Filmmaker Rian Johnson grew up reading and watching Agatha Christie-style mysteries. With his “Knives Out,” he wanted to translate his love of the whodunit in the form of a modern update, but he also went into the creative process fully aware of some of the inherent flaws and difficulties with the genre itself.
“As much as I love Agatha Christie’s books, in a lot of them there does hit a point about three-quarters of the way through where you start to flag,” said Johnson when he was a guest on the Filmmaker Toolkit podcast. “And you start to feel like, ‘Ah, yeah, okay, we just keep gathering clues, I’m never going to guess this. Let’s just get to the point where the detective gives me the solution.'”
Hitchcock, who hated the whodunit, defined this problem as the difference between audience surprise versus what he did,