As we approach the summer blockbuster season, many cinephiles are preparing for the obligatory muting of all terms on social media or abstaining altogether because MOVIE SPOILERS!
Why? Just why?!
Within 24 hours or less of every big tentpole release, movie spoilers spread on social media faster than a case of the clap in a frat house. It’s understood that not everyone can see a movie within the first three days of its release. Despite the reality of, you know, having a life, here come the trolls racing to Twitter to ruin a twist ending quicker than you can type “Post-Credits Scene.”
What is the borderline orgasmic fascination with screwing up a movie just because those trolls saw it first? And for those of you out there who love doing this, quit the sanctimony just because you type “SPOILER ALERT” in the first line of a tweet followed by the surprise cameo or ending.
We see you. Everyone sees you. That’s bush league! You know it, so you suck.
Starring in Their Own Movie
Although you know, it will happen on social media, in a video call, or overheard at the gym. The movie spoilers are coming. You can’t run. You can’t hide. You get a case of slump-shoulder the moment it runs you over like a Mack truck driven by Ray Charles.
Many “fans” of CBMs or other films with an unsuspecting twist are masochists. They love to inflict pain and watch everyone else cringe. As a real fan, you are more than welcome to dog-cuss that troll who just ruined the expense of your $15, but it won’t matter. These are the doltish, small-minded turds who love to stink it up for everyone else.
Why ruin everyone else’s movie experience? No one ruined it for them, but there they are—flexing their cringe factor vigorously.
Do they feel empowered when the film isn’t worth seeing any longer? Are they now a “someone”? Bad seeds are everywhere, even among movie fans.
Why does it matter so much to you trolls that you are the only one to enjoy the film’s twist ending, surprise cameos, or shocking deaths? I know the answer.
It’s why comedians don’t allow phones at their shows. It’s why production houses now spend millions on a global “no movie spoilers” campaign during opening weekend. It’s why Tom Holland almost lost his job as Peter Parker. Those dopes—or big fat traps, like Spidey—are starring in their own movie. If you had an enjoyable time, that’s all that matters.
Even Hitchcock Got Butthurt Over Movie Spoilers
The most disgusting thing about trolls and their love to spread movie spoilers is the hubris behind it. They don’t care who they hurt or steal the cinematic experience from—only that they can hide behind an avatar on social media because they must be first with the review, aiming for the most engagement, or looking to get a H/T on some blog.
There’s no sense in getting mad because if there are tentpole releases and blockbuster seasons, there will be the flat-headed, cockeyed troglodytes who seek to be awful and steal movie joy from everyone else. So, how about a reason to smile?
Did you know that movie spoilers were even in the Silent Era of Movies? It was 1926 when The Bat hit theaters and greeted audiences within a few minutes with this title:
Yes. A silent movie shouting at trolls, “Can you keep a secret? Don’t reveal the identity of The Bat.” As the subject headline reads and the sign proves the master of storytelling, Alfred Hitchcock, carried some angst toward the sundry sloth regarding movie spoilers.
When he delivered Psycho to cinephiles everywhere, he knew people would freak out when they saw the ending. As part of the agreement with Paramount Pictures, movie houses across the country had to agree to refuse anyone from coming into the movie theater late because, you know, Jamie Lee Curtis’ mama wasn’t in the film for the entire run.
That’s a genius move because if folks show up late, Janet’s “absence” may be noticed and then squawked. And the marketing sign is wonderful. “If you can’t keep a secret, piss off,” or something like that. Well, he should have said it. You know he was thinking it.
Cinephiles Respected No Movie Spoilers – Once
There are two recent memories of audiences respecting the surprise in the film, and if you were around, you know – The Crying Game (above) and The Sixth Sense. The twists were honored. Questions like, “Have you seen the ending? No? Okay, well, I won’t spoil it, but….”
Of course, when folk finally saw the hot dog without the bun and the runaway ring under the chair, you knew why people didn’t spoil the endings and were thankful for that. Can you imagine if social media existed then?!
Maybe things weren’t as tempting then? The surprise endings or cinematic thrills were indeed as powerful as they are now then. (Go back to the Hitchcock example.) Yet, people can’t seem to keep their mouths shut now or, at the very least, keep their fingers in their pockets so as not to tweet. Perhaps, it’s the fault of social media or just that people have too many toys and feel like everyone needs to know their opinion instead of a select circle of a few.
Jennifer Richler of The Atlantic authored a fascinating article in 2012 about the “scientific explanations” for why movie spoilers are “so horrible.” She’s nowhere near wrong, but despite the academia she interviews in the article, it’s one of her quotes that caught me the most.
“Spoilers suck because they remind us that a story is just a story. It’s hard to get transported when you already know where you’ll end up—you don’t have that knowledge in real life.”Jennifer Richler, The Atlantic, 2012
As a writer, reviewer, interviewer, and all-around person with a soul (unlike those noir-hearted sycophants on social media), it is possible to talk about a film without ruining the experience for others.
People who create content of any type will tell you that having someone ruin in seconds what took them hours, weeks, months to make is simply wrong. Like, really wrong. Like, OJ Simpson going to a ski lodge and buying some gloves then shouting, “Oh man. These gloves don’t fit either. Har har.”
Technology could be to blame but be honest. The people who operate the technology forget everyone else doesn’t watch TV or movies on their schedule. There is a tropical place in hell waiting for your presence for those who love to spoil it for everyone else. And if you don’t believe me, ask Marvel.
At least the trolls were afraid of Thanos. Cowards!