Part of what makes movies great is their ability to transport you to someplace else. There may be darkness and struggle in your favorite flicks, but most of them can also provide you with a sense of hope or inspiration if that's what you're looking for. These are often the movies that audiences treasure the most. They're the ones you rewatch when you need just a little bit of a pick-me-up. But, because we can't have nice things anymore, there are fan theories out there that complicate many of these films.
For the most part, these theories offer dark alternatives to what most people believe the movie is about. Sometimes, they take a new perspective on the events we've watched in the film. Other times, they suggest that what we're watching isn't actually what we think it is. Whatever the case may be, all of these fan theories are depressing in one way or another. These movies may be widely loved, but even they aren't immune from wild fan speculation.
The world of Harry Potter made many kids believe in magic. The story of a young orphan who becomes a mythical chosen one is inspiring, but some cynical fans think it might be too good to be true. These fans have suggested that Harry created the entire world of Hogwarts and his tale of Voldemort's defeat in his own mind.
It's a depressing idea, in part because it suggests that Harry's actual life was so stark that he created a fantasy just to escape from it. Harry's story brought hope and joy to so many, and it's terrifying to consider the idea that, even for him, none of it was actually real.
In all three Dark Knight movies, Michael Caine plays Alfred the butler as a concerned surrogate father. He knows that Bruce feels obligated to protect Gotham, but wishes he would stay home instead. Some fans have suggested that this is because Alfred is Bruce's real mother.
The theory suggests that Alfred had an affair with Martha Wayne before her death and that affair led to Bruce. Other than Alfred's deep concern for Bruce, there's little evidence to support this theory. He may act like a father to Bruce, but that doesn't mean he actually is. Sometimes your caring butler is really just your caring butler.
Look, Sid is not great when we first meet him in Toy Story. He's already destroying his toys and rebuilding them as slightly horrifying monsters. Even so, one fan theory suggests that Sid's life isn't irreversibly screwed up until his toys begin acting on their own. To be fair, this kind of thing would really mess up just about anybody.
The theory suggests that after he heard Woody talk, Sid decided to become a garbage man, which we see in Toy Story 3. Many fans have suggested that Sid did this to keep toys from being thrown away. He could have done much more to help if those toys hadn't scared him half to death.
Forrest Gump is a sweet movie about the way one man impacts the world around him. The film's ending is somewhat tragic, though, because Forrest doesn't get to spend much time with the love of his life. She dies, and he goes on taking care of the son that she claims is his.
One theory suggests that Forrest Jr., Jenny's son, is not actually Forrest's. The movie makes it fairly clear that Jenny had a number of partners in her life, and there's a decent chance that Forrest Jr. is, at least biologically, someone else's. Even if that's the case, though, Forrest is the father that really matters.
We know that, in a very literal sense, dinosaurs aren't real. In Jurassic Park, they come back to life. One fan theory suggests that, although the dinosaurs at the center of the film seem very real to the characters, they may not be dinosaurs at all.
Because of some scientific inaccuracies with the dinosaurs in the film, including the fact that the DNA used in the film would have been totally eroded, one theory suggests that the dinosaurs are actually scientific experiments that the park's owner is trying to pass off as the real thing. If we're being totally honest, it sounds like something he'd do.
Aladdin is, on its surface, a fun, family-friendly movie where everything works out fine. According to some fans, though, Aladdin is hiding a darker truth under its surface. Some fans believe that, instead of taking place in some magical alternate reality, Aladdin actually takes place in an apocalyptic future.
This explains why the genie says that he's been in the lamp for 10,000 years. The last time he was awakened was actually the 1990s, which explains many of his references. It also explains the reason that none of the other characters seem all that fazed by a carpet that can just fly by itself.
This is maybe the darkest theory on this list. We have to thank Michael Jackson for it, at least in part. After all, he named his ranch Neverland, and he's been accused of pedophilia from multiple people. Thereafter, the place depicted in Peter Pan was forever tainted.
Of course, it is weird to think about Peter Pan, who has the brain of someone 100 years old, just hanging out with actual children all the time. The idea of never growing up sounds okay, but the more you think about it, the stranger it gets. Being a child is great, but being an adult has perks too.
Finding Nemo is a movie about an overprotective parent who tries desperately to find his son. The story ends happily enough unless you start reading fan theories about it. If you do that, you may find one that suggests that Nemo was actually dead the whole time.
We know from the film's prologue that Marlin's wife and all of their eggs were attacked and destroyed, except for Nemo. This theory suggests that every egg was actually destroyed, and Marlin only imagined that he had a son. As if that opening scene wasn't depressing enough already. Still, he got to meet Dory on the way, so it wasn't a total loss.
Each Fast and Furious is more ridiculous than the last. They start out as fairly grounded action movies, and each of the characters eventually transforms into a full-blown superhero. While there doesn't seem to be any explanation for this in the world of the films, one crazy fan theory suggests that each film in the franchise is actually a chapter in a Dungeons and Dragons campaign.
