Top 10 Strangest Movie Plot Twists
VOICE OVER: Phoebe de Jeu
WRITTEN BY: Nick Spake
Well, we definitely didn't see that coming. For this list, we're looking at on-screen twists that aren't necessarily bad, but they're certainly strange. Our countdown includes "Ghostbusters", “The Wicker Man”, "Serenity", and more!
Top 10 Weirdest Movie Plot Twists
Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Weirdest Movie Plot Twists.
For this list, we’re looking at on-screen twists that aren’t necessarily bad, but they’re certainly strange. Since we’ll be talking about key plot points and endings, a spoiler alert is in order.
Let us know which of these twists YOU found the weirdest in the comments!
#10: Appointment with the Wicker Man
“The Wicker Man” (2006)
This remake’s twist wasn’t entirely out of the blue, as its 1973 predecessor also climaxed with a human sacrifice. Yet, the 2006 version of “The Wicker Man” makes matters infinitely weirder. Even if you knew that the film would end with a giant wicker man statue, nobody expected to see Nicolas Cage in a bear suit or Ellen Burstyn wearing “Braveheart” makeup. Where the original’s ending was over-the-top yet eerily quiet, the remake’s ending plunges itself into madness. Cage embraces that madness, screaming his way to a Razzie nomination. As the neo-pagans restrain Cage’s Edward, they hobble him and shower him with bees before burning him alive. What makes this twist especially outlandish is the motivation behind the sacrifice: honey! Talk about a sticky situation.
#9: The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man
See? We told you that not every twist on this list was bad. When it comes to comedic curveballs, “Ghostbusters” set a gold standard with its climax, in which our heroes are asked to choose a form for the villainous Gozer. While the other Ghostbusters attempt to block out their thoughts, Ray can’t help but think about something wholesome: The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. A combination of the Michelin Man and Poppin’ Fresh might not sound very menacing. When he’s beefed up to kaiju size, though, well… it’s bad news for humanity. Although a bag of Stay Puft Marshmallows was previously seen in Dana’s apartment, we never thought that this corporate mascot would have such a massive part. It’s beyond the capacity for rational thought.
#8: Martin’s Secret
“The Secret of NIMH 2: Timmy to the Rescue” (1998)
We weren’t sure what to expect from this straight-to-video sequel, but we definitely didn’t anticipate this third act twist. Arriving at NIMH, Timmy and his friends find the human scientists and other mice brainwashed. And who’s the diabolical mastermind behind this plot? Why, Timmy’s older brother, Martin, of course. When he got captured, Martin was subjected to experiments that turned him evil, not to mention British and musically inclined. Martin plans to take over Thorn Valley because… oh, what difference does it make? This big reveal is bonkers! Maybe we could accept this twist in an episode of “Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers.” To accept it in a “Secret of NIMH” movie, however, we’d need to drink some serious Kool-Aid. Just say no.
#7: The Rubik’s Cube
“Dude, Where’s My Car?” (2000)
This comedy starts with two stoners attempting to locate their missing car. It’s quirky but seemingly grounded in reality. As their search continues, though, things get strangely supernatural. By the end, it’s less about finding the car and more about finding an alien device called the Continuum Transfunctioner. All the while, Chester attempts to solve a Rubik’s Cube that he found in his suit. What seems like a throwaway running gag is actually integral to the plot. Finishing the Rubik’s Cube unlocks the Continuum Transfunctioner’s true form. We’re not sure if this twist was well-plotted or completely random. In any case, it’s certainly a bizarre twist and the weirdness only escalates with the formation of a “Super Hot Giant Alien.”
#6: Aliens Did It
“The Forgotten” (2004)
Granted, the trailer did kind of spoil this nutty twist. For those who went into “The Forgotten” blind, however, the movie probably didn’t go in the direction that they were anticipating. The film begins as a psychological thriller with Julianne Moore’s Telly being the only one who remembers her departed son. The deeper that Telly and another parent dig, it appears that there may be a conspiracy going on beneath the surface. It turns out that the conspiracy is actually happening above, as an agent is pulled up into the sky by some alien force after breaking his silence. For many, this revelation is where the film started to get just a little too silly and surreal. Love it or hate it, it’s a twist that you’ll never forget.
