‘Paranormal Activity 3′ Discussion: Worst Theater Audiences Ever?

Published 4 years ago by

Paranormal Activity 3 Audience Paranormal Activity 3 Discussion: Worst Theater Audiences Ever?

A funny thing happened as we were recording our Screen Rant Underground Podcast this week: talk turned to our review of Paranormal Activity 3, and aside from arguing about the issues with the plot, ending, and all the juicy Easter eggs and spoilers, there was one unexpected topic of discussion that each of us brought to the table: how rude, distracting, annoying and downright bad the audiences in our respective theaters were.

That strange coincidence got us thinking: did other people have their Paranormal Activity 3 viewing experience ruined? Might this film have actually brought together some of the worst movie theater audiences of recent memory?

Before we get to that discussion, some quick background: myself (Kofi Outlaw), and my fellow editors Ben Kendrick, Rob Keyes, and Anthony Ocasio (that’s “Oh-Cazio”) live in very different geographic areas – NYC, Colorado, Michigan and Ontario, Canada, to be exact. It’s not like we live in the same place, or are surrounded by the same types of people in any way, shape or form. We’re also not just talking about the general public: some of our screenings were press screenings, so this is in no way a commentary on any specific demographic or moviegoing “type” (if such a thing even exists).

But no matter who was in theater, or where that theater was, the fact remains that between the four of us we bore witness to just about every violation of our sacred rules for movie theater etiquette. We’re talking cell phone talking/texting, less-than-brainy quips shouted out at inappropriate moments, audience members providing their own commentary track for the entire movie, extended bouts of loud conversation or laughter after every scare…  the whole cornucopia of movie theater misbehavior was on display.

etiquitte header Paranormal Activity 3 Discussion: Worst Theater Audiences Ever?

How many of these rules can one movie audience break? Answer: ALL OF THEM.

In our upcoming Paranormal Activity 3 podcast you can hear us get into some of the reasoning for why people had such particular trouble sitting through this film (is the film too quiet? Too slow in between scares? Too hard for the ADD generation to sit through?) – though, admittedly, some of our more…impassioned rants may never see the light of day. Stay tuned for that explosive discussion, coming your way shortly. 😉

In the meantime, we thought we’d put the question out there to you readers: How was your Paranormal Activity 3 viewing experience? Was it relatively enjoyable, or did you too find yourself in the midst of an audience from hell? Let us know in the comments.

While we’re discussing the film, also let us know how you would rate it in our poll below:

[poll id=”207″]

Paranormal Activity 3 is now in theaters.

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  1. the other day when i went to go see paranormal activity 3 at the local movie theater, it was a 2.50 showing. my friend and i sat down to watch the movie, and through the first 20 minuts everything was fine. then suddenly the screen froze for a few seconds, and my friend and i thought that it was part of the movie. it happened a few more time after that, but my friend and i were still clueless until, the whole movie froze up and skipped around for the last 20 minuts right about after the bloody mary scene. which i had heard was the part of the movie. so the small audience was disappointed, and started blaming our movie issues on “Tobi.” so for a half hour people complained, and the movie would start for a few seconds then freeze for another six minuts at a time. people threatened to leave, and demanded free tickets (of which i did received) the movie was rebooted, and the film was played over from the part it started messing up with, and played smooth till the end. but it did kinda ruin the experience, but at least i got to see it for cheap cuz i went during the day, and i got free tickets out of it.

  2. My theater wasnt bad. Actually i liked the huge crowd it makes it more enjoyable but only for the PA movies. Idk people screamed when they were supposed to it was funny in a way lol.

  3. My girlfriend and I always find the worst audiences: we often go during matinee screenings or wait until after the opening of a popular film. Sometimes it puts us off from even trying to go to the theatre, sometimes it doesn’t but we still find all the people don’t know how to watch a film or don’t know how to use the theatre.

    For some reason I decided PA3 was going to have terrible audiences so we didn’t even attempt it, and the next day Screen Rant posts an article confirming my instincts.

    People are inconsiderate, and it’s even worse when they don’t even know what they’re doing wrong.

  4. This movie was really good. They had a different approach than the first two it was really well done. Without doubt one of the best horror films I’ve seen and I’ve seen a lot. This film will freak you out so don’t take other people’s opinions on it.

