In his talk on mystery, Director J.J. Abrams discusses the importance of mystery and how it is the catalyst for imagination.
Abrams begins by talking about his own lifelong relationship with mystery and how it would shape the kind of storyteller he would become. As a young lad, Abrams purchased a 'Tannen's Magic Mystery Box,' which he has never opened to this very day. He never opened it because of the infinite possibilities the box represented, ultimately realizing later in adulthood that that is what mystery is all about, the potentiality of endless possibilities. This is what he believes has lead to the success of many franchises such as Jaws and Aliens. Though the names of the monsters are in the film titles, we hardly ever see them, which he believes heightens our awareness of them.
Abrams ends his talk on mystery saying that the idea of mystery boxes are everywhere, they're the theaters themselves; the blank page we write on and the cameras we use.
J.J. Abrams Gives a Revealing Talk on Mystery