Horror movies love a spot of misdirection. Whether it's gearing up for a big scare only to reveal the cause of the tension was an innocent little cat scratching away in the corner of a room or setting up a protagonist only to kill them off in a big twist in the opening moments, subverting your expectations in the aim of the game.
After all, horror is built around removing the audience's control, as you can never let them get too comfortable with what they're seeing. Otherwise, the scares quickly evaporate.
However, the best kind of audience manipulation often involves the villains of a piece. This is a genre built on killers, slashers and ghouls, and one sure-fire way to deliver a memorable and iconic antagonist is to actually get the audience on their side.
In a lot of cases this is done via a big third-act twist that reveals the hero you were watching was the killer the whole time, but other times it's subtler, presenting a villain's slide into darkness after initially presenting them as a sympathetic lead.
8. The Mortuary Collection
We all know the classic babysitter horror trope by now. It's a stormy night, a babysitter has been hired to look after a young kid while the parents are away but, uh oh, a psychopathic criminal has just escaped from the nearby asylum and is out on the prowl! And they just so happen to stumble across this exact house!
A similar premise makes up the final part of the brilliant anthology horror The Mortuary Collection, and for the most part seems to be playing the whole thing straight.
There is, of course, more to the story. For most of the short we watch as Babysitter Sam fights for her life against a bloodied invader, taking on this seemingly more dangerous man and rooting for her the entire way until she finally kills him.
However, the end reveals that we weren't following the babysitter at all, and that Sam is actually the escaped patient and the real Sam was the man she just murdered. If he seemed deranged, it was only because he took a blow to the head, and was fighting for both his life and the life of the little kid upstairs.
You see, there's an extra wrinkle to this tale: the escaped criminal isn't your average killer, but has a habit of cooking and eating the children she kidnaps. And you were on her side the whole time.