  5. It must not be that good of a movie then. If a movie is worth the price of admission then you are focused on the movie. You can’t tear my eyes away from something that is really good. I have a feeling that I would be just as bored in the theater as I was at home when watching the last 2 pieces of garbage these guys have put out. I totally agree with the editors on this one though. Even if I am bored then I will go to sleep or just leave. I won’t ruin someone else’s experience.

    • I disagree. You sound like a normal, well-adjusted, mature adult, which is how I would also classify myself and most of the other readers of this site. Unfortunately, I would say that roughly only 3% of the sociological mainstream is fortunate enough to share that distinction with us. The other 97% are actuated by far different concerns and motives than you and I. When I saw PA1, I had the supreme misfortune to sit behind a row of about eight adolescents who were obviously WAY TOO COOL for the movie. And in their adolescent insecurity, they couldn’t stand a single moment that the attention of everyone in the theater wasn’t squarely on them. So they proceeded to cut wise cracks, talk to the screen, make farting noises during tense moments, etc. throughout the ENTIRE movie, beginning to end. Their obvious over-riding concern was to demonstrate to their friends just how supremely cool and hilarious they were, while completely disregarding how their antics might disrupt the experience of everyone else in the theater. My entire experience was ruined and, as you know, you only get to experience a movie for the first time once. That’s why more and more I’m staying home and waiting for the DVD.

  6. This is probably a stupid question, but are movies in the US preceded by an on-screen request to turn phones off altogether? I haven’t had any bad experiences in London for a good two or three years now, and that’s at several cinemas in different areas, including this summer’s superhero big four – even afternoon performances. I suppose it depends on the film, time, location and age group, but weirdly the last thing I went to see was Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, and it was a middle-aged couple a few seats down from me who decided it’d be great to hold a conversation. Only took a psychotic stare to shut them up though.

    The on-screen request that time was pretty funny: a fake vox-pop interviewing filmgoers about how much they’d enjoyed the breaks in the movie every 15 minutes for texting and phoning…

    • Its not and they are.

  7. I don’t think it is specifically PA3. Audiences generally seem to be behaving worse as time goes on. I’m 45 years old, so I have nearly 40 years of memory on this. Cell phones are a major culprit. Despite on-screen requests to silence them, people don’t do it. And the pull them out during the show to check messages. This is like shining a powerful flashlight in the eyes of people behind you. People also don’t seem to understand that carrying on a conversation during the movie is distracting to others. For some reason PA3 just seems to bring out the worst behavior, but I think it’s there all the time.

    • Oh, I think they understand it just fine. But people with very little minds either have a difficult time accepting that the attention in the room isn’t completely on them, or else it gives them a sense of superiority to know that they can aggravate the entire audience. Some people just have couth or tact, and probably shouldn’t be allowed in public in the first place.

    • I’m 43 gave up on theaters years ago as a form of entertainment. I blame it on rap…lol (i sound a lot older saying that) but it’s true. Much of rap is about not letting people tell you what to do, doing what you want, etc… this younger generation is disrespectful because I think they think it is their right to be, thus the ‘I can do what I want attitude’. I miss the movies of my childhood but I have my 50″ Plasma and my awesome surround sound now… it honestly wouldn’t bother me if every theater in this country shut down tomorrow.
      With that said… if I heard of a theater (google Alamo Theater) in my town that was hardcore about txting and talking and were actually enforcing the rules… I would go just to watch the little rtards get kicked out… now that would be entertaining to me! lol

  8. I’ve already given up it’s so bad. Unless it’s a real ‘big screen’ type of movie, I’ll wait for the DVD and watch it on my 52″. Peacefully. If I do go to the Theater, I DO NOT go on a weekend (avoiding the hangoutlookcoolunderagehasnotthingbettertodoagastteenswiththeircellphones) and only go on ‘off days’ and ‘off times’. The monday after Captain America came out, I went on the following Monday at 5:05pm, 8 people were in the theater! Way cool time. I won’t do it on the Avengers because I want to see it with a croud the first time just for the ‘cheers and jeers’, but I’ll go the following week at an off hour to savor it much better. See all of you later! ~ Stark

  9. With it being such a widespread problem, it not a freak phenomenon, but a sign of the times with the 22-ish and under crowd. Look around, you see what’s going on in the news all over. I believe there is a correlation and it’s pandemic.

    • I find that most adult-oriented dramas/thrillers like Ides of March are immune to this phenomenon, at least in my limited experience. Most 17-to-22-year olds aren’t going to bother going to one of those in the first place.

