Opinions On Spoilers: To Be or Not To Be?

There are two words in any fandom that stop you cold in the middle of a read. Two words that can either incite fear or elation. These words are thrown in front of huge secrets, small tidbits, and even nonsensical facts that everyone knows in the idea that it will lure the reader into a place that they feel is special and secretive. Those two words are just like Pandora’s box, begging you to go further but cautioning you to keep away. Those two words are the highlight of the day and then suddenly the bane of your afternoon. They’re…

Spoiler. Warning.

That’s right, my friends. The two words that you either love or hate – the idea that you’re being introduced to privy information that should be kept at all times, secret. It’s addictive, like good gossip, but also holds a double edge to it. Once you read the spoilers, you’re subject to the truth (or an incredulous lie) and you can’t unread it. Suddenly the mystery is gone and the excitement you’ve been building over the past year waiting for a movie, book, or television show’s shocking twist is there in plain font lying unceremoniously on the page with little to no fanfare.

Without a pause – the elation is gone. Your excitement dwindles fast. Sure, now you know what happens – but you found out without any of the perks around it. You weren’t on a ride, you were watching it from the sidelines and someone told you what it was like. Now, when you get on the roller coaster, you’re going to know exactly what to expect when it comes.

The question that has been killing me all week: Are spoilers good or bad?

Do you read them? How do you find the will to stay away? I myself am a wimp when it comes to self control and the second I see a spoiler tag I open it without hesitation. Now, I know what you’re thinking – if you feel so bad about reading them, why do you do it? It’s a simple answer, really – I crave information. I like to be in the inner circle and in the know. Even though I know I am going to kick myself later I can’t resist the idea of learning a secret that might alleviate the pressure of suspense building inside as I wait oh-so-impatiently for my movie to come out.

Even though I have read them, I feel like spoilers are terrible. You’re taking a mass of people’s hard work and creativity poised to keep the plot of a mystery a surprise for the sake of the audience and you’re going to ruin that because you can’t keep a secret? I know I am in no place to say anything as I am quite up to date on my spoilers for Scream 4 but still… it doesn’t mean I can’t still want to kick myself in the face for knowing.

What do you think? Up with spoilers and down with secrecy or do you prefer to have your mysteries just that – mysterious?

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33 Responses to “ Opinions On Spoilers: To Be or Not To Be? ”

Reader Advisory: Comments may contain SCREAM 4 SPOILERS
  1. I have to say it depends on what is being spoiled. Some TV shows or movies I’m fine with. However, with Scre4m – no spoilers for me whatsoever! I loved the Scream Trilogy and the last movie came out when I was only 15 – my Dad had to sneak me into the movie theatre to see it! Haha! So I didn’t really get the chance to be spoiled thanks to lack of internet and my young age meaning that not many in my age group had seen any of the movies themselves to spoil it!

    This time though, I’m a little worried that someone DOES spoil it and eejits retweet it on Twitter or post on Facebook or something because I’m quite active on those two sites! I’m actually trying to avoid most #Scream tags right now just in case. I’ll also be sure to see the movie when it comes out or at least not go on Twitter until I see it! Lol.

    So personally I’d rather know as little as possible going into the movie! To be really honest, I haven’t even watched the trailer! So yeah, spoilers are a big issue for me but as long as I’m sufficiently warned – I’m cool because I know I can walk away, although that doesn’t mean I’m never tempted! It’s like knowing your Christmas present is in the cupboard but there’s a month left until Christmas! There is ALWAYS going to be that little part of you that wants to have a quick look :P.

  2. I have NO Patience
    and seek spoilers out.

    For me they don’t ruin anything because it’s the journey not the twists that keep me wanting more.
    You can never be spoiled on the journey…because everyone takes it a different way.

  3. im so proud of myself for avoiding them. i didnt wait 11 years to be spoiled.

  4. I have been lucky! I have picked my spoiler topics to look at very carefully. I have heard some people guess who they think did it… but nothing concrete… and I am loving myself for that. I know next to nothing about this film except for maybe 1 or 2 deaths. I am so glad I didn’t spoil it for myself because it makes it even mroe fun to see (in my opinion).

  5. Spoilers Suck. Plain and simple. With this movie I find myself wanting to know what is going to happen so bad, so I can’t say that I can avoid them when they come out, but I’m going to try my best not to spoil the magic. I managaned to do that with the first three and what a ride they turned out to be.

