Writers and spoilers

I really hate it when movie critics or writers drop a spoiler into a story without warning, I hate it even more when they drop a spoiler into the start of a story, or even the beginning of a feed. For example, here I am reading through the news stories of the day and I catch this from Movie Topix.

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While it may not feel quite right to say, if there ever was one, Primer is the most realistic XXX movie of all time.

Substitute XXX for the giveaway for what the machine is that they are building in the movie. Now I don’t know how much of a spoiler it was, but it’s fair to say that all the promotional things I’ve seen do not mention anything about what it is, and the mystery is kept going because of that.

It’s something similar that stopped me reading newsgroups about upcoming movies, that gave away the ending to The Sixth Sense in a straight post with no warning. It didn’t exactly ruin the movie for me as I still appreciated it for what it was and the cleverness behind it, however, I wasn’t given the choice of reading it or not, and I never got to experience that “Oh my god” feeling.

Has this happened to you? Obviously don’t tell us the spoiler, but has someone ruined a movie for you? Want to vent your frustration? Have we ruined a movie for you – I hope not, I know I am really careful about not spoiling something. Have you managed to watch a movie after having been given a spoiler and still enjoy it? Should writers not put any spoilers in a review, even if they are marked clearly, is it just too tempting to read them?

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15 thoughts on “Writers and spoilers

  1. i just watched “Boogieman”…wish someone HAD Spoiled it for me….arrrrr…what crap gets made is beyond me!

  2. What i cant stand is that ever since The Sixth Sense and Seven…..Hollywood is obsessed with the twister ending…….I have been totally disappointed with movies liek the forgotten and the village….and (insert any recent Ashley Judd movie here)…..Holly wood really thinks I’m stupid….not that Im not but I dont like being told I am….ya know?

  3. I don’t know what it is with people and spoilers. I actively go looking for spoilers because I know that reading info about crucial plot points and watching them on screen are two different things for me. Those trailers that show certain spoilers about the movie are taken out of context with the whole movie. It is something similar with movie reviews, unless they give away the whole movie in the review. The only time I was “spoiled” by a spoiler was when I read the novelization of Revenge of the Sith by Matthew Stover. Then I saw the movie; how is it that two different people can take the same material and one of them can make it so dry and unappealing and the other can make it Beautiful and Involving? Sorry, went O.T. there. Anyway, just remember if you feel that you’re about to read a spoiler and it’s not explicitly said that there would be spoilers, stop reading (or watching), look away, find less spoiler-laden material. Remember kids, you do have a choice…Just Say NO to spoilers!

  4. I had the same experience with The Sixth Sense. Mine was worse though. The person I saw this movie with already saw it. she couldn’t resist not telling me the ending and I just kept stalling her until we finished the movie. She ended up blurting it out minutes before the actual scene. It ruined the entire movie for me (at least the last fifteen minutes.) needless to say I never saw movies with her again…

  5. I have noticed that the more a reviewer hates a movie the more likely he is to give it away. Case in point: Mr. Movie Phone hated THE FORGOTTEN and gave everything away. But with that movie, I felt that the commercial gave too much away. That is entirely different problem though. Why do we now have five-minute trailers that give us the entire movie?

  6. I knew what it was in Primer as well. It was even in the synopsis. But I did have the ending of The Village and 24 season 1 ruined for me. Took away from the wtf factor for sure.

  7. The ship sinks at the end of Titanic.

    Oh sorry, just realised you don’t want the spoiler… whoops. :)

    And I should mention, as no one else seems to have done, that our American friends might read the phrase “Primer is the most realistic XXX movie of all time” as having a meaning you probably didn’t intend (and I don’t mean in the sense of “the most realistic movie starring Vin Diesel”)…

  8. Tj\Jeff – The marketing I’ve seen (and that is a fair bit) is quite deliberate in not giving away the use of the machine. Maybe a UK\European thing?

    Jason – Good one, I said no spoilers! I’ll go and edit your comment if you don’t mind.

  9. Whenever I write a review I try to avoid spoilers. It makes a bit more difficult to go into the details, but I believe that people read reviews to decide whether or not to go see a movie, so one shouldn’t give away crucial plot points.

    What drives me even more nuts is when the spoiler is in the *title* of an article/post!!! >:-(

    Vic

  10. i knew the ‘xxx’ part going into primer. if it’s written in the synopsis of the movie (which it was), then i don’t think it is much of a spoiler. it’s a different issue than a reviewer spoiling the end of a movie, i think.

    most people like to know a little bit about the story so they know if they want to see the movie or not.

  11. Sorry….didnt mean to ruin it for you. Heres another spoiler for you…..In the Goonies……..’Sloth”….you know the guy chained up in the basement…..saves the Goonies from Ma and Brother Frattellies…..opps….sorry again

  12. Yeah, I agree, but not so much in this particular case. Primer was labeled openly as a ____ machine movie from all the exposure I saw. I went into it knowing that and was probably better off for it (namely, it’s incredibly confusing on first viewing; the less surprises the better). And even still, the revelation of the machine takes place at about the 30 minute mark, and I don’t think it was ever the filmmaker’s intention to have it a surprise. I saw it promoted as a character study of how they reacted to the great power of the machine and to eachother. So, it’s not quite the same as ruining a hush-hush Shyamalan ending.

    But yeah, ruining movies is bad form. The jerks.

  13. Thank you jason.. Usual Suspects was next on my Netflix queue.

    Damn you!!

    j/k

    It’s happened to me quite a bit.

  14. I got it from my local paper on one of the NEVER should tell ANYONE endings before they see it……The Usual Suspects…….My local paper said….”A Great Movie with a Left Field Ending that will leave you feeling like you should pay a little closer attention to the supporting cast”…………now I dont know about you but I went to see it spending most of my time trying to figure out if Kizer Soze(SP?) was XXX……to Brian Singer…I never suspected YYY. but it did piss me off. The USA Today is a big fan of doing it too……..

  15. Not a movie, but I had the ending of the first series of 24 ruined for me. I still enjoyed the show, but like you said, it didn’t have that feeling at the end.

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