Horror Film Director

Something important to say


Posted on February 7th, by Darren Lynn Bousman in blog, Rants and Ramblings. 54 comments

For the last 6 years, any time I wanted to blog I used MYSPACE.  Even as recently as last month. I knew no one was reading, hell, I am not sure if anyone is even still on myspace – BUT – at the same time I also knew I didn’t really have anything important to say – sans news about REPO showings, and what not.

But NOT TODAY… Today I actually have something to important to say. Important enough that I finally decided to use this webpage I bought some years back…

We spend the first quarter of our life in various learning environments. Preschool – Grade School – Middle school – onto High school… Some of us go onto college and further our learning… Some don’t.

In all of those years of education I spent countless hours learning random things that have NEVER come back to play in my professional life.  Yes, I guess you could say that when I dissected that frog in Mr. Beasleys 8th grade Biology class it would help me when constructing  the autopsy in SAW IV when we dissected Jigsaw… But a HUGE portion of my higher learning has never come back into play.

So I have an idea I would like to propose… If there are any educators out there reading this, I beg you, I need you, I am enlisting your help… Please help me get a class on Movie etiquette.  We need to teach our kids now… Before it’s too late… Math, Social Studies, Science, Movie Etiquette.

Let me explain…

The movie theater is my temple…

Very rarely do I get ‘excited’ for movies.  I love going to the theater, seeing things opening night, blah blah blah.  But actually getting exciting about a PARTICULAR movie, and arranging my schedule to make sure I see that particular movie in the perfect atmosphere where it’s not tainted, and dare I say ‘magical’ is few and far between.

‘Amelie’ – I will always remember this film as being one of those MAGICAL experiences.  In fact, even today, I refuse to watch that movie again, because nothing, NOTHING will ever compare to the first time I saw that movie.   I had just moved to LA.  I didn’t have a job.  I was living on someone’s floor.  I was driving down the street at the exact moment a car was pulling away from the primest of prime parking spaces in front of this amazing looking theater on La Brea.  So I pulled in – not knowing what was showing, or anything about the theater.  I bought a ticket, got my popcorn and soda, – sat down in an empty theater and watched Amelie.  It was beautiful, it was magical.  It was WHY I came to Hollywood, and WHY I wanted to be a director.  I watched the screen, fell in love with Audrey Tautou, and was reminded how ‘magical’ going to a movie can be…

Let’s cut to almost 10 years later.

FROZEN, a movie by a fellow horror director Adam Green.  Now, I wasn’t the biggest fan of his earlier movie Hatchet.  Not that it was bad, but I watched it at 4am after doing a double feature of INSIDE (the French horror flick) and another movie called CALVAIRE, an equally horrific, and disturbing film.  Around 4am when I still couldn’t fall sleep, I popped in Hatchet…  I think by the time it started I was emotionally drained and unable to focus…

But, we are talking about FROZEN.

I just finished production on my latest movie.  MOTHERS DAY.   I cast an actor Shawn Ashmore as one of the leads of the film.  He had just wrapped this movie FROZEN directed by Adam Green.   FROZEN happened to be produced by the great PETER BLOCK who had just produced REPO!  So there were all these connections.

I ended up watching Hatchet again, liked it a lot more than my first viewing.  Met Adam Green, liked him.  So suddenly FROZEN became on my EXCITED list.  When the trailer hit – I was so fucking pumped to see the movie.   I begged Peter Block to show me the DVD because I couldn’t wait for the release day… Peter urged me to get the real experience and see it in the theaters.   And he was right… That is how movies should be seen… In a theater – popcorn and soda in hand… Hoping that another ‘magical’ moment will show itself.

For the last two months – I followed the FROZEN story – its ups and its downs.  Its journey to Sundance.  Its fate with limited distribution.   In reading these stories I couldn’t help but think and compare its journey to REPO.   A movie that sinks or swims by the audience coming out and supporting it opening weekend – showing the distributors it should open up wider…
These are the perils of indie filmmaking…

Last night – my brother, my wife and I got in the car – drove to the Mann’s 6 in Hollywood.  I was ready, hoping, for another ‘magical experience’.  The movie started and within seconds I was IN!  Adam Green had me one minute in… Few movies do that….

And then it happened… A noise… exploded behind me.  Was it the surround sound?  Was Green using the speakers for jump scares this early?  So I turned by head… No – it wasn’t the THX sound system.  It was a gang of about 10, teenagers who looked like they were straight out of JERSEY SHORE (a show that I have come to love).  I made the mistake of staring a beat too long as I made eye contact with one of them.

“What you staring at?” this twelve year old kid asked me…

I wanted to respond  “Um a mini version of Snooki – just not as cool” but, I am bigger than that… And them… so I turned back around, and focused back on the movie…

As the movie’s tension began to build – SO did volume of the mini-Jersey Shore.   They had important things going on.  Figuring out what to do after the movie.  Taking cell phone calls… singing what sounded like Kayne West songs.

So I turned around again.  Nicely I say, “Hey guys, we are friends with the filmmakers could you just be a little more quiet?”

“NICE HAIR, ASSHOLE” one of the kids snapped back at me.

