I Went to the Movies on a Friday Night and Learned That I’m Old

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The inevitable has happened. I have become a cranky old man who just wants some damn peace and quiet. But, like, I’m still young and hip because I went out to the movies ON A FRIDAY! Yes, it was a 5:40pm showing but we are going to count it.

I finally got around to seeing the horror movie Smile, which I do have many thoughts about but that would be for another post if I decide to do one. (Let’s be honest, I’m going to either forget or be too lazy). I will say that if you suffer from mental illness and deal with depression and suicide ideation, it might be better to skip this movie. I found it wildly triggering and for the first time in my life, I wanted to walk out of a theater because I was so uncomfortable with what I was watching.

Fuck, I’m going to have to write something about it now aren’t I?

I was really hoping that the earlier movie time would spare me the headache of other people. When I had bought my ticket there were only two other people in the movie so I was feeling pretty good about it. I was the first person in the theater followed by two pairs of girls and we were pretty spaced apart.

The movie has been out for a couple weeks and Halloween Ends was opening so I assumed most people would be heading to see that. I was smart and saw it for the Thursday night previews.

I will quickly say this for Halloween Ends and really, movies in general. Go see it in theaters. It’s bullshit that they did a hybrid release for the sake up trying to up their Peacock+ numbers. Nicole Kidman was right, movies are better in a theater. I think. I honestly don’t go to AMC theaters so I haven’t actually seen the ad, just the parodies of it.

All was going well until a group of youths came in. They were old enough to be in an R rated movie but they immediately were acting like they belonged in DC’s Superpets.

All through the previews they were talking and on their phones. It was annoying but as it was just previews, I ignored it. Then the foursome was joined by another two and it was all downhill from there.

They were talking, on their phones and for some reason kept switching seats. It was annoying as hell and the movie had started. It was incredibly frustrating and I spent a good deal of time wondering why the hell anyone would pay for the experience of going out to a movie and then not paying any attention to it. One of the girls kept getting up and leaving for long period of times.

My breaking point was when one of the girls randomly up and moved to a different part of the theater and another followed her and they started arguing with each other about something. Meanwhile, the other two girls remained where they were but started throwing popcorn at the other two. The boys had left prior to this starting.

I should have probably mentioned that the movie theater I was in was the one located where I work. So now that I’m at my breaking point, I text the manager of the theater and let her know what’s going on. She appeared at the same time the boys were returning to the theater and each and every one of them got a talking to.

They did settle down but remained annoying through the remainder of the movie. Talking, but whispered, and still on their phones.

I still don’t get it. Why be here if this is how you are going to act? Have the unspoken rules of movie theater etiquette been thrown out the window? Is this a generational thing? Am I just old?

Apparently, towards the end of the movie, discussion questions had been distributed to everyone except for me because EVERYONE WAS TALKING. The two girls in the back of the theater, the two girls sitting to my left and the group of asshats in front of me.

I think this is the curse of not only going to a movie on a Friday but also a horror movie in the theater. I’ve noticed that sometimes horror makes for some of the worse audience experiences. The asshat  group in front of me was SCREAMING through the whole finale of the movie with one of the girls deciding she needed to be repeating, “I KNEW IT I KNEW IT I KNEW IT”.

I do fully understand that there’s something to the shared experience of seeing a movie in the theaters. Feeling the tension of horror, laughing together at a comedy, laughing together at horror, cheering for the good guys to win, cheering louder when Andrew Garfield stepped through that portal. I’m here for that, I love that. Nothing will ever beat the feeling of all those portals opening in Endgame and Cap saying “Avengers… Assemble!”

Honestly, if I hadn’t been so annoyed with these kids the entire film, I probably would have forgiven the intensity with which they responded to those final moments of the movie but at that point they were my mortal enemies and could do no right in my eyes.

I can’t even blame my annoyance on age. I never acted like that in a movie theater regardless of how old I was. Movies are expensive. I have to imagine that group dropped well over $100 between tickets for six people and concessions which they all had in some form or another. I personally spent around $30 between ticket, popcorn and a beer.

If this is how you plan on acting then, in the future, please wait a few weeks for it to be available for rent on streaming and watch it at home.

Please.

I don’t know- am I just a cranky old man or have people just gotten worse?

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