10 Predictable Movie Twists That Everyone Saw Coming

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Summary

  • In films like
    Goodnight Mommy
    and
    Incredibles 2
    , the plot twists are too predictable due to unsubtle foreshadowing and obvious clues.
  • Despite their predictable twists, movies like
    Frozen
    and
    The Dark Knight
    still received acclaim and success due to other strong elements in their storytelling.
  • The Visit
    and
    Don’t Worry Darling
    suffer from obvious plot twists that are hinted at early on, leaving little room for surprise or genuine impact.

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Plot twists can offer a great surprise at the end of a movie, but occasionally the revelation is so predictable that audiences see it coming way too early. In many of these cases, the story contains foreshadowing that isn’t subtle enough, leaving the intended shock value underwhelming. This can typically happen if the filmmakers underestimate the intelligence of the audience, prematurely exposing the twist in a way that’s more obvious than presumed.

While predictability isn’t the worst sin a film can commit, it can dampen the intended impact the writers and directors had in mind, particularly if a twist is involved. Whether it’s because the filmmakers overtly signal the twist or provide ample time to figure it out, or because the marketing inadvertently revealed crucial details in trailers, these movies had significant plot turns that failed to surprise. Fortunately for a handful of them, this issue did not ruin the movie overall.

Related: 10 Movies With Wild Plot Twists No One Saw Coming

10 Lukas Is Actually Dead – Goodnight Mommy (2015)

Mother ignoring Lukas gave it away.

Mother and two kids reading a bedtime story in Goodnight Mommy

For the observant, the major plot twist in Goodnight Mommy becomes apparent very early in the film. The subtlety of the hints does not require one to be a perceptive film buff, as Mother’s responses to one twin while ignoring the other already expose the truth. The movie’s twist, revealed in the final minutes of the film, confirms that Lukas was killed in the same accident that disfigured the Mother, while Elias has been struggling with delusions regarding his twin’s existence, driven by guilt and denial. Anyone well-acquainted with plot twists spots this revelation long before the truth unfolds.

Related: 10 Best Movies Like Goodnight Mommy

9 Evelyn Deavor Is Screenslaver – Incredibles 2 (2018)

Evelyn Deavor’s name clearly reads as “evil endeavor.”

Evelyn Deavor piloting a craft and wearing a headset in Incredibles 2

The Incredibles 2

Release Date
June 15, 2018

Director
Brad Bird

Cast
Sarah Vowell, Samuel L. Jackson, Holly Hunter, Craig T. Nelson, John Ratzenberger, Catherine Keener, Huck Milner, Bob Odenkirk

Runtime
2h 6m

Incredibles 2, while an impressive sequel, has an overly obvious plot twist that barely goes unnoticed. The central mystery revolves around the identity of the villain, Screenslaver, with the film suggesting either Winston Deavor or his sister, Evelyn, as the potential culprits. It leans toward implicating Winston, but the rather conspicuous name Evelyn Deavor essentially spells out “evil endeavor,” giving her away. The predictability of Evelyn’s role as Screenslaver doesn’t quite ruin Incredibles 2‘s ending, but it leaves room for disappointment by not delivering a more inventive plot twist.

8 Hans Was Not A Charming Prince – Frozen (2013)

Hans’s affection toward Anna was suspicious.

Hans reaching out his arm during the ball in Frozen

Frozen

Release Date
November 27, 2013

Director
Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee

Cast
Edie McClurg, Kristen Bell, Santino Fontana, Idina Menzel, Robert Pine, Maurice LaMarche, Jonathan Groff, Stephen J. Anderson, Alan Tudyk, Josh Gad, Ciarán Hinds, Chris Williams

Runtime
102 minutes

Disney’s Frozen enchanted audiences with its charming characters and iconic songs, but the revelation of Prince Hans as the villain was as clear as ice. One contributing factor was the rapid development of Hans and Anna’s relationship, which added doubt to the authenticity of his affections and ultimately foretelling the impending betrayal. Despite it featuring an obvious plot twist, the film achieved widespread acclaim, winning two Oscars and a 90% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes. This serves as a reminder that even when a twist is evident, a well-crafted story can preserve its value, as Frozen succeeded in spite of the predictable plot twist.

7 Jim Gordon Faked His Own Death – The Dark Knight (2008)

The movie’s trailer spoiled his survival.

The Dark Knight

Release Date
July 18, 2008

Director
Christopher Nolan

Cast
Nestor Carbonell, Morgan Freeman, Ritchie Coster, Cillian Murphy, Chin Han, Gary Oldman, Eric Roberts, William Fichtner, Aaron Eckhart, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Christian Bale, David Dastmalchian, Michael Caine, Anthony Michael Hall, Heath Ledger

Runtime
152 Minutes

Christopher Nolan movies are known for keeping things hidden in order to preserve the element of surprise. However, a significant misstep occurred with The Dark Knight. Approximately halfway through the film, Jim Gordon falls victim to the Joker’s plot. For a full 20 minutes, it appears as if Gordon has met his end, until he resurfaces to apprehend the villain, having orchestrated his own survival. While it wasn’t implausible for the movie to have actually killed off such a significant character, the reveal that Gordon is alive was spoiled by the movie’s trailer with footage of him in scenes that followed the Joker’s capture.

6 The Pizza Guy Wasn’t The Sniper – Phone Booth (2002)

The character wasn’t played by Kiefer Sutherland.

