Amy Cornforth 1st May 2018
I am not just a Marvel fan. I am a huge Marvel fan. When Avengers: Infinity War was released in the cinema, I was there with every other Marvel fan who was crazy enough to go to a midnight screening.
The film was spoiled before I’d even set foot in the cinema
I did this specifically to avoid spoilers, and admittedly, the trailers kept the biggest reveals of the film under wraps, but it was spoilerific enough make many of the scenes far less tense than they could have been.
In short, the film was spoiled before I’d even set foot in the cinema. And not by fans, Twitter or the cast blurting out an accidental plot point in an interview. I was spoiled by the trailers.
Similar complaints were made about the Jurassic World 2 trailer, which spoiled the iconic T-Rex roar moment that punctuates nearly every Jurassic film. The director was obviously more interested in getting people to the cinema, than impressing them while they’re there.
Despite the pleas from the Russo Brothers, directors of Infinity War, for people to keep the spoilers to themselves, spoilers have, of course, wormed their way on to the internet, but is it worth considering what actually constitutes a spoiler?
Any kind of reveal, big or small could be considered a spoiler
A spoiler is traditionally considered the premature reveal of a piece of plot information big enough to “spoil” the experience of watching the film. These are normally seen as big pieces of plot information such as who dies or what happens at the end, while spoilers that happen towards the beginning of the film as seen as more minor, since “you’ll find out about that soon anyway”. But honestly, any kind of reveal, big or small could be considered a spoiler – even the small shots the trailer of Infinity War revealed was enough to spoil the film to a certain extent.
It’s a little cheeky of directors to urge fans to keep details to themselves while pumping out trailers with so many plot clues.
With the age of the internet and our internal need to both discuss films, spoilers are generally unavoidable — not just for new films like Infinity War but even more so for those old films where the twists have become both iconic and common knowledge.
If you went into The Empire Strikes Back completely blind, I can imagine it being an incredible feeling of shock when the iconic “I am your father” line is boomed by James Earl Jones’s deep voice. But the problem with this line being iconic is that everyone knows this twist. You could argue that Star Wars has been spoiled.
The same goes for The Sixth Sense. There is a massive twist at the end that everyone knows. Or do they? The film is so old that pretty much everyone who wanted to see it when it was released has definitely seen it. But what about a new generation of people, born after its 1999 release, who are only just stumbling across it on Netflix or late at night on Film 4? Is it fair to spoil it for them?
Arguably, telling someone there is a twist can often ruin the twist, even if you don’t tell them what the twist is. Once you’re looking out for it, the twist can become obvious or cliche, ruining it and possibly the film.
Whether the film is old or new, the concept of going into a film blind is almost non-existent. Either you’ll have seen a revealing trailer, or unwillingly stumbled across some information you didn’t want to hear. Why should we have to remove ourselves from the entire Internet just to fully enjoy a film that we’re excited about? That’s not fair.
I was lucky, in a way, that I only had minor spoilers from the Infinity War trailers, but those people not watching it the second it was released are in dangerous territory. Whether a so-called friend accidentally tweets something, or people just think the “spoiler embargo” on Thanos is over, watch your step, as your best friend Twitter could suddenly betray you.
It’s because of these revealing trailers, and dickheads on Twitter, that few people will actually experience the full emotional impact a film can have.
Amy Cornforth 1st May 2018