Movies are nothing more than huge financial investments for someone so it is no wonder that movie studios are eager to build up as much anticipation and hype around a movie as possible. It is well known with any form of marketing word of mouth and customer reaction is sometimes more effective than any advertising campaign imaginable.
Of course there is always the exception to the rule when some people have to take things to far.
People Never Stopped Screaming at Jaws
Even though the movie Jaws is decades old now it is still ranked by many as the best and scariest movie that has ever been made. Declaring a movie to be the scariest of all time may seem absurd especially when the MPAA rated the movie PG and the villain of the movie is actually only dangerous to those people who are totally incapable of staying out of the sea or riding a surfboard whilst wrapped in clothing made from lamb chops.
The biggest problem with Jaws is that after more than 30 years since it was first screened the film is so well known that everyone is well aware of when the jumps are going to come.
Back in 1975 when Jaws was first shown to test audiences they quite literally did not stop screaming. Every time the shark appeared on screen the audience, without fail, would begin to scream even if the shark happened to just swim past the camera.
At the time Spielberg became hungry for one more big scream from the audience and decided to reshoot the Ben Gardner’s boat scene in the hope that it would tip viewers over the edge. Unfortunately Spielberg soon learnt an important lesson about film making. You will only ever get one big jump out of your audience because once they have been shocked once they immediately go on the defensive with the movie. In the end Spielberg was forced to settle with his audience sitting screaming throughout the entire movie.
People Ran Screaming From Alien
In 1979 the movie Alien was released and began to terrify audiences all over America. In 1979 no one had ever seen a movie like Alien before and the special effects that were used were all brand new and gave a certain shock factor.
The very first screening of the movie apparently went pretty poorly according to those who were there. The sound in the cinema was set up poorly and those watching the movie suffered as a result. The second screening of the movie went a whole lot better and the audience response was unbelievable. It was so unbelievable that several people who were watching jumped out of their seat in terror and ran screaming from the movie theatre.
Hysteria quickly surrounded the movie as people heard how people had run from the theatre screaming. There were even several religious groups who muscled in on the action and began to claim that the movie was the work of the devil.
All of the gossip about the movie proved to be amazing publicity and cinemas began to show the movie 24 hours a day with queues for the movie never failing to stretch around the block with people eager to watch this horrifying movie that was the work of the devil.
Having said that I am sure there are plenty of people out there who would quickly join any really long line of people in which people occasionally ran from while screaming and waving their arms in the air. After all you would want to see what was going on wouldn’t you?
The French Wet Themselves at Paranormal Activity
Anyone who happened to watch any movie during 2009 will most definitely have seen a trailer for the movie Paranormal Activity. Now as far as movie trailers go the producers of Paranormal Activity really did get lazy and rather than edit together some footage of the movie to show how brilliant it was they decided to simply show some film of an audience being terrified while watching an early test screening of the movie.
As usual the French had to take things that one step further and watching Paranormal Activity was no exception. We have all heard someone say that they were so frightened they nearly wet themselves. Well, the French people who saw Paranormal Activity quite literally wet themselves all over the cinema seats. Not only did members of the audience wet themselves they used it as an excuse to loot confectionary counter and started getting aggressive with cinema staff.
At least they did not start to throw onions.
People Faint During the Exorcist
When it comes to overreactions by a movie audience The Exorcist is the daddy of them all. When the movie was released in 1973 its effects were immediate and extraordinary.
During the first screenings of the movie there was a mini-mass-hysteria that surrounded The Exorcist with long lines of people standing around the block to get into theatres. The movie was said to be making such a powerful impact on people that there were even reports of people fainting in theatres while watching it while other ran out of the cinema screaming because of its graphic nature.
Linda Blair, the young girl who played Regan in the movie, even started to receive death threats which led to her needing bodyguards for over six months.
By the time the movie left American shores to be shown in countries such as Italy and the UK hysteria had reached fever pitch with people actually believing the movie was the work of the devil himself. Lord only knows what people were expecting to see when they sat down to watch the movie for the first time.