The True History Of Movie Spoilers

SPOILER ALERTS... From Hitchcock to Thanos.

1980 Empire Strikes Back
Lucasfilm

Like death and taxes, movie spoilers are an inevitable part of life, and when any major Hollywood film hits cinemas, a discussion inevitably arises surrounding "spoiler culture" and the audience's reaction to it.

People will always be spoiled because there are always trolls out there keen to "ruin" the experience for others, and there will always be those who place an arguably excessive, hyper-paranoid focus on plot details over their execution.

But first and foremost, any spoiler discussion begins with one question - can a spoiler ruin a movie, or more to the point, does it have to? Also, when is it acceptable for people to freely give away a film's secrets?

After all, the only way to make it to 2019 without knowing the endings of films like The Empire Strikes Back, The Sixth Sense and Fight Club is to effectively live under a rock.

But let's not ignore one simple fact - there's always going to be a new, young audience for any classic movie, where they have the chance to approach it with fresh, unspoiled eyes and ears, and anyone who deliberately tries to deny a person that experience is, well, trash.

Accidents happen, of course, and it's certainly not reasonable to expect people to keep quiet about decades-old movies in a public space, at which point the onus is on the spoil-ee to remove themselves from the situation.

But whatever your own take on spoilers and the etiquette surrounding them, they're a fascinating aspect of storytelling and one that often fosters more discussion than the actual content of movies themselves.

With that in mind, let's dig in and see quite how movie discourse has gotten to this point...

Contributor
Contributor

Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.