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Thekthithm

Anyone else over the spoiler hysteria?

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It seems we've reached peak "spoiler" hysteria, where people break out into a frenzy if someone reveals not only plot points of a movie or show, but even minute and inconsequential details. It's almost become some kind of creepy weirdo cult-like phenomenon where people's enjoyment of media hinges on the element of surprise, as if they think every movie could potentially feature some ESB-type revelation, and if that surprise is no longer there, they don't want to watch it anymore. Isn't the experience of a movie more than just critical story points and turns?

 

This is perplexing to me because I find that my enjoyment levels significantly increase if I know more about the movie before seeing it. Much of the time I find movies difficult to follow, especially modern movies with their unnecessarily complex and convoluted narratives and technobabble exposition. So so-called spoilers help me follow it better. And if I find out someone dies, well I'm even more excited to see how it unfolds! But other people seem to go suicidal if they somehow find this out before seeing it - maybe I'm just out of touch with the fundamentals of geek culture!

 

And what even constitutes a "spoiler" these days? My narrow definition of the term is limited to things with big revelations like The Sixth Sense, where the whole intention was to trick the audience. But other people's definition seems so broad you'd think even the title was a spoiler! I'll never forget the the lead up to the relesse of TFA, a set photo of Mark Hamill in costume leaked online, leading a lot of people who saw it to cry in melodramatic despair because they thought seeing him in costume before they saw the movie destroyed the movie for them! How could something like this distress people so much? Isn't that what you'd expect Luke to be wearing anyway?

 

And another incident I recall on another forum back in 2000 was when some fan was in a state of panic because they read the cast list for AotC and saw the name of some inconsequential background character and was begging for reassurance that the movie hadn't been ruined for them. I ribbed this fella a bit and said he should calm down, but then a moderator scolded me saying "People getting spoiled is not funny, Drax."

 

It's getting a bit ridiculous that we can't talk about movies before other people see them. Loosen up! If you don't let it bother you, you might even become immune to this rigid spoiler cult.

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Spot on.

 

I'm especially bothered by it in marketing. The marketing on films like the new Star Wars films is so intent to keeping spoilers under wraps, that it fails to communicate the premise of the films. Endgame, while its marketing didn't reveal much in the way plot, had its premise well-known from the outset, just based on how Infinity War ended.

 

A PREMISE ISN'T A SPOILER

 

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My theory is that psychologically surprise/discovery is very often the basis of judgement.

 

If something is better than we thought, we get a positive rush and consider it "good".

If something is worse than we thought, we get a negative chill and consider it "bad".

If something is just as expected, we get nothing and consider it "meh".

 

Spoilers and expectations disturb enjoyment alike. I can't adress the aforementioned details of some hoi polloi behaviour, which never fails to be worse than expected, but if a friend told me how the movie ends in the middle of tension, I would roll my eyes and call him a dick.

 

Surprise can be everything: the structure, the dialogues, the action, the tone, the shift of the premise etc. 

 

It works for movies, books, music, new food... it works for sentences and melodies even, and I guess for visual details too.

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It doesn't mean we can't respect other's wishes by at least sharing details or whatever privately. By the same token, I've never understood the people who will go out of their way to watch something as soon as they can to avoid spoilers on their social media - well, I don't know what to say other than why can't they simply disengage with social media for a day or two? I can tell you that I've never seen any important news shared on my facebook, twitter or instagram that I couldn't live without. 

 

I read the spoiler thread here on Avengers Endgame and it didn't impact my viewing of the film whatsoever, and maybe part of that's because what makes something surprising is in the way the elements come together on screen and not in someone's comment. 

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I like watching movies and TV shows or reading books knowing as little as possible. That's why I don't watch trailers if it's for something I know I want to watch. I avoid social media, reviews, articles about the movie or tv show etc until I've seen it. But I think newspapers shouldn't have big articles on their front page about what happened in the last episode or the latest big movie.

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I think it's fun to go in completely unaware of what's about to happen. And if someone goes out of their way to spoil something for someone that person is an asshole.

