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It's the Booze Talkin: Horror movie fans, don't be a jerk in the theater!

11.01.2016by: JimmyO

Every single October, for the last five years, I’ve had the opportunity to see HALLOWEEN on the big screen. Being in Los Angeles you have a plethora of occasions inviting you to see some cult classic in theatres and it is wonderful. Here is the issue, two out of the five times of watching my favorite horror flick there has been more than a little bad moviegoing behavior from the audience. Sure we all know that Laurie Strode throwing down the knife seems kind of funny or whatever, but this was more than that. This past weekend, one small group in the theatre laughed and made loud comments constantly, while another young woman was involved in a serious texting conversation. Thankfully, most of the audience was respectful and stayed quiet and involved. Unfortunately, that small group managed to make it a bit more challenging to just enjoy the movie.

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It wasn’t just HALLOWEEN. In fact, when THE EXORCIST returned to cinemas for a bit, the same thing happened. The same damn reactions with far more laughter than fright. You’d think that a young girl possessed by a demon using a crucifix in a sexual connotation would be a slapstick comedy with these people. This is not an exaggeration, this is unfortunately a common thing depending on the theatre and perhaps the time. Maybe younger audiences are laughing because the films look old or, to them, just seem out of touch. Yet it isn’t just young people. One year when we went to HALLOWEEN the audience was a mix of a-holes in their thirties and such and they were terrible. Sadly this isn’t just a reaction you find in classic features, it happens in horror movies far too often.

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When THE DEVIL’S REJECTS came out, a “gentleman” in the audience was especially verbal. He made it clear he thought the movie was disgusting. He found it offensive. He really, really, really hated this flick! So why don’t you just f*cking leave man? Movies are damn expensive, and frankly when I pay my money to sit and enjoy a feature presentation I don’t want to hear you. I don’t want to see the glow of your phone. And I don’t really care if you think the scream queen backing into a closet is a stupid idea. If you really feel that you are in the middle of a Mystery Science Theatre or RiffTrax flick, how about you just rent horror flicks at home so we don’t have to hear you bitch and moan about how silly they are!?!

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Of course movie fans all have different reactions when it comes to getting scared in a multiplex. And part of that reaction for some can be laughter. Yet there is a huge difference between nervous and playful laughter opposed to those who feel the movie sucks so bad they must talk crap about it just so others know how awful it is. The beauty of seeing a new genre flick opening weekend is that it should be a fun experience. Horror crowds are awesome when you have the right movie and the right atmosphere, but it only takes a couple of jerks with cellphones, or wannabe comediennes to ruin the film. This kind of behavior unfortunately seems to be especially prevalent in horror.

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As a genre fan, I remember a time when audiences made a ton of noise in a scary flick. They would scream, then laugh because they screamed. They would say things like, “LOOK OUT!” or “Don’t go in there!! The killer is in there!!” and it would all be fun times. In fact, watching a genre flick with likeminded individuals is just this side of cinema heaven. Yet that has changed. While we still have some of the fun reactions during the slasher, torture, creature features, we also have the constant conversations about the movie as it plays - whether they dig it or not it doesn’t matter, this shite is annoying. And then there is that intense desire to pick up your phone during a pivotal scene, just so you can see what your best pal is up to. Just stop!

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Maybe it’s the booze talkin’, but stop being a jerk when watching horror flicks… or any flick for that matter. If you want to cheer, scream and laugh, do it respectfully. Scary movies have always had audiences gasping, talking to the screen or just giggling at something silly. That’s all fine and good, but the constant commentary and phone usage is not cool. It’s distracting. It’s rude. And most importantly, it ruins the movie for nearly the entire audience. How do you deal with it? Well that’s tricky as well because screaming shut the f*ck up can be even more jolting than their chatter. We as an audience need to do better. We need to be respectful to everybody else because they all pay the same price. Is it too much to ask for moviegoers to put their phones away and cut the unwanted dialogue? How do you handle this kind of theatre going etiquette? What is your worst moviegoing experience with an audience?

Extra Tidbit: How do you handle when somebody is being rude in a movie?
Source: AITH

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