50 Genius Movie Foreshadowing Moments

Reservoir Dogs (1992)

The Foreshadowing: When Nice Guy Eddie is on his way to the warehouse, an orange balloon can be seen floating behind his car…

How It Pays Off: It transpires that the rat in the organisation was Tim Roth's Mr. Orange.

King Kong (2005)

The Foreshadowing: Jack Black's filmmaker outlines the plot of his latest picture: "The Beast was a tough guy... He could lick the world. But when he saw Beauty, she got him. He went soft, he forgot his wisdom, and the little fellas licked him."

How It Pays Off: The same thing happens to the mighty Kong, whose love for Ann Darrow is eventually his undoing.

The Terminator (1984)

The Foreshadowing: It is explained in the first Terminator film that dogs are able to spot cybernetic infiltrators. Man's best friend, after all…

How It Pays Off: When the disguised T-1000 turns up at John's house searching for his prey, you can hear John's dog going wild in the background.

Back To The Future (1985)

The Foreshadowing: Marty's mum Lorraine frowns on today's youth, claiming she never called, kissed or sat in a parked car with a boy when she was the same age. Little does she know, Marty will soon be able to verify that for himself.

How It Pays Off: Not only do we see Lorraine doing all of those things later in the film, the suggestion is that she isn't doing them for the first time…

Back To The Future pt. 2 (1989)

The Foreshadowing: When Biff is sat in the hottub, you can see him watching A Fistful Of Dollars , specifically the scene where Clint tricks the bad guys into shooting him in the chest, feigning death thanks to a concealed metal plate.

How it Pays Off: Marty uses that exact same trick to con Biff's ancestor, Buford, in the third movie!

The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

The Foreshadowing: Having turned over Andy Dufresne's cell, the Warden lifts up his bible and condescendingly tells him, "salvation lies within".

How It Pays Off: Turns out salvation really does lie within, as Andy uses the hollowed out pages to conceal his rock hammer.

Fatal Attraction (1987)

The Foreshadowing: Glenn close urges Michael Douglas to come over to her place, despite his assertion that he has to walk the dog. "Just bring the dog over," she says. "I'm great with animals and I love to cook."

How It Pays Off:
She proves herself to be both those things. Just ask that poor bunny.

Iron Man (2008)

The Foreshadowing: Tony Stark receives an unexpected visitor in this ace post-credits sequence, as Nick Fury drops in to talk to him about the Avenger Initiative. "Mr. Stark," he begins, "you've become part of a bigger universe…"

How it Pays Off: It pays off in spectacular style with The Avengers , some four years later. It's one of the most forward looking pieces of foreshadowing on the list!

Final Destination (2000)

The Foreshadowing: Of course, foreshadowing is this series' whole raison d'etre, but premonition scene aside, pay attention to the opening credits. Featuring a guillotine, a knife in somebody's chest and a hanging man, they're gruesomely significant.

How It Pays Off: These grisly pointers actually spell out how several characters will eventually die. Morbid stuff.

Predator 2 (1990)

The Foreshadowing: The presence of a Xenomorph skull in the Predator's trophy room is a perfect example of fanboy-baiting foreshadowing.

How it Pays Off:
In the form of the largely disappointing Alien vs. Predator films. Perhaps it was better left as a sci-fi in-joke.

George Wales

George was once GamesRadar's resident movie news person, based out of London. He understands that all men must die, but he'd rather not think about it. But now he's working at Stylist Magazine.