Watching Closely?50 Mind-Blowing Fan Theories
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The Fan Theory: The Joker didn’t kill Bruce’s parents. Bruce simply projects that onto every criminal he faces.
Why It’s Mind-Blowing: It adds a nice layer to Bruce’s damaged psyche. We prefer that to a blatant divergence from comic-book lore.
The Fan Theory: There was a third killer involved in the Woodsboro murders… and it was Dewey!
Why It’s Mind-Blowing: Because if you buy into it (and admittedly, Dewey does seem like a bit of a nut-case), then he gets away with the whole thing! Creepy…
Radio Flyer (1992) (1992)
The Fan Theory: Rather than riding his radio flyer off to salvation from his brutal father, the younger brother in Radio Flyer actually kills himself. Bummer.
Why It’s Mind-Blowing: Too obvious for you? Then perhaps the younger brother is a product of Elijah Wood’s imagination, and the “escape” is a desperate way to con himself that he himself might one day be free of his father. Equally depressing, mind…
Batman & Robin (1997)
The Fan Theory: Both Batman & Robin and Batman Forever are movies within the Batman universe, in which Bruce has lost his fortune and decided to cash in on his secret identity.
Hence all that Bat-credit card nonsense.
Why It’s Mind-Blowing: The film actually represents Bruce at his lowest ebb, having sold out in the worst possible way. So in a way, it’s far darker than anything Nolan came up with…
The Thing (1982)
The Fan Theory: The bottle that Kurt Russell offers Keith David towards the end of The Thing is actually one of the Molotov cocktails they were chucking around earlier.
Why It’s Mind-Blowing: David’s character would obviously recognise that he was chugging down a bottle of gasoline. But the Thing wouldn’t…
Minority Report (2002)
The Fan Theory: The ending of the film is a fantasy created by Tom Cruise’s character while he languishes in captivity.
Why It’s Mind-Blowing: It would explain the rather jarring shift in tone after Cruise’s imprisonment in the futuristic jail. Remember, the inmates’ brains are said to be “free to dream”, which is why none of them make any attempt to escape…
The Fan Theory#1: The story of Aladdin is actually a load of old cobblers dreamed up by the merchant at the beginning of the movie. He’s just trying to sell some old tat by writing it an interesting history…
Why It’s Mind-Blowing: Because we truly believed that a carpet could fly…
The Fan Theory#2: Due to a slip of the tongue by the Genie, we know that Aladdin is set some time in the future, where “Arabia” is the dominant global power.
Why It’s Mind-Blowing: The Genie refers to Aladdin’s clothes as “so third century”, but since he’s been cooped up in his lamp for the last 10,000 years, how would he know what “third century” looked like? Unless of course the year is actually 10,300 AD! It also explains why the Genie does so many impressions of modern day pop culture icons. Looks like he had a telly in that lamp!
The Rock (1996)
The Fan Theory:Sean Connery’s character is actually James Bond (more on him later). Caught spying in America, he has spent the rest of his life banged up in various prisons…
Why It’s Mind-Blowing: As FBI Director Womack later professes, “This man does not exist not in the United States or Great Britain.” That’s because James Bond isn’t a a person… it’s a code name!
The Fan Theory: Harry’s life as a wizard is actually an elaborate fantasy, dreamed up by our young protagonist as a means of passing the time under the Dursleys’ stairs.
Why It’s Mind-Blowing: The Potter Saga is basically a twist on Pan’s Labyrinth.
The Flintstones (1994)
The Fan Theory: The Flintstones is actually set in the future, a post-apocalyptic vision of Earth in which humanity has attempted to rebuild itself by employing genetically-engineered dinosaurs to do their manual labour.
Why It’s Mind-Blowing: That’ll be why they have so many approximations of modern gadgets… they just can’t let go of the past.
Jetsons: The Movie (1997) (1990)
The Fan Theory: The Jetsons also live in the future… the same future as the Flintstones. They just live in the posh bit, where flying cars are all the rage.
Why It’s Mind-Blowing: The whole saga has been building towards a future crossover movie which will be a commentary on class systems in modern society.
It's a Wonderful Life (1947)
The Fan Theory: It’s A Wonderful Life is actually a tragedy, with the “happy ending” seeing George Bailey forced to return to a job he hates because that’s the bed he’s made, and he must damn well lie in it.
