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15 Famous Movies With Hidden Messages

June 26, 2017
9 min read

“Now you’re looking for the secret… but you won’t find it, because of course you’re not really looking. You don’t really want to know.” This dialogue of ‘The Prestige’ quite perfectly captures what this article is about. It is true that, most of the time while watching a movie, we become so tuned to the focus point of the story that we ignore the subtle hints and plots which run in the backdrop. Check out these movies on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime. With that said, here is the list of ‘Famous Movies With Hidden Meanings’. Please remember, we are not claiming that these hidden meanings are 100% true (only the respective writers/directors can tell that), but they certainly offer an interesting perspective to think about. 

15. “Serbian Government’s Brutality” in A Serbian Film (2010)

A Serbian Film is not for the faint-hearted. In fact, even the people who boast about guts are left shaken by this gruesome movie. It involves the ugly side of the human mind as various grotesque sexual acts and themes are highlighted in this movie. There’s a secret meaning behind this, though. It shows the psychological warfare which the government plays with the Serbian people and the reality distorting ways in which they are compelled to perform deeds they do not wish to do.

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14. “Buddhism and Epiphany” in Groundhog Day (1993)

So what if one day your day becomes beyond what you have experienced till now. What if you live that day over and over and over till you live it correctly with good and humane productivity. If that happens, then you’ll eventually get sick of the seemingly vicious cycle. But the last day when your routine becomes virtuous, your cycle breaks and the next day becomes something which you come to appreciate. You’ll begin to actually feel life. This theme of Groundhog Day is parallel to the theories of Buddhism and spirituality of human epiphany.

13. “Child Abduction and Mind Manipulation” in Coraline (2009)

Coraline isn’t just fantasy land and innocent escape. Look at it with more focused eyes and you may notice that’s it is much synonymous with child abduction and mind manipulation. Coraline enters Other World and embarks on a joyous voyage to enticing entities  and events  much like the bait which child abductors set up towards innocent children. Occult symbolism in various instances of the movie also highlights a mind taming approach against free thinking.

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12. “The Dirt of American Politics” in Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

As per the movie’s co-director Joe Russo, civil liberty, done strikes, the black list of the president and preemptive technology, were the issues which forms the crux of this movie. Anxiety generating issues like NSA surviellance, CIA’s back door experiments and government’s psychological warfare programs are also etched on the root metaphor of this movie. How Marvel is picking and adding up issues that actually matter, to their stories is quite uncommon but hey, someday they might make movies which even an art-house film buff would like.

11. “Holocaust Reference” in Toy Story 3 (2010)

When Andy leaves his toys behind to move to college, the latter decides to choose for their new roles in the world. Secretly, this story reflects the impending doom which a large number of Jews had to face as Hitler began to take his stride against them in World War 2. Most certainly Roman Polanski‘s ‘The Pianist’ or Steven Spielberg‘s ‘Schindler’s List’ strikes the mind when it comes to the Holocaust but Toy Story 3 takes a secretive route on telling that story, where hope and misguidedness runs through the characters’ lives.

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10. “Vietnam War” in Aliens (1986)

This war revolutionized America as heavy protests began churning up on the streets. Guns and death lead to a massive radicalization of people as counter-culture or the Hippie Culture began prevailing in the country. The inhuman usage of such guns, artillery and violence for the sole purpose of greed in the Vietnam War is the secret meaning in ‘Aliens’. James Cameron‘s feature is an assault on the likable view towards attack against the weak for one’s own materialistic upliftment.

9. “Brutality of Rape” in Alien (1979)

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When a crew on a spaceship attends to a distress signal, they fall prey to a hostile organism who begins to kill them back to back. This movie is filled with ugly imagery in the form of that parasitic organism and it’s vulgar display of power. This creature’s hostility secretly sends a message of brutality of rape with his body framework being subtly representative of a woman’s reproductive organs. H.R. Giger’s creation is brutally hostile as well. It forcibly inseminates the humans before bursting out of their bodies in the most vulgar fashion, thereby indicating pain and rape.

