There are certain types of bullshit we're less likely to call a movie on, and Hollywood has been using these logical blind spots to trick us, surprise us and generally make their jobs a whole lot easier. We're not sure which is worse: the fact that Hollywood thinks we're stupid, or the fact that these tricks so often work.
Cracked has no bullshit for you, just this trailer for our new Star Wars: Adventures in Jedi School mini-series.
5The Peekaboo Ending
To pull off a truly shocking ending, a filmmaker has to know exactly what his audience is thinking at all times, and stay two steps ahead of them. But there's a far lazier way to shock us, that only requires the filmmaker to assume his audience is as intelligent as a new born child.
Up until the shocking ending, the Cloverfield monster wants everyone within a two mile radius to know how terrifying it is. It rips the head off the statue of Liberty and bowls it up Park Avenue to announce its arrival. It's so big that when it wants to demolish the Brooklyn Bridge, it only needs to flick its tail out of the water. Also, if it sneezes within a block of you, the face-suckers from Alien rain from the sky.
In other words, if all five of your senses are in working order, a sneak attack is just about the only thing you don't have to worry about. So at the end of the film, with the three surviving protagonists standing in the middle of Central Park (the one place in Manhattan that lacks giant monster-hiding buildings) it's certainly shocking when the monster suddenly appears and (spoiler alert) eats the wacky sidekick, but it also raises some questions. Namely: When did the monster stop making a big explodey scene everywhere it went and start tip-toeing up behind people like a 100-foot-tall ninja? And how did Hollywood know you wouldn't ask that question while watching the film?
We're calling it Peekaboo Ending because it relies on the same ass-backwards logic that makes infants squeal with delight when someone hides and unhides their face. When we're born, we believe that things stop existing if we can't see them. To an infant's mushy, half formed brain, peekaboo looks like their mom is blinking in and out of existence with a stupid look on her face. Roughly translated, those squeals mean, "Holy shit, mom's a wizard."
Or occasionally, "Gaaahhhhh! Kill it, kill it, oh my God somebody kill it."
We grow out of that phase pretty quickly, but Hollywood's made a lot of money gambling that audiences will fall for the same trick. For some reason, if it's not physically up there on the screen, we have a difficult time thinking rationally about it. It's why we didn't care that Jason Vorhees walked like a less athletic zombie whenever he was on screen during the first dozen Friday the 13th movies, but somehow became the Indian Shaman from Punch Out whenever we couldn't see him.
Of course now he can run, which somehow seems even more retarded.
Would you believe us if we told you the two most iconic scenes from one of the most successful films of all time make no sense being in the same movie together? Jurassic Park's two most memorable moments are probably 1) The T-Rex causing miniature earthquakes that make various puddles and glasses of water tremble 2) The same T-Rex sneaking up and saving our heroes from the raptors like he's Mr. Miyagi. We don't know the T-Rex is there until it's snapping raptors in half, and by then everything's way too awesome to wonder where all the goddamn earth quaking disappeared to.