A plot twist is a narrative device used in works of fiction and can be defined as an unexpected turn of events that retroactively changes the meaning and significance of everything that happened in the story up until that point. It's a common trick in a storyteller's toolbox which, when properly used, can bring relevance and emotion to a work of art. Like a scalpel, it can heal and improve a subject by revealing its interior and piecing it together to make it work. This is an article about the movies that got drunk, took that scalpel, and used it to play five-finger fillet on their friend's wife as a party trick. Obviously, spoilers abound.
I don't know if most of the people who watched Saw were as aggravated by its ending twist as I was. I have a feeling that torture porn fans aren't as concerned about the movie's story as they are about the many ways it shows how the human body reacts to sharp-edged metals, so maybe I'm splitting hairs here, but the fact remains that the big reveal at the end is completely idiotic.
If you don't remember, here's how it goes down: A doctor dude wakes up chained next to a photographer dude in a filthy toilet that should be an embarrassment to the owners of whatever establishment houses it, and there's also a fat corpse dude lying in the middle. A tape recorder in the fat corpse's hand informs them that they are the proud new victims of the Jigsaw Killer's latest shenanigans, and so the doctor dude has to kill the photographer dude before six o'clock or the Jigsaw Killer will cap his wife and daughter. Through a series of contrived and convoluted events we learn that the creepy guy holding doctor dude's wife and daughter hostage ain't no Jigsaw Killer. He was actually being forced by the true Jigsaw Killer to do all that kidnapping stuff. Oooo. And the Jigsaw Killer was the fat corpse in the bathroom all along. OooOOOooo.
Okay, first off, why did the Jigsaw Killer feel he needed so badly to be in the same room as his victims? I get that maybe he gets a kick out of it, but if he has to pretend like he's dead all the time, where's his erection gonna go? And that's not the only bodily function that could betray him. They stay in there for hours upon hours — what if he needs to sneeze really bad, or blow a loud fart? What if one of the other two guys there with him tells a really really good joke??? Or maybe they tell such a bad joke that the Jigsaw Killer has to pretend to laugh at it, so as not to make things awkward?
But the really stupid part is how earlier in the movie the guy holding Doctor Dude's family hostage is shown clearly enjoying it. Like, he's gently caressing the wife's face with his gun and all that. If he's a desperate victim forced into this conundrum, why does he act like that?
2. 'The Village'
X Movies With Plot Twists That Enraged EveryoneThis one is kind of the opposite of Saw for me, because I enjoyed it much more than most other people did — which is to say I didn't hate it completely. I think it's because the ridiculous and moronic nature of the twist ending reminded me so much of myself, I couldn't help but give it a chance. This was directed by current ninth place on the FBI's Most Wanted List for sucking too bad M. Night Shyamalan, and it signaled the start of his descent from “exciting new voice in cinema” to “paying to see his films by now is morally irresponsible.”
Basically, there's an 18th century village in the middle of nowhere that has always been haunted by hooded monsters who dwell in the surrounding forest, so no one ever leaves and no one really knows much of anything about the outside world. Turns out, though, that halfway through the movie someone gets a nasty boo boo and has no chance of surviving unless the villagers are able to get some meds to settle him down, so the totally level-headed and responsible higher uppers of the place decide that the best thing to do is to send a blind woman straight into the supposedly unsurvivable monster forest so she can fetch the needed medications from a nearby hospital, because maybe they thought that would be a good way to avoid having to tap into the city funds for some street signs in braille.
Long story short, the blind girl manages to get out of the forest after all and what should she encounter before her, but a modern interstate highway and a park patrol who leads her to the park service's med shack?
Yes, the village was actually an experiment by a bunch of modern-day academics to see if a people's quality of life would be better if they lived in 18th century conditions. You know, that time when toilet papers were a wedding gift and people routinely died from the flu? In reality, the whole monster song and dance bit was just a ruse made up by the creators of the experiment to keep the residents from ever venturing out of their little time-locked island stranded inside a national park. Basically, the Matrix with waistcoats.
3. 'Terminator 3'
Man, remember that movie? Arnold Schwarzenegger with the heart-shaped glasses? “Talk to the Hand”? You don't remember it? That's OK. Most people don't.
It was a direct sequel to Terminator 2 and is set nine years after that movie, and John Connor is now a sad sack working as a building contractor or something. In the future, Skynet figures out that whatever is worth trying once is worth trying twice, so they send back to the past another killer robot after him and the people who will be his future mates in the resistance. Throwing up their hands with a weary sigh as they hear what Skynet has done, the human Resistance goes, “Well... OK, I guess we have to send our own robot again to protect John,” and then Terminator 2 happens again, but worse.
This time, however, John Connor and his plucky gang decide to have a go at stopping the whole apocalypse thing from happening so they don't have to go through all of these motions again. They fight Skynet's sexy robot, then a bunch of explosions, and then they reach what is supposedly Skynet's central hub or something, but alas, it's not a central hub. It's a nuclear shelter they were sent to so they can survive the coming atomic brouhaha and do their revolution bit in the future. The Earth explodes anyway and everything happens the way it would happen if the characters had just stayed home.
So basically, the whole movie was pointless. Joke's on us, I guess.
4. 'Twilight: Breaking Dawn'
Yeah, I know. Ragging on a Twilight movie is beating a dead horse, but this one was special. It was the only one I actually watched in its entirety and indeed, it sucked. It sucked in the beginning and it sucked in the middle, so I was prepared for a sucky ending, but I never realized the depths that this movie could reach. It was already scratching at the bottom of the barrel, but when one would think it could not get any worse, it did.
The plot of the movie follows a bunch of plot happening, and in the end there's big confrontation between werewolves and vampires in the middle of nowhere. That was the part where I pulled the gun out of my mouth, because I started realizing that the big fight that followed actually kicked a little ass. It had some cool special effects and a lot of people burning and a lot of people getting decapitated. It got me going for a while, but of course, it took advantage of my innocence and swindled me out of that last sliver of enjoyment. Turns out that the whole thing didn't happen. It was an illusion projected into the villain's head by the psychic vampire girl. It was all a dream.
It made sense to me, then. When I was watching the battle unfold I thought “That can't be happening. All these main characters dying? But it's got to be happening, because the only alternative is that it is all a dream, and no one does that anymore. International law forbids it, unless you're Jacob's Ladder, and Jacob's Ladder this ain't,” but what I failed to realize is that Twilight respects no laws. It respects nothing. It's a force of nature, it laughs at our feeble attempts at civilized order. It's like a giant magic pig stampeding through town: You can't reason with it. And you can't kill it, because it's magic. The only thing you can do is get away from its path, and I was fool enough to traipse right into it, so I deserved what I got, and what I got was pain. I could hear that magic pig's horrifying chortle long after it had trampled me over and ran away with the last shreds of my spirit stuck to its hooves and flailing in the air, and what that chortle said was, “Up yours, sucker!”