One of the most exciting things to happen within the horror community this year was last week’s reveal of the teaser poster for Phantasm 5: Ravager, which was quite surprising given the fact that none of us even knew that another sequel was in the works.
Hell, there’s STILL not even an IMDb page for the movie.
The surprises continued a couple days later with the completely unexpected debut of the film’s trailer, which had the entire community buzzing with excitement. And rightfully so!
As I was watching that trailer – for the first of an admitted handful of times – I found myself more excited than I typically am when watching newly released trailers for movies I’m looking forward to, and as I began to think about it, I realized that it wasn’t even necessarily the movie itself that had me so excited.
Don’t get me wrong, a new installment in any big time horror franchise is always exciting, and I cannot wait to see Reggie and the Tall Man back on the screen – whether it’s a big one or a much smaller one – but more than anything that excitement was driven by the feeling that I totally did not expect that I’d soon be watching a new Phantasm trailer, when I woke up on that morning.
As much as I love the internet, and could never possibly live without it – hell, I’d probably be bagging groceries right now instead of writing, if it weren’t for the internet – I simply cannot deny that the internet has also ruined a lot of things, and sucked a whole lot of the fun out of so many different aspects of life.
One of those things that it has both positively and negatively impacted is the movie business, giving us unprecedented access to pretty much every single little detail about the creation of movies. Long before a movie is even released, we’re told when to expect it and even typically provided with dates that trailers will hit the internet, and we’re even invited to become flies on the walls of the sets, with behind the scenes photos almost always surfacing, as soon as the cameras start rolling.
Sometimes the scripts for films even leak, long before those cameras get going.
What’s my point? My point is that we pretty much know and expect everything nowadays, which has largely done away with that organic feeling of true excitement. Back in the days before the internet you might read about an upcoming horror film in Fangoria and see some still images from it, but the secrets were largely retained until the moment you sat in that theater, or rented that VHS tape from your local video store. And when you did so, you did so with wide-eyed excitement – the excitement that comes along with jumping headfirst into something that you know little to nothing about.
Nowadays, we’re all hammered over the head with 1,000 news stories about upcoming movies in the months and even years leading up to their release, as well as numerous TV spots, teasers, and trailers both green and red band. We see and read so much about movies we’re looking forward to that by the time we actually sit down to watch them, there’s very little to be seen that we haven’t already seen.
Quite simply, the internet has made us all way too knowledgeable, and though that is of course an awesome thing, it also has its share of downsides. We just know TOO much, and as a result we’re never really surprised by anything anymore.
And that right there is precisely why I found myself so incredibly excited, when I watched the Phantasm 5 trailer last week. Somehow, the filmmakers managed to keep the entire production under wraps, which is almost unheard of in this day and age, and it’s because of that secrecy that the trailer reveal was a total shock, and a burst of genuine geek excitement that I hadn’t felt in a long, long time.
Suddenly, I was transported back to my childhood, to the days when I was an innocent and uninformed kid who hadn’t yet been jaded by the age of information overload. There I sat, staring at the computer wide-eyed and with chills coursing through my body, and for a second I forgot that such a feeling has been all but wiped away by the know-it-all nature of today’s entertainment climate.
The secrecy of Phantasm 5 serves as a small glimmer of hope for the future; a hope that maybe, just maybe, we don’t know everything that’s going to happen, long before it happens. And maybe we still can be surprised.
A nice thought that is, isn’t it?
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