Some of the best horror movies through the years have featured twist endings that have shocked audiences, such as Psycho, Saw, and The Others, and the three films below deserve to be on that list. The horror movies listed below have all received high marks from both critics and audiences alike, and they all deliver a jaw-dropping surprise ending.
This 1983 film is no stranger to longtime horror fans, though newer enthusiasts of the genre will likely have missed this gem. On the surface, this appears to be just another ’80s teen slasher, which it is, but it’s also a weirdly delivered, cleverly revealed film that’s both generic and unique all in one.
Brilliantly co-written and directed by Robert Hiltzik, this is just one of two (2008’s Return to Sleepaway Camp) feature-length movies the filmmaker has made. The horror flick stars Christopher Collet, Felissa Rose, Jonathan Tiersten, and in his final role, Broadway actor Mike Kellin.
IMDb provides the premise for one of the most popular horror movies of all time, and they describe why it remains so prevalent.
“After a horrible boating accident kills her family, Angela, a shy and sullen young girl, moves in with her eccentric aunt Martha, alongside her protective cousin Ricky. One summer, Martha sends the kids to Camp Arawak. Soon after their arrival, a series of bizarre and increasingly violent accidents begins to claim the lives of various campers…The disclosure of the murderer’s identity is one of the most shocking climaxes in the history of American cinema.”
While viewing this you will probably feel like this is just a generic outing, but the ending fully delivers, and the climax makes this horror film a rewatchable treasure. At first, the ending may seem out of the blue and that it doesn’t make any sense, but upon revisiting it, it’s revealed that all of the clues to this twist were there all along. Though it may be generic at times, there are a few genuine scary scenes along the way, and even some nostalgic moments that will likely amuse you. From the beginning to the surprise ending, Sleepaway Camp entertains throughout.
This horror film is streaming for free on Tubi, and the unrated version is available on Shudder. If you’re a fan of slasher horror movies from yesteryear, then this is an absolute must-watch.
Currently available on HBO, this is one of the most underrated horror movies of the last two decades, and it’s one of the best genre films from the early 2000s. Directed by James Mangold, Identity boasts an impressive cast: John Cusack, Ray Liotta, Amanda Peet, John Hawkes, John C. McGinley, Jake Busey, and Rebecca De Mornay.
During a powerful rainstorm, 10 strangers are stranded at an isolated motel. While they are being acquainted with each other, someone starts killing them off on by one. Strangely, all of them seem to share the same birthday. These strangers share a connection, and it may be the death of them.
While watching this the first time, not only will this seem like a generic horror film, many viewers are likely to think that it is simply bad. But the ending not only rescues the film, it ties up all the loose ends that initially seemed to be plot holes. Along the way to the twist ending, the story packs plenty of suspense and many entertaining characters.
With a “fresh” score of 86 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, the site provides the premise of one of the best horror movies of 2015, and it’s currently available on Vudu.
“In the heat of the summer. A lonesome house in the countryside between woods and corn fields. Nine-year-old twin brothers are waiting for their mother. When she comes home, bandaged after cosmetic surgery, nothing is like before. The children start to doubt that this woman is actually their mother. It emerges an existential struggle for identity and fundamental trust.”
If you enjoy truly unnerving and scary horror movies, then this Austrian film needs to be on the top of your list. This is not a movie for the casual horror fan, and even devoted aficionados are likely to find this disquieting. The frights aren’t induced because of things that go bump in the night, but by chilling imagery and that audiences won’t know who to trust.
The tension and suspense never let up. This is one of those horror movies that get under your skin and stays there after the credits roll. The ending is a big payoff with a twist that will likely not be predicted, and the final scene is absolutely terrifying.
With titles like Sleepaway Camp, Identity, and Goodnight Mommy, some of the best horror movies feature the biggest twist endings.