This evening was the first time that I have ever, ever, walked out of a theatre. We got refunds for our tickets, and an understanding nod towards the fact that our movie going experience was ruined for us.
It's Friday the 13th, and the opening night for Insidious: Chapter 2. We were pretty excited, and prepared ourselves by watching the first chapter of Insidious. It's a great film by itself, but having a second part with a continuing ending just makes it better. We went to the 8 PM showing, ready to watch.
The theatre was quite full, which is not uncommon. We've gone to quite a few horror movies on opening night (Sinister, Mama, Evil Dead), and all of the experiences have been good, and quite enjoyable. The theaters are packed, with lots of people ready to be scared silly. However, this was different. This film was rated 14A. Meaning that it was practically a theatre full of preschoolers. Not literally preschoolers, of course (though that almost happened to us, thanks to the invention of 'Stars and Strollers'. Which means taking your infants to see a movie that's otherwise for adults). But, really, the maturity levels are appalling.
I consider myself a seasoned horror movie watcher. I tend to avoid going to horror movies in theaters because I enjoy watching scary movies alone or with a few friends, getting scared and sitting in the dark. However, my husband enjoys seeing them in the theatre, so I've learned to go with him. Still, I am ultimately the same horror movie watcher, sitting in the proverbial basement at midnight, watching old horror movies by myself. I watched my first horror movie when I was seven (scarred me for life), and started religiously watching movies at age ten. I watched scary movies at sleep overs with friends, itching to be scared by jumps and shouts, grossed out by breaking bone and spurting blood. I ate it up. I still do. I still remember the first movie when I realized that the films didn't scare me anymore, but I just enjoyed the tension and the disgusting parts. I enjoyed bad acting and bad writing. I loved the blood and gore, the calm killer, the panicking victims. Horror movies became my favourite thing to watch. Slowly, I became immune. Then, miraculously, the odd horror movie would truly disturb me, make me squeamish and give me nightmares, and still give me the sense of horror that the first few did. How great is that! Naturally, I kept watching horror movies, and re-watching horror movies, dissecting and adoring all different aspects of different films, determining my favourites and the most lovable 'bad' movies.
As I said, I consider myself a seasoned horror movie watcher. Because of this, I can go to a horror movie and enjoy myself, and enjoying it even more when I jump or get scared. However... I don't scream. Or point out the obvious. Or make fun of a horror movie while in a theater.
As I mentioned, a lot of the viewers were quite young. They were obviously not horror movie lovers, and haven't watched a huge number of horror films. They were so loud, and so obnoxious, and wouldn't stop talking. Here is my list of do's and don't's when in theaters (particularly when watching a horror movie).
1. Don't laugh. It is not a comedy. There is a distinct difference between laughing out of horror and hysteria, and laughing because it's funny. Ultimately, nothing in movies is so terrifying that you'd laugh out of hysterics. So... don't laugh. It's an insult to the people who spent months and months working to make the movie enjoyable and frightening.
2. Fart jokes are not acceptable. They are not acceptable (or funny) in day to day life, and they are certainly not acceptable in theaters.
3. Pointing out the obvious isn't clever. It's obvious. You're just angering the people around you.
4. There's a great thing called whispering. It's a useful vocal tool when in public places, such as theater.
5. Don't be rude or crass. People have paid a lot of money to come to the theater to enjoy themselves. They do not want to listen to you. If they did, they'd pay you the $13. Movies aren't cheap, and it's supposed to be an enjoyable evening of entertainment to escape reality.
6. If you're a minor, educate yourself with horror movies first. Then pay to go and watch them on opening night in theater.
It truly ruined our evening. Fortunately, the young woman at the till was very understanding and gave us passes to see the movie at a later time. She seemed to be very understanding that our movie viewing experience was not in the least enjoyable. At least we'll be able to go to the film at a time when young children shouldn't be there.
I'm really not sure what it is with teenagers and going to opening night of horror movies. They're extremely immature and rude, and the unfortunate thing is, they think that they're being clever, simply because their friends and others are amused. Sadly, it ruins the experience for people who actually care. It ruins the enjoyment of deriving inspiration from a favourite director. It removes the possibility of noticing fine details. It just spoils the film. I don't understand why horror movies are the things that people make fun of. Especially when you have to spend so much to go and watch it. I mean, it's thirteen plus dollars, and you're throwing it away to laugh at it. Have these teenagers not heard of streaming or movie rental?
To make matters worse, the majority of the people had not seen the first Insidious movie. And thus, they had no idea what was going on.
This is a sad day in film viewing history. Most unfortunate, and leaves a bad taste in one's mouth.