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I consider myself to be a conspiracy theorist; name one; I’ve probably heard of it; so it stands to reason that I’d be drawn to conspiracies surrounding film; and it figures that the medium that documented Bigfoot, numerous UFO sightings, 9/11, would have its fair share of conspiracy theories, almost too many to condense down into a little top five list.
From the usual suspects like ‘The Shining’ (any Kubrick film really, that old occultist) to icebergs like ‘Titanic’, from animated kids movies like ‘Finding Nemo’ to horror movies like ‘Saw’ and its horrifying connection to ‘Home Alone’, from mind-bending blockbusters like ‘Inception’, ‘The Matrix’, and ‘Star Wars’ to oddities like ‘Grease’, ‘Fargo’, and ‘Event Horizon’, conspiracy theories become a part of the movies we love, an essential part of loving them: to take the time with a movie and create an entire world within that film, that’s what movies should inspire within us.
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So, while there may be some crazy film theories out there, let’s not dismiss them too hastily, lest we also dismiss what makes Cinema so great and so, so much fun. We must embrace crazy film theories if we are to embrace film! This list honors those crazy film theories and is structured according to the theories that I believe are the craziest of crazy, so put on your tin-foil hats because here we go.
Top 5 Craziest Film Theories
Number Five: Jack and Danny From ‘The Shining’ Are the Same Person
I’ll be upfront: this is my own theory, which is why I’m ranking it so low on the list; it seems wrong to place it any higher; maybe I shouldn’t even include it on this list at all (who really cares though?)? Still, this wouldn’t be a serious crazy film theories list if ‘The Shining’ wasn’t on it somewhere, and I did have this theory laying around, so I might as well include it, right? And it’s not the same tired, old “Moon Landing Theory”, so there’s that too. We know that the Overlook Hotel exists out of time, exists across time. There are multiple temporal discrepancies throughout the film: how did Jack get in that photo at the end? It’s implied that the shining, as a supernatural power, is temporal in nature, a bridge across time: Jack and Danny both interacting with ghostly figures from the hotel’s past.
There’s another theory that Jack and Danny both possess the shining ability, which explains why they’d both be able to interact with these apparitions. How could they both possess this ability? Either the shining is hereditary or they both acquired the power by chance or they’re the same person, interacting with the other across time like they do with the other Overlook spirits. There are several moments in the film where Kubrick appears to frame the composition in such a way that it appears like Jack is talking to himself when he’s talking to Danny and other moments where one character does something followed by the other.
My theory is that Jack is an evil, demonic, or possessed version of Danny in the future, which Danny encounters in the hotel, who he defeats by sealing away in the hotel’s past. The maze scene at the end of the movie represents a symbolic severing of their connection with each other. I could go on and on about this, but there are still so many more film theories to talk about. If you like conspiracy theories about ‘The Shining’ though, I’d recommend watching the documentary ‘Room 237’, which explores various crazy engagements with the film, and, ultimately, forces the viewer to consider that all engagement with film might be a conspiracy in some way.
Number Four: Jack From ‘Titanic’ Is A Time Traveler
This is a theory that’s been floating around the internet for a while, it’s locus apparently a Facebook comment. I’m including it on the list because, well, I never really thought about it before, but, as far as film conspiracies go, this is about as convincing as you can get. Among the evidence: Jack claims to have visited landmarks that weren’t built until after the Titanic sank like Lake Wissota, which wasn’t built until 1917, and the Santa Monica Pier, which wasn’t built until 1916.
The Titanic sank in 1912. He also carries around items that hadn’t been produced until later in the 20th century like his rucksack, which, according to one website, wasn’t in distribution until 1939, and let’s not forget the filtered cigarettes Jack smokes, which weren’t in distribution either until later in the ‘40s. The website asks why Jack would time travel back to the Titanic? Isn’t it obvious? For love. Who wouldn’t go back in time to save the woman you loved from killing herself?
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Number Three: Neo Isn’t “the One”
‘The Matrix’, much like ‘The Shining’, is a film that’s ripe to be theorized about, resulting in as many crazy film theories as scholarly articles, the boundary-blurring somewhere, of course. This film theory is courtesy of The Film Theorists on Youtube and explores a different path, a path where Agent Smith is actually “the One” prophesied about, “the One” who frees mankind from their simulated lives in the Matrix program, destroying the Matrix in the process. The channel recognizes that the prophecy itself states that “the One” is born within the Matrix itself, the program, which isn’t possible for someone like Neo, who was born outside the Matrix and jacked into it after birth.
The prophecy also states that “the One” is able to change the Matrix from its first iteration, but since Neo himself wasn’t a part of the first version of the Matrix, as Smith was according to the channel, he cannot be “the One”; moreover, the channel argues that Neo doesn’t change the fabric of the Matrix as significantly as Smith does, who remakes the entire Matrix in his own image, which ultimately leads to its destruction: Smith assimilates Neo, jacked into the source, into himself, returning “the One” to the source, reloading the Matrix and freeing mankind.
The Oracle, who created “the One” according to the Architect, even says that Neo isn’t “the One” in the first film (to put the cherry on top) and then chooses to lie about the true nature of “the One” in the following movies, according to the channel, to create an artificial peace between man and machine, essentially creating a scenario forcing machine and man to coexist, lest they both be destroyed, consumed by the other. Of course, none of this can happen without Neo, so it’s more like there are two “the Ones”; but that doesn’t sound as cool; or maybe “the One” exists in the continuity between Neo and Agent Smith as “the One” collectively? This is the thing about ‘The Matrix’ though: it’s one big conspiracy rabbit hole. Just take the red pill.
Number Two: Jar Jar Binks Is A Sith Lord
I first remember hearing about this theory before the release of ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’, originating, I believe, on Reddit (and later transforming into the “Supreme Leader Snoke is Jar Jar Theory”), and I remember how much momentum this theory had going into the “Sequel Trilogy”. I remember that I thought it might be true at the time, and I still do, even if the various theories that emerged surrounding it proved to be more dubious.
The Reddit user who first proposed the theory, u/Lumpawarroo, however, makes bold claims and backs those claims up with some pretty compelling evidence for Jar Jar’s being a Sith lord in the “Prequel Trilogy”, arguing that Jar Jar is a forced trained Sith lord and Palpatine’s collaborator, citing Jar Jar’s physical dexterity as an indicator of force sensitivity and further citing Jar Jar tendency to manipulate those around him as a type of Jedi Mind Control.
The Reddit user goes on to describe how Jar Jar uses this mind-control technique to help put Palpatine in a position of power and does so frequently during the “Prequel Trilogy”, and while he ends up claiming at the end that Jar Jar is Snoke and will feature prominently in the “Sequel Trilogy”, everything that he posits about the prequels could very well well be true. This is one of those conspiracies that you have to read to believe, so I recommend checking it out because there’s a lot of damning evidence; but, even then, it’s more fun than fact.
Number One: Omni-film Theory
This is the craziest film theory that I could find; it says that all films are connected by a strange and mysterious force. Can you guess what that is? You! The viewer. We comprise the most comprehensive film theory there is because we create film theories. Whether this is a conspiracy or a cop-out, you’ll have to decide. There are too many crazy theories to decide what the number one craziest theory is; that’s too much responsibility for one lowly, old writer; instead, that power rests, as always, with the people that inspire film theories; so, what’s the craziest film theory you’ve heard of? Email me. I’d like to know what you think!
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