10 Best Horror Movie Misdirections Ever

Nobody saw these sneaky sleights of hand coming.

Trick R Treat
Warner Bros.

It's always fun to have your expectations subverted in a movie, so long as it actually makes sense for the story and isn't a shock purely for shock's sake.

There's an art to misdirecting the audience, to pointing their attention in one place only to pull the rug out and reveal that they should've been looking somewhere else all along.

When it works it really works, and that's perhaps no truer than in the horror genre.

Horror fans are among cinema's most passionate, enough that they generally like to think they're able to sniff some misdirection coming a mile off.

And while that may often be true, these 10 horror movies all pulled off an ingenious sleights of hand which caught even the most genre-savvy among us totally off-guard.

From aggressively disobeying the genre's most well-trod tropes to messing with timelines, deploying sneaky cross-cutting, and preying on the audience's firmly held preconceptions, these films all managed to legitimately surprise just about everybody.

As tough as it is to get one over on audiences these days, the misdirects in these movies - whether decades old or a little more recent - are absolutely spectacular...

10. Moving Out Gets Them Killed - Sinister

Trick R Treat

If you watch enough haunted house movies, it's tough not to get exasperated with characters who simply refuse to leave the house, even when faced with overwhelming proof of an actual malevolent supernatural presence.

But Sinister had quite the fantastic solution to this, by savagely flipping the script and having the focal family get the hell out of dodge to their apparent safety. But oh how wrong they were.

Late in the film, true crime writer Ellison Oswalt (Ethan Hawke) decides he's had enough of the supernatural hooey and moves his family back to their old home, seemingly escaping the influence of the demonic Bughuul.

But the big twist? That was precisely what Bughuul was counting on.

Ellison then learns that Bughuul only claims his victims after they've moved out from the haunted house, and so by inadvertently following this pattern, he set himself and his family up to be killed.

And that's precisely what happens at the end, when Ellison, his wife, and son are murdered by his daughter Ashley (Clare Foley) while under Bughuul's control.

In turn, this sets the stage for whoever moves into Ellison's house next to keep the chain of murder going.


Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.