Many movies focus on one emotion, such as the feeling of adventure that we get when we, through the character, physically explore cool, new lands. Good movies provide more than one emotion. Jurassic Park, as we talked about, giving us adventure and anxiety. The industry default for this is one classic genre emotion, such as thriller causing anxiety or horror causing dread or comedy causing laughter and so on, mixed with a romance or relationship plot, providing some softness and love.

Great movies give two new emotions which are woven together in an unexpected way. Knives Out does this. It’s introduced as a classic mystery; we discover the body in the first scene, and we start to meet a large cast of interesting characters. We start getting curious, the leading emotion, asking who did it. But 30 minutes later, the movie breaks that storyline by showing us who committed the murder, a harmless, fumbly nurse without a bad bone in her body. Now, we are watching to see if Marta will get away with it, hoping she does. Meanwhile, we are watching the genius detective turn into the fumbly one as he tries to figure out it was her. Just brilliant.