There are plenty of movie scenes we weren’t sure about because of their WTF element.
Just the other day, I was watching Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (not Tim Burton’s version, but the original one). While the entire movie is particularly weird, I must say that there is a specific moment that has made audiences from all over the world say, “Wait, what?” As Wonka gives his guests an entire tour around the factory, there is a really eerie moment in which they enter a tunnel. Wonka’s guests start to freak out when flashing images appear showing insects, body parts, random people, and animal heads being cut off while Wonka himself starts saying some creepy rhymes. Honestly, I thought I was watching some weird footage taken from a video made by Pink Floyd and Marilyn Manson. I even had a nightmare about that tunnel afterwards!
In the film industry, there are tons of movies that have very particular WTF moments such as this one, in which sometimes it's not always clear what they're about. While the one in Willy Wonka isn't really explained, there are others whose meaning can be inferred after watching the movie or going back to the book they were based on. Here are some great examples of these weird moments and their explanation:
The dog costume in The Shining
Remember that scene from Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining where Wendy (Shelley Duvall) goes upstairs and finds a very weird looking person, dressed in a dog costume, being kneeled in front of a man in a suit? I mean, that description alone is very creepy, and since Kubrick didn’t mind leaving this part unexplained, we just couldn’t help but freak out with this bizarre shot. Fortunately, we can find the answer to this disturbing riddle in Stephen King’s book. The person in the costume is Harry, a sex-slave who’s involved in a homosexual sadomasochistic relationship with the man in the suit. He was brought to the hotel for a party and was forced to wear the disguise and “behave like a dog” for the benefit of his partner/master.
Whose hand did Coop touch in Interstellar?
Interstellar has a lot of WTF moments throughout the movie, but the moment Coop reaches out for another “hand,” which is also Coop’s, inside the wormhole left a lot of people wondering if it was some kind of weird trippy moment that Nolan (typically) left unsaid. Was it a hallucination, or just part of the light speed travel that made them see this kind of contact? You may be wondering if this is not a time/space paradox that makes the whole movie nonsensical. But there is a way to explain this. Many Interstellar fans believe this could all be related to different time and space realities. Since entering the wormhole implied leaving the 3D space and entering a 4D reality, they’re actually existing outside of time at that moment. The linear dimension as we know it doesn’t exist there. So, if they see another version of themselves inside, it’s not that they themselves are in another time-space reality, but they're meeting another version of themselves who also was able to enter the outside time reality. Mind-blowing!
The penguin and the cave in Fight Club
Fight Club could also be named What the hell did just happen?, but I guess it would give a lot of its weirdness away. There is a particular scene many people have questioned to be part of the narrator’s hallucinations, being that a big deal of this movie could be explained this way. When he is meditating in one of the support groups, the woman in charge asks him to think of a cave, to create it as detailed as possible, and his spirit animal will manifest. Enters the cute CGI penguin. People couldn’t help but say WTF with the cave and the little penguin, but the actual explanation to this is a lot more simpler that you would imagine. As a matter of fact, these exercises are done in real life and they’re perfectly normal. It involves a lot more than a cave, but that’s actually one of the most important parts of it. This activity helps people relax and find within themselves the reason behind personal issues. Cool, right?
An Apple laptop working on an alien in Independence Day
This movie was so good, I almost felt bad for its not so good sequel, but that’s not the point. Remember that scene where Captain Steven Hiller (Will Smith) and David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum) were aboard the alien ship (which was stored in Area 51), and managed to enter the Mothership to implant a virus and put an end to the extraterrestrial menace? Well, there was a small detail that many people (myself included) thought was a little bit senseless. The fact that they’re using an Apple Mac to communicate with aliens, through alien technology, didn’t make much sense, but here’s why it does: while still being in area 51, some scientists clarify that the digital technology they use for all of their computers and gadgets was a result from studying the alien ship and its own machinery, up to its tiniest component. So, if their devices were inspired by aliens, then it would make sense that David could communicate with the Mothership through his humble laptop.
There are so many WTF moments in movies. Some of them may never be fully explained, because sometimes, weird scenes and stories are meant to be mysterious, but that’s okay. When they do have an explanation, the weird scenes can make us think of the movie as a very different work of art; maybe we even like it better or get to appreciate it in a new way.
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