With their power to terrify viewers and keep them on the edge of their seats, horror films have been a mainstay of the cinema business for decades. Stories in the horror genre often manage to be both horrifying and thought-provoking because of the freedom filmmakers are given to explore universal but difficult topics like terror, mortality, and the unknown.
But not every horror film has a good twist. Some plot twists are welcome additions that enrich the viewing experience, while others might make viewers feel cheated. A poorly executed twist may take an otherwise excellent horror film and leave viewers feeling cheated.
We’ll look at ten horror movies that had great beginnings but were ruined by bad turns. From old-school thrillers to current horror hits, all of these movies had the chance to be great, but they fell flat in the end.
#1 April Fool’s Day
“April Fool’s Day” is a horror-comedy movie from 1986. It was written by Danilo Bach and directed by Fred Walton. In the movie, a group of college friends get together at a house on a remote island to party and have fun for the weekend. But their weekend turns into a nightmare when each of them is killed in a horrible way one by one.
The movie’s twist ending has become very well-known, and many people think it’s one of the best in the history of horror movies. Without giving too much away, the ending of “April Fool’s Day” goes against many of the rules of the slasher movie genre. This has caused horror fans to talk and argue about it.
#2 Dead Silence
When “Dead Silence” came out, it got mixed reviews from critics. Some praised its creepy atmosphere and effective scares, while others said it used too many horror movie cliches and didn’t do enough to develop its characters. Even so, horror movie fans have grown to love the movie for its creepy images, memorable twist ending, and stylish direction by Wan.
Mary Shaw, the main bad guy in the movie, has become an iconic horror movie villain in her own right. Her famous ventriloquist dolls and creepy nursery rhyme are still talked about by horror fans.
#3 High Tension
“High Tension” is noted for its graphic violence, tense atmosphere, and powerful acting in addition to its unexpected tale twist. Although some critics have termed the twist improbable, many viewers believe it to be a smart and successful subversion of genre clichés.
The film’s director, Alexandre Aja, eventually became well-known in the horror genre by directing the remake of “The Hills Have Eyes” in 2006 and “Crawl” in 2019. Additionally, “High Tension” helped the French horror subgenre, which had been largely dormant since the 1970s, come back to life.
When “Identity” came out, most critics liked it. They liked the clever twist at the end, the way the suspense was built, and the strong performances. Since then, the movie has become a cult classic in the thriller genre, known for its complex plot and spooky setting.
Critics have talked about the film’s themes of identity and connections between strangers. Some have even compared it to Agatha Christie’s “And Then There Were None.” The movie stands out in the thriller genre because it has a unique plot and is well made.
Vera Farmiga, Peter Sarsgaard, and Isabelle Fuhrman all appear in the movie as Kate, John, and Esther, respectively. On July 24, 2009, it was made by Dark Castle Entertainment and made available in America. Critics have also discussed the film’s motherhood, adoption, and identity themes, with some drawing comparisons to classic horror movies like “The Omen” and “The Bad Seed.” Because of its deft manipulation and misdirection, the movie stands out in the horror-thriller genre.
It is a must-watch for aficionados of the genre and for people who like twisted and macabre storytelling because of its unexpected twist finale and great performances.
#6 Scream 3
With its mix of humor, suspense, and gore, “Scream 3” is a good way to end the first three movies in the “Scream” series. Even though it’s not as good as the first two movies in the series, fans of the series and of slasher movies in general still love it.
#7 Secret Window
David Koepp’s “Secret Window,” released in 2004, was adapted from Stephen King’s novella “Secret Window, Secret Garden.” In the film, Johnny Depp portrays Mort Rainey. Mort’s wife, portrayed by Maria Bello, has left him, and John Turturro is in the role of the stalker. Released in theaters across the United States on March 12, 2004, it was produced by Columbia Pictures.
Fans of King’s literature and psychological thrillers in general will love viewing this film even though it isn’t the most creative in the category.
#8 The Boy
“The Boy” is a good horror movie with an original storyline and some scary moments. Fans of haunted doll movies and horror in general will love seeing it even though it may not be the most innovative entry in the category.
Upon its premiere, “The Boy” garnered a range of reviews, some of which praised its eerie atmosphere and original twist while others slammed it for being predictable and devoid of scares. Despite this, the movie was a box office hit, earning over $74 million globally.
#9 The Forgotten
Filmmaker Joseph Ruben and screenwriter Gerald Di Pego’s science fiction psychological thriller “The Forgotten” was released in 2004. The film centers on the grieving mother Telly Paretta, who is having a hard time accepting the death of her son after a plane disaster. Others around her start to deny that her son ever existed, and she soon starts to suspect that something more sinister is at work as a result. Even if it might not be the most enduring example of the genre, aficionados of psychological horror and sci-fi thrillers will nevertheless find it entertaining to watch.
#10 The Village
M. Night Shyamalan penned and directed the 2004 psychological thriller “The Village.” The plot centers on a small town in the 19th century that is completely surrounded by a dense forest. Since the people are afraid of the supposed monsters living in the woods, they have declared a ceasefire with them.
It’s not a film for everyone, but it’s a strong example of the psychological thriller subgenre and of Shyamalan’s individual style as a director.