Sometimes we really don’t need a hint of what’s to come in a movie since there’s an idea that every movie follows a set formula that can be predicted and at times called out in advance. But for those that don’t have the need to look at any movie in such a cynical fashion, foreshadowing is a fun tool that can show bits and pieces that might not make sense initially, but end up becoming pivotal to the story later on when the reason such moments to be there finally comes clear. It might not make a lot of sense to some folks even if the director beats them over the head with the point in a metaphorical manner, but for those that are paying attention, foreshadowing is something that can be a lot of fun and can set up some seriously great moments in movies that many will agree were masterfully done and in some cases were hidden away so perfectly that the audience saw everything they needed to in order to understand what was coming, but were too distracted to pay attention to. When coupled with misdirection, foreshadowing is a rather amusing tool to use.
Here are some of the best moments of foreshadowing that have been used in movies.
10. Cabin in the Woods
Sometimes the foreshadowing is rather obvious since everything in the basement that the ‘teens’ were looking at alluded to how they would meet their end, or what monster they would end up facing. Obvious moments like this aren’t always the best, but considering how much stuff was in the basement it’s fair to say that this movie could have gone a number of different ways.
9. Get Out
The deer that was hit near the beginning of this movie was kind of an oddity, but it’s definitely worth noting since later on Chris uses a deer’s head to make his escape after avoiding the hypnosis that was forced upon him. While this movie was plagued by a few things that people felt were racist and troubling, the idea of how he escaped was still great since it was definitely fitting.
Some folks might not think that this is the best example, but when water from a leak in the ceiling drips onto a drawing of Beverly made by Bill, it creates a blood-like splatter effect that looks very much like blood thanks to the coloring that’s scattered in every direction. This definitely gives the impression of blood being everywhere, and while it might be too thin of an explanation for many people, it’s still viable.
7. Jurassic Park
People would actually have to go back to the moment on the helicopter that transported the group to the island in the first movie to get this one since Dr. Grant is stuck with two ends that can’t connect. Some would argue as to whether or not this foreshadows the moment that the group finds out that all the dinosaurs on the island are female and can’t mate. But hey, like Dr. Grant, life found a way to make it happen.
6. The Wizard of Oz
Hindsight works best when it comes to foreshadowing since everything makes sense at that point. But from the Miss Gulch to the talks of bravery and making statues of people this movie is filled with foreshadowing that’s so painfully obvious that anyone watching it today without any prior knowledge might still be able to pinpoint what might happen. It’s about paying attention after all.
5. Star Wars Episode 2: Attack of the Clones
There’s so much foreshadowing in the prequels that it’s hard to pick out any one particular moment that’s best. But when Obi-Wan Kenobi says to Anakin Skywalker what he feels about Anakin being the death of him, a lot of people should be able to admit that the entire theater chuckled at one point, since it’s one of the most obvious lines in cinematic history. Of course, it had already come true, but that’s what made it so great.
4. The Usual Suspects
This movie is a little tougher on the foreshadowing since one really has to watch Verbal Kint’s sightlines and take note of when he’s shown on screen that his eyes aren’t always staying still and they’re not focused entirely on the detective at times. It’s easy to forgive people for not picking up on this, especially since a lot of folks wouldn’t have been able to guess just who Keyser Soze was in the first place.
3. Predator 2
If you missed this then you seriously need glasses since it might not have been shown for that long, but the xenomorph skull that was kept in the trophy space was pretty hard to miss. But while this was definitely a foreshadowing of a showdown between two of the most famous monster that Fox once owned, it would be a while until we finally saw them tangle with each other. This however made it clear that their stories were intertwined and intersect at one point.
2. Batman Begins
The Joker’s card at the end of the movie, that was all that people really needed to see and it was evidence of just who we were bound to meet when the sequel finally came. The only issue at that point is just who would play the iconic role and if they would be good enough. Heath Ledger stepped to the plate in a big way, and unfortunately, he never got to enjoy the accolades. But at the time the card was shown it still feels as though people were having Jack Nicholson flashbacks and hoping that someone even half as good would be cast.
1. Shaun of the Dead
It’s way too easy to lose count of the moments that are used as foreshadowing in this movie since the first half-hour goes over a bunch of them, from various characters that appear to situations that Shaun finds himself in. There are simply too many to name at this point, but my personal favorite comes when Ed says that the next time he sees Pete ‘he’s dead’.
The movies give us the hints we need, we just need to pay attention.