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Spoiler Alert! The 25 Best Horror Movie Twist Endings

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15. High Tension (2005)

© Lions Gate
A psychotic truck driver invades a home one night, killing the family and kidnapping the daughter. He doesn't realize, though, that the daughter's friend, Marie, was spending the night at the house, and she hitches a ride in the back of the killer's truck in order to help free her friend. Then things get weird...

Spoiler Alert! The male killer we see throughout the film is actually a figment of Marie's imagination. She's the one doing all of the slicing and dicing. It's one of those improbable endings that explains away the inconsistencies by stating that everything was seen through the eyes of a crazy person. The same thing happed with Glitter.

14. The Wicker Man (1973)

© Anchor Bay
An uptight British policeman investigates a missing child on a British isle that celebrates pagan customs. Although considered to be a horror classic, the only real moment of horror comes in the movie's final moments.

Spoiler Alert! The story of the missing girl was made up to lure the cop to the island so that he could be sacrificed to the inhabitants' pagan gods in a burning "wicker man." Weenie roast at 8:00 by the goat's skull!

13. The Orphanage (2007)

© Picturehouse
Soon after a couple moves into an abandoned orphanage, their young son goes missing, and the mother suspects that the ghost of a boy she saw with a bag over his head might be responsible.

Spoiler Alert! The ending is open to interpretation, but from what I gather, the house is haunted, but the "ghost" that the mother sees is in fact her son dressed as the bag-headed ghost boy. After she punishes him for misbehaving, the son puts a bag on his head, attacks his mother, then gets scared and runs to hide in a secret room accessible through a closet, where he falls down and dies. In the mother's haste to find him, she inadvertently knocks over a post in the closet that blocks the secret passage, preventing the son's body from being found.

12. Diabolique (1964)

© Criterion
A wife plots to kill her husband with her husband's mistress, but after the deed is done, the body disappears. This French film actually includes a message at the end warning viewers not to reveal the twist ending to people who haven't seen it. Oh well...

Spoiler Alert! The husband isn't really dead. He and the mistress plot to make the wife think he's dead, then scare her into having a heart attack.

11. Black Christmas (1974)

© Eclectic
A sorority house must deal with a series of threatening phone calls and the disappearances of some of their sisters.

Spoiler Alert! Five years before When a Stranger Calls, Black Christmas originated the "crank calls coming from inside the house" routine and put it where it should be: at the film's climax. Granted, this revelation isn't terribly surprising, since we see the killer systematically picking off sorority figures inside the house, but it was influential, and the film's final twist is that the man who dies and is assumed to be the killer turns out not to be the one. He's still INSIDE THE HOUSE.

10. Angel Heart (1987)

© Live / Artisan
A private investigator in the '50s named Harry Angel is hired to find a former singer named Johnny Favorite, who disappeared after fighting in World War II. During his investigation, Angel stumbles upon a series of murders on the way to a shocking revelation.

Spoiler Alert! Harry is Johnny. Johnny killed the real Harry and assumed his identity, then was drafted into the war and got injured, requiring extensive facial surgery and causing amnesia -- so he doesn't realize who he is, and no one recognizes him. Furthermore, Harry/Johnny is the person killing all of the people, under the influence of the man who hired him...Satan himself! (who looks surprisingly like Robert De Niro)

9. The Skeleton Key (2005)

© Universal
Caroline gets a job as a live-in nurse for an incapacitated man living in a Louisiana plantation with his wife, Violet. The house is rumored to be haunted by the ghosts of two servants -- a husband and wife -- who were hanged in the 1920s for trying to teach the owner's children hoodoo.

Spoiler Alert! The spirits of the two servants are in the bodies of the old couple. Well, originally, the old man held the male servant's soul, but it was transferred into a young lawyer, while the spirit of the female servant is transferred at the end from Violet into Caroline's body. The film ends with Caroline's soul and that of the young lawyer occupying the old couple's bodies, both incapacitated and mute, and the servants having new young bodies.

8. Seven (1995)

© New Line
Two police detectives, Mills and Somerset, try to catch a serial killer who chooses victims who break one of the seven deadly sins. As we reach the climax, the killer has accounted for five of the seven sins, until...the box.

Spoiler Alert! The killer offers to take Mills and Somerset to the location of the sixth and seventh victims. When they arrive at the barren outdoor location, a delivery van drives up and drops off a box containing Mills' wife's head -- thankfully, not C.O.D. The killer confesses that he killed her because he was envious (the sixth sin) of the Mills' family life. Mills, using his wrath (the seventh sin), then shoots him dead, all according to the killer's plans.

7. Friday the 13th (1980)

© Paramount
A boy named Jason drowns at Camp Crystal Lake in 1957, and a year later, when two counselors are murdered, the camp is closed down. Jason's body is never found, and he's rumored to still be lurking. Twenty-two years later, it reopens, only to have a killer begin stalking the camp counselors once again.

Spoiler Alert! Is Jason responsible for the deaths? No, it's his mother, Mrs. Vorhees, wearing a fashionable sweater. But wait, there's more! The last remaining counselor, Alice, kills Mrs. Vorhees and goes for a gentle float in a canoe -- at which point Jason's decaying little boy body jumps out of the water and drags her under. The police eventually pull her out, and Jason is never heard from again...except 11 or so more times.

6. The Ring (2002)

© Dreamworks
Rachel, a reporter investigating a video tape rumored to bring death to anyone who watches it, finds out that it is somehow tied to a mysterious young girl named Samara.

Spoiler Alert! Rachel does all of the grunt work to find out that Samara's body is lying at the bottom of a well and then even goes down there to retrieve it -- thus, by all normal movie logic, freeing the restless spirit from haunting people through video tapes and prank phone calls. However, as Rachel's psychic son so effectively points out, Samara is evil, and Rachel has succeeded in freeing her spirit to kill at will. Nice one, Mom.

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