I’ve been watching BBC4’s latest crime drama, Below The Surface, and it’s very good. There was a familiar looking actor in it, one I’d seen recently but couldn’t place. After the first episode I checked the IMDB website for the show, there he was, Iraqi actor Dar Salim, next to his picture was his character name, Adel, and next to that were the words that made me wish I’d never checked; ‘2 episodes. 2017’. Two episodes, now I knew he was only in 1 more episode, and given the fact that he was being held hostage in an underground train station, the omens didn’t look good for Adel, sadly so it proved. My curiousity spoiled the next episode a little, and it demonstrated something I’ve felt for a while, that there is too much information about films around nowadays, not just IMDB, too many reviews, teaser trailers, trailers, exclusive clips. By the time you’re actually sitting in the cinema, it’s not uncommon to feel you’ve already seen the film. I remember sitting in the cinema when the trailer for Mission Impossible – Rogue Nation came on, being a big fan of these films, I did the only thing I could….stuck my fingers in my ears and stared at the floor. I got a few odd looks, but it was worthwhile when I got to watch the film later and it was all gloriously new to me. I did the same with Spectre, but frankly, it wasn’t worth the effort. What was the last film you saw and had no idea what you were about to see? When was the last time you saw a film with a twist in it where you didn’t know the twist? I appreciate this might seem like an odd thing to suggest in a column about films, but, spoiler alert, next time you see an interesting trailer, look away, and next time you start reading an interesting review, stop. Let’s start spoiling the spoilers. Except for this column, spoiler alert!
By Michael Hudson
From our weekly column in the Oswestry Advertizer, published on 3rd April 2018.