While the results of the Biggest Baddies poll is still stewing in the backburners of this blog, let Cinerama Etcetera entertain you by listing down the best revelations in cinema in past 20 years or so. Again, these are based on movies that I have seen, so feel free to comment at the end of this blog if I missed anything.
Since M. Night Shyamalan’s The Sixth Sense, it would seem like filmmakers started to understand the untapped potentials of a great twist and how it impacts the overall outcome of the film. This is a salute to the films with the best twists that I’ve seen in this lifetime.
This 1996 court drama stars Richard Gere as renowned defense lawyer Martin Vail who is defending Aaron, a stuttering altar boy (Edward Norton) who is accused of murdering an Archbishop. Vail discovers that his client is suffering from schizoprenia (dual personality disorder) and seeks to dismiss the case on the basis of insanity. The brilliant twist at the end will compel audiences to rewatch the film to search for clues they might have missed.
Identity, on the other hand, is another film that deals with multiple personality disorder. In this movie, a jury decides to convict or release Malcolm Rivers, a murderer, based on the crime committed by one of his personalities. While proceedings are ongoing, an inner battle wages among his various alter egos as they try to kill off one another, unsure of who is the one who perpetrated the crime.
The Others is a film that deals with a mother, Grace Stewart (Nicole Kidman) who hires servants to care for her children who suffer from photosensitivity, a skin condition that results from overexposure to light. The film is generally dark and brooding and deals with the supernatural. However, while the audience is preoccupied by solving the mystery that surrounds the house that Grace and her family live in, the film’s brilliance is exposed by the final revelation at the end of the movie.
THE SIXTH SENSE
Newcomer Haley Joe Osment (Pass it Forward), stunned audiences with his performance in this film as a boy “who sees dead pople, walking around like normal people.” This Shyamalan masterpiece revolves around a child psychologist (Bruce Willis) who tries to make sense out of a boy’s special gifts only to find out in the end that he stands to benefit from it. Aside from the ending, the best part about the film is the chemistry between the two stars and the friendship which blossomed from trying to understand the unexplainable.
APRIL FOOLS DAY
This slasher film released in 1986 by Paramount Pictures had most elements of a typical teen horror –a bunch of kids spending Spring Break at an island mansion of their rich friend. However, in the middle of nowhere, people start dying and they have no way to escape. If you think that unmasking the culprit is the only thing that needs figuring out, you have another thing coming.
THE FIGHT CLUB
Yet another psychological thriller featuring Edward Norton as a nobody who befriends eccentric soap salesman Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) on the flight back from a business trip — a soap salesman with a temper problem who introduces him to The Fight Club, an underground fighting group with no holds barred rules. The plot gets complicated as Tyler further embroils Norton deeper into a conspiracy that nobody could really understand.
As far as whodunits go, this takes the cake. Based on the popular board game Cluedo, the cast is headed by Tim Curry, who stars as the Butler of Mr. Body, the mysterious host of a dinner party in a remote mansion. The seemingly quiet night is interrupted when people start dropping like flies, guests become suspicious of one another as they try to figure out who is doing the killings. The amount of conspiracy and deceit in this 1985 classic, is as confusing in its own right as the three alternate endings it presented to the audience.
A caregiver (Kate Hudson) is hired by a wealthy family in Louisiana to attend to its bedridden patriarch. But things get creepy when she learns about the origins of the plantation and finds herself the center of attention of a group of hoodoo practitioners.
LAW ABIDING CITIZEN
Fresh from his turn as King Leonidas in 300, Gerard Butler stars as Clyde Sheldon, an engineer who lost his wife and child to a group of intruders who terrorized his household. When his ambitious legal counsel makes a deal with the murderer to keep his winning streak, Sheldon vows to bring to justice those who have screwed with the law. How he accomplishes this feat from behind bars it is a work of art.
Petty criminals McManus, Fenster, Hockney, Keaton and Kint are rounded by cops on account of a hijacked truck. Months later, authorities lean in on gymp Verbal Kint, the only remaining survivor from the lineup for the explosion of a boat suspected to be carrying millions of dollars worth of cocaine to find out who masterminded the explosion and the subsequent body count. Verbal spills the beans on his cellmates and what happened after they were released from detention for a dubious charge.
The only Asian horror that made this list, this story deals with a photographer dealing with the ghosts of his past involving a teenage indiscretion he and his friends committed — an indiscretion that has resulted in the death of most of his gang, and his own certain death looming like a cloud.
So, that concludes my list for today. If you haven’t seen any of these films, you’re missing out.