Critics are always quick to point out that certain films aren’t shown to critics — often the first signal that it’s going to suck. I understand the idea behind hiding films away so as not to let bad reviews scare off theater-goers in that all important opening weekend. But it does suck.
If studios are going to spend millions making these movies, they should first try to make them good. Half the crap they think is good ends up being crap anyways, so why hide the crap they know is crap when it’s obvious that even crap makes money. Follow that line of crap? Most often the kinds of films that aren’t screened are the ones many critics don’t enjoy – horror films and raunchy comedies. But in the days of prominence of the internet, where more people with varied views are equally respected, there are a lot of people who love horror flicks and sex comedies who would probably give more positive reviews.
What inspired this is Quarantine, an upcoming horror flick starring Dexter’s Jennifer Carpenter and based off the well respected Spanish horror film [REC]. This film is being screened for very few critics, which is bologna. Why not give people a look at it? If it’s bad enough that you don’t want anyone to see it, why is it going to theaters? That’s almost underhanded. Like, “This movie is terrible, so don’t let anyone know so we can trick some fools into coming opening weekend and make some bank.” I’m not entirely certain there are all that many critics who speak the gospel. If Ebert says to me “Quarantine sucks” and I see a trailer that looks good, I’m going to see it anyways.
So Hollywood, take a fucking chance. You want my money, let a few people get a look and put the word out. If the trailer and premise sounds good, I’m coming anyways. Hell, if I hear the movie is shit and then come see it with low expectations, I might like it a bit more. So while I’m not sure that this bothers everyone, but I think Hollywood should screen the stuff they expect us to pay for. When Hollywood plays games and tries to stonewall us away from hearing just a little bit more about a movie before we throw down our wallets, it pushes me past my boiling point.
Does the practice of not screening films bother you? Can the word of a critic stop you from seeing a film?