(Image by © Universal Pictures)
Even prior to it blew away expectations on its way to an unexpected $30 million opening weekend and a Certified Fresh 95% on the Tomatometer, the Blumhouse- and Atomic Monster-produced M3GAN was already a cult struck thanks to its hilariously WTF trailer. Audiences expecting simply another “killer robot” retread now didn’t know what to believe, and that guarantee of unanticipated left turns went on to sustain M3GAN’s killer debut. Now, we can also expect a follow up to the film in 2025 (yes, it’ll be called M3GAN 2.0), with stars Allison Williams and Violet McGraw set to repeat their functions and Akela Cooper going back to write the script.
If you were like the many moviegoers who left the theater with a hankering for more horror films that zig when you expect them to zag, you are spoiled for choice. From brand-new releases to cult classics, here are 10 horror motion pictures that defy expectations, take surprise left turns, and leave audiences with heads filled with WTF. Oh, there might be some SPOILERS ahead, so tread carefully.
(Photo by © Vitagraph Films courtesy Everett Collection)
This is the motion picture that ensured the world knew Japanese goremeister Takashi Miike’s name. Audition has to do with a lonesome recent widower searching for love whose movie manufacturer pal creates a phony audition for a non-existent job in order for him to satisfy new women. Among the participants is a charm named Asami, and the widower right away falls for her. What follows is red flag after warning– why are all the contacts noted on her resume missing out on?– building to a few of the grossest and goriest reveals you’ve ever seen. It’s a film that seems like it’s going to be Fatal Attraction or Fundamental Impulse but then ends up being … well, very much NOT either of those. This one is only for the strong of stomach.
“Simply when you believed it was safe to schedule an Airbnb …” Barbarian tees you up for one type of film– a female traveling alone has to share a double-booked rental home with a creepy man– and after that takes you on a much different (and much, much more frightening) journey. Simply when you believe you guide it, it throws something else at you. It has plenty of gruesome surprises, and the less you understand entering, the better. So we’ll stop talking now.
The set-up could not be more horror motion picture cliché: A lot of unaware teenagers collect for a night of debauchery in a sprawling mansion while a typhoon rages through the location. Hint power outages and dead bodies, right? Well, yes … but not the method you’re believing. Despite its relatively traditional facility, Bodies rapidly moves from Horror to Black Comedy Whodunit, skewering Gen Z culture along the method. The final reveal– what exactly occurred to begin the occurring night of panic and fear– entirely overthrows everything you’ve seen up till that point, and it’s completely, pitch-black humorous.
Another movie that plays on the conventions of traditional horror movies– horny teens, scary cabins, oddball residents– The Cabin in the Woods sets up the game board with whatever you think you understand and after that flips it off the table. As the layers get peeled back and the story begins to expose itself, it’s one “WAIT, WHAT?” minute after “WAIT, WHAT?” moment up until the final, blood-soaked finale. It works as both a meta joke and a kind of “horror movie mixtape” that in some way keeps finding brand-new left turns.
It’s unusual that you discover a film where the twist is so remarkable and unexpected that its first half and its 2nd half feel like two totally different motion pictures. For a while, From Dusk Till Dawn offers you exactly what you ‘d expect from a Robert Rodriquez/Quentin Tarantino co-production: Long, amusing monologues about doubtful subjects, black-clad wrongdoers on the run from the law, and even Big Kahuna Burgers. But then left cons Seth and Richie Gecko (George Clooney and Tarantino) and their captives (a widower and previous preacher played by Harvey Keitel and his children played by Juliette Lewis and Ernest Liu) find themselves at The Titty Twister– a sleazy strip bar in the middle of the desert. Things then take a sudden and violent turn squarely into Scary, with the club becoming a vampire-infested Alamo.
It’s actually difficult to speak about Malignant without spoiling the reveal of who, what, and where the killer is, but suffice it to say, if you’re anticipating another “the killer remained in the main character’s head all along” you’ll be … Well, it’s tough to state, really. Both shocked and ideal? Malignant– directed by James Wan (Insidious, The Conjuring, and also a manufacturer on M3GAN)– has to do with a lady who believes her violent dreams are actually having real world repercussions. So far, so basic, right? The film then exposes a truly bonkers twist that elevates the whole workout to immediate cult status.
A lot of the movies associated with the “torture pornography” subgenre were little more than nasty excuses to be flagrantly misogynistic with just the barest of stories. While Martyrs definitely shares resemblances with a few of these movies, it is not just gleeful gore indulgence. It has more on its mind, and it’s exposed with shocking twist after shocking reveal, all built around really uneasy watching. Just when you believe it can’t become worse … it does. The premise is simple to begin– a woman who left jail time and abuse sets out for vengeance on those she feels are responsible– however the story does not unfold in any way you ‘d ever see coming. It’s the unusual motion picture that is both well made and really tough to advise. Martyrs is not enjoyable or simple watching, but you won’t quickly forget it or its lots of disturbing surprises and graphic images.
If you ever questioned what would take place if you blended one part Glass Onion (2022) with one part The Cook, The Burglar, His Other half, and Her Fan (1989 ), sprinkled on a little Idea (1985 ), and baked everything in a broth of Gordon Ramsey at his angriest, you ‘d have some idea of The Menu experience. A twisty and disturbing thriller, it’s a dark tale where food snobbery and the rich elite are served up as the main course. Starring Ralph Fiennes (who doesn’t need to work too tough to be upsetting) and Anya Taylor-Joy, The Menu has plenty of misdirects and unexpected tough lefts while not being stingy with the social commentary.
The extremely definition of a “sluggish burn.” A conservative Danish family– a papa, mommy, and daughter– befriend a more relaxed and daring Dutch family– a daddy, mama, and child– while both families are vacationing in Italy. A surprise invitation for the Danes to come and stay with the Dutch in their house for a vacation a number of months later on lights the fuse on a tense, creepy, and disturbing story. What’s masterful about Speak No Evil is that you’re never ever rather sure if the unease is due to the fact that of cultural differences– are the Danes just being too uptight?– or if something odd actually is going on. The ending is a deeply unpleasant gut punch that will leave you shocked.
You can’t implicate director Tobe Hooper of being lazy. The initial Texas Chainsaw Massacre was dirty and grimy and, at times, felt a little too genuine, as if Hooper was a documentarian who stumbled onto something he need to never have seen. When it ended up being a surprise blockbuster, he could have easily followed it up with more of the very same. Instead, Hooper enticed audiences in with a familiar title only to totally swipe the carpet out from under them. The follow up is nothing like the initial; from its deliberately stylized lighting and color (like the comic book-inspired appearance of Creepshow) to its odd attempts at slapstick comedy, it left fans scratching their heads and newbies entirely confused. Disliked upon release, it’s because ended up being a WTF cult classic.
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