Normally, when movie theaters decide to not show a horror film, it’s because of objectionable material contained in the movie. However, French theaters are flipping the script when it comes to the debut of Sinister – yanking the film from screens not because of what’s in the film, but because of how horror audiences in the country have been behaving.
Distributor Wild Bunch issued a statement saying that many theaters were pulling the film because of audience behavior at Paranormal Activity 4 screenings a week ago. Things got a little crazy at those screenings – where audience members reportedly urinated on seats, looted candy counters, and said mean things to cashiers.
While that’s unfortunate, the real travesty here is that Sinister is apparently going to pay for the transgressions of a different film’s audience. Horror fans are apparently all the same in the eyes of French theater chains, and if people went wild at one horror flick, they’ll certainly go nuts at the next one too, according to their logic.
Wild Bunch took a conciliatory tone to the canceling, stating “Showing genre films in France is not easy, so we ask that our future spectators please be respectful of the rules of courtesy." They followed up by advising everyone to demand theaters show the film next week – presumably after things have had a chance to blow over.
The real question here is why are French audiences acting like this? Paranormal Activity 4 isn’t awful enough to inspire this kind of reaction, so what’s going on? Were these random isolated incidents of hooliganism or are French horror fans really this wild? We’re hoping it’s the former and not the latter – being a horror fan is tough enough already without this kind of thing.
Are French theater owners right to pull Sinister based on the previous week’s vandalism or is this punishing an innocent film for all the wrong reasons? Weigh in below.
Follow along on Twitter: @Horrorgeek and @Moviesdotcom.