Upon the announcement of the upcoming Doctor Who episode this Saturday being ‘The Name of the Doctor’, Steven Moffat has assured Whovians everywhere that the Doctor’s greatest secret will finally be revealed, leaving millions on the edge of their seats in anticipation (except for a select few in America who, through a freak accident in distribution, received the DVD last week).
Now I would be lying if I said that I didn’t have my own theories (particularly concerning the resurrecting nature of the series’ current companion Clara), however it is fair to say that some twists you simply do not see coming, whether it be the fact that Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker’s illegitimate dad or indeed that ‘the Butler did it’. Hence this has left me to reflect on some of my own personal favourite cinematic spoilers that have left me reeling in my seat (Beware: Spoilers)...
1. ‘Wrath’ and ‘Envy’ from Se7en:
Aside from the simply breathtaking cast, it is the plot to this particular film that has earned it its place in my rankings as one of the greatest films ever made, with its twist being no exception.
The Plot: There's a new serial killer out on the loose, but he's unlike any other out there. John Doe kills his victims based on the specific seven deadly sins they have committed. For gluttony, an obese man is forced to eat and eat until his stomach swells up. For sloth, a lazy man is tied to a bed for a year being slowly fed nothing but chemicals to keep him alive as he withers away. For lust...... I don’t want to go into lust. For detectives Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman this madman seems too crafty to be caught, however fortune smiles upon them when he is taken into custody before carrying out the murders for envy and wrath. However, despite his incarceration, Doe assures that his masterpiece will soon be complete...
The Twist: As highlighted in the picture (above) it is Doe who dies on behalf of his envious outlook towards Brad Pitt’s lifestyle. By murdering Pitt’s wife, Doe is able to convince the detective to kill him and ‘become wrath’, hence leaving him to go to prison and have his fantasy fulfilled. Despite the sadistic nature of this movie’s villain, you cannot help but admire his genius...
2. The Futuristic Sacrifice from The Cabin In The Woods:
The caption to this film being ‘You think you know the story, think again...’ is worthy of such a reputation. Although the plot of zombies and low-grade teenage altruism is shoddy at the very least, the sheer magnitude of the plot twist (albeit more terrible than the actual plot) is what grants this movie a place on this list. It is quite literally unforeseeable.
The Plot: Five friends who travel to a remote cabin for a holiday get more than they bargained for upon summoning a family from the grave, and, as they are quickly picked off one by one, their chances of survival become increasingly slim. But what role do the hidden cameras positioned everywhere have to play in this, and do they really have any hope of escape?
The Twist: The simple answer: no. The more complicated explanation: they aren’t really in a cabin in the woods. Or teenagers going on a wild and free holiday together. Or running from the tortured souls of the undead. They are, in fact, sacrifices meant for a group of dormant deities that reside over the earth threatening to annihilate it if they are not satisfied, and the environment in which they interact has been specifically designed by technicians so that they will die in a preordained order so as to fully appease such gods. Didn’t see that coming, did you? Not only that, but their eventual refusal does indeed lead to the apparent end of the world, making such a drastic twist truly unmatched.
Although many believe that this horror franchise has improved with its sequels (personally, seven films seems a little excessive) I firmly take the view that Saw II, III, IV etc. simply cannot face up to their progenitor no matter how creative and gory their deathtraps are due to its exceptional twist putting them all to shame.
The Plot: Two men wake up chained to the opposing walls of an abandoned and isolated room. In its centre lies a corpse with a gun in one hand and a tape recorder in the other. Whilst wondering what possible connection they might share in this nightmare the pair work together to retrieve the tape recorder and listen to its simple message: kill the other before the time runs out and you and your loved ones will be set free. Having experienced several more twists and turns to the plot one of the duo eventually decides to saw his own leg off rather than kill the other, allowing him to crawl away for help. However, their captor will not tolerate the rules being broken and so arrives to deal with them himself...
The Twist: After a quick turn of events the pair manages to overpower the psychopath, leaving one to go for aid whilst the other can search the body for the key to his own respective chain. However the story doesn’t end there, as instead of a key all that is found is another tape recorder with another simple message: instructions for the man he has just killed to pretend to be the villain so that the ‘Game’ can run smoothly. Whilst this character is left to ponder where his real captor could possibly be the audience meanwhile is horrified to notice some movement in the background: the corpse that has been present in the room the entire time stands up, removes his latex marks that gave the impression of death and reveals that he was their captor watching them the whole time before locking his remaining victim away for good. He and John Doe should really brain dump ideas together.
In conclusion, it will be extremely difficult for this year's season finale of Doctor Who to live up to the twists and shocking developments that previous works of cinematography have presented us over the years . . . but who knows? New ingenious and innovative movie-changes are being thought up every day and, if all goes well, such an episode may well be added to this list by Sunday.