Which can you name faster: your favorite movie of the year or the one you hated the most? If your pick is the latter, you might want to redirect your energy, at least according to Suicide Squad director David Ayer, who posted a stream of thoughts on X this week about the wave of audience negativity that easily overwhelms the positivity, arguing that there is a “negative feedback loop hardwired into social media itself.”
Posting on X (in a since-deleted “tweet”), David Ayer wrote, “I remember a time before. A time when audiences applauded success. Not cheering on failures. When film meant wonder and magic. Not a means of attack. When movies were enjoyed. Not reverse engineered in hopes of finding ammo to attack.” While Ayer no doubt has some least favorite movies of the year, he went on to throw his support behind his fellow filmmakers: “I applaud all my colleagues in the industry. I applaud all the people who work in film. I celebrate those with the courage to share a piece of themselves with the World.”
David Ayer – who faced some of the harshest reviews of his career with 2016’s Suicide Squad – has a point here. Sure, it can be a lot of fun to rip apart bad flicks, with podcasts like How Did This Get Made? proving to be a playground for slamming some of the lousiest movies out there. And yes, plenty of these deserve their thrashings and lashings, but it may be worth it to consider if there should be limits – that is, does it need to get so personal? It seems even the Razzies – famed for “honoring” the worst in movies every year – has softened up a bit. Sure, they’ll always rip on easy targets and create “clever” categories to do so, but rescinding nominations, offering apologies to past nominees and introducing the Razzie Redeemer Award show a certain level of maturity (right…?). For what it’s worth, Suicide Squad earned just two Razzie nods.
And David Ayer is far from being alone in his take that people thrive too much on negativity, with Stephen King wondering why we gloat so much over failure, citing such reactions on social media over The Marvels bombing at the box office.
Do you think moviegoers get too much joy out of bashing movies? Is it harmful or generally innocent? Give us your thoughts below.