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8. “Ayn Rand’s Ideology” in Iron Man (2008)

Francisco d’Anconia is the protagonist in Ayn Rand’s ode to capitalism, ‘Atlas Shrugged’. His character is similar to Tony Stark, who fights for his right to keep his money and his creations to himself. He fights against the government who wants to snatch away his resources and Iron Man features his nemesis whose ideologies are indirectly communism inclined. Stan Lee, the creator of Iron Man claimed that he wanted to create an anti-commie, industrialist who went against the gypsy culture of people.

7. “Fear of Industrial life and Fatherhood” in Eraserhead (1977)

If you have watched ‘David Lynch: An Art Life’, a documentary based on the life and the artistic mood of Lynch, then you can comprehend with the way in which he works, his subtle hints at the cruelty of life and his vision as a painter. In his masterpiece, ‘Eraserhead’, Lynch has given an undertone of the monotony of industrial life and the fear of fatherhood. From grotesque caricature in the form of a perpetually crying baby to the esoteric manner in which the protagonist (Jack Nance) deals with the fear of his life, ‘Eraserhead’ is filled with cryptic meaning of life with the filter of Lynch.

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6. “Jesus” in Robocop (1987)

Much like Spielberg’s E.T. – The Extra Terrestrial, the analogy of Jesus Christ is found in ‘Robocop’. The protagonist is tortured and offered to the lap of death. Post his death, going in sync with the tale of Jesus, he is resurrected of sorts and becomes a savior of the good. Morover, the walking of Robocop over water is found to have a biblical allegory.

5. “Jesus’ analogy” in E.T. – The Extra Terrestrial (1982)

E.T. is another of those box-office mega success by Steven Spielberg. It has a very distinct analogy to the story of Jesus Christ. Like King Harod pursued after Jesus, so is this ET by scientists. Talk about common themes, Jesus gave that sermon on mountain top and much like that ET’s first words were, “Be Good”; nearly the same meaning is established in both. Jesus was ascended to heaven and ET went back to space. Orthodox people may even find more in common with ‘ET’ and Christ’s life.

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4. “The Analogy of George W. Bush and Osama Bin Laden” in The Dark Knight (2008)

A pragmatic person shall refer this analogy as insane and since the political correctness of this analogy is up for theorists to decide, I shall tell you the secret “message” of ‘The Dark Knight’. The Joker is not a sane person and what made him insane was not his birth but that same society in which he lived (consider Alan Moore’s The Killing Joke). He strikes up chaos in Gotham and it’s the rich boy, Batman, who becomes the unstoppable force against that smiling joke. People go against Batman though, when Joker shows his mirth to Gotham’s citizen. Here, Batman is Bush (only metaphorically. In reality, he can’t reach the class of Bruce Wayne), Laden is Joker and the chaos is 9/11 attacks.

3. “LGBTQ’s struggle” in X-Men series (2000-2016)

X-Men are those eccentric mutants who possess abilities which humans do not. They are different from humans in nothing but living with that power. So when people begin to see the difference, they do not allow them to easily merge with them as they are scared. Scared of the difference which is heightened by some wicked minds in that mutant community whose actions somehow, sadly begins to represent the entire community including the innocent, friendly ones. Replace the word mutants with gays and power, ability with esoteric love; you’ll see that X-Men secretly portrays the struggles of the gay community in our world.

2. “Puberty” in Spider-Man (2002)

Toby Maguire will always be the best spiderman for me and also for millions of other 90s peeps. Now ‘Spider-Man’ wasn’t just about a guy with a superpower, it was about a guy dealing with change. Changes that occurred fast in the body and the body, having not-so-easy time facing them. It showed the adolescent age when puberty strikes. Where Peter Parker begins to feel the growing power of his body, how he feels with that new web thingy ejected by his body and yes, that difficulty with facing girls while smoldering with intense feelings for them.

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1. “Annihilation of Indians” in The Shining (1980)

It’s a Stanley Kubrick feature, so there is definitely going to be a unique blend of aesthetic grandeur and powerful direction. But there’s something more than what meets the eye. The alienated hotel in the movie stands on the burial ground of the native Indians. It’s name, ‘Overlook’ is a mocking metaphor to the ignorance towards the annihilation of native Indians and their culture. The scene where the great Jack Nicholson plays with the ball against the hotel wall also represents the dying era of these native Indians. (Notice the artifice beside the area where the ball hits.)

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