5 Ways To Watch A Movie Wrong

Everyone has had that conversation with a friend, relative, or total stranger that includes one of the following: “You liked that movie? What is wrong with you?” OR “You didn’t like it? That is like my favorite movie” and then either follow up with “How are we even friends?” or “I can’t even talk to you right now.”

While you want to believe that the other person is uncultured swine, it is more likely that one of you watched the movie wrong. Now, this isn’t about the actual presentation; going to the movie theater versus watching on a tablet. No. This has to do with what you were thinking about before watching the movie. This is not always the fault of the viewer.

There are a few different ways that this can happen.


A perfect example of this is “Cabin in the Woods.” If you watch the below trailer, you would think this is an average horror film.





Instead, take into consideration that the two main people behind this movie are Drew Goddard, a former Buffy the Vampire Slayer writer, and Joss Whedon, who created Buffy (among other things). It is a similar style of comedy/horror. Someone expecting Saw, Hostel or Cloverfield (which Goddard wrote) is going to be disappointed. They wouldn’t be wrong. It is not like those movies at all, but that is the trailer’s fault and not the filmmakers nor the viewers.

Other examples: Super, Drive


The problem with “Stranger Than Fiction” is that it stars Will Farrell and so you assume that it is a typical Will Farrell movie.






This is the fault of the trailer as well, but you still would have judged the movie the same off the poster. This is more of an 80s-’90s era John Cusask romantic comedy than a Will Farrell character comedy. When I first saw it, I didn’t like it because it was too different from what I was expecting. Yet, I watched it again when it came out on DVD and now have a whole new appreciation for it.

Other examples: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, One Hour Photo



This results from knowing the real history behind it or from having read the book. The filmmakers took some dramatic license and it is hard to see past that.




The Elizabeth movies are as historically accurate as Star Wars, yet, they are enjoyable to watch. Once you pretend that this is some fictionalized queen, you can sit back and enjoy some over the top drama by some talented actors/actresses. This is not always as easy as it seems because you spend most of the movie thinking “that is not how it happened.” I had this issue with “Becoming Jane.” It was too far off from the real story, but not far enough off to be like “Shakespeare In Love.” Upon a second viewing, you may have a better time and can enjoy it more as a movie.

Other examples: World War Z, The Martian


This one is a bit trickier as it tends to be more of a personal timing issue. Yet, there is one good example of this.



When I run into someone who doesn’t like Zoolander, nine times out of ten the reason is that they saw it in the theater. The movie came out in September of 2001. This isn’t exactly the type of comedy that works well after a major act of terrorism. It found its audience on DVD and cable. The same can be true of something going on in your life. This is not the movie’s fault and may be worth a second viewing later.


A co-worker and I were discussing Batman versus Superman: Dawn of Justice.


I had many issues with this movie which stem from the characters not behaving the way the characters should have behaved. I did not enjoy it. My co-worker did. When I asked her how that was even possible, she said that all she wanted from the movie was to see Batman and Superman fight. They did so she thought it was a fine film. In this case, I can say I watched it wrong. If I had gone in with those expectations, then I would have enjoyed the movie as well. My expectations were much higher.

When arguing with others about their love or hate of a movie, you can argue that either they watched it wrong or admit that you may have watched it wrong. Some movies may deserve a second chance.

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