This explains why all of the characters get more powers in every movie. Essentially, they're just leveling up in their completely crazy campaign. Their powers allow them to do crazier and crazier things, and every movie makes more money than the last.
20th Century Fox
The Star Wars prequels are pretty widely reviled, and Jar Jar Binks is a big reason why. In addition to being a racist caricature, Jar Jar is also just very annoying. One fan theory suggests he's actually much worse than that, though. The theory argues that Jar Jar is actually a Sith Lord and that he's behind the fall of the galactic republic.
This theory stems from the way that Jar Jar seems to mouth the dialogue of other characters at crucial moments, almost as if he's making them speak the words. What's more, he also proposes the resolution that gives the Chancellor the powers of an emperor. Need I say more?
Ferris Bueller's Day Off has one core message: It's okay to lighten up and smell the roses every once in a while. This lesson is mainly aimed at Ferris's friend Cameron, who's a bit of a stick in the mud. Fans have suggested, though, that Ferris might not be real at all.
Instead, he's a figure in Cameron's imagination who helps him get out of a dark period in his own life. Whether Ferris is real or not, he's certainly entertaining, and he proves to be exactly what Cameron needs. Without him, who knows what Cameron might have gotten up to?
Thanks to the wild popularity of The Dark Knight, it's only fitting that the movie should have two fan theories on this list. Most fans of the movie know the Joker as an enigmatic force of chaos. He doesn't seem to act with any particular rhyme or reason and is set on proving that everyone is like him deep down.
One fan theory suggests that the Joker is actually a traumatized Iraq War veteran. Given the fact that the movie came out in 2008, this is a real possibility, and it explains much of the character's disillusionment with the world around him. When you've seen the things he has, you lose all faith in humanity.
This fan theory may seem dark, but it's actually pretty straightforward. Doc's best friend is a high school student, and while it's not clear how these two came to be friends, Doc was willing to put his life on the line to test his latest invention. It's fairly clear that, despite inventing a working time machine, Doc's career as an inventor has not been hugely successful.
When he tests his machine with Marty, he stands directly in the path of an oncoming car and makes Marty do the same. This theory suggests that he was willing to die if his invention didn't work and take Marty out with him.
Buena Vista Pictures
While Sean Connery is quite old today, he's perhaps most famous for originating the role of James Bond. Later in his career, Sean took on a number of roles as a sort of elder statesman. In The Rock, he plays an ex-intelligence officer who officially no longer exists, but some believe he's actually playing an older version of James Bond.
While this is far from conclusive, the evidence is actually fairly convincing. After all, why not suggest that Connery's character in The Rock is an older version of Bond? There's no real harm in it. It only makes the whole movie that much cooler.
In Dorothy's vision of Oz, every person has an analog that exists in the real world. We're meant to believe that it's all a dream she has and that she imagines fantasy creatures that closely resemble people from her real life. In Oz, though, there's no person who resembles Dorothy. While some have suggested that that's because Dorothy is there, others believe that it's actually because Dorothy's analog in Oz is the Wicked Witch of the East who is smashed by her house.
If so, that may mean that Dorothy's arrival in Oz actually signaled her death as well, which gets a little confusing.
Every M. Knight Shyamalan movie has a twist of some sort. In Signs, the twist is that the glasses that the young girl in the film has been leaving around the house are in fact the secret weapon for destroying the alien invaders.
One theory suggests that the aliens are actually demons. The evidence for this comes from the fact that the central character is a former priest, and he describes the birth of his daughter as a holy event. The argument states that the daughter blessed the water, which is what made it toxic to the demons that would eventually invade their home.
The Witch is the truly terrifying story of a Puritan New England family who finds themselves under threat from a very real witch. Because the family lives on an isolated farm, one fan theory suggests that the witch isn't actually real at all. Instead, the family is suffering from hallucination as they slowly starve to death.
This theory may initially seem absurd, given the number of seemingly supernatural occurrences that happen throughout the film. Even so, it's possible that all of that was one big collective hallucination. It doesn't make the film less scary, though. Witch or no witch, there's still plenty of reasons to be disturbed by The Witch.
Grease is the kind of movie that seems almost impossible to theorize about. It's so straightforward! Even so, there are many who believe that Sandy actually drowned before Grease began, and the entire film was actually a fantasy sequence. In fact, John Travolta has actually weighed in on this theory, although he didn't say whether it was true or not.
After all, Grease is the kind of movie that feels like an elaborate dream sequence. There are songs, and people just seem to know how to dance. I can confirm that spontaneous choreography in that movie might lead you to believe it is a dream, plus that weird ending with the car flying and all.
The evidence for this one goes pretty deep, but the basic theory is that Uncle Frank, the curmudgeonly cheapskate in Home Alone, is actually behind the robbery of the home in the film's title. The theory suggests that Frank hired the men to rob the place, and also wanted them to take out Kevin in the process.
While it's easy to read the movie as a light-hearted tale of a young boy who defends his home and discovers the value of family, this theory casts a darker light on the story. Maybe your family actually wants you dead. Well, at least some of them might.