What’s more awesome than going to the movies? Free ride on a space shuttle? A room full of gold bars? A root canal?
As sure as rolling the dice at the craps table, it’s always a gamble. Who, out of the pantheon of dreaded movie-goers, will be the one(s) to ruin your movie-going experience this time? Remember, the house always wins.
The Loud Eater: We can all rest well at night knowing that whoever had the brilliant idea of selling popcorn at the movies is now enjoying their own special ring of hell. Well, you can’t really blame them. The profit margin on popcorn—especially cinema popcorn—has to be astronomical. Unless “golden topping” is actually made of gold, it should actually be given away free. At every video store I worked at, that’s exactly what we did, at minmal cost to us. The main difference being, no one cares if the stranger beside you at the video store is munching loudly on palm oil infused crunch-balls. At least popcorn comes in the most crinkly bag possible. Otherwise The Loud Eater would have to buy Twizzlers or Doritos—or slurp their 1.5+ litres of soda—in order to make enough noise to drown-out dialogue or ruin the tension in a suspenseful scene.
The Chuckler: Humour is an important part of a movie, even a serious drama. Films are full of all kinds of jokes ranging from extreme slap-stick gags to subtly wry observations. The Chuckler laughs, and laughs loudly, at anything resembling an attempt at humour. The volume of their laughter will often be inversely proportional to the appropriate response to the joke in question. A quip intended to inspire an inward smirk will unleash a full volume guffaw. The Chuckler will always be seated directly behind you.
The Superfan: Most common at genre and series films, The Superfan will inform their noob companions of the back story of every peripheral character, no matter if this information isn’t even integral to understanding the plot. They will also comment on costume design and every single aspect of the story the filmmakers changed or “got completely wrong”. A variation of The Superfan is the HIMDb—Human Internet Movie Database. Expect complete run-downs of the filmography of every actor in the film and projects the director has in development. Oh joy.
The Cavedweller: The exact opposite of The Superfan, they will leave their cave of pop-culture isolation once every five years to go to something like the 8th Harry Potter film—cleatly not having seen or read anything in the series—and demand their companion explain everything that happens. If you’re lucky their companion will be the HIMDb and you won’t have to listen to the actual film at all.
The Snark: This charming piece of work will loudly and derisively snort at every cheesy piece of dialogue or ridiculous plot device. Like The Chuckler, their volume will be inversely proportional to the appropriateness of the scene. Sometimes their name is Jakob.
The Conversationalist: Catching up with their college roommate would be a lot easier if the movie wasn’t so loud. Why do movies have to be so loud these days?
The e-L33T-ist: Apparently a darkened theatre provides the best atmosphere for viewing the screen of your smart phone for all-night texting sessions. Also, excellent for testing out new ringtones to see if they can cut through the hubbub of a mega-watt THX sound system that’s been cranked up to drown out The Conversationalist.
The Rover: The grass is always greener on the other side of the theatre. Or the seats more comfortable, maybe. The Rover likes to try out a few different locations during the course of a movie—all of which places them directly in your line of sight as they sidle down a new row. Frequent trips to the bathroom and concession (to obtain more soda to enable more bathroom trips) are also part of their wanderlust.
The Character Builder: Nothing puts hair on your chest like being taken to an age-inapproriate movie. The monster under the bed doesn’t seem so bad after Dad takes you to a whimsical little romp like Pan’s Labyrinth on his custody weekend. Of course, the cries and whimpers of a life-defining childhood trauma does add an authenticity to certain films.
The Kicker: Clearly the back of your seat did something to offend them.
Luckily, you might not experience any of these cinematic archetypes. Going to the movies can be a truly enjoyable experience. Being immersed in the multi-million dollar sights and sounds of a Hollywood production can sweep you off to a magical land for 90-or-so minutes in one of the few ways available to us legally .
To give yourself the best chance of enjoying a film at the cinema, we suggest following this tidbit of advice: Go to a matinee showing no sooner than two weeks after the movie opens. You’ll have the theatre practically to yourself, sharing it only with other people looking for a rewarding movie-going experience.
Video: Batman Pug (as per Mandi’s request).