Life doesn't have to be a mystery

Originally appeared on

Several years ago, home alone one rainy Friday evening, I skimmed through my bookcase for a movie to keep me company. I chose one of my all-time favorites, an Alfred Hitchcock thriller. As I settled into watching it, I remembered how many times I'd seen this movie before, and yet I never tire of it. Although somewhat docile by today's cinematic standards, the first time I saw it as a boy I was so frightened I couldn’t get to sleep that night!

I know now that particular Hitchcock film isn't the only movie to instill this effect the first time someone watches it. Filmmakers purposely introduce elements of suspense, anticipation, surprise, fear, etc., which play on our emotions and make the initial impact of a film more intense and memorable. But, as is the case with many movies, once someone has seen the film and experienced its special effects, storyline twists, and surprise ending, the next time they watch it they are usually no longer afraid, anxious, worried, etc., because the mystery has been dispelled.

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