood in the kitchen - a possible kidnapping? (or worse)
  • Nick had been unfaithful with a mistress - teenaged college student Andie Fitzgerald (Emily Ratajkowski, famously topless in the Blurred Lines video in 2013); later in the film, Nick confessed to his infidelity during a press conference, to improve his media image and to be upfront about his failure as a husband (and to detract from accusations that he had killed Amy)
  • Nick had accumulated a credit card debt, using Amy's funds
  • Amy was reported to be pregnant
  • Amy's diary revealed that she feared her husband

Nick hired a NYC defense lawyer Tanner Bolt (Tyler Perry), who sought to prove his innocence - and evidence was revealed that Amy was sociopathic. It was found that two of Amy's ex-boyfriends had damning information about her:

  1. Former classmate Tommy O'Hara (Scoot McNairy) claimed Amy framed him for rape
  2. Wealthy and obsessive Desi Collings (Neil Patrick Harris), who called Amy his "first serious girlfriend," revealed that she had filed a restraining order against him when he unraveled after Amy dumped him.

By the film's conclusion, after Amy was reunited with Nick, it was obvious that the cunning Amy had added to her lengthy past history of faking things, lying, framing others, or being very deceptive:

  • Amy had faked her pregnancy (swiping urine from an expectant neighbor), and was planning to frame her husband for her murder.
  • She faked her own disappearance, to frame her husband, in part to seek revenge for him having an affair.
  • Amy was hiding in a campground resort in the Ozarks, waiting for Nick to be convicted and given the death sentence for her presumed murder.
  • Amy claimed to Nick that she had been kidnapped the entire time she was missing.

While hiding out at Desi's lake house, Amy framed ex-boyfriend Desi, making it look like he kidnapped, raped and abused her, although he was attempting to help her when her runaway plan fell apart. In fact, she seduced him and killed him during sex - a grisly murder sequence when she reached under her pillow and slit his throat right after he orgasmed - (and returned to her home covered with his blood to shower). She had a convincing, yet fabricated rape claim.

In the unusual and unsatisfying ending, after being reunited, Amy was cleared of any wrong-doing. And she received no punishment for the cold-blooded murder of Desi. However, she had still entrapped Nick - she insisted they remain a couple because she was pregnant (she claimed she had impregnated herself with Nick's sperm from a sperm bank fertility clinic). Nick realized he had to stay with Amy, in part to protect his future child from her.

In the film's last line, Nick told Amy (in voice-over) as he stroked her hair:

"What are you thinking? How are you feeling? What have we done to each other? What will we do?"

Prime Suspect Nick
(Ben Affleck)

(Rosamund Pike)

Amy - Sex with Nick

Nick - Sex with Andie Fitzgerald (Emily Ratajkowski)


Amy - Sex with Desi Collings (Neil Patrick Harris) Before Slitting His Throat and Murdering Him

Bloody Amy Showering
After Desi's Murder

The Film's Final Image

The Good German (2006)

Before Leaving Germany by Plane, Lena (Who Had Murdered Corporal Tully) Admitted to Jake That She Had Given The Names of 12 Jews to the Gestapo, To Acquire Safe Passage Out of Berlin

Steven Soderbergh's atmospheric, film-noirish and experimental B/W film was a mystery-thriller tale of sad romance.

The dramatic tale was set in bombed-out, post-war Berlin, Germany, a divided city. Berlin was the location of the Potsdam Conference of Allied Powers in 1945. The main protagonist was:

  • "Jake" Geismer (George Clooney), an American war correspondent (issued a captain's uniform for better accessibility) who was writing about the Potsdam Conference for The New Republic

Besides his work, Jake was interested in locating a past acquaintance:

  • Lena Brandt (Cate Blanchett), a femme fatale character, a German Jew (looking very similar to Marlene Dietrich), an old flame of Jake's, desperate to escape from Berlin

He was shocked to soon learn that she was now the sex-slave of his sleazy, pimping, cruel, sadistic and callous US Army driver Corporal Tully (Tobey Maguire) - an opportunistic black marketeer who was attempting to help her escape to the West.

Lena had been Jake's love interest and secretary before the war, but he had lost track of his former love and he was determined to find out more about her and her missing husband, Emil Brandt (Christian Oliver). (Lena falsely claimed her missing and wanted husband had died in the war.)

The three main sections of the film were told from different viewpoints: first Tully, then Jake, and finally Lena. Jake was warned not to get involved by various competing interests, and clearly cautioned by American Colonel Muller (Beau Bridges): "When I was at West Point, we put a uniform on a mule."

