the-usual-suspects-lineupI love a good surprise. It’s part of that magical “ahhhhh” movie moment, when you realize what’s really going on, and just when you thought you were a step or two ahead of the plot. In the last decade, the art of the “twist” has become a director favorite — perhaps overused at times, as in “twist 1”, followed by “twist 2”, followed by it was all-a-dream “twist 3”.

It became such a popular device, movie-goers would enter the movie on full alert. The old woman at the corner store, not so innocent anymore. The happy-go-lucky friend… hmmm, seems too innocent for my liking.

In response, director’s would employ another familiar trick: the red herring.

So now it’s: red herring 1, red herring 2, red herring 3, twist 1, red herring 4, twist 2, twist 3 … roll credits. Or something like that, I’m not exactly claiming to be an expert in the structure of a script.

But I would like to share my favorite Top 3 movie twists of all time.

There are plenty to choose. So I’m sure you can let me know some better ones. For some reason, according to Mike (read the post here to maybe understand why?) I’m not allowed to insert YouTube videos on the front page of this site. Aesthetics maybe? Not sure… either way… read on for my top 3 and the clips…

** SPOILER ALERT ** The notes and clips below contain spoilers, so view with caution if you have not yet watched these movies!

3. Psycho

A humdinger of a finale. Who knew? Norman had mother’s voice down “cold”.

2. Usual Suspects

Masterfully told. Seemed confusing, somewhat boring. Until the payoff. Wow.

3. The Sixth Sense

Jump-started the modern day twist genre. On repeated viewings, I wonder how I didn’t figure it out .. “I see dead people”. Nope. I didn’t get it, until the ring dropped on the floor…

Contributor to Stark Insider for tech, the arts and All Things West Coast for over 10 years.