  6. Nope. I don’t do spoilers. Especially with Scream 4. The only thing I know is what is released by the studio. I don’t even know the new characters names (just jill and Kirby).

  7. I totally agree, and I wanted to thank you wicked-scribe for this website, wich is the only one I ever visit about SCRE4M because you have the respect toward those who do not want to be spoiled, and I feel totally safe when I check this site.

  8. I’ve so far managed to stay away from Scream 4’s spoilers (an amazing surprise to myself) and am proud of myself for it. You get to keep theorising and wondering until the last moment when the revelation comes. Spoilers are VERY tempting, but as the article states, just reveal the big secrets with no excitement. I can’t wait for those few seconds as the killer is taking off his/her mask and the identity is about to be revealed. My stomach will be in knots and I think that excitement is worth patiently waiting for.

  9. Spoilers… Good or bad?  For me it depends solely on anticipation.  There are a few television series I watch only if the spoilers are appealing.  With others I stay away, because I’m going to watch regardless (good or bad).  Don’t spoil an episode of Desperate Housewives, Brothers and Sisters, or Glee, but lay it on thick for Grey’s Anatomy (I can take it or leave it).

    Movies are the same.  As far as Scream 4 goes, I avoid spoilers like the plague.  I don’t want to know who dies, and I certainly don’t want to know who the killer is.  A lot of publicity shots that have come out, mixed with trailers and others video clips strongly hint at some of the things to come, but I feel it’s just a taste.  I don’t seek out info on IMDB because that’s an accident waiting to happen.  Too many times I’ve gone there and a film is ruined without the courtesy of a spoiler warning.

    With S4, the spoiler I hope to avoid the most is the identity of the killer(s).  Stumbling across that would more than likely send me into an endless spiral of depression.  10 years of anticipation to have it all ruined within weeks of the final result?  No thanks!  I was an avid Harry Potter fan, getting my hands of the books as soon as possible.  I waited in a seemingly endless line to get the 6th book and stayed up all night reading.  I was probably 3/4 of the way through it when I finally to a break and met my mom for morning coffee.  My mother picked up the book and flipped to the back. I didn’t think anything of it, until she opened her mouth and asked, “Who is Dumbledore?”. She tried to take it back when I yelled, “He dies?!” but it was too late.  Even though she was adamant that wasn’t the case, I knew he was the mystery person everyone had been endlessly speculating about.  It made reading that last part unsatisfying and a little forced.

    So I’ll go see S4 at midnight on Thursday so I won’t have to worry about passing people in the lobby of the theater chatting about movie or encountering the occasional idiot who likes to walk out and proclaim, “Roman’s the killer.. and he’s Sidney’s brother!”. In that case I’d either end up in jail or cry. 

  10. I almoust every time read spoilers and aftewards kick myself for doin it.hope that spoilers I already know wont ruin the movie for me.especially scream 4.

  11. Damn, you could write an article about spoilers and describe psychologically what it is for us, loved it. Well, I had access to all the spoilers that appeared in front of me and I don’t blame myself, because I believe that many of them can be created by fans. I’ll only really know if the excitement will be the same on the premiere, but I’m pretty sure it does. One thing you read is a summary, but another thing is to watch a movie about two hours and see the pieces coming together.

  12. I’ve managed to stay away from spoilers since last June. I’ve only been getting my updates from here and the different facebook pages. I quit IMDB cold turkey cause I know some people are stupid and post spoilers without warning.

    Spoilers ARE terrible and I see no point in reading them or posting em, especially if I’ve been waiting for this movie since Scream 3

  13. In 2003, I deliberately spoiled myself when I read a review of Alias’s 2nd season finale before watching it. I felt really bad when I realised that the gigantic twist ending carefully crafted by the show’s writers had lost all its power for me. Since then, I try to avoid them, but sometimes it’s hard (I did the same mistake with Fringe last season).
    Anyway, with Scream 4, I was playing with fire until I read a comment which gave away the killer’s identity. I managed to convince myself that it was a theory or a bad joke, now as soon as I see the S word, I run away !
    There will always be spoilers. Little teases are fun, but the real mysteries should remain mysterious until D-Day. If there are Doctor Who fans on this forum, the people behind this show are masters when it’s about spoilers and secrecy, keeping episode titles secrets and giving cryptic hints about the big events to come (series 6 trailer, released today, is a masterpiece).
    About Scream 4 again, watching the previous ones knowing almost nothing was incredibly fun (I’ll never forget the moment when SPOILER ALERT! Sydney recognises Mrs. Loomis in Scream 2). I want the Scream 4 experience to be even more fun !

