One of the things that we love about cinema is its inherent ability to shock you in ways that are exhilarating, violent. It’s always fun when a filmmaker brilliantly manages to subvert your expectation and then comes up with mind-blowing twist towards the end that leaves you gasping for breath. Movies where you don’t know who the villain is till the end are often very exciting in that there’s a lot of tension and suspense built around the story that challenges and engages you in a number of ways.
It’s incredibly hard to conceal the identity of a villain in a story as it demands some shrewd writing and clinical direction and this is something American cinema in particular has done really well over the years with master filmmakers like Alfred Hitchcock, David Fincher and Christopher Nolan shocking audiences in ways they had never experienced before. So with all that said now, let’s take a look at the list of best movies where you don’t know who the villain is till the end.
12. High Tension (2003)
Alejandro Aja’s explosive slasher flick is a brutally powerful thriller that shocks and disturbs you in a distinctively provocative way that leaves you utterly baffled. Many people found the film to be provocative for the sake of being provocative and excessively shocking to the point of no real emotional impact and whilst these claims have truth, I certainly can’t deny the impact it has and really loved its in-your-face approach. The twist, however, does come off as a disappointment in that it clearly lacks logic but it managed to keep us guessing and held our nerves right till the end which was satisfying enough to overlook the glaring illogicality of the climax.
11. Saw (2004)
‘Saw’ has become one of my favorite guilty pleasures. It’s overly contrived, blatantly manipulative and annoyingly convoluted but I can’t overlook the fact that it is ridiculously entertaining. So we’ve got two men chained in a large messy bathroom. One man has to kill the other or his family would die. There’s a corpse lying between them with a gun in hand. There’s a serial killer outside and cops set out for the hunt. One thing that ‘Saw’ manages to achieve is fooling its audience with that final twist. Now whilst it may come off as annoying and convoluted to some, it clearly accomplishes what it set out to do which is to shock its viewers.