“Thanks,” I thought, I know how nice my hair is – I style it for an hour before I ever go out…   But I said nothing…

So I turn back around, and continue with the movie.  I try to tune out their farting, burping, cell phone calls.

Also by now I am so immersed in the movie I have almost TUNED them out… That’s when a cup of ice went FLYING at my wife…

I stand up, turn around – “SERIOUSLY – shouldn’t you kids be in Alvin and the Chipmunks?!”  Again, I didn’t say this – just thought it… I thought my stare would be enough…

After a mini stare down with one of the most fake tanned people I have EVER seen in my life – I stormed out of the theater to inform the theater manager of the shenanigans transpiring in the movie.
To my surprise there was already a group of angry patrons yelling at the manager regarding the VERY SAME group of hooligans.

Relieved now that this matter would be promptly dealt with, I returned to my seat, and my popcorn, and my soda… The movie continued, and I was immersed in what is one of the most horrific situations I have seen in a long time.   Green is knocking this movie out of the fucking park…   Ashmore is killing it!!!  Pete is producing the hell out of this!!!

I sat there – in the theater – about to have one of those ‘magical’ moments – when the loudest fart I have heard echoed from all around me.

THAT’S IT!!!!! I am fucking whipping some adolescent ass!!!   My brother quickly pulls me down, he’ll take care of it he says.

He went to the lobby, informed the manager of the situation.  Again, the manager says he’ll deal with it…

Well, IF BY DEAL WITH IT you mean stand at the back of the theater and give them the stink eye for two seconds then leave – He dealt the shit out of it…

By now – I am so angry I am shaking… This is one of those movies that makes you nervous, feel uneasy…  So I am already tense…. Add to that the legion of George Hamilton look alikes behind me – I am ready to go fucking ballistic.

I will spare you the dramatics and cut through the next 40 minutes.  I went out 3 times and talked to three different ‘so called managers’.  I know the people next to me also went out and talked the managers.  AND NOTHING WAS DONE.
The movie ended, the JERSEY SHOW wannabes ran out.

Now I am out for blood… HOW DARE THEY… How dare they ruin MY experience with their flatulence, cell phones, talking, and singing… I paid for these tickets.  I have been waiting MONTHS for this movie.

I was so upset I really thought I was going to tackle them all and… and…. do something…

This wasn’t fair… Not only was it not fair to me the paying audience member.  It wasn’t fair to FROZEN, its filmmakers, its cast…
Movies like these thrive by word of mouth… They don’t have the multi-million dollar ad campaigns, the TV commercials, all the BUS STOP ADS.  They have ‘us’, the audience, to spread their gospel.   And in walks a couple of ass-clowns who fuck it up for everyone in that theater.

People who should be talking about what an amazing job Green did… Or how intense it was when Dan jumped off the lift, or when Lynch faced the Coyotes… No.. They will talk about some douche bags farting and taking cell phone calls…

But what enrages me more than the douche nozzles sitting behind me was the theater itself – and their willingness to do NOTHING!!!!  Ice was being thrown, cellphones were going off, hell I am pretty sure one of them shit their pants.  And the theater did NOTHING!!!! Even after 4 separate times myself and my brother went out to talk to the manager, not to mention the countless other people who walked out, or bitched…

THIS NEEDS TO STOP, PEOPLE.  And it needs to stop now!!! We need to take action!  We need classes on teaching people how not to act like complete jack asses when stepping into the theater.  We need to PUSH, no, DEMAND that theater owners KICK OUT the woman who brings her two year old screaming kid in to see SAW.  We need to BANISH the inconsiderate assholes who take cell phone calls while the movie is playing.  We need to bitch slap the people who consistently kicks the back of our chairs… We need to TAKE BACK our theaters before we lose them to indifference.

It’s disrespectful to the audience… It’s disrespectful to the filmmakers – and it’s disrespectful to common fucking sense…. (there are exceptions to this rule, when a movie is interactive – Rocky Horror, Repo!, The Room – they are few and far between)

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

As I walked out of the theater – FUMING MAD the manager comes up to me and asks if I want my money back…

I screamed NO!!! That is exact thing I don’t want!  I am here to support the filmmakers, the process, and the experience.  What I want is, you to grow some balls and BLACKLIST those who will ruin my ‘magical experience’ because they have gas….

I walked away, and he stood there dumbfounded.  How could I not want my money back, he thought.  But some things are more important than money…. And by me asking for my money back THEY will never learn…

Join me in taking back our theaters!!!!

Maybe I got so offended because I am in the entertainment industry, the theater is my office… I wouldn’t go into your work and crap my pants, yell obnoxiously –  throw ice cubes – and sing Kanye…   This is why people are going to the movies less, and less.  This is reason more movies are illegally downloaded, and shared on the intra-web.  This is the reason people wait for DVD’s.  Going to the movies use to be magical… Now, it’s a test of ones patience.

On a side note – to show you how amazing FROZEN was – that entire experience could not taint the fucking intensity I witnessed from Green and company…

Go see FROZEN now!!! See it in a theater now… PAY for your tickets now…. And the second someone acts up in the theater… Execute a groin stomp NOW…

dlb





  • Laura Bousman

    Thank you for defending my honor!!!