 

I also think some people take it a bit too seriously. I had to wait a couple of days for the latest GOT episode to come out so I just stayed off the internet in general for a little while. Wasn't really difficult.

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Well, what is suspense if not being privy to informations that the characters don't have?

 

Its like how the first twenty minutes of Titanic iterate and re-iterate that the ship is gonna drown. On the face of it, its a huge spoiler. In actual fact, its key to the film's success.

 

And don't even get me started on the opening to Lawrence of Arabia.

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17 minutes ago, mstrox said:

I'd rather know next-to-nothing about a movie before I see it.  As for movies that I couldn't follow, I can count them on one hand, and none of them were the types of movies that were designed to sell toys.

They were designed to sell New Age spiritual services and brain medicine

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3 hours ago, Chen G. said:

Its like how the first twenty minutes of Titanic iterate and re-iterate that the ship is gonna drown. On the face of it, its a huge spoiler. In actual fact, its key to the film's success.

 

 

And that goes for every disaster movie: Earthquake, Airport, Towering Inferno, Poseidon, ... they all take advantage of a thing called 'disaster tourism'. 

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After watching the movie I can say that I found the extreme spoilerphobic marketing of that movie gratuitous and overdone.

 

It kinda reinforces the point that these events like GOT and Avengers are almost entirely predicated on knowing WHAT happens. Kinda shows their reductive value of lack of thereof.

 

There is also the horrid media culture of today and film criticism of today which feature extensive recaps of what happened and readily give away spoilers.

 

I remember Million Dollar Baby. It's second half was considered a twist and in a way it was. But I read about it, and did NOTHING to dull the impact of the movie. It still bludgeoned me.

 

But even so reviews were very careful to stop short of narrating the entire story verbatim.

 

You would think if the stories and movies and shows themselves had more merit, they would not be so completely ruined by spoilers. 

 

Think about it - but any means I am not a fan of Sixth Sense - even knowing the twist you can watch the movie for the cleverness of its construction - how is hides it in plain sight. Scene to scene you are intrigued about the how ambiguously the information is presented. That is not even the case with Avengers or GOT. There is no clever hiding or anything. It is straight up plot points.

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Normally I don’t care, I won’t try to spoil it for anyone else but there are times that I do like to be surprised.

 

Friday night I was checking out YouTube for something else and on the main page was a massive spoiler for the new avengers movie and it kind of pissed me off because it would really surprised me in the film.

 

I hate that people go out of their way to spoil  things on purpose

 

 

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I think the hysteria is also driven by the fact that almost nothing truly surprises anymore.

 

What was the last twist that hit you in a - "I would have never thought of it that way" way. I guess Get Out had a great one. But what other recent movie?

 

Avengers for me couldn't have been spoiled because ZERO things in the movie surprised me.

 

So because real surprises are few and far between, people want to protect the sanctity of being surprised in a futile way.

 

And as I always say, much more valuable than narrative surprise is aesthetic surprise. More story-tellers, film-makers, showrunners should aim for that.

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My big franchises growing up were LOTR and Harry Potter where my excitement was basically twofold, I had the pleasure of the narrative twists and turns unfolding while reading, and then my anticipation for the movies was in how they were going to do it. Both versions of Half-Blood Prince got my heart pounding at the end there.

 

The biggest single surprise I’ve probably experienced in a movie theater is the end of Inglourious Basterds when they succeed in killing you-know-who. The crowd reaction was unforgettable and I still love that movie but over the years that is not really one of the scenes I get the urge to rewatch over again. And while it made for a great theater moment I don’t necessarily feel that I would have been robbed of anything in the long run if I knew about it ahead of time. It’d still be a favorite, the whole movie is loaded with the kinds of real cinematic surprises that you can’t get from just reading the Wiki summary.

 

So I totally get wanting to bottle up as much excitement as possible, like why not? But I also think people get anal about it. The latest Avengers had a couple big things that surprised me but one of my favorite bits was something I’d already been spoiled on. Maybe I would have enjoyed it EVEN MORE!!! if I went in a blank slate but who’s really keeping track.

