13 Times Movies Turned Supernatural Out Of Nowhere

List Rules
Vote up the most unexpected times when movies took a magical turn.

Without a doubt, we've all been in the theater or on the couch watching a movie when something unexpected happens. Not a conventional twist, but something magical that no one could have called in a million years. There's no hard-and-fast rule for when a movie is going to get supernatural. Many of the films here are sequels that have run out of ideas, but just as many of them are standalone movies that were sold as grounded pieces of fiction.

Just because a movie takes a magical turn at random doesn't mean it's bad. A lot of the films included here have a WTF factor that makes them a fun watch even if it's only a one-time viewing. That being said, some of the entries that are part of a beloved series will leave you screaming "Why?" into the void.

Let us know which of these movies really took a turn for the supernatural out of nowhere, and which tonal changes you totally saw coming.


  • In The ‘Halloween’ Franchise, Michael Myers Starts As An Escaped Mental Patient, But Becomes Superhuman
    Photo: Halloween II / Universal Pictures

    Halloween has a simple premise: An escaped mental patient named Michael Myers returns to his hometown on Halloween and starts icing babysitters and their boyfriends. Not only does this movie absolutely slap, but it also inspired every slasher film that followed - but then came the sequels.

    Picking up moments after the end of Halloween, the sequel establishes that Michael isn't just a super-man who can't be taken down by conventional means; he's also powered by the Celtic festival of Samhain. The reveal that Michael has some kind of witch energy powering him is mind-boggling - and it completely upends the horror of the first film.

    Michael is set on fire and presumably perishes at the end of the sequel, but he returns in the fourth Halloween film, complete with a psychic link to his niece. As bonkers as this change in character is, it only gets weirder. It's revealed in the sixth film that Michael is actually controlled by the Cult of Thorn. Through a series of spells, they have him carry out their bloody bidding for incredibly convoluted reasons. And you thought he was just some guy in a Captain Kirk mask.

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    In 'Underwater,' Everything Can Be Blamed On Cthulhu

    Underwater is one of the most underrated horror movies of the last few years, and for much of its runtime, the film is a fraught, underwater take on the format created by Ridley Scott in Alien. Basically, Kristen Stewart is working at a research facility in the Mariana Trench when an earthquake destroys part of the vessel.

    Stewart and whatever survivors she can find make their way through the crumbling facility, trying to survive the depths, as well as the strange aquatic lifeforms they interact with along the way. Most of the movie plays out this way, and it's pretty realistic. We don't really know what's in the deepest parts of the oceans, and the Mariana Trench is unexplored.

    By the end of the film, Stewart's character has become resigned to her fate and realizes she may be able to save her coworkers, but she can't save herself. In these final moments, a giant, tentacled monster - that's absolutely one of H.P. Lovecraft's creations: Cthulhu - is revealed, reframing the entire film as another entry in the cosmic horror canon.

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  • Weekend at Bernie's tells the relatively down-to-earth story of two low-level insurance company employees who discover the body of their former boss in his home in the Hamptons. The guys do what any of us would do and slap a pair of sunglasses on their boss (Bernie) and pretend he's alive so they can party at his pad for the weekend.

    Four years later, the film's sequel brought Bernie's corpse back through the magic of voodoo. But not just any voodoo - poorly performed voodoo that leaves Bernie only able to walk when he hears music. This complete 180 towards the realm of the supernatural makes us question the entire premise of the first Weekend at Bernie's. Are voodoo and other forms of magic simply accepted in this universe? Do people not bat an eye at a clearly deceased person dancing through the beaches of the Virgin Islands? Are gangster underlings turned into goats (a thing that seriously happens in the film) all the time? It's time for Weekend at Bernie's III to clear all of this up.

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  • In The 'Friday the 13th' Films, Jason Starts Out As A Real Human, Then Gets Resurrected And Ends Up Controlled By A Demon
    Photo: Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives / Paramount Pictures

    When Jason arrived at Camp Crystal Lake in Friday the 13th Part II, he was but a simple outdoorsman with a love for offing camp counselors and hanging out with his mother's severed head. Jason remained more or less human throughout the third and fourth films. He was tough and had cardio to spare, but he wasn't supernatural in any way.

    That all changed in Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives. The sixth film in the franchise changed the game in a huge way. Not only did Jason Lives bring Jason back to life, but it did so through classically supernatural means. The film opens with Tommy Jarvis seeking out Jason's grave and stabbing his corpse through the chest with a giant piece of metal that naturally attracts a lightning strike.

    The lightning brings Jason back as if he's Frankenstein's monster, something that begins a run of films where this hockey mask-wearing killer is essentially a zombie without a need to feed on brains. Chain him to the bottom of a lake, have your dead dad come back and drown him, or hit him with a spray of toxic waste - you're not going to stop Jason. To make matters worse, in Jason Goes to Hell, it's revealed that Jason (and the Voorhees family) has been controlled by a demon-worm thing from the first movie. 

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  • Batman Returns may not be all that realistic - it does feature a billionaire dressed like a bat and a man who's sort of a penguin - but in that heightened reality, it's somewhat grounded. People vote. They attend multiple Christmas celebrations. They even explode, but they don't do anything magical - not until the final moments of the film.

    The "magic" comes into play after Catwoman bites the dust following a taser-powered kiss with her former boss Max Shreck. The film comes to an end with Bruce Wayne moping through Gotham before rescuing a cat from an alley. As he and his manservant Alfred pull away, the formerly deceased Catwoman steps into frame and watches over the city. There are several earlier moments where Catwoman appears to have 'died' but could've plausibly survived, but the final shot removed any ambiguity.

    As screenwriter Daniel Waters explains:

    “To me, the whole nine lives thing was just a piece of dialogue and vague artistic license. It was never something I considered literally. In my script, and even in the movie, Selina Kyle dies at the end. She’s completely dead after the electric kiss with Walken. The final shot of her head coming into foreground, that was literally done two weeks before the movie came out. Test screenings showed that people responded positively to the Catwoman character, so the studio wanted a more concrete glimpse that she was still alive.”

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  • The Boy tells the story of a woman who takes a job as a caretaker at a suspiciously gothic mansion, only to learn that most of her job is to be spent placating a porcelain doll who acts out when things don't go the way he wants. The finale of the film reveals that the doll is just a doll, but there's a creepy maniac living in the walls of the mansion who uses the doll as a kind of cipher for his wants and desires.

    When the maniac in the walls doesn't get what he wants, he acts out, and people perish. This movie should not be good, but against all odds, it's one of the most fun horror movies of the 2010s. Brahms: The Boy II takes the deliciously sinister twist from the original film and sidesteps it by insisting that there was some kind of demonic possession thing happening with the doll after all.

    The worst part about the magical reveal of Brahms: The Boy II is that it's kind of a drag. There's no creepy fun to be had here, and rather than use the ghost doll to tell a more nuanced story or just lean into the camp of it all, nothing really happens. This is one movie that got randomly magical that's actually less bonkers than the more grounded original.