    • Paige

      How pathetic, rude, and just down right obnoxious! Throwing a cup of ICE at Mrs. Bousman, making flatulent noises? This is pathetic. I’m fifteen (and from Jersey), and this is cruel misrepresentation. I’m sorry Darren, Laura, and the rest of the Bousman clan, on behalf of the ‘good’ non-disruptive adolescence of the world.

      And Laura, you know you’ve got a great man when he defends your honor no matter what, even through a cup of thrown ice ;]

      –Paige

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    • Stuart Linver

      Dude, I think I love you

  • Kurt Fischer

    Fuck, yeah!

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  • Clearing

    I have trouble going to theaters anymore. The last time I went to a theater and really enjoyed it is when I went to see WALL-E in an empty theater. I still resent certain movies I’ve seen thanks to the situation in which I saw them.

    If you’re going to pay 10 bucks to see a movie, you should shut up and watch it. If you don’t like it, then you ought to just suck it up and leave. If your cell phone can’t be turned off for 2 hours, then don’t go to a movie.

    Thank you so much for your rant…

  • http://nocturnalwritingjournal.blogspot.com Jason Wright

    I agree 110%. I love stories of all kinds, and there’s something magical about sitting back in a theater with food and drink, and letting the artists who created the movie (writers, directors, actors, cinematographers, and too many others to name) take me away entirely.

    But I don’t go to see movies opening night now, for precisely this reason. People seem to have less and less respect for anyone else. It’s frustrating, but I don’t have a practical solution for the problem.

  • Chris

    That is UNBELIEVABLE! It sucks that you couldn’t take matters into your own hands. Wow. Why were those idiots even there? They just pay for tickets so they can screw around and pretend to act cool? These punks give teenagers a bad image. I wouldve demanded that action be taken on the matter. YOU are the paying customer.

  • https://twitter.com/tankfreak Ziggy

    I completely sympathize and agree with everything you said and went through, behavior like that is exactly the reason I cut down on the amount of films I see in the theater each year. Even if I’m lucky enough to share the theater with people who don’t talk through the feature, there still seem to be at least one or two people texting, not realizing (or caring) that their phone’s screen has the same effect as shining a flashlight in the eyes of the people behind them.

  • Terrence

    I applaud you for taking a stand, Darren.

    Cowardly lame for the manager to do nothing. I would now complain to the corporate superiors about the situation, if that is possible.

    I think I read once of some people doing just that over a similar situation that took place at a major San Francisco multiplex and they might’ve gotten that manager fired.

    I imagine you don’t want to go that far. But hell. He deserves it for being incompetent, especially when your wife is attacked by those idiots.

  • Corin

    I completely agree with you Darren. I too have gone through the same here in San Diego with gangs of little cunts. I’d so volunteer myself to teach children how to be in movie theatre’s as I’m going to be an elementary teacher (GET ‘EM YOUNG!). Sadly, I get just as steamed as you from live theatre and how the audience sometime’s acts. I usually bite my lip to keep from blurting out things. It’s understandable 100% that you got offended as you did because you’re in the entertainment industry and it’s also right to just be so mad because you’re just a movie lover. It’s downright trashy and disrespectful and it should be parents who teach their children movie theatre/live theatre/oh Hell ANY etiquette but either the parents don’t know themselves or just don’t care. It’s all pretty disgusting now and yes things need to be done, most likely by others to help this problem.

  • Some Dude

    While I agree with you %100, someone should have taken the initiative if the managers weren’t going to. As a movie-goer, you had everyone there on your side, and as a movie director, you had movie-goers everywhere on your side.

    These spray tanned turds are all talk. Next time lean over your seat, grab one by the throat and explain to him that theatres have many stairs he can be thrown down. Let him complain to the manager about it.

    Or you could tell him you’ve had men rip the spines from people before. It’s true..to an extent.

  • http://www.grannieannierecords.com/music.html Steve

    You sir, are my hero. I saw your facebook post and had to read this. Why don’t you respond to wall posts? I want to have a conversation one of these days with one of my favorite directors.

  • http://Igenfilms.com,bjasonroer.com Jason Roer

    I feel for you. Been in the same situation many times. I too am in the industry and have met Adam (I had a short traveling the festival circuit when Hatchet was out). He’s such a great guy and it infuriates me that this happened during one of his flicks. When this happens, I don take the high road like you did. I go right up to the person and tell them what’s what. I won’t stand for it. I’m like the Jewish Joe Pesci.

    Unfortunately this is just a product of our times. Declining respect forone another has set us on a dangerous course. I choose to believe we can turn it around. For us, the movie theater is our haven, but this exists out in the world. Iknow you suggested “movie etiquette” classes, but really this needs to start in the home with parents. Parents who these days just don’t seem to have enough time to actually parent.

    I could rant about this for days. It’s something I’ve witnessed everywhere in recent years and it seems to be getting worse. Anyway – I’m really so sorry you had to deal with it. I’m glad you were able to continue watching the film and enjoy it as much as you did.

    Keep fighting the good fight out in LA. I’ll take care of things back east in NYC.