Why It’s Mind-Blowing: Instead of a message of Christmas cheer, what the film is really saying is that the practicalities of life will usually force you to abandon your dreams. Ho ho ho!
The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
The Fan Theory: Bruce never did get that autopilot fixed, and really does die at the end of the film. Alfred’s vision in the café is simply the projection of a heartbroken old man.
Why It’s Mind-Blowing: Could Bruce ever really turn his back on being Batman? Only by choosing death…
The Fan Theory: Jack never existed. He was a product of Rose's broken psyche who emerges just when she is at her lowest ebb, thanks to the cruel treatment from her fiancé.
Why It’s Mind-Blowing: Jack represents Rose’s ideal of what a man should be, and helps her cultivate the confidence to stand up to her repressive fiancé.
The Fan Theory: Indy spends the entire film trapped in that fridge, slowly losing his mind on account of radiation poisoning, and imagining everything else that follows. Including the aliens.
Why It’s Mind-Blowing: A tip of the hat to the folks at Cracked for coming up with this one. Wishful thinking it might be, but amusing all the same.
Back to the Future (1985)
The Fan Theory: Doc Brown is attempting to commit suicide when he tests out the DeLorean. He states that all his previous experiments have been failures, then proceeds to stand directly in front of the speeding car, guaranteeing his own death if his latest attempt stays true to form.
Why It’s Mind-Blowing: Not only does the Doc invent time travel, but he realises life is worth living after all. Hooray!
The Fan Theory: RoboCop is Jesus. Albeit an extremely violent one, with a very firm idea of right and wrong.
Why It’s Mind-Blowing: Paul Verhoeven has actually come out and confirmed this one! “It is about a guy who gets crucified in the first 50 minutes,” he says, “and then is resurrected in the next 50 minutes, and then is like the supercop of the world.”
The Fan Theory: Wonka was a deranged, child-hating killer who staged the industrial accidents that took place in his factory. Charlie was carefully selected on account of his vulnerability, with Wonka grooming him to continue his evil legacy.
Why It’s Mind-Blowing: How else would the Oompa-Loompas have known to prepare song and dance routines based around the names of the victims?
Bruce Almighty (2003)
The Fan Theory: Bruce isn’t God… he’s having a breakdown brought on by missing out on promotion.
The outlandish events that happen around him are partly imagined, and those that are real aren’t actually caused by him.
Eventually he gets the medical treatment he needs and the God delusion passes.
Why It’s Mind-Blowing: While we thought we were watching some more of Carrey’s patented comedy mugging, we were actually being treated to a very moving portrayal of mental decay. Bravo!
Hot Tub Time Machine (2010)
The Fan Theory: The characters don’t travel back in time… they’re actually in limbo, with Lou having successfully killed himself before the trip.
Why It’s Mind-Blowing: There aren’t actually four characters at all… the four protagonists represent four aspects of Lou’s personality, who eventually find their own versions of heaven by the end. Yeah, this one is quite in-depth for a comedy…
The Fan Theory: Crossing the streams causes the Ghostbusters to die, with the city’s celebration of their achievements turning out to be a posthumous affair.
Why It’s Mind-Blowing: The theory also posits that the sequel finds the Ghostbusters in purgatory, which is why no-one seems to recall the Stay-Puft attack on Manhattan!
The Fan Theory: The town of Amity had been covering up its shark attacks for years, with the tiger shark being planted by the Mayor in order to distract attention from the real culprit…
Why It’s Mind-Blowing: It does seem a little coincidental that the attacks should start at the exact same time as the new police chief starts work. And then there’s that comment regarding the first attack that, “it’s happened before”… That dastardly mayor!
Drag Me to Hell (2009)
The Fan Theory: Much of what we are seeing can be explained away as the hallucinations of a bulimic. An old photo reveals a younger Christine to be a bit fat, we never see her eating, and many of the nasty things that happen to her are related to eating (a corpse vomming down her throat, for example!). Case closed.
Why It’s Mind-Blowing: It arguably makes the film seem even more disturbing, although admittedly, the final reel doesn’t quite fit in with the rest of the theory…
The Fan Theory: Cobb’s totem isn’t actually his spinning top, but his wedding ring. In the “real world” he takes it off, but in the dream world, he’s always wearing it…
Why It’s Mind-Blowing: Because if you subscribe to this theory, it clears up the ending once and for all, as you get a brief glimpse of Cobb’s hand and… no ring.
