10 Movies That Cleverly START With Huge Twists

Terminator 2 trolled us all.

Terminator 2
20th Century Fox

Writing a movie that builds to a single major plot twist can be a risky game.

Not only might said twist ultimately prove to be unsatisfying - making audiences feel like their time has been wasted - but flipping a movie on its head so late in the story can often feel like a cheap move, just a quick and easy way to hit viewers with one final "ah-ha!" moment before they leave the theatre.

On the other hand, a good way to mitigate these potential downfalls - and a trick that we don't see very often - is to place a twist at the start of the film instead.

Because most viewers won't be expecting this to happen, it will usually catch audiences off guard, and even better, changing the trajectory of the narrative at a premature stage is an effective technique for keeping viewers on their toes for the remaining duration of the film.

And that's exactly what these movies did. Early on, they led you to believe that their stories would be about one thing, only for them to twist into something else entirely, whether that's due to the death of an important figure, a radical shift in tone, or a revelation that flips the characters' world upside down.

10. 1917

Terminator 2
Universal Pictures

The opening moments of 1917 are very clear in laying out the mission that our two leading characters must embark on.

Young soldiers Schofield and Blake are tasked with delivering a message to a nearby battalion, which, if they are successful, will save countless British lives. Blake also has personal stakes in this quest, as his older brother is among the men who will be saved if they reach their destination on time and everything goes to plan.

While Blake and Schofield are on even footing in terms of screen time and dialogue, the familial tie Blake has to the mission makes you believe that he's the main protagonist, that he'll see the movie through to the end and reunite with his brother. Predictable as that would be, that's exactly what would happen in most movies.

And so, it was a bit of a shock when Blake was stabbed by a German soldier quite early in the film, causing him to bleed out in Schofield's arms.

Not only did this twist kill off the guy who we thought was the hero, but it also completely destroyed the happy "family reunion" ending we all had in our heads. It also sent a clear message that nobody was safe in this movie - not even the main characters - a clever way to keep viewers invested in Schofield's journey, making audiences worried for his life whenever he encountered any enemy forces.


WhoCulture Channel Manager/Doctor Who Editor at WhatCulture. Can confirm that bow ties are cool.