There's not one cinephile alive that doesn't want some fictional character's head served up to them on a platter; it's a testament to the power of the medium that in just hours, audiences can go from loving a character to wishing them a severe and brutal death. But it's a difficult balancing act for the makers of the film: get it wrong and it comes across as a cheap trick, get it right, and it's the devastating final blow needed to really knock an audience down.
Of course cinema is rife with betrayals, deceit and treachery but it's the ones that we don't see coming that really get under our skin. These shocking twists spur viewers on, reinvigorate them and challenge them to keep guessing, warning them that not all is as it seems. In essence it's little more than making the good guy turn bad, but when it's executed to perfection it can become the most significant and memorable moment of any given film.
Unlike plot twists, betrayals are shocking because they feel so much more personal. Viewers form bonds with certain characters, they observe their relationships and quirks as if they're real people, which inevitably leaves a bitter taste in the mouth when it's revealed that one of them is a nothing more than a backstabbing toe-rag.
A word of caution however: the piece you're about to read contains spoilers.