Movie Twist Endings That Made No Sense Whatsoever

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Vote up the twist endings that simply don't add up.

Twist endings in movies may shock the audience or pull the plot in new directions, but that doesn’t mean twist endings in films always make sense. Plenty of twist endings ruin the movie, and in many cases, this happens because the sudden revelation lacks logical coherence.

Far too many movies with twist endings make it clear that filmmakers want an easy way to trick the viewer. Some movie plot twists put forth unspoken consequences that offer inadequate build-ups and explanations; others break far from the reality of the film and leave audiences wondering "why?" It's far better to provide an ambiguous ending so the audience can arrive at its own conclusion rather than shoehorning a terrible plot twist that makes no sense whatsoever.

  • 1
    607 VOTES
    High Tension
    Photo: EuropaCorp

    High Tension is a gorefest. This French film was a hit at the 2003 Toronto Film Festival, but was subsequently panned by critics upon wider release. Other than a twist ending, High Tension adheres to the script of your average horror flick.   

    The film follows Marie (Cécile de France) and Alex (Maïwenn) as the duo heads to Alex’s place for a fun weekend. However, their relaxing visit goes awry when an assailant rings the doorbell. The identity of this person is a mystery until the end. Unfortunately, the movie relies on a cliché to shock the audience. Marie, obsessed with Alex, is insane and was the offender all along. 

    Not only does this not prove all that shocking, but it leaves the film with a wide array of plot holes. If Marie is the assailant, then who is prowling around when Alex and Marie are together? When Marie and Alex are both locked inside the back of the truck, who’s driving?

    It doesn't make any sense, and the film leaves more questions than answers.

    • Actors: Cécile De France, Maïwenn, Philippe Nahon, Franck Khalfoun, Andrei Finti
    • Released: 2003
    • Directed by: Alexandre Aja
    607 votes
  • 2
    1,003 VOTES

    In 2004's The Forgotten, Telly Paretta (Julianne Moore) is a grieving mother struggling to learn the truth about her son Sam. She thought he was felled in a plane crash, but no one else seems to have any recollection of him. She meets a man with the same issue, and they start investigating.

    They are chased by agents until the final plot point is revealed. Throughout the film, you get a little lost wondering what the government is hiding, and why they took this woman's son.

    This could have been a solid thriller, but any built-up tension quickly disappears with the introduction of the plot twist. It was all one big alien experiment, and Telly was one of the test subjects. She returns to her regular life, and everyone else involved forgets the film's events. 

    • Actors: Julianne Moore, Dominic West, Gary Sinise, Alfre Woodard, Linus Roache
    • Released: 2004
    • Directed by: Joseph Ruben
    1,003 votes

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  • 3
    1,052 VOTES

    When Tim Burton reimagined Planet of the Apes, it was apparent he wouldn’t be able to replicate the same twist ending as the 1968 version featuring Charlton Heston. After all, many viewers already knew what happened. 

    In an attempt to create an ending as surprising as the original film, Captain Leo Davidson (Mark Wahlberg) travels back in time. Upon arrival, he notices the Lincoln Memorial has been replaced with a statue of General Thade, and apes he surround him. It is unclear what happened or why the apes are now in charge of Earth in the past.

    Tim Roth (who played General Thade) theorizes that his character ended up further back in time than Captain Leo and took over the world as leader of the apes.

    • Actors: Mark Wahlberg, Tim Roth, Helena Bonham Carter, Michael Clarke Duncan, Paul Giamatti
    • Released: 2001
    • Directed by: Tim Burton
    1,052 votes

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  • When it debuted in 2003, Roger Ebert described the Life of David Gale as "...intellectually bankrupt and morally dishonest as it could possibly be without David Gale actually hiring himself out as a joker at the court of Saddam Hussein.” The film tells the story of David Gale (Kevin Spacey), who was sentenced for taking out his close friend.

    The plot twist reveals that Gale did not commit the offense in question, but rather his friend took her own life after receiving a terminal diagnosis. It just looked as though she had been slain. A video delivered to journalists further revealed Gale was involved in framing himself by leaving evidence. 

    The movie was an attempt to show how the justice system can make mistakes. Unfortunately, the point is lost because of the deception involved. Yes, the justice system was wrong; Gale wasn’t the offender. However, the characters purposely misled investigators with their planted evidence, so the statement doesn't make sense. 

    • Actors: Kevin Spacey, Kate Winslet, Laura Linney, Gabriel Mann, Matt Craven
    • Released: 2003
    • Directed by: Alan Parker
    574 votes

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  • 5
    1,371 VOTES

    Before he was deemed one of Hollywood’s biggest disappointments, M. Night Shyamalan was considered “the next Spielberg”  with a reputation for twist endings. However, his 2002 movie Signs was a box office success, but also kicked off a long descent into mediocrity.

    The surprise revelation in Shyamalan's third full-length feature was much weaker than previous plot twists. In humanity's struggle to battle an interplanetary alien race, audiences discover the aliens (who mastered complex intergalactic travel, by the way) are severely allergic to water. It begs the question: why would these aliens try to invade Earth when almost three-quarters of the surface is water? 

    Also, if water is so abundant in the universe, why didn't the aliens develop any defense against it? They have invisibility cloaks and space-traversing ships, but nothing to stay dry when spritzed with H20?

    It may have been a reference to H.G. Wells’s War of The Worlds, but within Hollywood's universe, it just didn’t make sense.

    • Actors: Mel Gibson, Joaquin Phoenix, Cherry Jones, Rory Culkin, Abigail Breslin
    • Released: 2002
    • Directed by: M. Night Shyamalan
    1,371 votes

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  • 6
    529 VOTES

    Danny Boyle’s Sunshine explores philosophical ideas regarding what an individual would sacrifice to save humanity. The film focuses on the crew of Icarus II, a spaceship commanded by Robert Capa (Cillian Murphy). The crew's mission is to revive the sun after a previous mission failed in this endeavor.

    The crew overcomes numerous obstacles, but the final act seems odd. The crew is led to believe some natural cause or technical malfunction destroyed the previous ship. This is where the movie suddenly shifts from sci-fi to thriller. When exploring Icarus I, Capa and his crew discover a member of the former team went insane, took out everyone on board, and is now after them.

    The tone and content of the film completely changed just to accommodate a bizarre twist.

    • Actors: Cillian Murphy, Chris Evans, Rose Byrne, Michelle Yeoh, Hiroyuki Sanada
    • Released: 2007
    • Directed by: Danny Boyle
    529 votes

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