#5: Puppy Power?
You’d be hard-pressed to find an adult who sincerely likes Scrappy-Doo. Heck, even a lot of kids find Scooby’s little nephew to be obnoxious. Still, never in a million years did we expect the big reveal of a ruthless villain to be Scrappy. Yet in this live-action adaptation of the animated franchise, the villainous robotis indeed being controlled by Scrappy. Turning to evil after the gang ditched him, Scrappy absorbs enough souls to turn himself into a giant monster. Scrappy-Doo and demon cults… On the one hand, it makes no sense. On the other hand, it makes too much sense. Either way, you don’t need to be a member of Mystery Inc. to understand why this twist is weird.
#4: By the Way, Jo Was a Ghost
“Safe Haven” (2013)
For a majority of its runtime, “Safe Haven” is a typical Nicholas Sparks adaptation with a small-town romance and a one-note villain. After her husband gets his just desserts, Katie settles down with Alex and his children. If the movie ended there, it would likely blend into the crowd. In the last few minutes, however, Katie learns that a neighbor she befriended is actually Alex’s late wife. That’s right, Katie was talking with a ghost this whole time. Not only does this twist come out of almost nowhere, but it contributes little to the plot. You could leave it on the cutting room floor and nothing would be lost. Of course, we would lose a twist that’s so absurd that we oddly admire it.
#3: The Druid Curse
“Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers” (1995)
We guess it’s debatable if this is really a twist, seeing how the title clarifies upfront that Michael Myers is cursed. If you had been following the “Halloween” franchise since 1978, though, hearing this title came as something of a shock. Originally Michael seemed like a boogeyman who could exist in the real world. Watching this film, we learn that the Runic symbol of Thorn was apparently used to curse Michael, turning him into an immortal being driven to end his bloodline on Halloween. The mysterious Man in Black is revealed to be Dr. Terence Wynn, who’s been pulling Michael’s strings from the get-go. Given the response to this convoluted new direction, we can see why it was retconned… multiple times.
#2: “Puberty Love”
“Attack of the Killer Tomatoes” (1978)
How exactly do you end a movie called “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes?” With a twist that’s every bit as ridiculous as the title, obviously. As the killer tomatoes paint the town red, our heroes discover the key to stopping them: playing an ear-piercing song entitled “Puberty Love.” We didn’t realize that tomatoes had ears. Then again, we didn’t realize that tomatoes could be cannibalistic either. For some reason, the music makes the tomatoes shrink, allowing people to crush them like… well, tomatoes. The weirdest thing of all, “Puberty Love” was sung by a young Matt Cameron, a future drummer for Pearl Jam. A similar twist would be used in “Mars Attacks!,” as Slim Whitman’s “Indian Love Call” causes alien heads to literally explode.
Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
Laurie Is Michael’s Sister, “Halloween II” (1981)
Yeah, That Got Retconned Too
Hail to the Chimp, “Planet of the Apes” (2001)
You Maniacs! You Blew It!
Just Add Water, “Signs” (2002)
We Didn’t Forget About You, Shyamalan
Gale Framed Himself, “The Life of David Gale” (2003)
Um… You Really Showed Them, Mr. Gale?
#1: It’s a Computer Game
The opening of “Serenity” is full of melodrama, cheesy lines, and Matthew McConaughey at his most McConaughey. About forty minutes in, the audience may think that they have a grasp on this movie’s universe. Then we learn that this is all a computer game. Um, did the “Vanilla Sky” screenwriter hijack this movie? Adding to the craziness, McConaughey’s character is dead in real life and this game was designed by his young son, Patrick. Why? Because Patrick’s mother remarried a cruel man. Apparently beating the game gives Patrick the confidence to take out his stepfather. Even if that made sense, it still wouldn’t explain why Patrick created a simulated reality where his parents get it on and his father is “a hooker without a hook.”