We may earn a commission when you buy through links in our articles. Learn more.

M. Night Shyamalan reveals the secret to making his plot twists work

M. Night Shyamalan is known for the genius of his twist endings, in the likes of The Sixth Sense and The Village. He explains his approach to movie endings.

Knock at the Cabin

M. Night Shyamalan has twisted and turned his way through his movie career, with varying degrees of success, since he broke through with the sensational box office hit The Sixth Sense. Shyamalan was still only 29 years old when the psychological horror starring Haley Joel Osment, Toni Collette, and Bruce Willis was released.

Since then, pretty much every movie Shyamalan has released has been extremely divisive – from Signs, The Village, The Visit and the trilogy made up of Unbreakable, Split, and Glass. There has also been a few disasters, such 2010’s The Last Airbender. Shyamalan is known for his twist endings – which often completely pull the rug out from under his audience, with thrilling results.

Speaking to YouTuber Jake’s Takes, Shyamalan explained what he is aiming for with the endings of his movies; “What you’re left with at the end of the movie should tell you what you saw…When you stick the landing you’re giving them the keys to how to interpret everything that you watched.

“I’m not just talking about plot, I’m talking about tone and the approach…When it’s blurry, or you pick only one aspect of it, it throws you off because it’s not speaking to the whole piece, the whole story.” Shyamalan has had something of a comeback recently with 2021’s Old (which has exactly 50% on Rotten Tomatoes – which perfectly demonstrates how divisive his movies are), as well as Apple TV show Servant.

Shyamalan is back this February with horror movie Knock at the Cabin starring Jonathan Groff, Dave Bautista, and Rupert Grint. Unusually for Shyamalan, this time it’s based on a book – The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul Tremblay.

While we wait for Knock at the Cabin, check out our guide to the best horror movies.