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Five Overused Twist Endings It's Time to Retire 
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Post Five Overused Twist Endings It's Time to Retire
Inspired by the recent discussion about M. Night Shyamalan, something completely unoriginal from yours truly! A web link from Cracked, titled, "Five Overused Twist Endings It's Time to Retire." For those too lazy to point and click, I put them all down below through the miracle of cut and paste. The article concludes with the statement that these days, the most mind-blowing twist would be no twist at all. Heh... there might be actually be something to that.

http://www.cracked.com/article_20467_5-overused-twist-endings-its-time-movies-to-retire.html?wa_user1=2&wa_user2=Movies+%26+TV&wa_user3=article&wa_user4=companion

#5. It Turns Out Everyone Is Long-Lost Family

Lost, Heroes, The Terminator, the Star Wars franchise, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Glee, at least one recent video game

#4. The Entire Plot Was Just an Incredibly Complicated Ruse

The Dark Knight, The Tourist, The Game, Matchstick Men, Lucky Number Slevin, Shutter Island

#3. The Extra-Good Guy Is Evil

The Da Vinci Code, The Dark Knight Rises, Dollhouse, Veronica Mars, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

#2. It Turns Out You Can Change the Future

Source Code, Terminator 2, Deja Vu, The Lake House, Minority Report

#1. The Twist Just for the Hell of It

The Saw series, anything written by M. Night Shyamalan, and virtually every thriller for the past decade


Thu Jun 06, 2013 6:23 pm
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Post Re: Five Overused Twist Endings It's Time to Retire
What about the staple of almost every horror film? the "it was all a dream/hallucination" ending, man I hate those!

#5 sounds less like a twist and more of an overused plot device

#4 can work on occasion, I was fine with Lucky Number Slevin and The Tourist

#2 again can work on occasion

Agreed on #1, can't tell you how many horror films i've seen with a totally random twist just for the hell of it.


Thu Jun 06, 2013 6:34 pm
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Post Re: Five Overused Twist Endings It's Time to Retire
#5 isn't really a twist, so much as an inherent limitation of working on a long-running and potentially endless piece of fiction--a film franchise, a TV series, etc. You have a limited cast of primary characters to work with, so their lives tend to start interrelating in implausible ways as the story carries on. This is a branch of the "conservation of detail" storytelling principle that has doesn't translate to reality. We interact with strangers who have no later consequences in our lives all the time.

And #3 is tragedy in a nutshell. It's been with us since Ancient Greece. I don't think it's going to go away.

If I were to submit a #6, I would suggest the "big bad guy is not actually the big bad guy" twist, which is on the fast track to becoming a cliche. This, to me, seems like a way for adventure genre adaptations to use more than one bad guy from the source material without really using more than one bad guy... nahmeen?[/b]

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Thu Jun 06, 2013 6:54 pm
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Post Re: Five Overused Twist Endings It's Time to Retire
Vexer wrote:
What about the staple of almost every horror film? the "it was all a dream/hallucination" ending, man I hate those!


Oh yes, me too! And movies or TV series in general. You spend hours journeying with a group of characters or whatnot, and then... "PYSCHE!" A notable exception: The Wizard of Oz. That worked for me.


Thu Jun 06, 2013 7:20 pm
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Post Re: Five Overused Twist Endings It's Time to Retire
#5's okay though, in "Once Upon a Time" because the plot lines from stories in the fairy tale world are playing out in the modern world, even for characters that find themselves in Storybrooke.

As for #4 (also "Now You See Me'), "The Game" told you from the title it was a game, told you right away it was a game, then did a good job convincing you that it wasn't a game, so having its particular twist was really the point.

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Thu Jun 06, 2013 8:56 pm
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Post Re: Five Overused Twist Endings It's Time to Retire
Another for this list: The bad guy is actually a good guy undercover.

Closely related to #3

-See also, every damned Scooby Doo ending.

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Thu Jun 06, 2013 10:18 pm
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Post Re: Five Overused Twist Endings It's Time to Retire
Awf Hand wrote:
See also, every damned Scooby Doo ending.


Love the way Wayne's World spoofed that type of ending

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Fri Jun 07, 2013 12:23 am
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Post Re: Five Overused Twist Endings It's Time to Retire
Personally, I think twists work or don't work because of how well their incorporated into the story, not because of the nature of the twist being used. I mean personally its more important to me how the twist is used in the service of the story.
Not that some twists in of themselves cannot be problematic, nor is it a good idea to tack a twist on just for the sake of having a twist, but I just dislike the idea of arbitrarily limiting what a filmmaker can or cannot do when telling a story.
The only exception to that is that I think filmmakers really really need to think long and hard before employing rapid fire editing at any point including action scenes, but other then that, I say if it works for the story, go for it.

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Fri Jun 07, 2013 2:36 pm
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Post Re: Five Overused Twist Endings It's Time to Retire
I generally agree, but the nature of a twist is that if it gets used too much, after a while it stops being able to work as a twist. It becomes very hard not to telegraph it to the audience.

Years down the line when these movies are being viewed out of their time, it won't matter so much.

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Fri Jun 07, 2013 6:38 pm
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Post Re: Five Overused Twist Endings It's Time to Retire
Ever since The Sixth Sense came out, they've tried to copy that movie's twist in so many other movies in various ways. Sometimes it worked (The Others) and sometimes it didn't (November, Passengers).


Sat Jun 08, 2013 4:52 am
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Post Re: Five Overused Twist Endings It's Time to Retire
Source Code isn't really an example of #2 because that movie involved making an alternate timeline/universe instead. It was such an amazing, mind blowing ending!

Also all of the movies you mentioned for #2 were great IMO. I even loved and thought Deja Vu was quite clever. You could also lump Looper with that group. Lots of great movies. So clearly, I don't mind #2.


I like #4 when it's done well. For instance, one of the most clever ways of "the main plot being a ruse" was done was with season 3 of 24. If you've seen the show and the season, you'll know what I mean. But I thought the twist around hour 7-ish was very clever even though it meant that the virus threat at the beginning of the season wasn't real.


Sat Jun 08, 2013 4:58 am
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Post Re: Five Overused Twist Endings It's Time to Retire
thered47 wrote:
Personally, I think twists work or don't work because of how well their incorporated into the story, not because of the nature of the twist being used. I mean personally its more important to me how the twist is used in the service of the story.
Not that some twists in of themselves cannot be problematic, nor is it a good idea to tack a twist on just for the sake of having a twist, but I just dislike the idea of arbitrarily limiting what a filmmaker can or cannot do when telling a story.
The only exception to that is that I think filmmakers really really need to think long and hard before employing rapid fire editing at any point including action scenes, but other then that, I say if it works for the story, go for it.


I tend to agree with this. Taken to their bare bones, most films follow similar patterns, so it's all up to how well the writer, director, and/or cast deliver the story.

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