  10. went to see this on weekend of launch on a sat afternoon,
    biggest screen of the cinema but quite quiete
    as always (not just PA3) the film was spoilt by noisy teens and rude people talking most of the way through the film.

    a particular group of teens behind us decided to watch the film under their coats which was accompanied by a constant narration by their not scared friend!

  11. Wow, I’m not the only one! I’ve had this problem with the first two PA movies (haven’t seen 3 yet). For the first two, after every scene (especially the beginning, slower moving ones) people were laughing, saying that the movies were stupid, and living in Philly alot of the African American fellows were talking about how corny and white the PA clan was. I think theater behavior has indeed gotten worse over the years, with the “A.D.D” generation and the emergence of cellphones. Theres just no respect for films and theatres these days. I think most movies that are considered to be “boring”, you’ll get not just young kids, but people in their low-mid 20s too, who talk through the movie or laugh at how corny they think it is. This especially rings true for movies that aren’t supposed to be borning, and promise the audience action/scares/excitement to keep them entertained. The PA series suffers from poor audiences because of its brand of horror. Some people look for horror flicks to present them with something more tangible and/or gory, not just a psychological attack. If there were monsters and intestines flying around, their attention would be held, but unfortunately some people just aren’t impressed by slow paced movies like PA, The Exorcist, or Alien, even when there is a visual payoff as is the case with Alien and Exorcist. This is all understandable, but these types of people usually seem to be the ones with the “ADD”, its annoying because they can’t keep their mouths shut.

  12. Wow its funny u guys posted this because i went to c this movie for my 18th Birthday and got kicked out. There just happened to be a teen couple who thought it was okay to bring there newborn to the movies. My friend who was sitting right next to me mentioned in the part of the movie when the baby sitter came, how come THEY got, it was funny but it wasnt at all loud so the dad gets up and tell the manager were hackling the movie when the whole theator is mmaking comments so they kicked us out. i did get my money back and plus i it was 30 minutes left so i wasnt that mad. oh well

  13. I have not seen PA3 just yet but a thought came to me, perhaps these people where just totally board with the film. I for one grew up watching horror movies (I’m 33 now) and I laugh during them now a days. Or perhaps even tho it came in first place in the weekend box offices since it opened it could just be a bad movie, so they instead of wasting the ticket money they try to entertain them selfs. And people just made it number one cause they thought they’d see something scary. I do hope it’s a good film cause I really liked the first one. But let me say this as well, I REALLY REALLY dislike it when people bring in their little kids into any movie that is not meant for their viewing. Get a damn babysitter! Also cell phone use is not right!! I know a lot of people are attached at the hand to their phones but come on, just ignore it for up to two hours and watch the movie that you paid to see!! Ticket prices are not what they used to be, so as I said, put the damn thing away!! But I too am guilty of quietly making a joke during the film but only WHISPERED to the person I go with. Not shared with every one. Save that for something like Rocky Horror where it belongs!

  14. It was the worst movie watching experience I have ever been too. People yelling and talking and trying to be funny. Young kids talking and playing games. It makes the movie not scary because people are talking. I feel like it hurt the experience. At the end of the movie people went running out of the theatre because they were scared. It makes me not want to go to the opening nights.

  15. I do think these movies have demographics, I saw it with a group of friends at 8pm opening night, had a theater full of teenagers and young adults. There was talking, narrating, laughing and full on conversations going on DURING the film. There was a group behind us and after anything significant happened either the female would ask OUT LOUD what it meant or the male with her would offer explanation. We asked multiple times for them to shut up but to no avail. Not to mention the nervous kicker who kept hitting the back of my seat the entire time.

  16. Bay Area, CA. Went to the midnight showing.
    Kids were laughing at parts that weren’t funny.
    People kept talking and giggling throughout the movie.
    The guy behind me not only kept kicking my seat but his foot
    somehow actually ended up on the armrest between me and my
    girlfriend at one point to which I sat up turned completely around,
    threw my hands up and whispered angrily “What the hell dude?!”
    He stopped after that. I dunno what it was about this movie, but people
    can be such jerks.

