For this edition of a writing prompt I wanted to focus on movie pet peeves.
If you watch movies or TV shows, you know of certain things/quirks/situations that happen and have become clichéd. Scenes like a family that rushes around in the morning before school/work with a breakfast table piled with food someone lovingly made, only for everyone to take two sips of orange juice, grab an apple, and run out the door leaving the food to be thrown away. I have gotten used to seeing that one and it doesn’t bother me that much anymore, but others do!
Part of why I love movies so much is because of how they pull you in. Well, the good ones do, at least. Movies are escapism and if I watch a movie, I do so because I want to escape for a while and get ingrained with what is on screen. But, sometimes certain things happen in movies that drive me nuts, and it takes away from the movie watching experience!
One of the first I ever started noticing, and now can’t stop noticing when it happens, is unnecessary sound effects. Here are some examples:
- A character exits a cafe/restaurant with a full drink they just purchased and takes a sip, and the sucking sound that is made when a drink is empty and down to the last drop is loudly played whenever they take a drink. Full drinks don’t make that noise!
- Someone slowly pulls into a driveway and puts the car in park and the brakes/tires make a loud squeak as they stop, as if they slammed on the brakes and violently rocked the car.
- Someone hits the gas while driving, and even though they aren’t putting the pedal to the metal, the car makes a tire squealing noise as if they are suddenly drag racing. It is doubly annoying and distracting when the movie I am watching has that sound effect as someone is driving off-road or down a dirt road. Car tires don’t, and can’t, squeal on dirt and gravel!
Another thing that annoys me is when two characters meet and one asks the other on a date and says something as plain as “8 o’clock Thursday?” and then there’s a cut to them out to dinner. How? They never made specific plans to meet anywhere or do anything!
My biggest peeve, however, is when a bad guy doesn’t get their proper comeuppance. It mainly happens in action movies, and a few times it has almost ruined the entire movie for me. A bad guy will wreak havoc and terror for the entire movie, leaving bodies in his wake and crime after crime on his resume, then get “offed” by the good guy in a light way that doesn’t do anything justice! I will give a few examples but be aware of spoilers ahead, although they are all 20+ years old at this point…
One that has always stood out to me, despite being a movie I love and would rank in my Top 10 of all time, is “Robocop.” In the 80’s action classic, the bad guy Clarence Boddicker (Kurtwood Smith) is straight ruthless. He’s a notorious cop killer and bank robber, and over the course of the film he and his goons kill dozens of people. Alex Murphy (Robocop) is after him because Clarence gruesomely murdered him during his crime spree! When they finally meet at the end of the movie, Robocop simply stabs Clarence in the neck and he falls to the ground clutching the wound. While they show some blood, it really doesn’t do any justice. Compared to other deaths in the film, Clarence’s death is very tame, especially in regards to how violently he murdered Officer Murphy to begin with! His death is light enough that one could pretend he didn’t even die, and might return in a long after-the-fact sequel, showing up with a gnarly neck scar. Clarence deserved a much worse and conclusive fate than what the audience was given!
I want my bad guys dead, with no questions left unanswered. Give me an ending like “Lethal Weapon 2” where one bad guy gets pancaked by a falling shipping container and the other gets a bullet through the forehead by one of our heroes. Those bad guys certainly aren’t potentially still alive and coming back for more!
Horror movies are generally the most reliable when it comes to such a thing. A monster/entity/villain will slaughter people an entire movie then die a grisly death themselves, providing a satisfying payoff for all of the cruelty they inflicted. In “Halloween: H20”, Lori (Jamie Lee Curtis) lops Michael Myers head off with an ax, giving a satisfying conclusion to 6 prior films and a 20 year reign of terror by Myers. That ending was then ruined right away with the release of “Halloween: Resurrection”, where it was revealed that Lori killed an innocent victim dressed up in Michael’s outfit, but it temporarily felt great as a fan to watch Michael finally get his!
I still love movies as much as ever, but these things really stand out to me after years upon years of watching. I’m sure some do to you as well, probably even different ones from those I just mentioned.
What are some of your movie pet peeves?
Leave a comment below or come talk to me at the Audio-Visual desk and we’ll share a laugh together as we discuss!