There are bad movies everywhere. The world is filled with them. As it turns out, it’s actually really difficult to make a good one. Bad movies aren’t always irredeemable, but it can sometimes be pretty difficult to riddle out a way to make watching one particular film or another enjoyable. As a result, many fans who are desperate to fix flawed movies simply solve their problems in the form of fan theories.
Now, technically, these fan theories could be true, and several of them are supported by fairly solid evidence. Even so, the majority of the time, these fans create these theories to make bad movies good. Often, that goal is achieved. With these theories in your head, it becomes much easier to sit through many of these movies, and look for all the evidence that confirms the theory can be entertaining.
With all the bad movies in the world, it could be pretty easy to get dispirited about the state of Hollywood. Instead, eager fans find reasons to watch all the bad movies that get put in front of them. And why not? When you have a good fan theory to carry you through the experience, the whole thing becomes much more enjoyable.
Here are 15 Insane Fan Theories That Make Bad Movies Bearable.
15 Indiana Jones Survived a Nuclear Bomb Because of the Holy Grail
This fan theory is actually pretty simple. There were plenty of people who found Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull hugely disappointing, in part because of its cartoonishness. The film has its defenders, though, and among them is one fan theorist who suggested that there’s a very simple reason why Indy is able to survive a nuclear blast even though all he did was hide inside of a fridge.
The theory suggests that Indy had already taken a drink from the Holy Grail in the previous film, and is therefore immortal. He could have taken the entire blast and been just fine, but he chose to hide inside a fridge, probably to protect his beautiful skin.
Fans of the Indiana Jones franchise were outraged by this scene, but they failed to consider the other films, which may have provided plenty of explanation as to why Indy was able to survive such a horrific blast.
14 There Are Two Matrixes
The first Matrix movie was a wild success, in part because it introduced viewers to a world unlike any they had ever seen before, and even made them question their own reality. The film’s two sequels were a bit more disappointing, but they get a lot better once you hear a certain theory about Zion.
This theory posits that Zion, the magical place where all of awakened humanity has gathered to fight against their mechanized oppressors, is actually just another level of the Matrix. If the machines were smart, they would have built this into their programming. As a result, even when mankind believes it has triumphed over the machines, all they will have really accomplished is finding a new layer in their prison.
This would have been the ultimate twist, revealing that Neo’s entire journey was meaningless. It was actually just another story that had been programmed by the machines to occupy humans while they’re harvested for energy.
13 The Last Airbender is an Avatar Parody
Avatar: The Last Airbender is one of the great animated series of the 21st century. It created a myriad of memorable characters, and told a compelling story over the course of its three-season run. When it was announced that M. Night Shyamalan would be adapting the animated series for the big screen, there was a fair amount of excitement about seeing this story retold. Of course, the results didn’t exactly live up to that excitement. Instead, fans got a film that seemed like a joke.
One fan theory suggests that may actually have been the point. During one episode of the original series, the Avatar and his friends go to see a play based on their adventures, and it turns out to be a gross parody of what they actually did. The jokes in that episode are solid, and some have suggested that the movie is actually a version of that play.
It’s almost definitely not the case, but it would justify a number of absurd things that happen in the movie. It was supposed to be laughably bad all along!
12 Mark is a Vice Cop in The Room
There have been plenty of theories that try to unpack just what’s going on in The Room. Even James Franco has created an entire movie just to explain how it got made.
One such theory that helps to explain exactly what’s happening in the film suggests that Mark is actually an undercover vice cop who likes to get high on his own supply. That would explain his sudden mood swings throughout the film, as well as much of his other behavior.
In the scene where Lisa is attempting to seduce him, for example, Mark remains blissfully unaware because he’s high as a kite. When Lisa first calls him and he seems to be just sitting in his car in the middle of the day, it’s because he’s actually on a stakeout. It could very well be that Mark is supposed to be a vice cop in the movie, even if we never learn that directly.
The brilliance of The Room is in the amount of confusion it causes, so theories like this were bound to pop up.
11 The Hobbit is Bilbo's "There and Back Again" story
Bilbo Baggins is a known exaggerator. That truth is laid out very plainly in the original Lord of the Rings films, and then again in The Hobbit. The first trilogy was a critical darling, and its final film won Best Picture. Of course, most Tolkien fans know that The Hobbit trilogy was met with a more hostile reception. Some struggled to understand why Peter Jackson’s films had gotten so bloated and fantastical, and these fans eventually came up with a theory that made the films feel more worthwhile.