The plot unfolded more completely when Corporal Tully was found murdered and pulled out of the river with a bullet in his gut. Jake appeared to be the only one interested in solving the murder. The persevering Geismer was often bloodied and beaten up, but he slowly put together the pieces of the puzzle:

  1. US forces were holding known Nazi war criminal Franz Bettman, chief engineer of the V-2 rocket - at a safehouse, intending to secretly transport him to the US for the Cold War and escalating arms race to follow, in a code-named operation called Overcast
  2. Emil Brandt had been an SS officer and Bettman's secretary at the concentration camp named Camp Dora where slave labor (Jews and POW's) was used
  3. Lena was helping to hide her husband, Emil, and was the murderer of Tully when he got too close to the truth
  4. Jake came into possession of Emil's notes on Camp Dora, incriminating evidence of the crimes committed there
  5. Emil's attempt to turn himself in to the American prosecutor was intercepted and he was murdered (and Lena was wounded) in the midst of a crowd
  6. Jake traded Emil's documents in exchange for Lena's safe passage out of Berlin to the West
  7. In a scene paying homage to the airport runway ending of Casablanca (1942), the desperate Lena admitted her last secret to Jake before she boarded an airplane - she had given the names of 12 Jewish individuals to the Gestapo ("That's how I survived. It was all to survive, everything. Now you know. The last piece in the puzzle")

The Final Airport Scene: Revelations Between Jake (George Clooney) and Lena (Cate Blanchett)

Goodnight Mommy (2014, Austria) (aka Ich Seh, Ich Seh, or I See, I See)

There was Only One Twin - Elias. The Other Identical Twin Lukas Was Killed in an "Accident" (Probably One That Also Disfigured the Face of The Mother) Before the Events of the Film. Experiencing Deep Denial and Guilt, Elias Was Only Imagining That Lukas Was Alive.

This chilling Austrian-German psychological thriller, a dark and disturbing fairy tale written and directed by Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala, was about two identical 9 year-old twins and their dysfunctional relationship with their mother:

  • Luke and Elias (real-life identical twins Lukas and Elias Schwarz)

They lived with their single TV personality-host mother (Susanne Wuest) (recently divorced) in the isolated Austrian countryside in a large modern two-story house. Unexpectedly, she returned presumably from a facial plastic (or reconstructive) surgery operation (to start a new life?), appearing with her face heavily bandaged and swollen, with a changed personality ("She's so different" - the boys thought). Questions remained unanswered: How was her face damaged? Was it an "accident" or was she maimed or disfigured by one of her sons?

Bruised and unrecognizable to them, she appeared quick to judge and punish, less loving, more erratic and jealous of her boys' closeness. She required complete silence and peace in order to recuperate: no light in the house and no playing inside among other restrictions. The two frightened sons suspiciously believed that their radically-transformed mother who was now disciplining them more severely than usual, was an imposter. They also believed that she was refusing to acknowledge Lukas - as a form of punishment - and not for the real reason -- LUKAS DIDN'T EXIST - the film's obligatory spoiler twist.

[The film's plot twist hinged on the fact that Lukas didn't exist, similar to M. Night Shyamalan's ending of The Sixth Sense (1999), and numerous other films, such as Carnival of Souls (1962), Fight Club (1999), Haute Tension (2003), Identity (2003), A Tale of Two Sisters (2003, S. Korea), The Machinist (2004), and The Uninvited (2009).]

There were numerous clues that Lukas was gone:

  • Lukas did not emerge from a pond surface, only bubbles, when playing a game with Elias of holding one's breath underwater (Did Elias blame himself for this 'accident'?)
  • At meals, the mother would not set a place for Lukas
  • Lukas only spoke by whispering in Elias' ear
  • Elias often called out for his brother, with no response

In the brilliant first two-thirds of the film, the focus was on the strange and random behavior of the mother (a "bait-and-switch" directorial technique), not on what the twins were doing. They went to extremes to test and torment her - changing the film's mood to torture-porn. Elias let a giant pet Madagascar hissing cockroach squirm from his sleeping mother's chest into her mouth. In a ghastly and brutal torture sequence, the two twins tied their mother to her bed and demanded that she prove her identity, or tell them where their real mother was.

