The twist ending is such a trope that it has become almost laughable - and impossible to pull off with credibility; but there is another subtler kind of twist ending that I'm interested in: It happens literally at the last beat of the film and it changes completely the tone of the ending. It isn't necessarily some startling reveal like in Sixth Sense; but something happens to rapidly and drastically shift the audiences feeling about the movie - and then the movie ends - like that.

For example the movie Buried with Ryan Reynolds is like this.

In the last second of the movie our hero undergoes a change of fortune so drastic that it's impossible not to instantly reassess everything. It isn't a twist as such, but it's definitely something.

Does anyone know what this trope is called or have a clear way to distinguish it from the more common version of the twist ending? Upon reflection - much of what differentiates this trope of this from the twist is the pacing - the punch and done feel of it.

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    Hi. Currently, it's on-topic to ask if there's an official name to this trope (which would inevitably lead you to some examples), but I'm afraid asking for lists and recommendations is considered off-topic.
    – Walt
    Jul 16 '16 at 20:45
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    @Walt - revised
    – dgo
    Jul 16 '16 at 23:41
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    ![enter image description here](i.stack.imgur.com/44UrQ.jpg) I don't know a name for this type of ending, but Alfred Hitchcock's FRENZY (1972) is a great example of this kind of ending. Richard Blaney (Jon Finch) has been framed as a serial rapist who strangles women with his necktie. He breaks out of jail, and is hot on the trail of his "friend" Rusk (Barry Foster) who has framed him. Coming into his friend's apartment, he finds Rusk sleeping in bed. Blaney strikes the sleeping body three times with a metal crowbar, but it turns out that the the bo Jul 17 '16 at 3:08
  • comes to mind: Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow
    – Shiz Z.
    Jul 17 '16 at 21:30

A twist ending is a twist ending. Just because it happens ten seconds before the film ends instead of 10 minutes doesn't make it a special type. Otherwise these are already just a subset of a Plot Twist.

That said, there are two TV Tropes that may cover it.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheEndingChangesEverything The Ending Changes Everything, common twist endings to many crime mysteries. Wild Things ending involving Kevin Bacon is one.

The other is http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/GainaxEnding an extreme genre shift which makes absolutely no sense and throws everything you knew out the window.

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