Okay, this isn’t exactly breaking film geek news. But it’s important to remember that art does not exist in a vacuum. The images on the movie screen are seen by people. And when it goes wrong, the events can be tragic. Or in this case, hilarious.
A recent UK screening of MADAGASCAR 3: EUROPE’S MOST WANTED went awry when the Nottingham Cineworld accidentally projected a film that was to be shown in a neighboring cinema. That would be unfortunate enough. Even worse, the film they swapped it out with was PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 4.
This is even worse when you realize that PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 4 begins with a replay of the climax of the first installment. In this scene (SPOILER ALERT!), a bloody corpse is thrown directly at the camera and a demonic woman enters the frame, staring.
““Everybody just scrambled for the exits, all you could hear were children crying and screaming,” audience member Natashia Lewis told Yahoo! UK (who gets the events of the first film wrong), “Everyone was very upset.”
A spokesperson for Cineworld said: “We have investigated the incident and can confirm that this was a technical error with the projector and apologise sincerely to the families.
“All customers who were affected by the incident were offered refunds and complimentary tickets,” a Cineworld represenative said. “We also invited customers to watch the screening of MADAGASCAR 3 half an hour later. We take matters such as this very seriously and are currently working with technicians to ensure this does not happen again.”
As someone who has sat through a couple of MADAGASCAR films, I personally find demonic spirits far less unsettling than a zebra in a rainbow wig. But I guess that’s just me.