    Cheers,

    Jason

  • Ray Morse

    Well said, good sir! I replied to a tweet of yours yesterday stating that similar situations have left me turned off to the whole movie-going experience as of late. I used to enjoy seeing movies on opening night, but now I find myself searching for a matinee or day time showing. Not because they are cheaper; not a chance in the world! Simply because I cannot tolerate such insolence and the utter disrespect people have for cinema these days.

    I think you said it best when you wrote “Going to the movies use to be magical… Now, it’s a test of ones patiences”. Truer words have never been spoken. Film enthusiasts and general moviegoers alike should not have to put up with such bullshit! I’m with you, sir. Something needs to be done to help alleviate this worsening plague.

    This subject aside, I must take a quick moment to give some well-deserved props. Not only on this article/blog, but your film-making in general.. I’m not one to gush, but I wanted to simply say that I find your work & drive to be inspiring as a young film-maker and enthusiast. Keep up the great work, sir! You keep makin’ ‘em, I’ll be there supporting! Even if I’m stuck sitting in front of the cast of the Jersey Shore… *cringe*

  • Julie

    Ultimately the responsibility lies with the theater management. If kids know that they won’t get away with their bullshit then (most of them) won’t try. It amazes me that instead of taking care of the situation by escorting those punkass kids OUT of the theater (and they of course would NOT get a refund), the management chooses to refund all the patrons that complained, which sounded like it was quite a few. How is that good business?? They should’ve stopped the movie, kicked the kids out, and started the movie over. Yeah like that would ever happen.

  • Lin

    Sadly, this is one of the reasons why I wait till a movie is almost out of theaters to see it. Even at that, I tend to go to far away theaters during times I know it will be uncrowded. I would rather have the whole theater to myself and or anyone I drag along instead of having to deal with assholes that don’t know how to act at the movies.

  • http://lily-lemony.livejournal.com/ Elisa

    Hear hear, Darren!

    I’m finding more and more, movie patrons make noise (even if it’s only to laugh at inappropriate times) just to be “heard” in a theater and essentially to detract from the film and make themselves the center of attention. If they wanted to be the center of attention, perhaps they should train to become one of those people on the screen! But that would probably be beyond them…

    I am disgusted that those hooligans bothered your beautiful new wife, too. Good thing she has you around now. :)

  • Paige

    I love going to the theater and watching movies. My kids (11 & 13) know how to behave, and always have. Of course, I wasn’t taking them to the theater when they were babies/toddlers and unable to comprehend what sit down and shut up meant. There is nothing more exciting to us than going to the theater and seeing a movie we have been dying to see on the night it opens. The entire experience of popcorn, soda, sour patch kids and a thousand napkins for our buttery fingers is the highlight of our week. The last 3 movies we went to see (New Moon, Paranormal Activity & Saw VI) had me going to management to remove stupid people. I can’t just say kids, because a few of them were my age. Maybe enough people will see this post from you and change their ways, but I have a feeling we will have to wait another generation, like 15-20 years when people who are reading this will have kids and raise them on movie manners. I hope we wont have to wait this long, but I bet we will.

  • http://rockchild.net Adam

    I totally agree with you. Thank you for posting this. I think theaters need to be informed about this.

    I STOPPED going to the movies because A. I can’t stand adult that bring their children. If you want to bring your kids to the movies, take them to a KID movie. You had kids, now you don’t get to have a life…get a babysitter.

    I also sat in gum wearing my favorite jeans. I was pissed. Why would someone put their gum on a seat?! Wtf?

    Another time, I also had people on their cellphone, TEXTING. Whats worse was a grown woman next to me, was texting in her purse at the San Franciso NUTCRACKER! My first time seeing it too!! They were only 80 dollar tickets!

    I think they should have security and be DRAGGED out of the place. Don’t get your money back for being disruptive. During all the credits they should note on the screen during their “shhh no talking” part that if you do talk or are disruptive, if someone reports you, you get kicked out of the theatre with no refund.

  • http://realitytvtroy.wordpress.com Troy DeVolld

    Darren:

    Feeling your pain mightily, here. Just went through the same wringer recently with a batch of tweeners who were somehow viewing INGLORIOUS BASTERDS unaccompanied.

    Terrence’s post above suggests that patrons take their grievances with poor management issues to corporate, and I’ve got to tell you that theater chains actually do take complaints at that level seriously.

    Glad you and I feel the same way about refusing to accept refunds at the box office when a screening goes south, by the way.

  • Phillip Hickok

    Darren, this is actually why I personally have stopped seeing films in the theaters. I’m also in the film making industry, and sadly, I hate going to see films where they should be viewed. The combination of all the things you listed, have made it impossible to enjoy a film in most cases. Especially if the film isn’t as engrossing as let’s say, FROZEN. When you go to see a semi-mediocre film, that you’re honestly trying to give a chance, it’s always ruined. Children, teenagers, even kids in their 20′s and 30′s who are too busy treating the theater like their home, and not a communal place for enjoying art.

  • http://www.cultoftheeye.com Will Goodman

    All i have to say Is that you made me *really* glad I was in the 8:30 showing vs the 7:30. The only noises I heard were the cheers at the Spooky Dan reference, and the lady gagging at what we decided to call the “hand bacon” scene (and the ensuing giggles from everyone around her).

