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For the 2001 live action film:

  • Alternate Character Interpretation: All over the place.
    • For Liz. How much remorse does she actually feel for the whole thing? She's horrified at the deaths of all her friends, and yet seems to be fine as soon as she knows she'll get away with what she did. She comes close to opening the door before another death, but each time something else interrupts her. When she screams "I've killed all of you!" at Mike, is that remorse or just an act? And the proposed suicide pact - is that just her wanting to avoid the legal consequences of what she's done, or is it a punishment she feels she deserves for getting Frankie and Geoff killed?
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    • Also for Liz after the incident. How traumatised is she actually? Could she be just making everything up from the get-go (as suggested by a Deleted Scene)? Or has she actually repressed the whole thing and only remembers once she goes back down to the bunker? Thora Birch feels the former, saying that the beginning scene was the only time she was 100% authentic.
    • And before the whole incident. She waited until Mike was actually single before pursuing a relationship with him. Was she already obsessive? Or was she just influenced by a whole day's worth of drinking and drugs?
    • As noted below with Martyn. From the way he talks about the deceased, it seems to hint that he thinks they may have deserved it. Or he simply doesn't care about the deaths.
    • With regards to Geoff hiding soda cans in his bag. Would he have shared as soon as they ran out of water? Would he still have kept them all to himself as his friends slowly died from dehydration? Or was he like Liz - regretful of what he'd done but terrified of being honest, out of fear of everyone's reactions?
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    • If you look throughout the film, Mike is a Cluster F-Bomb and appears to have a Hair-Trigger Temper. He murders Geoff and tries to kill Liz when he finds out their dirty secrets. If Frankie hadn't died of heart failure, would Mike have slowly gone mad from the dehydration and murdered everyone else too?
    • Liz seems to have a low opinion of Frankie if you look at her version of events. She paints Frankie as a bimbo who worries that the closed bunker will affect her skin, needs Liz to do her coursework for her and cries hysterically when things go wrong - none of which happen in the real events. She's shown being annoyed at Frankie for having been with Mike before, so maybe these are little Take Thats to her for it. And maybe - horrifyingly enough, she views Frankie as responsible for everything for not doing a good enough job of setting her up with Mike.
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    • Is DCS Howard's determination to pin the case on Martyn partly motivated by outrage at three needless deaths of young teenagers?
  • Angst? What Angst?: Martyn seems a bit blasé about the fact that three of his school peers have been missing for days and died.
  • Best Known for the Fanservice:
    • This is instantly known for Keira Knightley's topless scene. It's just three seconds, she only briefly flashes and it's easy to miss. It's also infamous for happening while she was only fifteen.
    • And for the other end of the spectrum, Laurence Fox shows his penis in a locker room scene. Many gifs have been made of it.
  • Fans Prefer the New Her: Liz looks rather better as a blonde - since actress Thora Birch is naturally blonde. The black colour doesn't really suit her and makes her face look quite gaunt.
  • Fetish Retardant:
    • The eventual makeout scene between Mike and Liz is decidedly unsexy since they're both gaunt and grubby from dehydration and starvation. Viewers have also realised the Squick in that they've also not properly bathed or brushed their teeth in several days either.
    • The foreplay between Frankie, Mike and Geoff. It's shot in a way that it can only be creepy.
  • Fridge Brilliance:
    • Rather a lot of it concerning Liz's version of events. Notice how the whole story focuses on her attraction to Mike - and them being locked in the bunker takes a back seat to Mike developing feelings for her. It's basically an in-universe Romantic Plot Tumour for Liz - telling the psychologist all about the way she and Mike "fell in love".
    • Even more. In Liz's version, Martyn locked them in to make Liz realise that Mike is not so great and that she should love him instead. Liz makes the entire thing a story of two men fighting over her. She's trying to make herself look like some tragic heroine.
    • The first part of the film feels a bit excessively dramatic. A very good hint that Liz is making her story up.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Liz has a moment where she dyes her hair blonde to get Mike to notice her, and then freaks out when she sees herself surrounded by a sea of other blondes doing similar. Thora Birch later attributed her career fading to Hollywood's fondness for Girly Girls and that she "wouldn't wear the frilly bows".
