I’m rubbish at many things: drawing, throwing, dancing, neat handwriting, writing Saturday blogs before 2 in the morning on Sunday.
But today I figured out that I’m also utterly bollocks at predicting twist endings.
Earlier tonight I saw a film that I won’t mention the name of, because it’s far better that you go into it yourself not knowing there’s a big twist near the end. I didn’t work the twist out before it happened. However, upon leaving the cinema, I discovered that everyone else I saw the film with had sussed it ages before the reveal, making me feel like a right dunce.
It made me think back to films I’d seen over the years, and a pattern began to form. I didn’t have a clue about Keyser Soze’s identity in The Usual Suspects. Didn’t know what the hell John Doe was up to in Seven. Had no idea what was about to happen in The Sixth Sense. Basically, every single big twist ending in the past fifteen years, I didn’t predict. Hell, I didn’t even work out the identity of The Origami Killer in the videogame, Heavy Rain.
What makes this doubly weird is that my own writing has twists-a-plenty, which spin the narrative off in new directions and are laid carefully throughout the plot. Because of this, I should surely be tuned into other writers’ tricks, but no. When it comes to films, I’m so caught up in the moment that I often miss the significance of little details and clues.
While it should perhaps annoy me that I’m so inept at guessing twist endings, it does ensure that such films remain genuinely surprising for me. Maybe that fact alone is worth feeling like an idiot on the way out of the cinema.