    Then again the people around us may have been afraid the the REPO group, some of which were dressed in character for the midnight showing of Inglorious Basterds.

    All said, Friday night was one of the best nights I’ve had at a theater in a long time. I’m sorry you got stuck in the theater with the douchebags.

  • Jessica

    I agree with you 100%. I had an experience like this recently. Went to the movies with a friend, and these five teens set behind us. Talked to each other, on their phones, rocked back and forth. Kept walking around through the aisles in front of others, who were trying to watch the movie as well. Some actually went to sit in the front and screamed to each other from across the theater! I am 17, around their ages, and have never been more embarrassed for my generation in my life. My friend and I left in the middle of the movie, just so no one would assume we were with those idiots. We didn’t ask for our money back, because from the parts we saw, it was wonderful, and a movie that deserved what we paid. However, I doubt I’ll be going to the same theater again. Parents need to teach their kids respect for others, not only in the theater, but everywhere. I’m still in disbelief about my experience. Took my sister to see Alvin and the Chipmunks 2 a couple of weeks before, and those kids acted more mature.

  • Ashley

    Thank you, for so eloquently, expressing my hatred for the ignorant youth of today. My boyfriend and I actually avoid seeing movies on opening night, for this very reason. We usually wait until the hype of the movie dies down, or go see the film at a ridiculously early showing, just to avoid people like that. We shouldn’t have to use such discretion, when deciding whether we want to go see a movie or not. I often wonder why they even attend half the time, because for the mostpart, they’re not even watching the fucking movie. Go socialize somewhere else, if you wan’t to be a complete asshat.

  • http://www.filmschoolrejects.com RobertFure

    This is why I go to Arclight at all costs. Have never had a talking/noise issue there. Have had a few elsewhere, notably during a Slither screening at Manns.

    It’s hard to act appropriately in this situation, but if the little twats are that horrific, you’ve got to tell them to leave yourself. If they don’t, urinate on them.

  • Ethan

    That’s why I love the theater I work for (Cinemark in napa, ca). We kick people out for using any mobile devices at any time after the warnings say to put them away.

  • John Humphrey

    Testify!

    Excellent blog, Darren, I couldn’t agree more.

    Growing up, I was always taught that you go to the movies to.. watch the movie.. and, in doing so, you should be respectful of the filmmakers and the audience alike. Basic stuff! No brainer!

    But nobody today seems to have any respect for movies anymore. It always seems to me that people today who go to the movies (especially in my generation & younger [I'm 19]) do anything other than watch! It’s all talking across each other, phone conversations, people who text and hold their phones at arm’s distance from their face with their screens set to extra bright.. and then to top it all off, once they’re done with that, they loudly ask what they missed (if they care that much). It really is shocking.

    People today seem to think they’re the only ones at the theatres and then they get mad at YOU when you ask them to stop being distracting.

    I really would LOVE to see movie etiquette classes established. Though, I do think Jason Roer (above) made a good point. It should also start at home with parents. That’s how it was for me.

    As you said, theatres should be havens, temples, places where magical movie moments can take place. There’s no experience like going to a movie you’ve been anxiously awaiting for so long, and no one should ruin that. Gaaah!

    Thanks a lot man! I’m working towards becoming a filmmaker and a musician and you and your work have been a big inspiration to me. Keep it up! Thanks a lot man!

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  • http://www.allisoncrawfordsblog.com Allison Crawford

    Similar thing happened to me once a while back, group of kids, doing nothing but annoying the whole theater luckily they were thrown out quite quickly.

  • Dottie

    Douche nozzles indeed!

    My problem with going to movies is my problem with going anywhere: jackass teenagers. Those kids are the same who act up in class, trash restaurant booths, knock stuff over in mall shops, and so on. It’s bigger than a lack of movie etiquette — it’s all-encompassing ignorance and inconsideration. It’s shit like your beloved Jersey Shore that are telling kids that politeness has no value.

    Coupled with that, unfortunately, is the fact that the movie industry happily accepts those kids’ ten bucks apiece regardless of their ability to properly appreciate the film’s artistry. There aren’t enough films that purvey themselves as art, frankly. Sometimes the hunger for bankabilit is downright palpable from advertising alone.

    On a loosely related note, I remember watching the midnight show of SAW II at my local theater . . . the crowd cheered maniacally at the Twisted Pictures logo and at the first flash of Jigsaw’s tape, and after that, the only sounds in the theater were genuine reactions to the film. Horror crowds are often bloated with hecklers and whiners, but it wasn’t so that night. It was a terrific packed-house experience, and I am pleased to report that it was one of yours.

  • Elizabeth Ann

    Well, when I was an usher I did kick assholes out and then they tried to kick the shit out of me. I say tried, they lifted a bin to crack over my head so I kicked them in the balls. You can’t believe how funny it watch the bastard drop the bin on himself spraying rotting nacho cheese on his neanderthal brethren.

