10 Most unexpected moments in Dystopian fiction

shocked cat is shocked

[plenty of spoilers – be warned]


Number 10: Shogo’s betrayal from Battle Royale
I really freaked out at this one. The entire way through the book you have been vaguely suspicious of Shogo’s motives in helping Shuya and JUST when you have finally begun to trust him he goes and shoots the remaining two students to claim his place as winner for a second time around. Gob Smacked!*

Number 9: The ending to The Mist
You may have noticed that the Mist features in a lot of my writing – I hold a bit of a torch for this film. Probably the most unexpected bit in the entire thing is the ending. We finally see our protagonists drive away into the mist – supposedly to safety, but as it turns out it is out of the frying pan and into the fire with them running out of petrol and ending up stranded in the mist with monsters all around them. To this end we see our main character, David, shoot his four companions in the head – including his son – only to emerge from the car in order for one of the monsters to finish him off, having run out of bullets. Pretty bleak right? Well that is not the unexpected bit – just as he is crying out for something to finish him off we see a military vehicle emerge from the mist, followed by a convoy of vans and people with flame throwers who are successfully fighting back the Mist and it’s monsters. Great. So as it happened David just shot all the people he loved JUST as salvation was about to arrive, talk about bad timing, right?

Number 8: The ending to Looper
For some reason I just didn’t see this coming. It makes sense I guess – kill your present self in order to instantly kill your future self, but all the way through the film we see Joe (our main character) act in only a selfish manner – leading his eventual self sacrifice to be pretty darn unexpected! I am sure there are loads of redemption theories etc, but it was still surprising! The one thing that bugs me though is why he didn’t just shoot his own arm off and THEN go kill old Joe, would have worked right?

Number 7: The ending to Skyline
Granted, this is not a good film, but the ending is just SO WEIRD!  We see all our main characters slowly be attacked and killed/abducted by the invading aliens only for Elaine, our remaining heroin, to wake up atop a pile of corpses within the alien ship. Elaine is preggers and is about to have her baby harvested – pretty awful end right? WRONG!  Part of the reason for human abduction is so that the aliens can harvest human brains as hard-drives for their technology and as Elaine is screaming at her imminent doom, her boyfriend Jarrod’s brain wakes up in it’s new home and hears the screams. Jarrod’s brain takes over the technology, runs in and rescues Elaine. Jarrod fights off the other aliens and finally defeats them – protecting Elaine and his unborn baby. Dawww. Only problem is the entire film has been pretty grim up until this point, with none of the characters being what you would call nice, so this ending is pretty bizarre and somewhat out of character for the film.

Number 6: Death of George in Feed by Mira Grant
I cried so much. I mean, seriously, I was reading it at work and burst into tears and everyone kept asking me if I was ok… George is our main character and our narrator throughout the entire book. As such you really don’t expect Grant to kill her off. But she does.

Number 5: The ending to Rec.
Another sub-par film, the ending to this is arguably the best bit. We finally see our two remaining characters forced up into the top apartment of the block in which they are stuck – engulfed in darkness, but apparently safe for the first time since the film began. However our characters are unable to just enjoy the moment and chill out. No, they think it is a good idea to go check out the bumping noises they can hear coming from the attic. YOU ARE IN A ZOMBIE INFESTED APARTMENT BLOCK DON’T GO INVESTIGATE RANDOM NOISES! LEAVE IT UP THERE! Dumbasses. Anyway, it turns out there IS something up there – shocker, and the last 5 minutes of the film I cannot watch with my eyes open, nearly gave me a heart attack.

Number 4: The Chestbuster scene from Alien
These days this scene is well known in popular culture as the quintessential Alien moment, however, back in the day this brought true terror to thousands of cinema goers as our happy little alien explodes its way out of our poor old scientist’s chest. Even the actors didn’t know quite what was going on as they had not been forwarned about the critter’s appearance. Everything you see in the film is real, no CGI, and it says something when even the cast didn’t see it coming. Additionally – check out Sandy Toksvig’s reaction to the Chestbuster on the Graham Norton show – amazing! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ISmIRkhGyHs

Number 3: Tree rape in Evil Dead
What. The. Hell. Girl runs into the evil, possessed forest, trips up and gets dragged down by a moving tree which rips her clothes off. We see a branch work its way slowly up her leg and *shudders* lets leave that there, shall we.

Number 2: The ending to Cabin in the Woods
I am not going to risk spoiling this for you – either you have seen it and know what I am talking about OR you NEED to see this to discover what I am talking about. Either way – one of the most unexpected endings to a film I have ever seen – did NOT see that coming.

Number 1: The ENTIRETY of A Boy and his Dog
Weirdest and least coherent plot I have ever seen.  Paul very nicely summarised the film as such
A simple description does this films insanity no justice. You gotta see this. The first half is pretty boring (apart from a couple of cute buddy moments between Vic and Blood, and some stuff about monsters called Screamers, which is never explained), but after that it just goes ABSOLUTELY MENTAL. The whole underground bit is totally bizarre and comes out of nowhere, leaving you absolutely speechless. And then the ending…man, did that really happen? Did someone really think to end a film like that? So, uh, so summarize: this isn’t a very good film by any stretch of the imagination. But you gotta see it. Just for the sheer WTF insanity of it and the utterly hilarious ending. I just…yeah.”
Oh, just to mention that Blood is a PSYCHIC TALKING DOG!
To read the full review of this TOTALLY insane film check out Paul’s full article: https://planetdystopia.wordpress.com/2013/05/29/a-boy-and-his-dog-1975/


So there are my current top 10. Even as I was typing I thought of a few more moments I would like to have added… but I guess that can be a start to a sequel article. Feel free to post your own unexpected moments in the comments section!

-Review by Liz 🙂 –


*luckily this turns out all to be a ruse, but still – that good few pages where I genuinely believed I had been led along just like the characters was so awful – not what I was expecting at all!


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