The Fan Theory: Labyrinth is a metaphor for a girl struggling with the onset of puberty.
Why It’s Mind-Blowing: Think about it… the whole thing is about a young girl taking responsibility and going in search of a child. The labyrinth around her is constantly changing, and challenging her along the way, a la a teenage body. And then there’s the involvement of Jareth, with his extremely pronounced codpiece…
The Fan Theory: Spider-Man is also about Peter Parker’s attempts to cope with the stresses and strains of teenage life.
Why It’s Mind-Blowing: Overnight Peter’s body takes a drastic change for the adult, while he starts spurting sticky white fluid all over his wrists.
Sorry to put it bluntly, but it’s a bit obvious…
The Fan Theory: The film is set some time before Blade Runner, with the room in which the Hologram Weyland has recorded his message in turning out to be the same as one that appeared in the earlier film.
Why It’s Mind-Blowing: The tall buildings that can be seen in the backdrop of the Blade Runner scene are under construction in Prometheus.
Now that’s attention to detail…
Fight Club (1999)
The Fan Theory: The narrator and Tyler are a distorted version of Calvin and Hobbes.
Why It’s Mind-Blowing: Having been forced to suppress his imaginary childhood friend by the necessities of growing up, Calvin’s overactive imagination comes back into play in big way when he finds himself stuck in a rut in adult life. It’s a stretch, but we like it all the same.
Reservoir Dogs (1992)
The Fan Theory: The bank heist takes place on the same day that Jules and Vincent play out their story in Pulp Fiction.
Why It’s Mind Blowing: It would explain why the hitmen are able to drive a blood-soaked car through a busy city without encountering any police-based trouble. The boys in blue are clearly busy elsewhere…
Toy Story (1995)
The Fan Theory: Andy’s parents are in the middle of a divorce when the film is taking place.
Why It’s Mind-Blowing: It actually makes a lot of sense, since we never see hide nore hair of Andy’s dad, and the whole story is driven by his mum’s need to downsize to a smaller house. Then there’s the fact that Andy is an extremely introverted kid. It all adds up!
Blade Runner (1982)
The Fan Theory: Not only is Deckard a Replicant, but he is a Replicant implanted with the memories of a former Blade Runner. Detective Gaff to be precise.
Why It’s Mind-Blowing: It would explain the weird connection that exists between the two, but also Gaff’s obvious resentment of Deckard. Could it be that his limp put him out of service, only for Deckard to step in as his replacement? It’s possible…
The Fan Theory: Bella isn’t actually human at all… she’s part werewolf.
Why It’s Mind-Blowing: It would be a much neater way of explaining why none of the other vampires are capable of reading her mind or why Edward was capable of getting her pregnant, when vampires and humans are seemingly unable to procreate. Werewolves throw vampire powers out of whack, remember?
The Matrix (1999)
The Fan Theory: Neo is actually a machine, with the “real world” of Zion actually turning out to be just another level of human-created simulation, designed to keep technological advances in check.
Why It’s Mind-Blowing: It would have resulted in the big reveal that the Matrix was actually a human-created way of keeping advancing technology under control. Whoa, dude!
No Country for Old Men (2007)
The Fan Theory: Anton Chigurh is the Angel of Death, sent by an angry, Old Testament God to wreak vengeance upon the drug trade.
Why It’s Mind-Blowing: It would explain Chigurh’s total indifference to the fate of his prey.
Although not why he takes such pleasure in messing with that gas station attendant…
Inglourious Basterds (2009)
The Fan Theory#1: The rest of Tarantino’s films follow on from this alternate version of history. Having WW2 ended in a movie theatre explains why all his characters are so pop-culture savvy.
Why It’s Mind-Blowing: We already know Tarantino likes to link all his movies together… this just expands that way of thinking a little further!
The Fan Theory#2: Inglourious Basterds is actually a “movie-verse” film directed by Lee Donowitz (a distant relative of the Bear Jew), lionizing the involvement of his forebear.
Why It’s Mind-Blowing: It would make sense given Donowitz’s success as a war-movie auteur with Coming Home In A Bodybag.
Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)
The Fan Theory: Kill Bill is a movie within the Tarantino world, as is From Dusk Till Dawn, which would explain their hyper-violent aesthetic, even by Tarantino’s standards.
Why It’s Mind-Blowing: Tarantino himself has said that this is as true. Extrapolating things further, one could read Kill Bill as Fox Force Five: The Movie with Mia Wallace in the leading role.
