Underrated Horror And Thriller Films From The Early 2000s With Unexpected Twists

Voting Rules

Vote up the twists from the early aughts that “aught” to be talked about more.

The early 2000s gave filmgoers some terrifying twists in horror and thriller films, including reanimated corpses, pranks ending in murder, and even a good old-fashioned whodunit. Vote up your favorite plot twists, and vote down the ones that make no sense.

If you're in the mood for even more twisted tales, also check out underrated shocks from the 2010s.

Warning: Spoilers below.

  • 1
    458 VOTES

    The Set-Up: Convict Malcolm Rivers is set to be executed for mass murder unless his psychiatrist, Dr. Malick, can prove his insanity.

    Meanwhile, a severe storm forces 10 strangers to take shelter in a motel: a limousine driver, an actress, a sex worker, a newlywed couple, a correctional officer, the convicted murderer he's transporting, and a mother and father with their 9-year-old son, Timmy. The group soon realizes they're all named after states and have the same birthday - the same day Rivers committed his crimes.

    One by one, the members of the group are killed off - but by whom? And why?

    The Twist: The 10 strangers are actually 10 personalities Rivers created as a child, and the motel is all in his mind. Malick believes that if the murdering personality is eliminated in Rivers's brain, he can plead insanity, and therefore, his execution will be called off.

    At the motel, three people ultimately remain. The limousine driver and the correctional officer (who was really the convicted murderer playing dress-up) shoot and kill one another, leaving only the sex worker alive. Because of this, Malick is convinced the murderer inside Rivers is deceased.

    But as Rivers is driven to a psychiatric hospital, viewers discover the murdering personality survived - and it was young Timmy all along. The 9-year-old kills the sex worker as Rivers kills Dr. Malick.

    458 votes

    Available On:

  • The Set-Up: Newlyweds Cliff and Cydney Anderson are honeymooning in Hawaii when they meet two couples - Cleo and Kale, and Nick and Gina. Nick learns that Cliff is a screenwriter and begins telling him his life story, thinking it should be made into a movie.

    A double homicide takes place in the area, and authorities suspect the killers are a man and woman. Eventually, Cleo and Kale are arrested, but are they the two responsible?

    The Twist: The slain couple is the real Cliff and Cydney, and the newlyweds the audience has been following are drug-addicted killers who assume their victims' identities after learning about their lives under the guise of being screenwriters.

    270 votes

    Available On:

  • The Set-Up: Family estate lawyer Luke Marshall persuades Caroline Ellis to take a position as the full-time caretaker of stroke victim Benjamin Devereaux.

    When Ellis finds a secret room in the attic where Devereaux allegedly had his stroke, she asks his wife, Violet, about it. Violet says the house's previous owners employed two Black servants, Mama Cecile and Papa Justify, who were lynched after performing a hoodoo ritual on the owners' two children.

    Eventually, Ellis comes to believe Devereaux's stroke was caused by hoodoo, and she attempts to help him escape before Violet can perform another spell on him.

    The Twist: Violet - who is actually Mama Cecile - switches bodies with Ellis and gives her a potion that makes her appear as though she had a stroke. The film also reveals that Marshall is actually Papa Justify, and the two have been switching bodies for more than 90 years.

    Their first victims? The children of the house's original owners, just before Cecile and Justify were lynched.

    347 votes

    Available On:


  • The Set-Up: When child psychiatrist Dr. Nathan Conrad's daughter, Jessie, is kidnapped, the abductors demand he persuade one of his patients - Brittany Murphy in a scene-stealing role as Elisabeth Burrows - to reveal a six-digit number that will lead them to a $10 million gem.

    The Twist: Burrows is the daughter of a man who double-crossed one of the abductors. Her father hid the gem in Burrows's doll, which she then placed inside his coffin. The six-digit number the abductors seek is the number of her father's grave on New York's Hart Island.

    224 votes

    Available On:



  • 5
    166 VOTES

    The Set-Up: Ted Crawford shoots his wife, Jennifer, after discovering an affair between her and police detective Rob Nunally. Jennifer, though wounded, survives the attack. The police are called to the scene, including Nunally, who convinces Crawford they should both drop their weapons.

    Despite Crawford confessing to the attempted murder, there isn't enough evidence to convict him. In fact, his gun has never been fired before. Video of the property proves Crawford never left the house after the shooting, so how did he get away with his wife's attempted murder?

    The Twist: Some time before the shooting, Crawford switched his gun with Nunally's and used it during the attempted murder. He then switched the guns back at the crime scene when Nunally wasn't looking.

    Believing he can't be charged for the same crime twice, Crawford again confesses to shooting his wife; however, he's unaware that since the hospitalized Jennifer was taken off life support, he can now be convicted of first-degree murder.

    166 votes

    Available On:


  • 6
    250 VOTES

    Dead Silence (2007)

    The Set-Up: After Jamie Ashen finds his pregnant wife dead with her tongue cut out, he travels back to his hometown to find information on the one lead he has: a dead ventriloquist named Mary Shaw.

    Ashen visits his father, Edward, who is now married to a young woman named Ella. He learns that his great-uncle once taunted Shaw during her ventriloquist act, prompting Shaw to kill him as revenge. Someone then cut out Shaw's tongue and transformed her body into a doll.

    The Twist: The audience eventually learns Ella is a doll Shaw created, and that Edward Ashen actually died long ago - and his corpse was converted into a ventriloquist dummy. Shaw - through Ella - has been controlling the Edward doll throughout the entire film.

    Shaw aims to end the Ashen bloodline, which is why she killed Jamie Ashen's wife and unborn child.

    250 votes

    Available On: