18 Movie Mysteries That Still Have No Explanation

Movie makers often leave certain plot points ambiguous to spark discussions and theories among the audience. While some mysteries are later resolved in sequels or by the filmmakers themselves, others remain unexplained. Here are 18 movie mysteries that still leave us scratching our heads

The Entity (1982)

Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox.

The Entity tells the tale of Carla Moran, a woman who is repeatedly raped and assaulted by a mysterious demon. What’s interesting about this film is that it is supposedly based on a true story. However, just like the real woman the character is based on, we never get to the root of what was truly happening to Carla and how.

Demolition Man (1993)

Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

One fascinating sci-fi technology incorporated into Demolition Man is the three seashells that have replaced toilet paper in the movie’s conception of the future. The film doesn’t share any further details of this technology, and it remains a mystery how these seashells are supposed to work.

Blade Runner (1982)

Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

A primary premise of Blade Runner is the existence of synthetic humans known as replicants. The film’s protagonist, Deckard, is a former cop who has to track down some rogue replicants. However, we are not quite sure whether Deckard is a replicant himself. Director Ridley Scott says he is one, but Harrison Ford has stated that he’s human.

American Psycho (2000)

American Psycho (2000) - Lionsgate Films
Photo Credit: Lionsgate Films.

Distinguishing between what’s real and not becomes incredibly difficult when a movie tells its story through the lens of an unreliable narrator. Thus, while we watch the main character in American Psycho commit various murders, the movie’s ending makes it an open question whether these were merely figments of his imagination.

V for Vendetta (2005)

Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

The 2005 film V for Vendetta revolves around the enigmatic character of “V,” a freedom fighter/ terrorist who triggers an uprising against a fictional fascist government in the U.K. V’s true identity remains concealed throughout the movie, leading to various theories from fans.

Inception (2010)

Inception (2010) - Warner Bros
Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

Inception follows Cobb, a dream infiltrator who’s able to tell dreams from reality by checking for the perpetual spin of a totem top (which won’t occur in the real world). However, as Cobb reunites with his children at the end of the movie, the camera pans to his top, which is still spinning on the table, leaving viewers wondering if Cobb is still dreaming.

Pulp Fiction (1994)

Pulp Fiction (1994) Miramax
Photo Credit: Miramax.

In Quentin Tarantino’s 1994 crime film Pulp Fiction, two hit men are tasked with retrieving a briefcase for their gangster boss. While we witness a bunch of fighting and killing over this briefcase, we never get to see its contents, with the only hint of what’s inside being the golden glow that appears whenever the briefcase is opened.

Cast Away (2000)

Photo Credit: DreamWorks Pictures & 20th Century Studios.

Cast Away is about a FedEx employee, Chuck, who finds himself on a deserted island after a plane crash and must rely on items in the packages he was transporting to survive. However, he leaves one box untouched and eventually delivers it at the end of the film. It’s hard to judge Chuck’s motivations, as what was inside the box remains a mystery.

The Dark Knight (2008)

Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

One of the most intriguing parts of The Dark Knight for me is how the Joker tells conflicting stories about how he got his scars. First, he tells Gambol that he got them from his abusive father, and then he tells Rachel that he did it to himself. For all we know, both stories may have been made up by the enigmatic character.

The Shining (1980)

The Shining Warner Bros
Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

The Shining is a horror film about a hotel caretaker, Jack Torrance, who slowly loses his mind. While the movie ends with Jack freezing to death, we see a picture of Jack in the hotel hallway from 1921. This photo has been given various interpretations, with one theory being that Jack is a reincarnation of someone from the hotel’s past.

Lost in Translation (2003)

Bill Murray - Lost In Translation Focus Features
Photo Credit: Focus Features.

After their affair in Tokyo, Bob and Charlotte must part ways and return to their spouses. However, just as Bob kisses Charlotte goodbye, he whispers something to her, but director Sofia Coppola opts to make what is said inaudible, leaving audiences to rely on their imagination.

Children of Men (2006)

Children Of Men (2006) Universal Pictures
Photo Credit: Universal Pictures.

The biggest mystery in Alfonso Cuarón’s Children of Men is the premise of its entire plot. The film is set in a dystopian future where the human species faces extinction due to 20 years of infertility. What led to such mass infertility? Children of Men doesn’t exactly tell us.

Kill Bill: Volume 2 (2004)

Photo Credit: Miramax Films.

In Kill Bill: Volume 2, Budd leaves the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad and turns his back on his brother, Bill. However, while we understand that this drastic decision was due to some falling out between the brothers, the film conveniently leaves out the source of the conflict.

Barton Fink (1991)

Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox.

In Barton Fink’s final scene, the titular character sits on a beach with a box beside him. When he is asked about the contents of the box, Fink responds by saying he doesn’t know. Many fans have theorized that the mysterious box likely contained a severed head, which seems plausible considering it was handed to Fink by a serial killer.

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

A Space Odyssey warner bros
Photo Credit: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

The monoliths in 2001: A Space Odyssey are a major plot device. Supposedly created by an unknown alien species, these monoliths seem to have catalyzed human evolution in the movie. However, the mystery of these strange items is left mostly unraveled, and we never find out anything concrete about the alien civilization responsible for them.

Zodiac (2007)

Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures.

Zodiac’s ending really leaves a bad taste. The film, which is based on true-life events, follows a serial killer who terrorized Northern California in the ‘60s. However, just like the real-life killer he was based on, the Zodiac killer’s identity never comes to light, and he’s never brought to justice.

Planet Terror (2007)

Photo Credit: Dimension Films.

Director Robert Rodriguez decided to insert a ‘missing reel’ in Planet Terror, simulating the experience of seeing a film in a ‘70s grindhouse theater. However, as the film resumes after the missing reel, we discover that major plot points have been skipped, leaving viewers to fill in the gaps themselves.

The Road (2009)

The Road (2009) - 2929 Productions
Photo Credit: 2929 Productions.

Like many of the movies on this list, The Road doesn’t explain some of the critical parts of its world-building. While we see that The Road’s earth has been devastated by a catastrophic event, the exact nature of the disaster remains elusive throughout the film.

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Star Wars – Anakin _ Padme Lucasfilm Productions
Photo Credit: Lucasfilm Productions.

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Heat Warner Bros
Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

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Cast Away DreamWorks Pictures & 20th Century Studios
Photo Credit: DreamWorks Pictures.

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Avengers_ Endgame
Photo Credit: Marvel Studios.

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T-1000
Photo Credit: StudioCanal.

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