Monday, June 13, 2011

Spoiling the creature of the day

I've read a bit of reaction about people searching out spoilers for what the creature looks like in the new Super 8 film and it's got me thinking yet again about these movies being advertised as they are (Cloverfield and Godzilla are just two of the movies that come to mind). I have not seen Super 8 or Cloverfield so this is not a comment on them, just the advertising and set up around them.

Some people are pointing to the people who are posting these spoilers and those looking for them as ruining it for everyone. I disagree, as long as it's being done without spoiling it for those who don't want to be spoiled then I'd argue it's okay. And then some have said it's stealing money, getting to see the creature without paying. So are they admitting the only reason to go see this film is to see the latest CGI creation? Am I also stealing every time I look at a picture of Jason or Freddy and not buying Friday the 13th or Nightmare on Elm Street?

It actually does feel to me that the advertising pushes this idea that the reason to come see these films is to see the creature. We see the usual clips of government conspiracy, animals reacting (dogs barking, cats hissing, etc), and yes, we get some clips of a few actors reacting to something. It's all building the trailers to be "Ooh, we have a creature and look at all these people reacting to it but we aren't going to let you see it without paying." Of course, you say that to someone and the first thing they're going to think is "Oh yeah? Well I'll see it just to spite you."

The same applies to non-visual twists, etc. When movies get advertised with "You'll never guess the ending" or "Biggest twist ending ever, you'll never see it coming" then you've done two things:
- You've revealed to your audience that there is a twist (this has ruined many a movie for me as it becomes predictable what that "twist" will be).
- You're acting like the high school student who brags about a piece of gossip but won't tell, of course people will find any way to discover the big secret and the easiest way is to not pay you for it when you have so many people willing to put it out there for free.

I just hate advertising like this. Let the movie sell itself. Have a well thought out story instead of these gimmicks. Because really, I'd rather a movie I can watch over and over again 5 or 10 years from now and not just a picture of some stupid monster. That actually boils down my point, you're making a movie, if a picture/drawing of a creature ruins it or can sum up the movie in one shot then you're not making use of the medium and you should just release pictures of monsters instead.

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