    Unfortunately people who work in the cinemas are told not to intervene. My manager told me that I wasn’t allowed to report the fact I was assaulted to the police, the guys who tried to beat me up would not be banned but if they showed up I was to try and talk them out of acting ‘inappropriately’. The managers have a duty to insure you get what you paid for. If there was a problem with the screen they’d fix it, the same should go for dickheads in the audience. Btw, if you really want to screw over gutless managers ask for the price of your food back instead of the the tickets. The ticket money contributes to the film-makers, the food is how theatres make a profit for themselves, hit them where it hurts and they’ll soon grow some balls to deal with idiots.

  • http://www.giantkillersquid.com Ryan Ferrier

    Yes yes yes yes yes yes yes. I remember a time when movie theater staff would enforce the no talking rule. The quick flash of their light would shut the offender up, and if not they were swiftly removed upon further disruption. As a film blogger, it saddens me that the majority of my movie-going experiences are tainted by a seemingly devolving mass audience.

    I fully support the teaching of movie etiquette to our youth, and in fact wrote such a guide a while ago, one article I’m most proud of:

    How to See a Movie: A Definitive Guide
    http://www.giantkillersquid.com/2008/08/26/how-to-see-a-movie-a-definitive-guide/

  • Jimmiesatx

    This is why I like the Alamo Drafthouse. If people get too rowdy during a normal movie (not counting Repo! or Rocky horror) then they literally kick their asses out. They have a pretty strict policy of getting assholes outta there.

  • rammmses

    I can totally understand you. I have made a similar experience when seeing SIN CITY opening night – also a movie I had been waiting months for. Since then I avoided seeing movies in theatres which I really care about and wait until I can see them at home when no one disturbs me… Just the thought of someone ruining the FIRST TIME is unbearable. I even had a nightmare about seeing SAW VI in theatres and someone spoiling the ending… I waited for the DVD release. However, this is NOT how it should be. You have my support.

  • http://www.drewcampbell.ws Drew Campbell

    As much as I loathe those asshats (I -did- bawl out a group of idiots in Avatar – To the applause of the rest of the audience, for what it’s worth)… I’ve had people talk, rustle, and yes – Answer their fucking cell phones during… PLAYS.

    Yes. Live-fucking-theatre.

    Guess what, Fucktard… THE ACTORS CAN HEAR YOU.

    And just to quote for emphasis: “Btw, if you really want to screw over gutless managers ask for the price of your food back instead of the the tickets.”

    This.

  • nako

    God, YES. To all of that, plus: show the same courtesies in live theatre, people! As a stage actor this is one of the single most insulting things I can have happen to me. We’re putting in our time and effort so YOU can have this experience – get the fuck off your phone for two fucking hours, jfc! And the same applies to film. If you wanted to see a movie, why aren’t you watching the damn thing? People need to learn a little bit of common courtesy.

  • http://drgoresfunhouse.com Christian Sellers

    Amelie is a beautiful film. More American films should incorporate this kind of fantasy into their romantic movies instead the typical rom-com garbage.

  • http://cadaverlab.com kruegerdude

    I’ve almost gotten into fist fights at the theater over the same kind of crap. Kids think that if they pay admission, they can do whatever they want to and that’s just not the case. The theater is an escape for hard-working people to go somewhere else for a few hours and when these overprivileged little s**ts come in there making asses of themselves, we shouldn’t have to f**king tolerate it. There’s actually a theater where I live that does kick out people causing noise problems and things like that, and it’s the only theater I go to anymore.

  • http://www.MsSatan.com/ Satanica

    Seriously. Violence is always, ALWAYS the answer. Whether it be actually tackling them and …. doing something, or pistols at high noon, my fists would have had something to say to their faces.

  • http://www.ladyparasyte.com Lady Parasyte

    This reminds me of the second time I went to see Repo! at the music box theater in Chicago. I had seen the film before (when you and Terrance attended) and I wanted to pass on the experience to some friends who came from out of town.

    Now I understand that Repo! is a call and response singalong type of film. However, my friends walked away irritated by the wonderful chatty Cathies behind us talking about things not having to do with the film at all. Granted they weren’t nearly as bad as your Jersey Shore gang but it ruined the experience.

    Maybe I sound like a whiny bitch but the lack of respect and civility nowadays is astounding. Everyone is trapped in their own headspace and own life to tak a step back and appreciate the work and time people put into things….for example like you say making a film. Film going can be an amazing experience if it is not ruined by people with no appreciation.

    If they can’t conduct themselves in a respectful manner they can stay home and watch the DVD and fart till the little hearts content.

  • http://www.dogatemywookie.co.uk Satans Puppet

    Wow… just wow.

    Only the other week I went to see daybreakers for the second time and the cinema was full to the brim of folks on phones or sparking up conversations.

    It’s not just movie Theatre’s it’s the ACTUAL Theatre that it’s happening too. It’s not like that experience will make it to the home video market and the tickets are £60+ for good seats.

    People are just dicks these days… they won’t be told because it’s an inconvenience to them.

    Blah!!!

    They should be stabbed in the throat the moment they utter a word when the film starts or perhaps it should be a capital crime!!! :)

    Puppy

  • bjork

    I’m a little bit conflicted here.

    On one hand, I’m totally with you on the etiquette issue. No one likes hearing someone’s cellphone conversation, or random conversations. Whispers to each other, sure. Getting up to use the restroom, fine. But I find it kind of hard to believe that you’ve never had a fart escape while walking through TJ Maxx or whatever. If it was a legit fart, it’s a bodily function; someone shouldn’t be denied that, should they?

