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Time Pact


My advocacy for The Pact has been voiced before and will likely be voiced again. It was a well-made horror film that had a great balance of atmospheric tension, scares, and intrigue. But, as is the case with any medium, there is a level of subjectivity to film that we must all respect. It isn't for everyone. Which is why the primary point of today's comic is not the film, but spoilers.

Horror films have a long history of plot twists. Endings that spur our emotions and turn our preconceived notions on their head, are common in our favorite genre. It is one of the appeals of horror films. We are on a journey to solve the identity of the serial killer, to learn the motive behind a malevolent spirit and its curse, to study and categorize the species that is picking off our protagonists one by one. The reveal for some horror films is everything. So when is it okay to spoil this ending and what are the parameters for spoiling?

In the online age, it is near impossible to keep anything a secret. This applies so strongly in the realm of media. Good luck not finding out who won last night's Pistons game. Everywhere we turn, there is an update, review, or all-caps opinion being posted that gives away something we were getting ready to watch. And in this day and age, what is the cut-off for these announcements?

Our curiosity should have led cats to go extinct years ago. Trailers reveal more than ever, critics are releasing reviews weeks before a film screens nationwide. We are constantly flirting with the line between satisfying our intrigue in a film and having the entirety of the film spoiled. For some of us, this line is deadly. Spoiling a film is ruining it. For others, the line means nothing. I could know the entire plot and it merely interests me more to see how the plot is pulled off visually.

So, it comes down to this question: Is it the media's fault for spoiling the film you were going to go see next week or your fault for digging? Don't go to a movie website and expect there to be no news on the subject. Don't check out a movie review and expect there to be no spoilers of the plot alluded to. Most certainly don't scroll down and read the comments. You are playing with fire, and dad's just going to tell you "I told you so" when you end up burning your face.

We live in an age of information. It is a blessing of humanity to be able to have knowledge quenched at the means of a WiFi signal. But that comes at a cost. Information is not only plentiful and at the ready, it is unstoppable and constantly present. We live in a time in which "living under a rock" is a saying that no longer applies to years of time, but days. We don't have the luxury of ignoring information. And if we don't have that luxury, we can ill afford the luxury of avoiding information we may not have been ready for.

So it comes down to this: Be inhumanly willful at avoiding sites that would give anything away, or be the first to see it. Your sensitivity to spoilers be damned, you can't hold the information superhighway at fault for supplying information. That's your fault for looking both ways.

© 2020 Sickle and Efrit | Dalton Vanhooser & Kyle Hagan