Telling a great story is one thing, but what about making a movie that unfurls added layers of storytelling and subtext on repeat viewings?
It's a tough trick to pull off, concealing subtle, unspoken plot points in plain sight for attentive viewers to uncover when re-watching in the future, but when it works, it really works.
A wordless hint at a whole other subplot or character arc unfolding in the periphery can be a great way to expand a movie's world and get fans thinking about everything taking place off-screen.
And given that sci-fi films are perhaps more intently focused on world-building than any other genre, it makes total sense that sci-fi filmmakers absolutely love to sneak secret, silent plots into their movies.
And so, with some help from the fine folk at /r/MovieDetails, we've uncovered perhaps the 10 best, smartest, and most downright entertaining below-the-radar narratives cleverly concealed within some of your favourite sci-fi movies.
To this very day you probably didn't even notice these clever turns of plot, which while certainly not crucial to enjoying the film, add to the fascination all the same...
10. Doc Burned Down His Mansion To Fund His Time Travel Research - Back To The Future
In literally the first minute of Back to the Future, we see a newspaper headline which reads, "Brown mansion destroyed," referring to Doc Brown's (Christopher Lloyd) family mansion which was burned to the ground, leaving him to continue his experiments in his garage, which survived the fire.
None of the Back to the Future movies ever bothered to expand upon this, though in the Blu-ray commentary for the film, writer Bob Gale stated that the shot of the newspaper was supposed to imply that Doc has deliberately burned down the mansion as part of an insurance scam.
Basically, Doc torched his own mansion in order to collect the insurance money, which he could then use to fund his time travel research.
Though the Back to the Future comics ultimately contradict this, it's worth pointing out that both Gale and director Robert Zemeckis only regard the movies as canon.
As such, there's no reason to disbelieve that Doc committed arson to further his research. It fits both the story and the character perfectly.