Thursday, February 18, 2010

Digest Quickies: Spoiler Alert! When Movies Get Ruined By Their Covers.

And yes, SPOILERS to follow. A few days ago I did a quickie on horror movie covers with characters that don't exist on the front and it really seemed to tickle peoples fancies. In case you are wondering- no, I am still not convinced that the girl's face on the cover of Scream exists. Last night however while watching Scanners and seeing the epic scan down battle between our two main characters I realize that I had a pretty good idea of how things were going to end because the box cover ruined it for me. I got to thinking and could pull a few other examples from my head where this same kind of spoiling a great moment for the sake of a cool cover happens.

Perhaps the one that comes to most peoples heads, this cover was really only spoilery for people who did not see REC, since the same exact moment happens. The problem is that for many desensitized youths and annoying teenagers- this moment in particular was the most thrilling and it was also a moment shown in the trailer, so said exciting and thrilling moment is then destroyed. It may just be my overly genius mind working things out incredibly fast but when I see a cover like this and then watch the movie, I can immediately figure out how things will end. This is due to the nature of the film, and how it is filmed. Seeing Jennifer Carpenter's character on the floor in distress being dragged away with a stationary camera immediately sends up a red flag. The camera man is really the anchor and to see a non moving camera should tell you the movie is over. The point is, when we get to the part in the movie where Jennifer Carpenter is in this exact position, we know what to expect because of this darned movie cover.


Like I said up yonder, this cover ruined things for me a bit because I knew that Michael Ironside was there on the cover and looking like his head was going to explode into flames and what not. Seeing as he is absent for most of the film- AND is the bad guy, seeing the bad guy on the cover about to die in agonizing pain was kind of a poor move don't you think?
Drag Me to Hell

This isn't entirely spoilery since the tag line tells us how in 3 days she is going to hell. But if you think about it, this picture does kind of ruin things. For the last bit of the movie in that epic graveyard scene and blondie puts the cursed button on the evil hag, we as an audience let out a gigantic sigh of relief. However the cover tells us she is being dragged to hell so it's like we already knew that something was amiss. And then of course when she does get dragged to hell it isn't even as cool as this artwork would suggest so it just disappoints us. Well fine me, it disappointed me!


I was pretty surprised to see this cover since it looks like it was the original one to come out- as opposed to the more recent one with just Jon Voight and Burt Reynolds. Although it doesn't show the actual shot of that ghostly white hand breaking the surface of the water it does show someone coming out of the water- and what's more they are holding a rifle! Big mistake in my opinion because not knowing whether or not that guy is alive is HUGE and seeing the hand at the end is both surprising and ambiguous. I think we aren't meant to know whose hand that is at the end- but showing a pair of hands with a rifle pretty much solves that big mystery.

The Wicker Man

This isn't a huge one- but I felt that part of the appeal of this film is the great mystery surrounding the scary pagan cult and not knowing what a "wicker man" is. This cover tells you exactly what the wicker man is- and what is used for, being set on fire. And since our main character is the only person not in the guess as to who or what is going to be put inside that wicker man....


Chris H said...

These are great examples!

Yeah, I totally agree that it would be great to not see the Wicker Man until actually viewing the end of the movie. Jeez. Not knowing what's in store ups the terror quotient, but it's still a rather scary and depressing ending regardless.

Great post, dood!

James C. Sugrue said...

Let's not forget this one.

Well, maybe not.

Unknown said...

A well thought out post and so true, i have really started to see spoilers in Trailers as well, would love to see your thoughts on that aspect.

Like you say when you see a scene in a trailer or poster and when watching the film you are just waiting for that scene to come up and it takes you out of the film.

Andre Dumas said...

Hahahaha James.....Every Asylum movie cover must be a spoiler by contract.

Toxic- I did think about that as well only it's harder to go back and watch a bunch of trailers to verify. The only one I can really think of off the top of my head is Paranormal Activity with that last scene- which was probably one of the biggest offenders in the past decade...

B-Movie Becky said...

Great idea for a post! I actually really love a lot of these posters too, even if they are spoilerific.

Unknown said...

That was exactly the Trailer I was thinking about, did not ruin Paranormal Activity for me but did take me out of the movie a couple of times as I knew it must be coming soon.