Audiences go to the cinema first and foremost to be entertained. In whatever movie, whatever genre, and in whatever story, a key part of that will always be the element of at least a little mystery. Something to keep them guessing.
This happens across the entire Hollywood landscape, ranging between something small (like a character trait or relationship), to bigger aspects that affect the movie on a much wider scale. Mystery builds and builds to what, in theory, should be a satisfying reveal.
If an audience has spent an entire movie in the dark about something, or potentially years in the case of some franchises, or a twist is revealed out of nowhere, studios better make damn sure it’s worth it. If they aren’t utterly perfect and jaw-dropping, the whole thing can come crashing down.
In recent memory, there have been some huge cinematic reveals that just fell flat. Whether it was something fans had waited years to find answers for, unwanted and unnecessary twists, or having a reveal come after everyone had already figured it out, more than a few times audiences have been let down by something that was supposed to be mind-blowing.
10. It Was All About Generic Mind Control - Spiderhead
Released on Netflix back in June 2022, Spiderhead appeared to have an interesting premise at the very least. Prisoners on an offshore facility underwent chemical tests in order to potentially shorten their sentences, though the endgame of such tests was never fully revealed, leaving an air of mystery to proceedings.
Despite the wonderful cast of Miles Teller, Tess Haubrich, and Jurnee Smollett, led by the ever-charismatic and charming Chris Hemsworth, you have to look no further than Rotten Tomatoes to see how poorly the movie was received. A 39% critic score, and even less from audiences, doesn't make for pretty reading.
There are plenty of areas you could point to for where this went wrong, but the predictable and underwhelming story is a major one. In particular, the reveal that behind everything was Steve Abnesti's goal to create and sell to the highest bidder a mind control drug.
Over the course of the film's events, he uses the likes of a love drug, a torture drug, and something of a laughing gas drug, as well as many others on his bingo card not demonstrated on screen. Unfortunately, the reveal that all of these were only used to prove that his B6 obedience drug worked was a poor twist. The movie could have taken so many different paths, but the one it chose was simply too generic to be enjoyable.