Doppelgängers appear on the screen exactly at the moment when Adelaide notices the time on the clock — 11:11. But an attentive viewer might notice these numbers before this obvious clue, when they were shown either explicitly or in a hidden way:
- In one of the first scenes, Adelaide chooses a T-shirt with the number “11” at a market as a birthday present.
- The same character meets a man at the beach with a sign in his hands. And the sign says, “Jeremiah, 11:11.” This is a reference to the Bible. The precise quote is, “I am about to bring upon them a disaster that they cannot escape. They will cry out to Me, but I will not listen to them.” At this time, we can predict that the characters will face something they won’t be able to handle.
This number appears throughout the whole film:
- When doppelgängers appear in the city, one of them has “11:11” carved into their forehead.
- When the family of the main characters watches the news about doppelgängers, their TV broadcasts it on channel 11.
- Even ordinary objects can hide this number. For example, scissors consist of 2 blades that are mirrored (another hint about doppelgängers), so they remind us of the number 11.
- The same thing is applicable to the main character’s T-shirt. At first sight, the “H” symbol looks like the number “11.” And the print on Adelaide’s clothing has another meaning: “Thỏ” translates to “rabbit,” and this animal is yet another important symbol in this movie.
The Shining, 1980
The Shining fans still are desperately trying to prove that the Overlook Hotel that was shown in the film is smaller inside than it seems from the outside. They even draw charts and floor plans comparing its exterior and interior.
However, there’s an assumption that Stanley Kubrick deliberately distorted the physical perception of the Overlook Hotel to show that the main character, Jack Torrance, is slowly but inevitably going crazy. Some viewers could figure out his madness long before it became obvious.
The Departed, 2006
Martin Scorsese used the symbol of a cross in the Oscar-winning movie The Departed. Every time you see something that looks like a cross, you can be sure that something bloody will follow soon. A similar trick was used in The Godfather, but in this movie, oranges appear on the screen before the death of another character.
And the movie where this trick was used for the first time is Scarface that was released in 1932. The director of this movie also used the symbol of a cross.
The Thing, 1982
Do you remember the opening scene at the beginning of the film? A helicopter with foreign scientists follows a dog and lands near a station with the main characters. One of the passengers shouts something and shoots.
So this shouting was a phrase in the Norwegian language. And the scientist shouted, “Get the hell away! That’s not a dog, it’s some sort of thing! It’s imitating a dog, it isn’t real! GET AWAY YOU IDIOTS!!” We wonder what people who speak Norwegian felt when they were watching this scene.
Total Recall, 1990
After watching this iconic movie, some viewers were sure that the happy ending was real, while others thought that it was a special dream-program. And they were right.
At the beginning of the film, the main character, Douglas Quaid, visits the Rekall Company. The company’s employee reads the name of the program out loud that is transplanted into the character’s memory saying, “That’s a new one. Blue sky on Mars.”
Now, let’s remember the final scene of the movie — the atmosphere of the mysterious Red Planet has cleared, and the sky is turning blue.
The Silence of the Lambs, 1991
During the first conversation with Clarice, Dr. Lecter mentions that he ate liver with fava beans and a good chianti. And this was not just a threat, but also a message to the viewer.
The novel that became the basis for the film reveals that dangerous and mentally unstable criminals must take a medicine that contains monoamine oxidase inhibitors. And these pills are completely incompatible with liver, beans, and wine.
There’s an assumption that Lecter hinted to Clarice and the viewers, in a very sly way, that he doesn’t take his medicine anymore and is going to escape, which is what he did in the end.
At the beginning of the film, the viewers see John Kramer at the hospital for just a couple of seconds. Of course, a few people noticed a drawing in the right corner. But this drawing shows one of the deadly traps that was developed for the victims by the main antagonist. This is one of the obvious hints from the director about the person who is the main villain in the movie.
The Truman Show, 1998
In one of the first scenes, a small bottle with a “Vitamin D” label appears on the screen for a short time. This is a hint for an attentive viewer — people take this vitamin if they don’t spend enough time in the sun. And in The Truman Show, as we discover later, everything is fake, including the sunlight.
Shutter Island, 2010
There’s a small but extremely important moment that helps the viewer understand the plot. A patient asks for a glass of water during her conversation with a detective. And when the woman drinks it, the glass in her hand suddenly disappears.
And the main character of the film, Teddy Daniels, hates water because he has a lot of negative memories connected to it. So the glass that disappeared is a tribute to his mental condition. It’s like he’s breaking reality and changing it to not see the thing he hates once again.
We watch this scene from his perspective, and this is another hint about the character’s mental state, to put it mildly. This is no surprise, because Martin Scorsese is a real genius when it comes to Easter eggs in movies, and his films rarely lack them.
Bonus: Beauty and the Beast, 1991
Disney gracefully helped Belle stand out among the other characters, giving the audience a hint that this character is special. No, Disney didn’t make her insanely beautiful, clever, or anything else. They simply dressed her in a bright blue outfit. No one from her village wears clothes that are this color. The only other character who wears blue, later in the movie, is the Beast.
Have you ever noticed any hints like these in your favorite movies? Tell us about the most sophisticated ones.