Sometimes, a film’s plot is just too juicy to be taken at face value. Fans will want more and sometimes will develop their own conspiracy theory behind what is actually going on. After learning about a conspiracy theory in a film, it is hard to watch it the same way again. Listed below are 15 of the biggest conspiracy theories in film.
At one time, “Grease” was the third-highest box office hit of all time. The film stars a young John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John as Danny and Sandy, two high schoolers who fell in love during the summer only to reunite when Sandy transfers to Danny’s high school. The musical weaves through the school year as the two vie for each other’s affections.
The conspiracy theory, as it often does, paints a more bleak picture on the story. Theorists allege that Sandy and Danny drowned in the sea in the summer during the opening scene and the entire school year is lived in her imagination before she dies. In the final scene of the film, as Danny’s car goes airborne, the two are actually ascending into heaven.
“Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”
This classic 1986 comedy stars Matthew Broderick as Ferris Bueller, a high school slacker who cuts school to spend the day in Chicago with his best friend and his girlfriend. While spending the day at several major attractions of the Windy City, Bueller and his friends have to dodge his parents, who think he is sick, and his principal, who knows he is playing hookey.
Conspiracy theorists, however, view this film similar to “Fight Club.” Bueller isn’t a real person, but rather a figment of Cameron, his best friend’s imagination. Cameron is in love with Sloane, Bueller’s girlfriend, but is too awkward and introverted to ever catch her attention. Instead, he comes up with the Ferris Bueller persona as the man he thinks is everything the is looking for.
“Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”
The 1971 film was never a hit in theaters, but became a cult classic much in part to the fact that it received significant television airtime.
Charlie is a poor child in Europe who wins an opportunity of a lifetime along with four other kids to tour Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. Throughout the tour, the children suffer various consequences for breaking the rules.
The children, however, are never seen again after meeting their demise, even at the end of the tour, leading theorists to speculate that the children, in fact, are actually the secret ingredients to Wonka’s chocolate. This theory is strengthened throughout the film. After Augustus, one of the children, succumbs to the chocolate river, there isn’t a seat available for him on the boat afterwards, hinting that Wonka knew Augustus wouldn’t last until then.
“Forrest Gump” was a smash hit. It won Best Picture at the Academy Awards and Tom Hanks took home his second consecutive Best Actor, a feat that has only been accomplished one other time in cinema history.
Hanks stars as the titular character, a slow-witted man with a heart of gold who witnesses (and sometimes influences) so of the biggest events of post-World War II America. Throughout the film, he bumps into Jenny, the love of his life and only childhood friend. At the end of the film, Jenny informs Gump that they have a son together stemming from a sexual encounter the two had in previous years. She is also dying after contracting HIV and wants Gump to raise his son.
Despite being naive, Gump was incredibly wealthy after launching a multi-million shrimp industry and investing in Apple stock. His financial success has made conspiracy theorists believe that Jenny’s child is actually not Forrest’s and that she simply saw an opportunity for the child to have a better life after she died.
Wes Craven’s “Scream” became an instant classic for horror fans when it debuted in 1996. It brought a fresh, original storyline horror films desperately lacked while simultaneously poking fun at the unwritten rules of horror films.
Neve Campbell stars as Sidney Prescott, a high school student who becomes the target of a serial killer in her small town.
The film went on to spawn a pair of sequels (and years later, a fourth installment, with plans for a part five and six) and each film would go on the add plausibility to the conspiracy theory.
According to theorists, there was a third murderer, and it was Dewey Cox, the charming police officer.
The theory is pretty well thought out. Cox never comes face-to-face with the killer. He is stabbed in the back by one of the killers, but as the audience sees later in the film, self-mutilation is all a part of Billy and Stu’s, the killers, ploy to make it seem like they were defending themselves.
Despite his job as a cop, Cox is not well-respected even among his family. Additionally, he is incredibly awkward and a self-professed horror film fan.
Easily Michael Bay’s finest work, “The Rock” stars Nicolas Cage and Sean Connery as a chemist and an ex-con who must work together to stop a terrorist attack on Alcatraz.
Connery’s character is a 60-year-old who has been imprisoned without charges in the U.S. for three decades and is the only person to ever escape Alcatraz.
Conspiracy theorists tie in another franchise here. John Mason, Connery’s character, does not exist in the U.S. of British national databases despite being a British citizen. This is because John Mason is a code name, much like James Bond, a character Connery previously portrayed.
Mason is imprisoned without charges because he was caught spying on the U.S. and has been detained since then. Unfortunately, in Alcatraz, his “Bond girls” and “martinis” are a bit different.
“Back to the Future”
Another Robert Zemeckis film on this list, Michael J. Fox stars as Marty McFly, a high-schooler who is friends with inventor Dr. Emmett Brown. Doc Brown, with the help of his DeLorean, discovers time travel and McFly goes back 30 years to when his parents are in high school.
In one of the more popular conspiracy theories, theorists peg Brown as suicidal. The Libyans are hunting him down, he is a self-professed failure and his only friend is a kid in high school.
Additionally, Brown stands directly in front of the DeLorean and encourages McFly to drive 88 MPH in order to travel through time, ensuring his death.
Christopher Nolan’s espionage film star’s Leonardo DiCaprio as Dom Cobb, an “extractor” who, along with his team, utilizes military technology to steal information from victims through shared dreaming.
After an extraction is complete, each person has a totem that helps them determine whether or not they are in the real world or still stuck in the dream. For Cobb, it is a top that will not stop spinning when he is in the dream world.
As the film ends, the top is still spinning, though wobbling a bit, as the film cuts to black, leaving the audience to decide for themselves how it ended.
The theory, however, is that the top is actually not Cobb’s totem, but in fact, it is his wedding ring. When he is in the real world, Cobb no longer wears his wedding ring. It is only visible in the dream world. This theory would put to rest the ending as Cobb is not wearing his wedding ring in the final scene.
In 1995, Pixar found instant success with their first film, “Toy Story,” which is about a pair of anthropomorphic toys who embark on a journey to reunite with their long lost owner, a child named Andy.
The conspiracy theory focuses less on the toys and more on Andy’s personal life. His dad is never seen or heard of in the film and the introverted Andy is living with his mother, who is preparing the two to move into a smaller house. All signs point to the possibility that Andy’s parents may be going through a divorce in the backdrop.
“Kill Bill Volume 2”
Quentin Tarantino’s ultra-violent saga “Kill Bill” stars Uma Thurman as the unnamed bride, who was murdered on her wedding day only to resurface four years later alive and vowing revenge.
At the end of the film, she utilizes the Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique to kill Bill, the husband who set up her death.
As the credits roll, each actor who had portrayed someone who had been killed in the film has their name crossed off with the exception of the actor who played Bill, David Carradine, despite the audience seeing him collapse on screen.
During the film, it is mentioned that Pai Mei, a martial arts trainer, is the only person who knows how to utilize the Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique. Theorists point to this and the credit scene to claim that the Bride didn’t actually kill Bill and he faked his death, possibly in order to plot his revenge.