Spoiler Alert!

Mind-Tricking Narratives in Contemporary Hollywood Film

“Mind-tricking narratives almost redefine the concept of spoilers.” Films with a surprise ending have become rather frequent in recent years. They are particularly interesting when they offer one plot that contains two storylines, though the second story becomes apparent only in retrospect after this twist ending. The author calls these mind-tricking narratives.

This volume contributes to recent discussions of complex storytelling in film by naming, classifying, and deftly analyzing the “mind-tricking narrative” that is a more precise filmic category than the “twist” or “puzzle” film that other film scholars have identified. The list of films belonging to this category include M. Night Shyamalan’s ‘The Sixth Sense’ (1999), David Fincher’s ‘Fight Club’ (1999), and Christopher Nolan’s ‘The Prestige’ (2006). It also successfully challenges the widespread belief that popular culture equals dumb entertainment and draws upon traditional narratology and cognitive film theory to serve this end.


Gabriele Weyand in: MEDIENwissenschaft, 4/2017, 551ff

Laurence Raw in: The Journal of American Culture, 40.2 (2017), 186ff, DOI: 10.1111/jacc.12720

Hans Helmut Prinzler in: Filmbuch-Rezensionen, online 05.04.2016, URL: http://www.hhprinzler.de/2016/04/spoiler-alert/

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