How an audience ruined my film experience

This past weekend I went to a screening of Obsessed for the latest episode of The Spoiler Warning. When I first walked into the theater, I was surprise by how many people had brought their children (around 5 to 8 years old) with them. As I sat waiting for it to begin, more and more kids piled into the theater. As the show time drew nearer, I got the sinking feeling that I was about to have the worst film watching experience of my life. Little did I know, it was going to be far worse than I could ever have imagined.

For those unfamiliar with the plot of the film, Obsessed is about an insane woman who fabricates an intense relationship with the main character and consequently places his perfect life and everything he worked for in jeopardy. Clearly, the story of the film requires some level of maturity. Unfortunately, the film makers opted to shoot for a PG-13 rating and my theater was filled with people who just couldn’t quite handle it.

Instead of see the film for what it is, a tragic story of a man who could lose everything he holds dear because of a psychotic [delete expletive], the audience somehow saw the film as a comedy. Laughing at the things the antagonist would say, cheering on characters as if this were a slasher film, and just generally being inappropriate towards the mood I believed the film was supposed to convey.

Any time you go to a public theater, you risk annoyances like people talking, texting, getting phone calls, breathing too loud, or just being rowdy, but I felt this was far worse. Usually I can just tune people out, but this audience (as a whole) just killed the mood of the film so much that it took me completely out of the story to a point that was beyond frustration.

It was so bad that when it came time to review the film for the podcast, I just didn’t have much to say besides a rant about the audience in the theater. This was the first time that I couldn’t separate the experience of watching a film from my thoughts on it. I truly hope that I never have to experience something like this again.

posted by Christopher Schnese