- Halloween III: Season of the Witch ditches Michael Myers and instead has a story about evil masks that possess little children. The original plan was for a Genre Anthology film involving several unrelated stories, with the first just being longer. The movie tanked, and they haven't made another non-Michael version since.
- Titanic (1997) was this for James Cameron. He typically directs sci-fi films with a lot of action such as The Terminator, Aliens and Avatar so a tragic historical romance was a bit of an odd one out for him.
- The original Alien might count as this for Ridley Scott. His forte is either historical epics (Gladiator, Kingdom of Heaven) or films with overt feminist themes (Thelma & Louise, G.I. Jane), so a horror film in space stands out, though the original Alien still has feminist undertones as seen with Sigourney Weaver's character.
- The Disney films Sleeping Beauty, The Black Cauldron, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame are some of the darkest films produced by the studio known as the trope namer for Disneyfication.
- Oh, you think that's bad? You should check out Disney's Pinocchio. That thing was dark both literally and metaphorically. There's a few really horrifying sequences such as the scene where a boy is seen turning into a donkey, made even worse when we see tons of other boys being turned into donkeys who are either sold to the salt mines or kept to pull the carriage to take more boys to the island to meet the same horrifying fate. Even more unusual for a Disney film, there are three different people who serve as villains (four if you count Monstro), and all of them get away with the things they do, including the ruthless coachmen who kidnaps boys and turns them into donkeys.
- Another case of Disney doing something completely different was the 1954 version of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. The film was mostly a serious drama with a few bits and pieces of comic relief, and, even more unusual for a Disney film, there is no female lead, let alone any kind of romance. Probably the most unusual thing about it is the fact that it departs from the usual Happy Ending found in most Disney films, considering that in the end Nemo is finally ready to reveal his secret to the world, but ends up having to destroy everything on his island when it is unexpectedly attacked by an unidentified nation. In the process he is shot and killed. Aronnax, Ned, and Conseil escape, but they realize that the greatest discovery the world has ever seen has been lost forever. It's actually a pretty effective Bittersweet Ending.
- Disney is rather famous for their Princess movies but Aladdin is arguably the only Disney Prince movie.
- Similarly, though Disney has done many movies featuring talking animals, the only times that they've dabbled in full anthropomorphism have been Song of the South, The Wind in the Willows, Alice in Wonderland, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Robin Hood, Chicken Little, and Zootopia. Oddly enough, four of these movies feature a fox as a prominent character.
- Other unusual Disney work includes The Emperor's New Groove - which, in contrast to the examples above, is actually much lighter and more comical then standard Disney fare - and Atlantis: The Lost Empire, which is a sci-fi/action film without any songs instead of a fantasy musical. Atlantis also has barely any romance to speak of and the villain isn't revealed as such untill very late in the film (This being almost a decade before plot twist villains became a recurring theme in disney movies).
- Chicken Little can also be seen as an attempt by Disney to copy the then-successful Dreamworks formula of a CG cartoon full of smart-aleck characters, pop culture references and zany humour. Audiences didn't like it and they went back to their usual style.
- The Three Caballeros might as well be called Disney Acid Sequence: The Movie.
- Fantasia represented a fairly radical departure from Disney's usual fare when it was first released. It was all music, no dialogue and didn't have one continuous story, just segments.
- Martin Scorsese has made something of a career out of this. Best known for crime thrillers (GoodFellas, Taxi Driver, Cape Fear, The Departed) or historical dramas (The Age of Innocence, Gangs of New York, Shutter Island), he also directed The Last Waltz (Rockumentary chronicling The Band's last concert), The Last Temptation of Christ (controversial re-telling of the Crucifixion), The Aviator (Biopic about Howard Hughes) and Hugo (all-ages period adventure). He also directed the video for Michael Jackson's "Bad". Most recently he has gone with Black Comedy The Wolf of Wall Street (about the notorious wall street scammer).
- The 1968 film The Party starred Peter Sellers.
- Part of why the James Bond film Licence to Kill was poorly received in its original release (at least in the US) was how extremely atypical it was compared with previous Bond films. This time, Bond was not on a mission with MI6, fighting for king and country, he was on his own, fighting for himself and his friends in a Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
- This is explicitly stated to be the reason why Marvel made the Guardians of the Galaxy movie for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Each of the previous movies depict the origins of the Avengers, with top of the line Marvel characters such as Captain America and Thor, culminating in The Avengers movie. Guardians of the Galaxy is pretty much a gathering of C-list and D-list Marvel characters that nobody would have expected to be featured in a film.
- The 2014 Seltzer and Friedberg movie Best Night Ever is almost a total departure from their normal film style. For one while it is a comedy it isn't a spoof: while it is clearly influenced in style by The Hangover being set around a wild weekend in Vegas to celebrate an upcoming wedding it tells its own story with original characters. It also much more realistic, low key and character driven (!) than any previous Seltzer and Friedberg film with little to no pop culture reference and no cartoony humour. About the only traditional Seltzer and Friedberg touch is a lot of gross out humour and nudity.
- When the four Burton/Schumacher Batman films are taken into consideration, Batman Returns departs from the other three in a number of important ways. Bruce Wayne gets practically no Character Development, there is no Disposable Love Interest, hardly any character is likable or even relatable, and the ending is bittersweet at best.
- A Woman of Paris was considered to be a radical break from Charlie Chaplin's usual movies. It didn't feature him as a star and was an actual drama film with a few comedic moments in it. The audience didn't like it and as a result Chaplin was forced to go feature himself again in his future movies. Monsieur Verdoux was another break with tradition: a Black Comedy about a serial killer who murders women where he didn't play his familiar tramp character. Once again the audience didn't like it that much and it would only become a Cult Classic later.
Something Completely Different / Film