    As far as the appearance of the kids, why does that even factor in? If you were black and these guys were wearing bedsheets, fine. But if you’re finding someone more annoying by the fact that they ape some douche’s fashion from MTV, you may need to reassess. ;)

    Maybe the theater folks heard about R!TGO fans defacing Repo Men posters and decided their measure of revenge was to let that crew of kids hassle you? Not really fair, but neither is your movie’s fanbase deliberately trying to dissuade people from seeing another movie. That’s nothing on you personally, but they’re not doing any favors to your ideal of supporting cinema.

    Anyway, I just went and saw Frozen yesterday with my friend, at the Mann’s 6. It was just the two of us, and one other guy. I think you went on the wrong day, but if you’re all about supporting the film, another viewing might be in order. Especially since you said you’d left to speak to management a few times.

    As for the movie itself, I enjoyed it and it had some really nice cringeworthy moments. I could feel my body tense up at certain parts, and the pacing was pretty good. I went in expecting “Open Water on a ski lift”, but it was much more than that.

    Hope your next theater experience is problem-free. But don’t flip your shit if someone farts. It happens.

  • Poland626

    I am totally agreeing with you 100%.

    As a fellow teenager myself, I try to restrict myself from seeing any movie with friends or anyone who I know will make others annoyed which is why I try to go on sunday nights or weekdays. But that still doesn’t help when I want to see a movie opening day or that saturday.

    I just came from a showing of Shutter Island and I swear I saw at LEAST three to four people check their phones, text or answer a call. I wanted to asked them, “How the hell do you thinking taking a cell phone call during a movie is smart?!” and smack it out of their hands.

    I remember once hearing about a device that blocks all wifi, cell phone, bluetooth, etc… signals from a building but was considered illegal by the government. Most of the people’s comments were to put them in movie theaters and if they were still here today, I bet every theater should have it required installed.

    What I do get, Mr. Bousman, is how the HELL did those theater guys not kick those teens from the R rated movie? Couldn’t you have brought that up at least? I mean, were they all 17 or older? Just asking…

    • Poland626

      My bad, at the end I mean to say “What I DON’T get…”

      small edit

  • Devina

    WOAH! Thats so far out of line.
    I get so mad when the people I’m with at movies won’t shut up, or are being rude. So naturally I can’t stand to hear about THAT.
    Whats worse is that they paid 10 dollars or what have you to just sit there and do something they could do at home. I will NEVER understand my generation. And I hate being a part of it. I’m so sorry you had this experience at the movies. Especially for a movie you supported so much. But not all movie goers are as stupid as these, don’t let it ruin the fun of going to a theater forever.

  • Taylor

    I agree with you completely. Some of the comments pointed out that this isn’t just a problem with movie theaters- there’s always a couple of asshats who show up at live theater, too. I remember our drama group was performing our Christmas play to an audience of 7th and 8th graders. The drama group has been going on for almost a decade, and our director said that that was the WORST crowd they’d ever had. The kids flashed laser pointers, laughed at inappropriate scenes and generally harassed us (the actors). The worst thing about it is that they were all our peers. Needless to say, we haven’t performed for the school since.

    Sorry for the long comment, this just pisses me off to no ends.

  • Merissa

    Urgh. I feel for you. I’ve had similar happen several times, though once, I didn’t have it in me to speak up.

    I went to see a movie around Christmas with my cousin, and we arrived late, sat on the last row, and were respectfully quiet. I don’t even remember the movie anymore. All I can remember are the people who arrived AFTER US – a mother, a father, and their disabled child. They acted as if it was the handicapped teen’s first time at the theater, which was possible, but they TOOK PICTURES IN THE THEATER DURING THE MOVIE! I don’t even CARE that the kid was handicapped. You’re in a movie theater. Whisper quietly that she should sit back and watch, and be quiet, and WAIT UNTIL THE FILM IS OVER TO TAKE YOUR DAMN PICTURES! DON’T TAKE THEM SO YOUR FLASH STINGS MY EYES AND I AM DISTRACTED.

    The next time something similar happened, I was in a theater seeing Avatar during the opening week, in 3D. The guys next to me and my friend were making noises like barking dogs, and after a point I couldn’t take it any more, leaned over, and said in a decently loud whisper: will you kindly SHUT THE FUCK UP?

    Needless to say, they did. I wouldn’t have been above getting a member of the theater staff if they hadn’t. I’ll admit, I have been known to make comments in a theater during a movie, but I was raised properly by my mother. I LEAN OVER to the person, and ALWAYS talk only to the person immediately beside me, and I whisper insanely soft, and it’s short, and always pertinent to the film. If I’m unable to do this, I save my comment for after the film. I have NEVER been told to shut up during a movie, by staff, or other people, and have OFTEN been annoyed by others.

