The 5 biggest M. Night Shyamalan plot twists


M. Night Shyamalan is one of the coolest movie directors of all time, especially if you get a thrill from surprises! One of the best aspects of a compelling movie is the way it makes you feel when you’re watching it for the first time. That’s the beauty of M. Night Shyamalan, he can grab audiences and captivate them for the entirety of a movie. This awesome director introduces audiences to new concepts and situations they would never look at, through the lens of an everyday citizen. Honestly, what better way to captivate your audience than by creating a hugely-memorable plot twist that spirals the whole concept of the story your audience thought they had locked-down from the beginning!

M. Night Shyamalan is an incredibly talented movie director and for this reason it’s no surprise that he’s infamous for his amazing plot twists and cool manipulations of a story. The plot twists are awesome, and so is he (shoutout if you’re reading this, Shyamalan!). So, to help you learn more about just how much he loves to shock his audiences, we’ve put together a list of the Top 5 M. Night Shyamalan Plot Twists for you to enjoy!

Obviously this involves heavy spoilers! If you missed any of these awesome movies, go check them out immediately. 

The Visit (2015)

The Visit M. Night Shyamalan plot twist

The Visit is an amazing movie that captivated me almost instantly. I saw the trailer for this movie and immediately wanted to go see it, before I had even realised that it was an M. Night Shyamalan. I actually didn’t find out until after the movie, so you can imagine my total shock when the plot twist happened, as I really wasn’t expecting it this time!

The Visit focuses on the story of two teenagers visiting their beloved grandparents for the first time. The only thing that doesn’t seem normal about this is the fact that they’re in their teens and have still never met or seen their grandparents until now. However, things start to go ‘bump in the night’ when the grandparents start acting erratically at night, leading to the two siblings to become super freaked out.

Naturally, M. Night Shyamalan works his plot-twist magic, and it turns out (*spoiler ahead*) that the grandparents are actually escaped lunatics from a mental hospital nearby, who killed their real grandparents and took their place. This is an incredible scene in the movie, that would probably give you chills (if you were as into it as I was when I saw it for the first time!).

The Village (2004)

The Village M. Night Shyamalan plot twist

All I’ll say is that The Village is an awesome movie and the plot twist is freaky as sh*t. If I stumbled onto a community of 19th Century townsfolk deep in the woods, I would definitely freak out. So I can only imagine how Ivy Walker felt when she found out that there was a modern world just acres away from where she had spent her entire life (considering the terrifying monsters in the woods scenario she’s been believing this whole time!).

During the movie, you kind of get the feeling that maybe they’re living in the 21st Century. After all, it is an M. Night Shyamalan movie – there will be some sort of major twist! What I wasn’t expecting was that the plot twist gets even deeper when it’s revealed that The Village was really a Walker Preserve. The plot (twist) thickens once again as it’s learned that all the adult residents were patients of Edward Walker’s grief counselling experiment. So this backward 19th Century way of living was really just a bizarre way for the ‘original’ townsfolk to heal from their past traumas.

Split (2016)

Split movie plot twist

Honestly, if you haven’t seen Split, I’m a little surprised, but I absolutely recommend that you stick it on your list of excellent movies to watch. With James McEvoy playing a character with 24 multiple, or split, personalities, the movie is already incredibly interesting. He battles his inner residents for control.  As the story progresses, we honestly start to fear the concept of ‘The Beast’ as much as the 3 girls that are being held hostage by this lunatic. However, what we really don’t expect is to find that this idea of ‘The Beast’, probably came from the location of their home; the local zoo.

As Casey escapes the hostage hell she’s been enduring, police escorts her through the back of a zoo. This part is wilder than the animals, and naturally, this explains a lot about ‘The Beast’ and it’s creation. Now, this might seem like the major plot twist, and for a few minutes in the movie, it basically is. Let’s remember, this story takes place in the M. Night Shyamalan universe, and at the very end of the movie we see Bruce Willis’ character from Unbreakable appear before the movie fades to black linking Split to his unorthodox take on superpowers.

Signs (2002)

Sign biggest plot twist

Signs has been dubbed the best ever M. Night Shyamalan movie by critics and fans across the world. In my opinion, that’s a pretty bold statement, considering the incredible list of past work that this director has created since Signs was released in 2002. That being said, it’s not hard to understand why this movie was given such high praise, and still continues to do so, 18 years later. Signs is an awesome movie, and back in 2002, audiences were lining up to see Joaquin Phoenix and Mel Gibson star side-by-side on the big-screen.

The story follows the lives of the Hesse family who barricade themselves into their home when an alien invasion threatens Earth. Signs goes from strength to strength as the movie’s story develops in front of our eyes; with Graham questioning his faith in God to the tinfoil hat scene, the story is genuinely a wild ride.

Naturally, we know there’s an epic plot twist coming somewhere as it is an M. Night Shyamalan movie after all, but the question is where and what exactly? The short answer: Water. It turns out that the aliens are injured by water. This raises a lot of questions like: why would aliens come to a planet that comprises something that kills them?

What audiences weren’t expecting, was the plot twist to appear right in the middle of a fight-scene with one of the aliens who has entered the Hesse home. The fact that this plot twist was planted right in the middle of an intense scene, definitely shocked audiences and once again M. Night Shyamalan had succeeded in an unexpected movie twist.

The Sixth Sense (1999)

The sixth sense M. Night Shyamalan

The Sixth Sense is famous for having one of the biggest plot twists in movie history. The movie was so incredibly successful that it remains to this day, as the highest grossing movie for M. Night Shyamalan. This really says a lot since the release of The Sixth Sense in 1999, the director has had some huge successes with his other big-screen productions. By the time The Sixth Sense hit theatres in 1999, M. Night Shyamalan had already 3 other successful movies. However, he still wasn’t the famous ‘plot twist’ director that he is today, and the ending of The Sixth Sense is almost solely responsible for creating this title for him.

The Sixth Sense is as anxiety-provoking as it is heartwarming. The movie shows some pretty intense scenes between a young boy named Cole, with the ability to “see dead people”. This scene is pivotal for the plot-twist as it is basically a massive hint to the audience as Cole states that the dead people are “walking around like regular people” and that “they don’t know that they’re dead”. This is probably one of the most memorable movie moments in history and heavily quoted by fans.

As the movie comes to an end, we learn in the most shocking way that Bruce Willis’ character, Malcolm, the child psychologist working with Cole is in fact, one of those “dead people” who didn’t know that he’s dead after all this time. The Sixth Sense is probably one of the most captivating movies that you will ever watch, as the plot-twist at the end of this story spirals all that you thought you knew while watching it.

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I've always had a deep love and fascination for movies, being an especially strong advocate for the weird, foreign, underrated, under-budgeted and unfairly NC17 rated films of our world. Cinesister is the embodiment of this passion (which some might call an obsession).

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