The theory suggests that these films are actually Bilbo telling the stories of his adventures. As a result, many of the film’s craziest details and physics-defying action sequences are a function of Bilbo’s exaggerations as he tells the story to his Hobbit friends after his return.
Bilbo’s tale is inherently sillier than the one told in Lord of the Rings, but even so, the only thing that could explain the silliness of The Hobbit trilogy is Bilbo’s own tendency to exaggerate.
10 The Aliens in Signs are actually Demons
M. Night Shyamalan’s career has been defined by a series of strange choices. After a string of successful films soon after he burst onto the scene, his projects became more and more unwatchable. Now, by returning to his roots, he's resurfaced as a viable director. The beginning of Shyamalan’s descent into mediocrity likely started with Signs, a film about a former priest played by Mel Gibson who is forced to deal with an alien invasion.
If you follow it on that level, the movie is occasionally compelling, but not a great experience. There's a fan theory, however, that suggests that those aliens are actually demons, and that Mel Gibson’s battle with them is intimately connected to his past as a priest. He’s quite literally battling his demons, and at the film’s end, he decides that he can overcome them and go on to live a happy life with his family.
9 Jar Jar Binks is the Phantom Menace
This is one of the most popular fan theories in the world, and it’s a perfect fit for this list. Jar Jar Binks was a confounding inclusion in the Star Wars prequels for a number of reasons, the most basic one being how little he contributed to the story the films were trying to tell. Some fans suspect that, although this didn’t come to fruition, George Lucas’s original plan was to have Jar Jar be revealed as the actual Phantom Menace.
That would explain why he just happens to become part of this trilogy, and why he’s present at moments when key decisions about the forward movement of the plot are made. For example, he’s the one who actually installs the Chancellor as the Emperor, and he’s also instrumental in finding Anakin. Jar Jar seems to be around whenever something evil is in the works, and it’s not that far of a leap to suggest he may be the one behind it all.
8 Batman Forever and Batman & Robin are Movies in Burton's Batman Universe
Superhero fans go to bigger lengths than most to justify the bad movies that feature their favorite characters. When Batman made the leap to the big screen in a more serious way in the 1980s and early '90s, people were thrilled with how Michael Keaton and Tim Burton portrayed the character. Fans were less thrilled by subsequent installments that replaced both Keaton and Burton, however.
Those films, Batman Forever and Batman & Robin, which were directed by Joel Schumacher, were much more colorful and silly than their predecessors, and much worse for it. They felt almost like stereotypes of the complex characters that Burton and Keaton had created, and one theory suggests that they’re exactly that.
The theory argues that Schumacher’s Batman movies are actually films being made within Burton’s Batman universe. They were created in the wake of Batman’s notoriety, and that explains why they are so cartoonish.
7 The Rock is a Bond Movie
The Rock definitely has its defenders, but like most movies in Michael Bay’s filmography, it’s not exactly universally beloved. The film follows Nicolas Cage and Sean Connery as an FBI agent and a British Intelligence officer, respectively.
The theory surrounds Connery’s character, who many believe to be James Bond, years later. Connery originated the role of 007 on the big screen back in the '60s, and some believe he reprised it in The Rock.
Connery’s character in the film worked for the same agency as Bond, and what’s more, there is no record of his existence in the US or the UK. Connery’s skill level is definitely reminiscent of Bond’s, and the theory is only aided by just how much it does to make The Rock amazing.
Connery’s Bond was truly iconic; the first in a long line that still exists today, so it’s nice to think that he got one more crack at the character later in life.
6 Obi-Wan and Padme are having an affair
The Star Wars prequels are the only series on this list with two entries, and that’s fitting, because there’s an entire legion of Star Wars fans out there who have spent years trying to figure out exactly what they were supposed to accomplish. Although almost everyone agrees that Ewan McGregor’s performance as Obi-Wan in all three films is a highlight of the trilogy, and there has been some suggestion that his performance is even more complex than we initially believed it to be.
