‘You Have To See This’ – Forgetting The Hype

I’ve heard a lot of reasons for people not liking a film, book or game; ‘I didn’t like the actors in it’, ‘I found it hard to follow’, ‘that water temple can eat its own ass’.

But the reason that I hear most often and that spans all media is that it was hyped up too much for them.

Back in July I talked about how to avoid the hype surrounding trailers and yet I know I’ve used the ‘over hyped’ excuse before. I don’t think it’s a completely invalid excuse. However I do want to talk about why I find it a somewhat weaker excuse than others.

It’s important to say here that I’m not talking about spoilers; I bloody hate spoilers and all those who impart them. I’m pretty sure spoilers should be considered one of the 7 deadly sins. We can just combine greed and gluttony to make room for one more, I mean they’re similar enough.

I’ve said before that the amount of over exposure we have before a release can be detrimental to our enjoyment. But what can be so much worse is when our own friends talk about it. You know, if you were working when they all went to the cinema without you by complete accident. I mean, Kevin swears that he tried to reorganise but Jimmy’s family was in town next week and he promises that it’s nothing personal.

You know the feeling afterwards; you’re inundated with claims that it was ‘incredible’ and that ‘you’ll love it’ and ‘it was by far the best thing I’ve seen all year’, and you just think that there is no way that anything will live up to such high expectations. Then when you eventually see it all you’re left with is a sense of mediocrity; ‘it was okay, but I don’t see what all the fuss is about. Sure it was good, but it wasn’t great.’

And that’s understandable; it’s almost as if our brains are wired to be disappointed. I, for one, don’t like to be told what I will or won’t like. So when someone says ‘You’ll love this band’ my immediate reaction is ‘Oh well we’ll see about that then won’t we!’

It is hard to shake off the expectation of something, especially a huge release. It’s distracting, thinking all the way through whether this is as good as you’ve been told.

But I feel more often than not that good films are talked about because they do their job. Whether that be to entertain or to provoke thought. Call me naive but I really think that in a market full of fantastic material when the majority claim that something is good, it’s not without its merits.

I know I’m more than guilty of hyping up a film, or a game, even books to my friends and I would like to issue a public apology for that.

But I think as a conscious, intelligent consumer of media, hype really shouldn’t matter. If something is good, we should try to forget the build up and enjoy it without being subjected to constantly checking with ourselves if we’re having fun yet. Something should stand up or fall down on its own qualities alone

All I ask, for friends everywhere, is that if you’ve been scorned by the hyperbole of a film and didn’t enjoy it first time round because of that hype. If you’ve got the time, then sit yourself down, forget about how it was meant to be the Citizen Kane of comic book movies and enjoy it with a fresh mind. No one can blame you if you’ve genuinely given it the time of day.

Oh and it doesn’t count if you just stick it on in the background while you trawl the internet.

Did your friends’ or the internet’s chatter of a film put you off? Tell us which ones in the comments!

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