    • Geoff is portrayed as somewhat nicer than Mike, in spite of some of the questionable things he does to Frankie. This is especially awkward in light of Laurence Fox destroying his reputation in 2020.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Keira Knightley flashes her breasts briefly for her boyfriend, despite being underage at the time. Thora Birch, who plays Liz, had done the exact same thing in American Beauty.
    • Frankie's fate is kind of hilarious if you're familiar with Keira Knightley's role in Atonement. In both films her character is Dead All Along but the person responsible for it tried to cover it up and give her a happy ending. And in both films the above is caused by a Yandere.
    • Laurence Fox plays the best friend to the son of a rock star. In The New '10s he would himself release a few albums.
    • In American Beauty a deleted subplot would have Thora Birch being falsely convicted of a murder. The opposite happens here where she is responsible for deaths and gets away with them.
    • Darkly hilarious is Mike's horror at accidentally killing Geoff. A certain character in Dexter would have no qualms. He also has to deal with psycho killers in Wrong Turn and Ghost Ship as well.
  • Moe: Liz in the scene where she unveils her new blonde hair (before she freaks out anyway). She looks so adorable as she checks herself in the mirror.
  • Narm:
    • There's Frankie's dramatic crying after Martyn doesn't come back - where she just collapses bawling against the wall. It's so dramatic it's hilarious.
    • When Liz freaks out in public at Martyn being released. She snaps at Philippa "I thought we were friends!" in an absurdly melodramatic way. Then again, possibly intentional on Liz's part to throw the psychiatrist's character in doubt.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • The scene where Liz finds Frankie's body in the bathroom is terrifying. Imagine being woken in the middle of the night by screams - only to find your friend passed out on the floor, bleeding from her mouth. What's more is that the coroner says she tore her oesophagus and died of heart failure. How long was she in pain for? Did she try to call for help, or was she unable to?
    • There's also the incredibly dark scene where Geoff and Mike pretty much start taking advantage of Frankie. While she seems to be enjoying the foreplay, it's framed very creepily and there is definitely Questionable Consent involved. You can hardly blame Liz when she smacks Mike's head off the wall to break it up. Made even Squickier when you realise it's two actors in their twenties doing it with a fifteen-year-old.
    • To say nothing of the final scene where Liz has gotten away with everything. It looks like Philippa has been abusing her, her murder of Martyn has been passed off as suicide and the police are on her side. The Leitmotif gets very creepy as Liz puts on a fake smile and briefly flashes a Kubrick Stare at Philippa - who knows she can't do anything anymore.
  • Paranoia Fuel: The Reveal that Liz was playing us the entire time with her fictionalised version of events does make one shudder when thinking about who to trust when hearing a story.
  • Retroactive Recognition:
    • Keira Knightley, who had only done Princess of Thieves and The Phantom Menace prior to this. She's easily the most recognisable star in it today. Later prints of the cover have given Keira more prominence, despite Frankie being the least important of the four teenagers.
    • Laurence Fox (Geoff) would be more recognised from his role in the cop drama Lewis.
    • Why yes, that's Quinn as Mike Steele.
    • Martyn grew up nicely and is now a gay vicar in Coronation Street.
  • Ron the Death Eater: Some people blame Mike for refusing to go get that pizza...
  • Tear Jerker:
    • It's a small moment but when the party lights go out in the bunker. The collective look amongst the teens know that their cheerful discussion was just a Hope Spot and none of them are getting out of alive.
    • Frankie's death is heart breaking. Especially the fact that they cover her with the now deflated pink chair she'd brought down to the party.
    • Geoff's reaction to her death. "I think I'd rather tear my own face off than smell her rot."
  • The Woobie: Geoff if you think about it. He just wanted a weekend party with his best friend and a girl he had a thing for (who sincerely liked him back). He and Frankie get together...and then they're locked in. He then has to watch Frankie get violently sick and die of heart failure. Then you realise he was the one who pushed Mike into coming along for the party, and he's probably blaming himself.

For the 1962 animated short

  • Harsher in Hindsight: The (possible) Imagine Spot of a gopher causing a false nuclear attack alert became downright eerie later in the Cold War as there were numerous close calls in Real Life due to electronic failure, bad design of the early warning systems, and the misinterpretations of a meteor shower and later a flock of geese, causing one side or the other to briefly believe they were under attack and coming within a hair's breadth of A Nuclear Error.

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