  14. IMO, allowing yourself some instant gratification by reading spoilery tidbits won’t necessarily guarantee the sabotage of your own movie-viewing experience – as long as you can be honest with yourself about what’s important to you as a viewer. If you’re someone who watches the trailers and thinks, “OMG, I can’t wait to find out who the killer is!” and that specific payoff is most important to you, obviously you should avoid that piece of information at all costs. On the other hand… Perhaps I’m a rare breed, but I’m fine with knowing certain things like the identity of the killer(s) as long as the journey from A to B remains a mystery. A truly good movie will still be effective and compelling in its execution – even if you’re aware of a piece of the end result.

  15. Me: “My name is Lovett”
    Everyone: “Hi Lovett”
    Me: (beginning to cry) And I am addicted to spoilers

    I hate spoilers but I can’t stay away from them. I heard someone put the entire Scream 2 script online way back before the movie was even finish filming. I would hate the person who did that but it would not stop me from reading it. Same thing here, if somehow, someone released the first 25 minutes of Scream 4 online, I would be up all night googling it. It would ruin the experience of watching the movie with a live audience but I would not be able to resist. Why do you guys think I am always on this website, I am looking for more clips, spoilers, pictures, anything

  16. They are bad, but I do read them.

    That’s why they shouldn’t have any screenings in the first place. >< Because no matter what kind of confidential agreement you make people sign, a few bad apples still break the contract.

    And leave it up to the internet to spread any rumors around. As Gale would put it, "It's all over the internet!"

  17. Spoilers are the nails in a movie’s coffin.

  18. No spoilers. Spoilers for this movie, at least.

  19. I can’t stand them, especially when it comes to films like Scream. I’m glad this site takes precautions with it though. However, I’m going to start reducing my visits as the date draws closer. I know the information will leak out mere days before it’s premiere.

  20. Agreed on the kick in the face, “Wicked”. I too have read perhaps too much, and with my diehard fanboy knowledge have connected some dots from there.

    However, to answer the Topic: KEEP IT A MYSTERY! Movies like this (any film for that matter, as far as I am concerned) almost mandate top-secrecy. It’s simply part of the entertain value, and thus your $s worth. I always enjoy a good story and have been surprised in the past by just how good a motion picture delivery can pack the punch needed to make or break it. I can only hold out the flickering candle of hope that what I think I know is not necessarily the final product on this one…

  21. I never understood why after ELEVEN years people would want to walk into Scream 4 knowing everything. I don’t get it, I don’t understand it. That’s the FUN of watching a Scream film in the first place. The whole POINT. You’re not supposed to know who the killer is until the final act. Because if you do, where’s the fun in that? Hell where is the point in seeing the film in the first place if you know what’s going to happen? Just never understood it.

    Now, I’ve STUMBLED upon supposed “spoilers” about who the killer/killers MIGHT be and tbh I like what I heard, lol, but the AWESOME thing about it is I won’t find out for sure until April 15th. What I heard/read by mistake could be utter bullshit. I can say CiCi & Tatum are the killers, one in a wheel chair and the other with her head smashed in. It’s easy to say “such and such are the killers!” when you’re just pulling it out of your ass. So that’s why when I do stumble upon supposed “spoilers” I never feel bad because I know 9 out of 10 they’re horse shit.

    Long story short- No. I don’t like spoilers. ESPECIALLY when it comes to films where the element of surprise is necessary(Scream, Final Destination ect).

  22. Maddy, you were 15 and your dad had to sneak you in? lol, shows you how strict some theaters are than others. I was 9 and my sis and bro in-law had no problems getting me into the film.

  23. Spoilers are for premature ejaculators, fact.

  24. You’ve hit the nail on the head. Spoilers are different for everyone but in the end spoilers do exactly that they spoil your movie milk or it spoils the little kids who want the hard candy now. It’s not bad to be that person to read it but it does affect you and possibly everyone around you. You think hey I’ll just read one then one turns into five and so on. Then when you see or hear someone who is interested in the movie you want to at least expound on the basis of the movie and slitely tease the truth into comments about what you think will happen in the movie. This inturn can cause people to act either more excited or weary about the movie. Spoilers if big and true are agreed a nail in a movies coffin. The movie will not only be given less supporters but less emphasis to buy it. Scream 4 has been lucky that most movie lovers haven’t looked at the spoilers or even if they have they have no clue if true or not because the studio itself released it’s own amo. In that Spoilers are only bad if deep in your heart your respect for a movie is going out of your way to be loyal, trustworthy, knowing your limits, and being proud to say I was there when we were suprised. They are good if you can’t handle the wait, you need a fix, and or you know your limites and you have the power to supress the information you recieve from negatively effecting you and others. I don’t look at spoilers but I don’t look down upon those who do. I just disagree but thats ok. Hoping everyone has a great Scream 4 experience. “It’ll make one hell of a movie!”