Taxi Driver (1976)
The Fan Theory: Travis Bickle dies at the end of the film, and that weirdly optimistic final reel is actually taking place in the mind of a dying man.
Why It’s Mind-Blowing: It goes a long way to explaining the unusually happy ending provided by such an unremittingly bleak film.
Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004)
The Fan Theory: When the end credits roll, all the characters whom we know to be dead have their names crossed out. Darryl Hannah merely had her eye plucked out, so she gets a question mark. But Bill? Nothing at all. Ipso facto, the Bride doesn’t actually kill him.
Why It’s Mind-Blowing: It would suggest that Bill was playing dead. After all, it’s made clear on several occasions that only Pai Mei has successfully mastered the five point palm exploding heart technique…
The Fan Theory: Those marauding creatures aren’t aliens at all. They’re demons! So now you know…
Why It’s Mind-Blowing: It takes what was a slightly laughable ending, and makes it far more credible. The reason the water from a priest’s house stops them dead in their tracks? It’s holy water!
The Avengers (2012)
The Fan Theory: The entire outcome of the film follow’s Loki’s plan to the letter, with securing a return to Asgard proving to be his goal all along….
Why It’s Mind-Blowing: It could be an excellently subtle set-up for Thor 2. Why would Loki be so keen to return to his homeland in the first place? Could it possibly have anything to do with the Infinity Gauntlet we caught a glimpse of in the first film?
Forrest Gump (1994)
The Fan Theory: Jenny’s son, who is presented to Forrest as his own offspring at the film’s conclusion, isn’t really his son at all.
Why It’s Mind-Blowing: It tallies with what we know about Jenny (she gets around a bit), and adds a more bittersweet sheen to the film’s conventionally happy ending.
My Neighbor Totoro (1988)
The Fan Theory: Cuddly woodland guardian Totoro is not the loveable critter you thought he was… he’s actually the God of Death.
Why It’s Mind-Blowing: Satsuki’s search for her sister Mei is actually fruitless… the fact that both of them encounter Totoro means that actually, both of them are dead.
Makes you want to put that Totoro cuddly toy at the back of the cupboard, doesn't it?
Pulp Fiction (1994)
The Fan Theory: The briefcase contains Marsellus Wallace’s soul.
Why It’s Mind-Blowing: Legend has it that the Devil removes a person’s soul through the back of their head, where Marsellus has a plaster. The combination to the briefcase is 666. The contents glow with ethereal beauty. How obvious do you want to make it?
The Shining (1980)
The Fan Theory#1: Jack Torrance represents white oppression of the Native Americans. And the location of the hotel is just the start of it…
Why It’s Mind-Blowing: Not only does the hotel have a Navajo wall hanging (that Jack repeatedly throws a ball at), his wife can be seen wearing a tepee jacket, Jack start’s banging on about “white man’s burden” and the date of that creepy photograph is July 4th…
The Fan Theory#2: Stanley Kubrick helped fake the moon landings, and The Shining contains several coded admissions. Didn’t you notice Danny’s jumper? Keep up, keep up…
Why It’s Mind-Blowing: As fan-theories go, it’s pretty out there. Although when it comes to The Shining, people don’t tend to hold back on their theorising. Check out Room 237 for further details!
Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)
The Fan Theory: The entire film takes place in Cameron’s head, with Ferris created by his buddy as the polar opposite of his own depressive personality.
Why It’s Mind-Blowing: It explains some of the film’s more fantastical elements (the whole city of Chicago rallying around Ferris) and fits in nicely with the film’s ending, in which Cameron decides he must stand up for himself more and finally has no further use for “Ferris”.
The Fan Theory: Chewbacca and R2-D2 are secret Rebel agents, using their knowledge of Anakin’s transformation and the rise of the Galactic Empire, rather than inexplicably forgetting it.
Why It’s Mind-Blowing: It sorts out some of the plot holes established by the creation of the prequel series, while also adding some welcome gravitas to the two fan favourites. We much prefer this to C3P0 getting a convenient memory wipe…
The Fan Theory: “James Bond” isn’t a man but rather a codename, passed on from one MI6 agent after the other over the years.
Why It’s Mind-Blowing: It neatly explains away why various different Bonds look and behave differently, while supporting characters (M, for example) continue to age before the audience’s eyes.
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