  • http://www.charlesferran.com Charles

    man, I agree with you 100% I’m an aspiring director, I work at Full Sail University right now, I know you went through the film program here, and my passion for film completely consumes me. When there are people like that in a theater, I quickly leave, tell the manager, and have them get me another ticket for the next showing. I refuse to deal with it. How many times do we get to visit our ‘zen?’ our HOME, I don’t know about you, but I can’t afford to go very often, but when I do, its my vacation, its MY TIME, and I just won’t have it. I’ll be moving out to L.A. soon, can I sleep on your floor? one alum to another? ;)

  • Scott

    Dude, let me start off by saying you’re one of my favorite directors. I love the Saw movies. Repo! was my pick for 2008′s best movie. I’ve gotten my friends into it.

    However, I cannot help but agree with this. I swear to fucking God, these types of assholes need to either die or have a silencer on them before going into a theatre.

    Reading this whole blog brought me back to when I went and saw Edge of Darkness on opening weekend. I was by myself, my sister was working and my parents were away, I had the day off, so I hopped on the train to the City Centre Theatre to catch a 12:45 PM screening of it. The WHOLE movie, these two assholes behind me kept making comments like “This is gonna be SOOOOO SICK” or “Watch, he’s gonna do it, he’s gonna do it!” *Mel Gibson does something badass* “OOOOOOOOOOOOOOHH SNAP!!!!” About halfway (before the “Car” scene which made me jump out of my seat!!!) I turned around and gave them a psychotic death stare, which quieted them down. Then near the end, during the “Zombie Mel” scene (OK he doesn’t become a zombie but still), they began doing it. They pretty much fucking SHOUTED it. Thankfully it was at the end so I wouldn’t have to deal with those assholes any longer.

    Another not so fond experience Pirates 3. Needless to say I don’t need the blu-ray because I already got the commentary track from the 2 kids behind me. I shit ya not, they actually spoiled WHOLE LINES. Some of those lines were the best in the film.

    If there’s one thing I like though, it’s high energy packed crowds. My dad took me to “The Departed” when it came out. I was 14. We were lucky to get the seats we did, it was a sold out showing in a gigantic ass theatre. Quite possibly, I’ve never had an experience like that ever. The crowd ranged from people my age to elderly (Quite odd for an 18A movie!), and the whole movie, you could tell they were having a blast. We all laughed at the right times, went “oooh” and “aaaah” at the right times. Hell, during some of the shooting near the end, a woman next to my dad screamed! It was fantastic because it was an amazing movie and it was such an amazing time at the theatre. I had similar experiences with numerous movies like Grindhouse, Inception, Slumdog Millionaire, Star Trek, etc. But The Departed still stands IMO as the best time I’ve had in the theatre.

    I’m 18 now, and to me, the movie theatre is a place where you see this movie in its true form, with it true look and sound. It’s like a temple almost. Not a place to talk and ruin a movie. I couldn’t watch Daybreakers properly because the theater was full of obnoxious assholes.

    • http://www.mssatan.com/ Satan

      As much as I agree, we simply can’t expect schools to teach children common sense. If you look at most people graduating high school, you’ll notice that a good number of them can’t even spell – and that’s something you were taught every day from first grade until the day you leave.

      It needs to be in the hands of the parents. And I mean that literally. People don’t beat their kids enough.

      - Satanica

  • Wes

    While I agree that something needs to be done, take solace that you didn’t miss a thing. Frozen is a terrible movie, like Hatchet before it.

  • http://twitter.com/LizRose137 LizRose13

    I know exactly where you’re coming from. I remember being a kid going to the movies with my great grandma every weekend was the highlight of the week. It to was also magical time for me. It was our time to hang out together, binge eat on popcorn, slushys and the melted candies at the bottom of her purse and enjoy a good movie. Sometimes it was an action movie, other times horror or even the latest cheesy chick flick. We always enjoyed whatever we saw on the big screen with fellow movie patrons enjoying a Saturday afternoon show. We’d sit there immersed in the film almost feeling like we were apart of it and letting our imaginations take us on the adventure. There is seriously nothing better than seeing a good show for the first time on the big screen and being able to enjoy it completely.
    But as time went on we went to the movies less and less because of the very experience you described. We too had to deal with this generation’s rejects and social retards kicking our seats and tossing handfuls of popcorn into the air. Only unlike you I did not complain to the manager multiple times. I got up, walked to their row and threatened their very lives if they didn’t shut the fuck up and act like respectable human animals for at least a short period in their miserable lives. And from that point on the encounter would leave a sour taste in my mouth throughout the rest of the movie. The spell was broken. The prize fighter lost. Time to pack up and call it a day.
    And it wasn’t just one time this happened. This was multiple times in different theatres all over the city! It’s gotten to the point that I rarely step into a movie theatre unless it’s to see Rocky or Repo!. At least there the shouting and throwing things is to be expected and enjoyed. In any other movie, especially an intense one like you described, I’d be bashing in skulls. It’s annoying, disrespectful to movie patrons as well as the filmmakers and, unfortunately, something that is now tolerated by theatre staff. Therefore, I don’t go to the movies anymore. I either wait until they come on HBO or buy them at the store. I don’t download anything.
    I apologize for the of this generation’s rude and insufferable behavior. We’re not all like this. Like you, I say we take the theatres back! Fight for the sanctity of our temples of silver screens, fond memories and delicious buttered popcorn!

    – Miss Liz Rose