Instead of using duct tape, the two superglued her mouth shut to keep her quiet. To feed her, Elias used manicure scissors to split open her glue-hardened lips, causing her mouth to bleed. She started to pretend that Lukas was still alive (and set a place for him at the table) and claimed that he didn't die in the "accident." When she soiled herself and was momentarily freed, she attempted to escape, yet fell teeth-first into cement and knocked herself out - awakening again bound in the living room and surrounded by candles.

Finally, the two boys threatened to set the curtains on fire. Ignoring her, Elias pushed Lukas’s hand into the curtains, and set the room (and their mother) on fire. It was not clear whether Elias also perished in the blaze.

The twist was that Lukas had probably died in the same "accident" that had disfigured his mother - most likely a car accident, but maybe in a deadly fire (in an earlier house), or by drowning in the pond during the underwater breathing game. All along, deranged and psychotic Elias, out of both denial and guilt as the traumatized and surviving twin - and as a "unreliable narrator," was imagining that Lukas was still alive.

Elias and Lukas

"You're Not Our Mom"

The Cockroach Scene

The Ending - A Flashback to the Original House Fire

The Graduate (1967)

Benjamin 'Rescued' Elaine From Her Marriage Ceremony, But Their Future Was Uncertain

Recent college graduate Benjamin Braddock (Dustin Hoffman) made a mad rush to interrupt and stop the wedding of Mrs. Robinson's (Anne Bancroft) daughter Elaine (Katharine Ross). He ran head-on down the street to the church (the main entrance was locked), then entered its upper balcony and looked down in shock as the ceremony concluded.

In the Church
In the Bus

He pounded on the glass, hopelessly calling out: "Elaine! Elaine! Elaine! Elaine!", then fought off Elaine's father in order to grab the newlywed in front of the startled celebrants (who were swearing at him), as Elaine responded to her mother's "Too late" warning, with "Not for me." Ben secured the church door with a large cross after the two raced out of the church, to board a passing city bus.

They climbed onboard and rushed to the rear seat of a yellow Santa Barbara Municipal Bus and looked out the rear glass window, then turned smiling and ecstatic to glance back at puzzling, stern and cold looks from the other elderly passengers of another generation. The Sounds of Silence was reprised on the soundtrack as they stared silently ahead, uncharacteristically silent toward each other and not even looking at each other - journeying toward an unpredictable future after successfully rebelling against the parental generation.

Benjamin Running to the Church

Interrupting Elaine's Wedding and Fleeing with Her

The Final Image

The Grifters (1990)

Desperate Con Artist Lilly Accidentally Killed Her Son Roy And Then Took His Money

Director Stephen Frears' complex post-noir crime-drama story (with the tagline: "SEDUCTION. BETRAYAL. MURDER. WHO WAS CONNING WHO?") set in Los Angeles was about three con artists whose lives were inextricably intertwined, especially the two females who were engaged in a deadly power-struggle love-triangle for the male's attention:

  • Lilly Dillon (Anjelica Huston), a professional grifter
  • Roy Dillon (John Cusack), Lilly's estranged son, a small-time, two-bit con
  • Myra Langtry (Annette Bening), Roy's sexy girlfriend

In the film's conclusion, vengeful Myra had been shot to death by Lilly, and then Myra's face-blasted and disfigured corpse was made to look like Lilly's. Roy was called upon, as next-of-kin, to identify his mother at the Phoenix morgue - he concealed that he noticed Lilly's right hand did not have its tell-tale cigar burn mark.

Then, Lilly was confronted by Roy as she appeared to be stealing his money in his place. She argued that she was on the run and needed his money, and claimed she might make a break to get out of the con games and grifting (although she'd never had a legitimate job in her life) - she desperately begged and begged for his money, to tide her over:

"I need this money! I can't run without money! And if I can't run, I'm dead!...I want that money, Roy, I need it. Now, what do I have to do to get it? You mean you won't give it to me, Roy? Will you or won't you? What can I do to get it? Is there nothing I can do?"

When she came close and seductively kissed him, he asked: "Lilly, Jesus, what are you doing?" She replied: "Nothing at all, nothing at all," but then in a bizarre twist, she swung a suitcase full of cash at her son's head as he was drinking water from a glass. The glass smashed and cut an artery in his neck - and he profusely bled to death on the floor in front of her!

Roy's Death

Red-dressed Lilly gathered up the strewn cash, descended in a caged elevator, and calmly drove away.

In the Morge, Roy Realized It was Myra's Right Hand, Not Lilly's

Lilly Dillon (Anjelica Huston)

A Fateful, Incestuous Kiss

Lilly Descending in Elevator

Greatest Movie Plot Twists, Spoilers and Surprise Endings

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