Underrated Horror Whodunits, Ranked By Their Twists

List Rules
Vote up the horror movies that kept you guessing until the reveal.

The horror genre can encompass however many subgenres you can throw at it. Scary movies, specifically slasher films, are uniquely suited to telling whodunit stories that are as bloody as they are mysterious. Thanks to various horror booms in the '80s, '90s and 2010s, there's a glut of slasher whodunits out there, making it hard to figure out which movies are actually worth your time.

The following films are some of the most underrated whodunits in the horror genre, and it's up to you to let us know which of them is the best based on their twists. Each of these horror movies takes a different approach to their inherent mysteries - some of them are straightforward, others require the audience to pay close attention to guess the killer, and still others have twists that just can't be guessed.


  • 1
    286 VOTES

    Identity has a star-studded cast featuring John Cusack, Ray Liotta, and Rebecca De Mornay as strangers stuck in a motel during a rainstorm. Aside from those three, we've got a former cop, a waitress, a sex worker, newlyweds, a young boy, and a murderer.

    As members of this motley crew are taken out one by one, all suspicions are placed on Robert Maine, the convicted serial killer, but as this is based on an Agatha Christie novel, the audience knows it can't be that easy. 

    Things get weird as the numbers dwindle and bodies start disappearing. Finally, the former police officer realizes that one of the surviving members of his crew is actually the killer, and the two men shoot one another. And then? The movie jumps over to a mental institution, where it's revealed that the entire murder mystery took place inside a serial killer's mind.

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  • You're Next
    Photo: Lionsgate
    2
    154 VOTES

    There's nothing scarier than meeting the in-laws, especially when there's a killer on the loose. Things get underway pretty much immediately after Erin and her boyfriend, Crispin, arrive at his family's Missouri vacation home. 

    Joining them are Crispin's wealthy parents, his brothers, sister, and their respective partners. If that sounds like a lot of cast members, don't worry - as the family sits down to dinner, arrows fly through the windows and take out ancillary characters.

    Animal mask-wearing killers make their way into the home, which initially makes the family seem completely innocent; however, it quickly becomes apparent that the killers were hired by Crispin, his brother Felix, and Felix's partner, Zee. This reveal sets up a brutal and bloody finale that audiences will never forget.

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  • 3
    136 VOTES

    When Tree Gelbman wakes up hungover on her birthday, the last thing she expects is to be murdered. Over the course of at least 10 days, Tree is killed in various ways by an assailant wearing the mask of her school mascot. Each traumatic death brings her closer to discovering the killer's identity, but not until she starts paying attention to the little things does she uncover exactly who her assailant is.

    Tree realizes that Lori, one of her sorority sisters, is her killer after Lori offers her a cupcake in her final loop. She concludes that the cupcake is poisoned since she died in her sleep during a previous loop, and she then uses the same cupcake to take out her frenemy - well, she tries the cupcake, then throws Lori out a window.

  • 4
    159 VOTES

    Urban Legend is one of a glut of slashers that takes its cues from Scream, but this movie elevates a simple premise to pure camp by its whacky finale. When a killer begins stalking Pendleton University, they use a series of urban legends as their M.O. A young woman is hacked to death when she fails to check the backseat of her car, and another victim chugs Pop Rocks and soda before succumbing to a fizzy end.

    Thanks to the Scream of it all, every character in Urban Legend is a red herring, from the freaky goth roommate to overly critical journalism student Paul. However, the real killer - best friend Brenda - waits until the rain-soaked finale to reveal the truth: She's taking out her classmates because her fiancé was killed when - prior to the events of the film - the final girl was driving with her headlights off to carry out the classic “gang initiation” urban legend.

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  • There's something supremely weird about Sleepaway Camp that differentiates it from the rest of the Friday the 13th copycats released in the '80s. It's not just the bonkers twist or the unhinged performances - it's the film's entire being. 

    In the movie's opening scene, a dad and his two kids (Peter and Angela) are in a speedboat accident. Only one of the children survives. Eight years later, Angela now lives with her aunt, who drops her and her cousin off at Camp Arawak for a few weeks of fun and sun - and that's when the bodies start piling up.

    Where most whodunits have red herrings, Sleepaway Camp has a dead giveaway as to the killer's identity. Every time the movie cuts to the killer's POV, it's from a low angle looking up at the victims. There's no way the killer is anyone but Angela, but that's not really the twist.

    The actual out-of-nowhere twist in Sleepaway Camp occurs in the movie's final frames: After Angela cuts the head off her final victim, Paul, the film cuts to her, completely nude, revealing that she has biologically male anatomy - meaning Angela was actually Peter when she survived the opening scene's accident. Even if you've already seen the movie, the ending remains shocking.

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  • 6
    110 VOTES

    Devil

    Devil is the one movie that dares to ask the question: What if there was a devil? When five people are stuck in an elevator - a security guard, a mechanic, a salesman, a pretty woman, and an older woman - they're offed one by one by the devil himself with no one to help them.

    At a smooth 80 minutes, Devil never outstays its welcome, even if it's pretty obvious that the little old lady is the devil in disguise. The film attempts to paint Tony, the mechanic, as the demonic presence in the film, but there's so much focus on him that there's just no way he's killing people in an elevator.