You know, if more people read these articles, a few of them would probably tell me that, to really experience a horror film, you have to see it in a cinema.

To these people I would say, 'Do leave off!'

For one thing, these days there aren't any decent horror films that come out to watch in the cinema. If I'd been interested in hacking and slashing back in the eighties I'd be quids in.

But for a second thing, cinemas are RIGHT BASTARDS!

I buy my horror films for sums of three and four pounds ninety-nine from a great little second-hand shop in my home town. It has no shortage of videos for such a small shop. Videos cover three walls and most of the floor. I can always find a good horror movie sequel in this shop, then watch them in the comfort of my own home with a glass of mineral water and a cushion to hide behind. Then I can do it again the following day without having to pay again.

I was at a cinema today and I was reminded exactly why I hate going to cinemas.

For a start, there's the cost. I think I (or more accurately, my parents) paid a full ten quid for the privilege of watching a film in this hellish establishment. Let us consider for the moment the fact that this is over twice what I paid for Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors only a few hours earlier, a film which I will watch at my leisure tomorrow, and maybe again the day after if the fancy so takes me.

In the cinema, not only do I only have the opportunity to watch the film once, but said film did not contain Freddy Kreuger. And I'm sure you know me well enough to know that I would gladly have paid ten quid for a film with Freddy Kreuger in it.

I also paid two pound twenty for a 'jumbo' cola, on the assumption that anything smaller would not even last beyond the previews. Although the price was obviously unreasonable, it was only ten pee more than the 'large' cola, which in turn was only twenty pee more than the 'medium' cola, so I figured it for a sound investment.

Oh how wrong I was.

Every single feature of the cinema is designed to milk more money out of you for less value. So I drank that 'jumbo' cola, which I incidentally had some difficulty lifting with both hands, and about half-way through the film, after cola was depleted, the volume of the cup and the comparatively low volume of my poor young bladder suddenly impressed itself upon me.

So I missed five minutes of film as I forced Lake Michigan through my urethra in a little room fifty or so yards away from where I had been sitting. Add about two minutes for the journey and another five minutes for my irrational inability to urinate in a public lavatory, a neurosis which put up a fierce battle with my heavily-loaded bladder before surrendering to blissful drainage.

Ten minutes of a two hour film, for which I paid ten pounds to see. That's about, ooh, fifty-something-ish pence of film that the evil cinema corporation stole from me. The stingy bastards.

I also noticed that my cup fitted most snugly into my cup holder, which meant the cup holder was designed with that size of cup in mind. They WANT you to take the big cups and take a toilet break and lose money. The toilet thing was merely stingy. This was just DIABOLICAL.

Here are some things people say in praise of cinemas:

"The surround sound really adds to the experience."

I do not watch videos with surround sound on my television. This is because I have functional eyes and ears. If I see someone on the right side of a screen mouthing and if I hear words that synchronize with their lips, I'm gonna assume that person is doing the talking. And if I want the same sound quality as a cinema, I'll turn the volume right up and listen to it through ear trumpets. I do not do this because I'm rather fond of my eardrums.

"It's the atmosphere, the other people watching around you, you can't beat it."

Ah yes. Call me antisocial but I don't see myself socializing with other members of my cinema audience. A few rows behind me before the film began some kids blew raspberries at everyone who came in. Right at the front sat some more kids who WOULD NOT SHUT UP during the film. I won't say what the film was as I'm embarrassed. It was the closest thing to horror I could find on the listing. Don't see why there were all these kids around. I wanted to shout at them to shut up, but that would make me a hypocrite. Oh, for a sniper rifle.

There was this advert before the previews that detailed the laws of the theatre, in which a CG woman brought about serious injury upon CG people who dared break these sacred laws. I particularly enjoyed the scene where a smoking man was hurled into a no smoking sign. Now this was good. Unfortunately there's a little thing called 'accusations of GBH' standing in the way of this affirmative action. Don't look so cocky, CG woman, the SWAT team probably have the place surrounded by now.

"You haven't seen a movie until you've seen it on a screen twenty feet high."

I note the way this sort of statement implies that if you watch a film on video you're somehow missing something that only becomes obvious in a cinema. Admittedly there are few details that will go unnoticed when the action is being pushed in your face like it is in a theatre, but I didn't like 'Mortal Kombat Annihilation' because the dialogue was shite, the acting wooden and the plot flimsy, not because I hadn't been watching twenty square feet of bare chest at any one time. Perhaps the popcorn and coke is loaded down with a special drug that makes all the dialogue, acting and storyline better. I know my dad was waxing lyrical about the film he had seen when we returned to the car.

So there, gentle reader, are my reasons why I hate cinemas with the same sort of burning hatred that the main bad guy from the Smurfs had for Smurfs, if you also add on the burning hatred the entire world had for Smurfs, too. And that is why, when I am watching a second-hand copy of Halloween H20 this afternoon, I will take a needle to anyone who happens by saying it was better in the cinema and pop both their eardrums without remorse or delay.

See you down Blockbuster, friends.

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