  17. I’m 17 years old. I love movies. I love going to the movies. PA3 hasn’t come out in Australia yet but i plan on seeing it. Its embarrassing for me that most people my age behave like this. To me the movies are a special place, you treat them with respect, not like its your house. People putting their feet on seats in front of them, TALKING on their phones in the middle of the movie is likewise an issue. Some 15/16 year old in Fright Night sat in front of me and did it, it was ridiculous. I wish we had Alamo Drafthouses here, i’d never go anywhere else.

  18. Yep, I am way too old to blow the amount of cash required from theaters now a days to tolerate annoying patrons. That said, I disagree with your 3 rules of theater etiquette. For instance, if you go to a matinee for a Disney movie, there are going to be babies. Don’t like it? Spend the money and go to a late night showing.

    Now if you go to a midnight screening and there are babies, yeah there’s a reason that kid is crying/fussy, bad parenting (although I’ve seen babies at midnight shows that sleep through the whole thing, no problem)

    Cell Phones are no excuse, if you leave it on, you will get a text/call. Even if you never get calls on your phone, it’ll ring. TURN IT OFF.

    A couple people here were saying people were pushing their opinions of the movie on others, “this movie sucks”. Keep it to yourself, what you think this is the Internet, no one cares about your opinions.

    As for talking over the quiet bits there are few times this is OK. I think when Waiting came out that was OK, and anything with rude toilet humor, that’s OK, but any other time, I’d get up and leave, talk to a manager, ask for a refund, etc.

  19. Sadly, I now HATE seeing horror films in the theater for this very reason. It certainly happens with other films, but horror seems to be the worst. I LOVE going to see an event movie at an IMAX theater! Yes, it costs more, but the combination of stadium seating, loud and perfect surround sound, AND the enormous IMAX screen combined with being with a group of people who are WATCHING a movie…

  20. I saw it at the opening day in Stockholm Sweden,people talking,commenting,look there,there,did you see,it,like eveyone else is blind.
    Also they laughed alot,had truoble being quiet,even though some people screamed and said out loud to shut the f#### up,they still continued . Worst audience ever,if i had been able to see exaxtly who they were,they would have spent the night at the hospital and me in jail probaly

  21. Even when I try to go at times/days when I know no one will be at the theater, I will ALWAYS get an annoying, chatting couple sitting right behind me. Even when the theater is empty! Go sit somewhere else, buttmunches!

  22. You just need to pull a Hank Moody and grab their phone and throw it across the theater. Man Up! 😉

  23. I watches this tonight. I live in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, England. It was the 9.40pm showing, and the cinema was full – not one seat spare. I was looking to watch a film where i wouldve been scared out of my skin. It was scary, but i couldnt help but focus all of my attention on the worst audience ive ever sat with in all my time of visiting the movie theatre. There were people shouting “BOO!” durng quiet moments, leading to the whole crowd screaming and laughing. There were pthers narrating the whole film and questioning actors lines (eg, the grandmother says “lets go” to which someone shouts “GO WHERE?!?!?!”). I had people kicking my chair, multiple people coughing, people leaving the theatre then returning a minute later. Others were screaming when objects moved (and even when they werent!), people were laughing and talking about how frightened they got when non-scary things were happening and others were texting. Ive never had such a bad experience at the cinema, i shouldve saved money and bought a pirated copy to watch at home instead.

  24. i am from Singapore and i watched it last night. the audiences were very nice and although there were some talking and laughing in between the scares, it wasn’t annoying at all. But I would have to say, if anyone watches this movie with people or friends who try to act brave or are seriously not afraid, then you will definitely not enjoy it. Watch with people who likes the genre or at least a scare. I picked my friends correctly. 😉

  25. I don’t understand what makes these movies “scary” to people. Doors slamming, loud noises and people being dragged is not scary. I guess I’m not the type to get jumpy from noises or surprises, so it’s not scary or entertaining. A cat meowing loudly is not a horror movie

  26. It’s funny that you bring up the behavior of the audience because we noticed how rude and loud people were during the showing of PA3. I chalked it up to nervous laughter and fake bravado from guys who wanted to show their girlfriends that they weren’t scared. Whatever the reason, it was very annoying. As far as the movie, I read alot where folks were upset at the trailer scenes not being in the actual movie. I figured who would be scared if they already saw it? …let’s go for some new surprises. :) Overall, I enjoyed the movie. I still have some questions and I hope a PA4 will clear those up. What I don’t like is the “witch angle”. Couldn’t Toby just be a demon that terrorizes? The witch angle reminds me of the angle the “Halloween” franchise took. …looks cheesy.