Some have suggested that Obi-Wan is having an affair with Padme without Anakin’s knowledge, and that theory is not without a fair bit of evidence. For one thing, it’s definitely what Anakin believes is happening, even if it’s not true. For another, Obi-Wan seems genuinely hurt when he learns about the relationship between Anakin and Padme, as if he’s not just upset for his friend, but also because of his own relationship with her.
5 Ghostbusters 2 Takes Place in Purgatory
The original Ghostbusters is iconic. It’s the kind of movie that has left a lasting legacy, even after more than 30 years. Although it may feel like Hollywood has changed a lot since that time, some things have remained the same. Even back then, studios greenlit unnecessary sequels to huge success stories, and that’s exactly what happened to Ghostbusters. Although many were underwhelmed by the sequel, one fan theory suggests that the entire film actually takes place in purgatory.
In the original Ghostbusters, the titular heroes decide to cross the streams on their ghost-destroying weapons, even though they had already been told how dangerous that would be. Although it seems as though everything works out in the end, this theory suggests that crossing the streams actually killed them, and everyone nearby, and sent them to purgatory. The entirety of Ghostbusters 2 takes place in purgatory, where they are forced to relive the events of the first film, with slight differences.
4 Drag Me to Hell is the Result of an Eating Disorder
This is one of the tighter theories on this list, as it explains almost everything that happens in Drag Me to Hell. Although surface readings of the film have led viewers to believe that the film’s central character is visited by a demon, eagle-eyed viewers have theorized that the demon that she sees is actually a delusion that’s been brought on by starving herself.
There are several signs early on in the film that suggest that Christine is actually suffering from an eating disorder. Throughout the film, we never see Christine eat, and there are images around her home that suggest that she once had a weight problem. Now, Christine wants to be perfect, and she’ll do whatever she has to do to make that happen, even if it means her life. Turns out, in Drag Me to Hell, after all the delusions are said and done, her life might be what it takes.
3 Brick Tamland is a Time Traveler in Anchorman 2
Brick Tamland is ridiculous. That’s the point. The character is so over-the-top weird that it can be hard to track what he’s saying from moment to moment. There are several occasions in Anchorman 2, though, where Brick seems to suggest that he’s been to the future. At the end of the film, he brings a gun from the future to the battle between the various news stations, and doesn’t offer a particularly good explanation as to where he got it.
In an earlier scene, when he and his friends are reminiscing, he also makes a strange comment about something that will happen ten years from now. Brick also quotes from Ghostbusters, even though the movie has yet to be released when Anchorman 2 is set.
On the whole, it seems as though this was at the very least a running gag in the second film, and may also serve as an explanation for all of Brick’s strange, and usually pretty hilarious, behavior.
2 The Mist's ending was a sacrifice to God
The ending of The Mist is one of the most iconic movie twists in the history of film. The rest of the movie is fairly forgettable, though - unless you consider one fan theory about why the ending had to happen the way it did.
This ending, in which the patriarch of a family kills his loved ones in order to spare them from a much worse death at the hands of the monsters who have been ripping the world apart, is as dark as it could be. When the mist clears, we learn that it wasn’t a monster coming to destroy his family. Instead, it was the military coming to save them.
This twist is effective, but is it even a twist? One fan theory suggests that the family had to die in order to lift the curse that had been afflicting them. This is suggested earlier in the film when the family meets a woman in a store who claims to be a prophet. She said she needed blood to appease God. It turns out, at the film’s end, God got that blood, and the curse that had plagued humanity was ended.
1 Knowing, The Fourth Kind, and Tree of Life are a Trilogy
Aliens can be a terribly tricky subject to tackle in a movie. Their presence often feels like a gimmick, and it rarely feels earned. Although The Tree of Life is a critical darling, the other two movies in this theory - Knowing and The Fourth Kind -were met with a more hostile reception. Each of these movies is, in some way, dealing with the idea of death, and all three also deal with the idea of extraterrestrial life.
This fan theory suggests that all three movies are part of a trilogy, and that each of them actually reveals secrets about what it’s like in the alien-run afterlife. Death is a mysterious part of humanity’s existence, so it makes sense that these films would all tackle the subject, and connect it with the idea of aliens.
Of course, unless the makers of these films know something that the rest of us don’t, these films offer no definitive answers on just what happens after we die.
Do you have any crazy fan theories to excuse bad movies? Share them in the comments!