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16 minutes ago, Jay said:

IB?

 

2 hours ago, mrbellamy said:

The biggest single surprise I’ve probably experienced in a movie theater is the end of Inglourious Basterds

 

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Yea, the protagonists of that movie don't die 2/3 of the way through.  I dunno what he's talking about

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6 minutes ago, Fabulin said:

Oh. I didn't consider her that. Landa was more central. (And I rooted for the sniper boi anyway) I think I will rewatch the movie though.

 

He is more central. But he's the antagonist. Among the nice guys, if it is one person's story, it is

Spoiler

Shosanna's.

 

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4 hours ago, The Original said:

Exactly, I mean, isn't a compelling story still a compelling story whether you know what happens or not?

 

I went into all the Star Wars prequels fully spoiled and loved them. Then only surprise was seeing the Death Star in Episode II.

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6 hours ago, Alexcremers said:

 

And that goes for every disaster movie: Earthquake, Airport, Towering Inferno, Poseidon, ... they all take advantage of a thing called 'disaster tourism'. 

Airport gets the disaster tag unfairly. The only continuity between airport earthquake in the Towering Inferno and Poseidon Adventure is it has a relatively all star cast. There is no serious disaster no serious loss of life in fact the movie is a melodramatic soap opera with great acting as everybody tries to be equal or top their co-stars. The body count in this movie stands at 1 hardly Disaster Movie material

I will try not to spoil anything recent but when the movie is old I make no promises or effort.

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Endgame was a pretty unique event in that everybody knew basically how it was going to end: with all snapped folks coming back.  So the burning question on the world's mind was how are these storytellers going to pull this off?  That was a lot of the pleasure of not knowing going in.

 

That said, I think Endgame is good enough that if I had known most of the major plot beats it still would've worked because the characterizations are so strong.

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10 hours ago, Chen G. said:

And don't even get me started on the opening to Lawrence of Arabia.

Oh yeah! I had forgotten about that over the course of the following three hours.

 

Also, I got part of The Last Jedi spoiled for me just last year. Mainly about...

Spoiler

Snoke's death, Luke's death

Fortunately it did not effect my liking for it. Perhaps I would've liked it more if it was a complete surprise.

 

I have a buddy who goes into these franchise flicks without any knowledge save the title. He deliberately avoids even the teaser trailers as best as he can, that way he can take everything in completely new for the first time in theatres. I don't like that method, but it works for some. Unofrtunately, I now have nobody to speculate about the IX teaser with, so there's another great service JW Fan has provided for me.

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12 hours ago, TheUlyssesian said:

It kinda reinforces the point that these events like GOT and Avengers are almost entirely predicated on knowing WHAT happens. Kinda shows their reductive value of lack of thereof. 

---

You would think if the stories and movies and shows themselves had more merit, they would not be so completely ruined by spoilers.

Damn... that's pretty much the perfect way of putting exactly what I wanted to say

 

11 hours ago, TheUlyssesian said:

What was the last twist that hit you in a - "I would have never thought of it that way" way. I guess Get Out had a great one. But what other recent movie?

Thoroughbreds?

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I wonder if there were any nutjobs who would have regarded finding out the title of Episode 9 before the official announcement as a "spoiler"? As in, not a spoiler for the film, but a spoiler for the event?

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5 hours ago, The Original said:

I wonder if there were any nutjobs who would have regarded finding out the title of Episode 9 before the official announcement as a "spoiler"? As in, not a spoiler for the film, but a spoiler for the event?

Yes but then they need to be ridiculed for their stupidity. If you don't know the title or name of the film how do you know when or what to go see.

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I dunno there are some wackos out there.

 

And to Joe, I meant these people wouldn't want to know the title until they saw the Celebration announcment. As in they don't want the announcement itself spoiled.

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1 hour ago, The Original said:

I dunno there are some wackos out there.

 

And to Joe, I meant these people wouldn't want to know the title until they saw the Celebration announcment. As in they don't want the announcement itself spoiled.

Losers

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