Pizza Guys in Phone Booth

Phone Booth is an action-packed thriller that involves a man being held hostage in a phone booth by a sniper’s threat. In the film’s climax, a SWAT team discovers the apparent sniper, who has taken his own life. However, for attentive viewers, the twist is anything but surprising. The distinctive voice of the sniper, voiced by Kiefer Sutherland, is instantly recognizable, particularly since the actor’s popularity from the TV series 24 was at its peak during the film’s release. Additionally, the voice of the pizza delivery guy, who had an earlier altercation with the main character, had no resemblance to Sutherland’s.

5 The “Grandparents” Are Impostors – The Visit (2015)

The kids not knowing what their grandparents looked like was a dead giveaway.

The fake grandparents and Tyler in The Visit

The Visit

Release Date
September 11, 2015

Director
M. Night Shyamalan

Cast
Olivia De Jonge, Peter McRobbie, Kathryn Hahn, Benjamin Kanes, Deanna Dunagan, Ed Oxenbould

Runtime
94minutes

M. Night Shyamalan is synonymous with “twist,” and The Visit maintains his reputation. However, instead of going with the complex and unconventional type of plot twist he’s known for, this time Shyamalan opted for a simpler, more foreseeable resolution. The movie follows two children as they visit their grandparents, Nana and Pop-Pop. It’s eventually revealed that these individuals are actually escaped patients of a mental hospital who killed the kids’ real grandparents and assumed their identities. The predictability of this twist is evident due to several clues: the kids’ lack of prior contact with their grandparents, their mother’s convenient absence, and the setting’s ominous atmosphere.

Related: Is The M. Night Shyamalan Movie The Visit Based On A True Story?

4 Victory Is A Simulation – Don’t Worry Darling (2022)

The twist is hinted at early on and reinforced with blatant visual clues.

Don’t Worry Darling

Release Date
September 23, 2022

Director
Olivia Wilde

Cast
Gemma Chan, Kiki Layne, Olivia Wilde, Nick Kroll, Harry Styles, Chris Pine, Florence Pugh

Runtime
2h 2m

The controversial movie Don’t Worry Darling was one of the most talked about of its time, but it underperformed due to its obvious plot twist. In the film’s third act, it’s unveiled that the seemingly perfect town of Victory, California, is a virtual simulation designed by the evil founder, Frank, in order to subjugate women. The issue is that the twist is heavily hinted at 20 minutes into the movie, giving the audience a lot of time to contemplate various narrative possibilities and uncover the plot. The film furthers the predictability with an abundance of blatant visual metaphors, such as hollow eggs with empty shells, leaving little room for genuine surprise when the truth is unveiled.

3 Mort Is A Killer & John Shooter Isn’t Real – Secret Window (2004)

The twist was very common at the time and therefore easily anticipated.

Johnny Depp and John Turturro in Secret Window

Based on a novella by Stephen King, Secret Window has a storyline that remains engaging until its conclusion, where it disappoints with a basic and predictable twist. The narrative focuses on Mort Rainey, an author who retreats to his cabin following personal and professional setbacks. A stranger, John Shooter, shows up and accuses Mort of plagiarism. However, Mort is revealed to suffer from dissociative identity disorder. Shooter is a mere product of Mort’s imagination, crafted to execute actions he cannot do himself, including the murder of his wife and her lover. This common twist was frequently used in films post-Fight Club, making it easier to anticipate, ultimately diminishing its impact.

2 Verbal Kint Is Really Keyser Söze – The Usual Suspects (1995)

He is set up so much to be the opposite of Keyser Söze that it’s dubious.

A police line-up in The Usual Suspects

The Usual Suspects

Release Date
August 16, 1995

Director
Bryan Singer

Cast
Kevin Spacey, Kevin Pollak, Benicio Del Toro, Gabriel Byrne, stephen baldwin, Chazz Palminteri

Runtime
106 minutes

In its characters’ pursuit of the elusive Keyser Söze, The Usual Suspects builds an air of mystery around this figure, who is painted as a fearsome, ruthless character, striking terror even in the hearts of seasoned criminals. However, the film’s concluding revelation, that Keyser Söze is in fact Verbal Kint, who is telling the story, hardly qualifies as a plot twist. Instead, it reinforces expected twist dynamics, as Verbal Kint is set up as the least likely suspect with him presenting himself as a seemingly powerless, disabled, and unassuming figure. That diverts attention from his true identity as the dangerous villain so much that it consequently makes it more obvious.

1 Teddy Daniels Is A Patient, Not An Investigator – Shutter Island (2010)

It’s obvious that he’s a patient at the hospital he’s investigating.

Shutter Island

Release Date
February 19, 2010

Director
Martin Scorsese

Cast
Max Von Sydow, Ben Kingsley, Leonardo DiCaprio, Michelle Williams, Mark Ruffalo

Runtime
138 minutes

Shutter Island tells the story of Teddy Daniels, who embarks on an investigation at an island mental hospital, only to spend most of his time wandering eerie corridors, dealing with frustration, and uncovering nothing substantial. The film’s asylum-based mystery leads to suspicions that the protagonist is unreliable, and the ultimate revelation is that the character is, in fact, a patient at the hospital and has fabricated the entire narrative as a form of experimental therapy. This plot twist is glaringly foreseeable, and it makes the film’s events inconsequential and leaves a sense of disappointment.