Endings You Never Saw Coming
There are three types of people when it comes to watching shows and movies. The first is laser focused on what is happening, analyzing every detail, and guessing what’s going to happen next before it’s revealed. The second is the type that thinks they’re the first, and spends the entire time making predictions that never land. Then there’s the third, the one who simply sits back, relaxes, and lets the story unfold. If you’re in the first bucket, you probably can’t relate to surprise endings. But if you’re in the second or third, you're familiar with that feeling of shock when the story you’ve been following takes a hard left—one you definitely did not see coming. It’s a feeling that stays with you long after the credits roll. You may even fixate on the details you missed, those that subtly pointed to the ultimate outcome, wondering how you didn't see the ultimate turn coming.
If you get as much enjoyment out of surprise endings as we do, you’ll want to keep reading for some of our favorites. Needless to say, there are lots of spoilers ahead, so please read with caution.
The Sixth Sense
It was a challenge to include only one M. Night Shyamalan movie. He's the king of surprise endings after all. From The Village to The Visit, you can sit down knowing that a surprise ending is a part of the narrative equation, yet still find yourself in disbelief at the end. While his films continue to be well-received, Shyamalan’s 1999 film The Six Sense, starring Bruce Willis, Haley Joel Osment, and Toni Collette, is arguably his most infamous title to-date. It likely has to do with it being his first widely released film, and one that's chock full of his now well-known plot twists.
It all starts when a man, Malcolm Crowe, is shot by a former patient. After this frightening incident, Malcolm begins seeing a boy named Cole, whose mother had called him out of concern. Cole acts strange socially, and even has physical marks on him. Cole eventually reveals to Malcolm, in the now infamous scene, that he sees dead people. Malcolm continues to see Cole, and eventually the boy is able to live with this distraction. In turn, Cole helps Malcolm too. When Malcolm shares that his wife has been distant, Cole suggests he speak to her while she sleeps. And that’s when it happens. Malcolm finds his wife sleeping with their wedding video playing in the background. She’s holding his wedding ring. Then, he begins to see things he hadn’t before, like being shot by his former patient and dying.
Fight Club, another major movie title that came out in 1999, was an adaptation of Chuck Palahniuk’s novel of the same name. While it wasn’t considered a hit at the box office, the film ended up finding cult-classic success after being released for at-home viewing. The movie follows a man played by Edward Norton who's never given a name—this character narrates the entire movie. He's a blue collar worker that's unfulfilled by literally everything in life. He finds some relief by pretending he has diseases, and attending correlating support groups. It’s in these groups that he meets Marla, a woman who's also posing as someone she’s not, for her own enjoyment.
When the narrator comes home from a business trip, he finds all of his things have been destroyed by an explosion. He calls a man he just met on his flight home, Tyler Durden, for help. They meet in the parking lot of a bar, and Tyler initiates a fist fight between the two of them. Then the narrator moves into Tyler’s large, but dilapidated home. Their first fight turns into two, then three, and this is how Fight Club is born. It becomes a recreational haven for men who release their emotions by fist-fighting in the basement of a bar.
As Fight Club gains popularity, with clubs popping up all over the country, Tyler begins to undermine the narrator. First, he sleeps with Marla, the woman from the support group. Then he forms a separate club, Project Mayhem, that he keeps from the narrator. This new club is built on violence and mayhem, and has plans to blow up buildings that hold credit card records. As the narrator becomes more concerned about Tyler’s plans, he starts tracking where he’s been. While doing this, he encounters a former member of Fight Club who refers to him as Tyler. Confused, the narrator calls Marla, and she too refers to him as Tyler. This is how the viewer finds out that the two very different men played by Edward Norton and Brad Pitt are actually one and the same. Tyler is just part of his personality, the very insane part.
Jordan Peele’s debut film, Get Out, came out in 2017 and became an immediate success. Everyone was talking about it, critics responded favorably, and it made a ton of money. While it’s labeled a horror film, it doesn't take on all of the typical characteristics of that genre, at least at first. There's no spooky setting or obvious traps for trouble. While there are marked moments of racism early on in the movie, no one could have guessed what it'd amount to by the film's end.
We meet Chris Washington, a young Black photographer as he's stressing about meeting the parents of his white girlfriend, Rose Armitage. He's her first Black boyfriend. When he first arrives to the parent’s home in upstate New York, they seem welcoming enough. The two groundskeepers of the estate, both of whom are Black, do act a bit strange. Chris takes notice. Then Rose’s mother hypnotizes Chris when he can’t sleep, and he has a dark emotional experience in something she calls the “Sunken Place.” Then there's the annual party where a lot of wealthy white people show up to the house. Several of them comment on Chris’ physique. There's one Black man at the party who Chris takes a picture of which causes him to lose it, telling Chris to “get out!”
Chris finally decides he wants to get out of there, and pressures Rose to leave. While Rose’s father is holding an auction with Chris’ photo (giving you some indication that things are off here), it’s watching Chris’ realization that becomes the biggest holy sh** moment. As Chris is packing up, he stumbles upon a box of photos of Rose with past lovers, all Black, including the groundskeepers Walter and Georgina.
Soulmates, Season 1 Finale
If you haven’t heard about Soulmates yet, it’s the anthology series co-created by William Bridges (Black Mirror, Stranger Things) and Brett Goldstein (Ted Lasso, SuperBob), that's set 15 years in the future. In this world, a test has been created that can tell you exactly who your soulmate is. With a title like Soulmates, you’d assume the show is a romantic comedy, but each episode takes on a different genre, challenging our assumptions around love and how we come to find it.
The Season 1 finale of Soulmates centers around a woman named Caitlin, played by Betsy Brandt, who's essentially a doormat for everyone in her life. Everything changes when she meets her soulmate. Nathan is a handsome doctor that sees Caitlin for who she is, and wants to help her stand up for herself. He starts by encouraging her to kick out her current boyfriend, who had previously refused to leave. Then late one night he wakes her up by calling her, and invites her over. She arrives and immediately sees him and another woman through the window. Once he realizes Caitlin is there, he begins choking the woman, until she’s dead. Not what we were expecting! Let’s just say, things get even crazier from there as we watch Caitlin battle her feelings for Nathan, and her own true, dark nature.
Ready to see what happens next? Stream the Season 1 finale along with the rest of the Soulmates series now on amc.com and the AMC app for mobile and devices. Check out the on-air schedule for encore viewings of Soulmates on AMC.
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