The Wicker Man

Quick! Cover your ears, close your eyes and “la la la” really loudly; spoilers are on the way.

Some may scoff at how people avoid trailers and sneak peeks like a Michael Bay film, but it’s an increasingly justified response to a growing epidemic. As we move deeper into the internet age it’s harder and harder to avoid having a movie ruined for you. Often the offending material will come so close to the obligatory spoiler warning you can’t move your eyes away quick enough or, even worse, someone will skirt around the point, not realising that giving you any info at all can set your mind working.

Yes, sometimes people can be overreactionary – “whatever you do don’t tell me what happens in the first five minutes of The Dark Knight Rises” – but for the most part spoiler aversion is justified. In the past you could go to the cinema in beautiful ignorance, but now there’s on set reports, director blogs, countless trailers and an ideology that spoilers are fair game as soon as the day of release arrives. To go in fresh takes a very liberal avoidance of many areas of the internet. Spoiler’s can come from anywhere; I’ve seen two trailers for The Lone Ranger, but feel like I’ve seen the whole thing (I definitely know the whole bloody plot).

There was an article in The Guardian a few years ago where one of their critics argued that spoilers, particularly where twists are involved, were OK; they allowed you to spot things you wouldn’t have noticed before. He likened his argument to theatre, but missed the point that you can go rewatch a film much easier than a play. In most cases giving away a spoiler has you distracted; yes you can understand some of the film’s subtleties, but you miss a lot of the surface elements because of it.

But while spoilers are an unwelcome epidemic there are some times when it’s perfectly justifiable to ruin great movies. It sounds like cinematic heresy but hear me out. Here are ten awesome movie twists and the reasons why you can legitimately tell them to people.

A quick disclaimer before I begin. I’m not going to put anything too modern (that’d be mean) and this doesn’t give you free rein to run down the street screaming them at the top of your lungs (what is wrong with you?); many come with certain conditions as to why they can be spoiled (I’ve really thought about this). And most importantly, don’t go telling these to kids. They count as people obviously, but you don’t want to ruin what will be a key cinematic right of passage.

I was going to put a spoiler warning here, but it really goes against the whole point of the article.

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This article was first posted on August 22, 2013