Spoiler Warning! 7 Films Whose Twists Were Ruined Before I Saw Them

June 5, 2013 by Simon Kinnear in Opinion with 0 Comments

The other week, I inadvertently stumbled on a spoiler for Iron Man 3, (yes, I’m the only person in the world who hasn’t seen it) which blew one of the film’s major surprises.

And now there’s the whole hoop-la around the most recent episode of Game Of Thrones, which was loud enough to make me watch the five minutes in question to find out what the fuss is about…and effectively spoil the entire series should I ever decide to watch it.

It must be said, though, that these aren’t isolated incidents.  My entire film-watching life has been one long and often fruitless attempt to ‘dodge the spoiler.’  While yes, sometimes, it is really annoying to lose the element of surprise, it shouldn’t – and usually doesn’t – affect enjoyment of a film.

Here, in no particular order, are seven occasions when this has happened before.  I won’t give away what happens in Iron Man 3 or Game Of Thrones, but from this point on you should tread carefully:


  • The Vanishing.  At University, halfway through watching George Sluizer’s Dutch-language classic, my housemate blurted out, “I think I’ve seen the remake. Is it the one where he gets buried alive?”
  • Zombieland.  Sitting in the cinema, about to watch the film, my friend turned to me and said, “I think Bill Murray is in this.”
  • Soylent Green. In one of my favourite Doctor Who stories, Revelation Of The Daleks, it is revealed that Davros has been turning the cryogenically frozen inhabitants of a funeral home into food.  Virtually every article ever written on the story has been quick to point out where the inspiration for that particular scheme came from.
  • Buried. Commissioned to write a piece for Total Film called, “20 Nastiest Death Scenes of 2010,” my editor gave me some recommendations on what to include, such as the not insignificant detail that Ryan Reynolds doesn’t get out alive.
  • Psycho. With impeccable irony, all I knew about Psycho was that it was about a killer called Norman Bates, so in a strange upside-down way, it’s the first, pre-Norman 40 minutes that became the twist.
  • The Usual Suspects.  I saw Se7en first. No way Spacey’s telling the truth.

…and One Film Whose Twist Wasn’t Spoiled.

  • The Sixth Sense.  All I heard about this movie was, “there’s a twist.”  Which meant my twist-detecting sensors were attuned to there being a twist.  So when Bruce Willis gets shot in the first scene, I actually discounted the idea that he was a ghost because, frankly, it seemed too obvious.  So I spent the entire film expecting Haley Joel Osment to be revealed as the victim of some weird scientific experimentation, or an alien, or something.  Which, let’s face it, would have been more in keeping with the rest of M. Night Shyamalan’s career than the real ending.

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