A new nemesis for the filmgoer: the Giggler

Those of us who still, despite all logic and common sense, go to movie theaters have had many enemies to contend with. We have met and defeated the Bored Children, the Crowd of Stereotypical Negroes, the Hopeless Mystery Science Theater Fanboys, and even the Guy Without Any Cell-Phone Etiquette.

Now a new threat presents itself: the Giggler.

The Giggler often travels in groups. His goal: to undermine a scene of terror, drama, tension, or pathos by tittering like a schoolgirl who just heard someone say “ass.” Whether it’s a climactic swordfight in House of Flying Daggers or someone doing himself great injury in Saw, the Giggler finds these things somehow amusing. He apparently comes from a parallel dimension where dismemberment is funny.

He must be stopped.

Seriously, is it just me? I’ve seen three movies in the last couple of weeks, and the Giggler’s been representing at each one. Who are these people who laugh at the worst possible times, and how can I kill them all just by wanting it?

heh heh you said ass

i must admit that i LOLed several times during freddy vs jason. i would imagine that most people considered it inappropriate, since i was the only one laughing (except for some chick that was with us and was laughing at me laughing…).

that’s about as close to inappropriate giggling as i’ve gotten.

I think that having some element of audience participation is part of the attraction of going to a theater. If you want to control your environment, DVD players, high-quality TV’s and 5.1 surround systems are reasonably affordable, so you can watch at home.

I don’t think The Giggler represents the affront to decency of the other groups you listed. Some people, like me, giggle when they’re nervous.

I remember giggling a lot at Independence Day when I saw it opening weekend.

During that part in the tunnel of slow-mo when the dog leaps to safety with the gush of fire behind him, my friend and started busting out laughing.

We were still giggling when the “aftermath of destruction” shot of NYC faded in. The theater was dead silent otherwise.

A friend and I laughed most of the way through The Blair Witch Project. Honsetly, I’m going to save up and buy a projector and just watch my movies at home on a semi big screen.

I laughed throughout Kramer vs Kramer, Ghandi and The Icehouse.

[size=1]Not really. I fell asleep and snored a bit though.[/size]

Not as irritating as those bastards that repeat the dialog to their friend right next to them. Or random shouts of, “You go girl!”.

Or the little kids in hard-R movies asking awkward questions of their parents.

Or the parents in hard-R movies asking awkward questions of their kids.


Sorry, that was me. I can’t help it. I thought The Machinist was hilarious in the second half, nothing but Bale screaming paranoid accusations at people. Come on, that’s funny stuff.

How about the clappers? I realize this is less common in movie theaters, but I’ve had moments where I felt like walking out on stage and orchestral performances due to compulsive clapping. People seem to think they’re obligated to clap after each solo, or even at pauses in tension, all of which drowns out music and effect. Just as bad as cell phones, but I rarely hear announcements prior to performances about it.

Freddy Vs Jason is pretty light hearted, silly fun. That’s perfectly reasonable.

I did laugh several times during Mystic River, which I thought was one of the worst films I’ve ever seen.

A lot of this, I think, is because even in symphony audiences there is less knowledge of how a symphony or concerto is structure. Musical theater is full of clapping after moving solos, which would be acceptable if the people on stage would not insist on talking while people clap.

Live “high culture” stuff is just not a common experience these days so the etiquette is completely unknown. People like to applaud (I’ve heard people applaud soloists in a church choir, for crying out loud - big no no, unless it is children).

Movies though…no excuse for it. People seem to think that because they can watch movies at home that they can take their home habits to the cinema.


Heh. I went to Christmas Eve services last week, which was my first time in a church in years. The children’s choir sang, and there was clapping afterwards, which I noticed but approved of because of your aforementioned exception. The main choir sang for no clapping, until there was a solo piece for the soprano at the end. Then many of the audience clapped. I was surprised but figured it was mostly due to the Xmas-only churchgoers in the crowd.

Of course I assumed the same thing about all the people in jeans and even T-shirts at the service, but my Dad says that the dress code has all but been abolished for people under 40. Crazy.

Recently I had a run-in with a bored crowd of giggling, stereotypical teenagers with cell phones, having a field day in first row, at the expence of the brilliant “Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind”. Initially they were infuriating, but the experience wasn’t uniquely spoiled until they were backed by a bunch of enthusiastic clappers, spontaineously erupting in a cascade of encouragement to Jim Carreys first kiss with Kate Winslet. From that point on the audience were divided like a country on the verge of civil war. But, alas, the angry shushing, the wrinkled eyebrows and the occasional angry remark from me and the other angry filmbuffs, were drowned by a tidal wave of insubstantial crap and misplaced selfrighteousness.

I’ve been to a number of concerts and events where silent reverie is equally vital as in “Eternal sunshine…”. Jazz, classical, poetry, filmclubs, and the theatre to name some of them, where I’ve never had similar problems.

The key, I think, is that Joe Public doesn’t feel at home in “high culture” enviroments, he might even be hostile to them, and therefore proves unwilling to let himself go. To “be his own man”, to “be himself”, at his most charming. As opposed to the movies, which is practically his arena. Going to the movies is second nature to him, and therefore he displays his true nature, to the utter distaste of the enthusiast, who believes such demeanor is best reserved for classics like “The girl next door” or “Dr. Doolittle 2”.

The gigglers, who can either be irritating or welcome depending on the circumstance, are a special breed. As I have come to understand them, they are mostly people who have seen too many movies to belong in the mainstream market, but still participate from habit, boredom or the occational sparkle of a brilliant blockbuster. They can seem out of place, but I mostly forgive them since I occationally am among them. The truly annoying ones, are the teenage gigglers and the irratic (hmm… Why am I here? Am I nervous? How should I conduct myself in a place like this hmm?) gigglers. The teenagers are busy with their own scheme, they are impossible to understand. (“IMPOSSIBLE, IMPOSSIBLE I tell you!!!”) The irratic ones are equally difficult. And that is why they are annoying. They don’t relate to you. They seem out of place.

Ooh. This proved to be a long one. Perhaps I should stop now, before this becomes a bad thesis.[/u][/quote]

I laughed at certain parts of Saving Private Ryan (like the bookending). But usually that’s how I respond when something strikes me as crappy.

Remember in Titanic when that guy booonnnggged off the propellor? I howled. Shit, I’d waiting like 90 minutes for that damn ship to sink, and I was enjoying myself!

OTOH, I am also quite sensitive at the movies. For example, the sight of that massive fleet of 50s style flying saucers heading for Earth at the beginning of Mars Attacks moved me to tears.

The scene in Punisher when the guy is on the windsail trying to sail away from the attack.

Couldn’t help it …

I don’t care if someone laughs or giggles as an honest reaction, especially if the film is bad. But then there are the people (usually drunk) that try to sabotage everyone else’s movie going experience. Or the first-date goers who preemptively laugh because being scared by a movie is an affront to his/her cool image.

OTOH, at least it’s just giggling and not laser pointers!

I sort of felt like I was playing The Giggler when my friends and I went to see Blade Trinity. So much of that movie is hilariously bad that we were cracking up repeatedly, especially during any and all of Parkey Posey’s lines. Seems we were the only ones in the theatre who thought any of it was funny, though, as the rest of the audience was dead quiet.

Starsky & Hutch degenerated to the drunks (myself and a friend) flicking bottle-caps at the gaggle of 13-year olds in the first few rows of the theater - they had brought in not only laser pointers, but my new personal favorite… a frigging whistle