  25. No spoilers for me!! I do NOT want to know who the killer(s) is and I do NOT want to know what happens to the trio. I feel that the other characters isn`t that important to get spoiled about on they`ll live or die. I`ve already figured out the fate for some of them because, well, I`m not stupid! loL! :D And I have so far managed to not read any spoilers about this. :D

    But I have a question…will this site be safe to visit for some time after April 15 or will there be spoilers all over once you`ve seen it? I won`t be able to see it till April 20. :P

  26. I hate spoilers. I think they should be banned across the board, for any movie/TV show forum. Do I read them? Yes. But it’s an unhealthy obsession, and it usually makes my viewing experience much less enjoyable. It’s very tempting to find out the ending “right now” rather than “weeks from now”. It’s human. But it’s not good. It’s like, you’re not really thinking clearly when you do it. And it’s not just detrimental to us the audience, but also to the filmmakers.

    Personally, I wish Scream-Trilogy wouldn’t have had a Spoilers section. It’s not your fault that I was spoiled, but you’re enabling (both the spoiler and the spoiled).

  27. Spoilers suck, plain and simple…but I have to will power to turn away from them :( I ALWAYS get too excited to just ignore it.

  28. @Cory – We’ll allow spoilers on this site on day of release (specific time TBD) and onward. I don’t think it would be fair to hold back everyone who has waited this long from discussing the film and sharing their love for it. *Maybe* we can give spoiler warnings in headline articles until end of first weekend, but you’re going to want to stay off comments/forum.

    @Mikey – We hear ya, but it has always been a catch 22 – spoiler section was only opened because the main Scream 4 section kept getting hit, so it was a case of giving spoilerhounds a playground so the rest of fans could trust the main section to be spoiler-free. The only alternative would have been to allow no Scream 4 discussion but that would be silly.

  29. @Khy are you in UK or N. America?

    In UK it was an 18 which means no on can get in under 18 years old AT ALL – and it’s a legal thing so in Glasgow at least, they’re VERY strict!! Cinema chains can get into BIG trouble if they find out under age kids are in a movie they shouldn’t be. I’ve also always looked really young for me age so I looked about 12 at 15 (I still get asked for ID in Scotland when legal age is 18 – and I’m 26!).

    It was like a military planned operation trying to get me into the movie :P

  30. I totally understand that. ;) I`m just gonna have to make sure that I DONT check this site between April 15 – 20!! lol! It`s gonna be hard! It will probably be the first thing I check once I get back from the cinema! :D

  31. @Maddy, oh wow! I can totally understand now. I’m in America and here it’s “No one under 17 admitted unless with a parent or guardian” but even that isn’t upheld by some theaters. I remember going to R rated movies at 14/15/16 alone and was never questioned except once when this lady tried to give me a hard time and wouldn’t let me in(she was just doing her job) but her manager told her it was fine and that I could go in even though he knew I wasn’t 17(I was 16). But I think that theater has cracked down more harshly. Good thing I’m 20 now Lol.

  32. And I was a teen during the “Torture porn” Saw/Hostel craze, you’d think they would have been on their game. lol.

  33. Kyle – same thing happened to me with Harry Potter 6. Only it wasn’t my Mum, I turned to the back of the book to see how many chapters there were and the first line of the final chapter says something like “The day of Dumbledor’s funeral was a sad day…” Lol. That was practically like finding out who the killer is in Scream 4! So to be spoiled like that is terrible (but it was my own silly fault).

    With S4, the only thing I’m kicking myself about is watching some behind the scenes stuff of Lucy Hale & Shenae Grimes. From what I’ve seen of that I think I know something I wish I didn’t which annoys me as from the stills & trailers that scene has been kept quite secretive. The mystery around that scene for me is: is it a Stab scene and/or is it the opening scene of S4? And thanks to the footage I saw of it, behind the scenes, I think I know the answer to both…

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