While blockbuster cinema is often about bombast and spectacle, sometimes, it’s more effective to leave a little mystery too. A major death or event happening off-screen can be more intriguing than showing everything, and it allows the audience to engage with the film on another level.
An infamous recent example came in 2014’s Godzilla, where after a lengthy tease, the title monster finally appears and is about to fight another giant monster. Then the movie cuts away at the crucial moment, leaving the epic battle to be shown in glimpses on a small television in the next scene. It was a great joke, though it definitely divided opinion.
While leaving major events up to the imagination can be a great storytelling device, some of them sound so epic, viewers can’t help feeling a little disappointed when they’re not shown. It could be the demise of an iconic character or a legendary battle scene, and the more these events are described, the more people want to see them.
For some of the 15 Major Off-Screen Events We’d Love To See featured here, a few of them are probably best left to the imagination, but years of fan art and online discussion shows that there’s still a desire to see all the gory details.
15. The Destruction Of The Engineer Base – Prometheus
Prometheus began life as Alien: Engineers, a direct prequel that set up the events of the 1979 original film and explained where The Space Jockey came from. Writer Damon Lindelof was then brought on board to retool the script, making it more of a standalone movie that was vaguely tied to Alien instead.
Since Lindelof is a writer who loves a good mystery, he peppered the film with numerous unanswered questions, like why did the Engineers want to wipe out humanity, and why did they invite the human race to their weapons testing planet? One of the biggest mysteries revolves around what exactly caused the base to be destroyed, which the finished film only hints at.
There’s holographic footage of the Engineers being chased by something and there are fossilized bodies everywhere, but outside of the black goo acting up, it’s never revealed what actually killed them. It would have been nice to get a clearer image of what went down on LV-223, and have gotten a look at the monster that wiped them out.
14. The Alpha Wolf Fight – The Grey
The Grey partially sold itself on the thrill of watching Liam Neeson punching killer wolfs, which isn’t really what the movie is about. It’s ultimately an existential drama about a doomed group of men reflecting on their lives in the face of impending death at the hand of nature itself, which is a harder sell.
Despite being a more cerebral experience than audiences were expecting, The Grey received strong reviews and did well at the box-office, and had viewers buzzing about the ambiguous ending. The film leads to a climactic battle between Neeson and the Alpha Wolf, and the final scene has them ready to battle before abruptly cutting to credits.
Some audiences were furious with this, while others loved to speculate on what happens next. It turns out that director Joe Carnahan actually did film the fight, but decided that the film was stronger without it. This might be true, but it would be great to actually see this deleted scene to see how the fight would have played out.