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Top 10 Darkest Movie Theories

VO: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Nathan Sharp

Script written by Nathan Sharp

These theories'll leave you with some serious existential dread. From Titanic to Pulp Fiction to even Toy Story 3, a lot of movies have inspired some pretty dark fan theories. WatchMojo ranks the top darkest movie theories.

Check out the voting page for this list and add your picks: https://www.WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top+10+Darkest+Movie+Theories Special thanks to our user nathansharp28 for suggesting this idea!


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Script written by Nathan Sharp

Top 10 Darkest Movie Theories

Well, we’re never watching these films the same way again, that’s for sure. Welcome to, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Darkest Movie Theories.

For this list, we’re looking the darkest and most depraved movie theories on the internet and ranking them based on the depravity of the theory in question and just how well each of them works - however twisted they may be.

#10: Rose Imagined Jack to Cope with Her Depression

“Titanic” (1997)
There are a lot of theories circling the web regarding “Titanic,” but none are likely as dark as the theory that Rose imagined Jack to cope with her suicidal depression. After all, the first time Jack and Rose meet is when Rose is about to kill herself. Perhaps she imagined this beautiful and charming man to cope with her unhappy life and abusive fiancé. This would also explain why there are no records of Jack – he simply doesn’t exist. Some people also believe that Jack is a time-traveler from the future, and while a case could be made for that, it isn’t quite as dark as “depressed woman imagines a charming man to save herself from suicide.”

#9: Kevin McCallister Grows Up to Be Jigsaw

“Home Alone” franchise (1990-) / “Saw” franchise (2004-)
As you all know, the first two “Home Alone” movies concern Kevin setting traps against a couple of stupid criminals. But doesn’t he seem to have a little too much fun in torturing and causing these men extreme pain? According to some, Kevin never grew out of his need to create elaborate, sadistic traps, changed his name to John Kramer (perhaps after serving some time?), and later became the Jigsaw Killer to satisfy his psychotic need to torture people. OK, the timeline doesn’t really add up, as Kevin is eight in 1990 while Jigsaw is in his fifties come the early 2000s, but just ignore that and go with it.

#8: The Joker Is a Disgruntled Ex-Soldier

“The Dark Knight” (2008)
This one isn’t so much dark as it is just sad and scary. According to one popular theory, the Joker is a war veteran who has gone psychotic. There are numerous traits to his character that seem to support this, including his weapons knowledge, his physical fighting skills, his tactical know-how, and his ability to perfectly perform the funeral ritual. A few of his quotes also suggest military experience, including, “Never start with the head, the victim gets all fuzzy,” and resentment, like “when a truckload of soldiers will be blown up… nobody panics.” The Joker is clearly psychotic, but he could also be a very pained and traumatized man.

#7: The Briefcase Contains Marsellus Wallace’s Soul

“Pulp Fiction” (1994)
The mysterious briefcase is a classic example of a MacGuffin. It drives the plot, but understanding it is ultimately inconsequential. Theories abound, but some have gone so far as to suggest that it contains the very soul of Marsellus Wallace. According to the theory, the Devil took Marsellus’ soul from the back of his neck, hence the weird neck Band-Aid. The code to the briefcase is also 666, suggesting Marsellus’ deal with the Devil. Another thing to note is the orange glow that flashes upon Brett’s death, which is perhaps indicative of his soul leaving his body. Is orange the color of our souls, and is Marsellus’s contained within that briefcase?

#6: The Entirety of “Grease” Is Sandy’s Death Fantasy

“Grease” (1978)
Charming, nostalgic, musical, or elaborate death fantasy? You be the judge. Because you all secretly know every word to “Summer Nights”, you all know Danny’s line, “I saved her life. She nearly drowned.” But what if he didn’t? According to the theory, Sandy DID drown, and the entire movie is a wish-fulfilling fantasy that Sandy’s brain plays out as she dies. This certainly helps to explain the weird ending where Danny and Sandy fly away in the car, which can be interpreted as Sandy’s final ascent into the afterlife. For those who’ve always wondered what the deal was with that scene… you’ve got a possible explanation - just not a very happy one.

#5: Josh Killed Heather & Mike

“The Blair Witch Project” (1999)
The ending to “The Blair Witch Project” is already dark, but this theory makes it even darker. Midway through the movie, Josh goes missing, and Heather discovers a bundle of sticks containing bloody clothes and teeth. However, Josh’s body is never found, and Heather and Mike continue to hear him screaming, indicating that he is still alive. At the end of the movie, both Heather and Mike are seemingly killed by the Blair Witch. However, it very well could have been Josh who murdered the students, either through possession or of his own free will. The lack of answers is precisely what makes this movie so divisive - inviting this sort of dark “what if?” interpretation.

#4: Peter Pan Is the Angel of Death

“Peter Pan” (1953)
Well, so much for this whimsical children’s tale. There are numerous theories regarding Disney’s “Peter Pan,” and a lot of them boil down to Peter Pan being a childish Grim Reaper and Neverland being the afterlife. One theory posits that Wendy dies of leukemia and Peter guides her to the afterlife, AKA Neverland, where many of Wendy’s real-life acquaintances are cartoonishly exaggerated. Another theory posits that Wendy, John, and Michael all died, were transported to the afterlife by Peter, and met more dead children, AKA the Lost Boys. Why do you think they never grow up? Well… if you died in childhood, you literally can’t.

#3: “Toy Story 3” Is About the Holocaust

“Toy Story 3” (2010)
We all know that “Toy Story 3” is the saddest movie ever, but this theory does the seemingly impossible… by making it even sadder. To begin with, the toys are left behind, similar to the Jewish people in Germany during the Third Reich. They then discuss what happened and what to do in a scene very similar to “The Pianist,” and Buzz suggests going to the attic like Anne Frank. They are then transported in a box (like a train) to a daycare full of undesired toys (like a concentration camp). Here they are mistreated and eventually sent to an incinerator. We’re not sure if this was intended or not, but the parallels are heartbreaking.

#2: Doc Brown Was Trying to Commit Suicide

“Back to the Future” (1985)
Have you ever wondered why Doc was standing in the path of the DeLorean? Well, wonder no more. According to this theory, he was suicidal. Right before sending the DeLorean back in time, Doc laments his many past failings, which speaks to motive – he feels like a failure himself. He is also being hunted by “the Libyans” and, perhaps, plans on killing himself before they can. As Doc sees it, it’s a win-win situation - either the time machine is a success and his work respected, or he dies and his troubles with failure and the Libyans die with him. If so… he fully intended on taking both Marty and Einstein with him.

#1: Willy Wonka’s Candy Is Made from Dead Children

“Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory” (1971)
Throughout the movie, it’s established that Willy Wonka is a candy genius, as his candy tastes far better than his competitors’, perhaps indicating a secret ingredient. That secret ingredient? Children - at least according to this theory. Wonka brings children into his factory under the guise of a tour, then rigs his factory into a massive death trap to capture the children. This would explain his uncaring attitude towards the kids’ health and safety. It would also explain the human-sized pipes and how the boat and Wonka Mobile don’t have any vacant seats – Wonka knew the numbers would dwindle because he had every intention of murdering those children and using them for his candy!

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