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After an initially brilliant marketing campaign, Snakes on a Plane appears to have lost its way. New Line seems to have absolutely no idea what they’re doing, and now they’re compounding the problem by hiding the film from critics in order to trick audiences into seeing it. Yep, New Line has announced that they will not be screening Snakes on a Plane for the press, an honor usually reserved only for the crappiest of crap films. Movies so bad that even the studio knows they suck and so they’ll try to sneak the film into theaters and make as much money off of it as possible before people figure out how absolutely bad it is.

This is a huge mistake.

New Line has fundamentally misunderstood what it is that audiences are excited about with this movie. It shows in the film’s latest trailers, which seem to be trying to tout it as a legitimate horror movie, and it shows in the film’s latest domestic posters, which inexplicably feature no snakes at all. It even shows in the horrible music video which New Line has been shopping around to websites like ours, but which I refuse to show you on the grounds that it’s the worst thing I’ve ever seen (and not in a good way). They just don’t get it.

Bad reviews could only help this movie.

Anyone interested in seeing Snakes on a Plane isn’t doing so because they want to “sit back and enjoy the fright”. People are hyped about Snakes because it’s going to be bad. Fans of this film want it to be god awful bad. Anyone hyped about Snakes is hoping that this will be the worst movie ever made, a total wreck, a slithery, snakey, quality-fucking disaster. And therein lies the fun.

What we’re looking for here is an audience participation movie. We want Samuel L. Jackson stalking up and down the aisle shouting horrible catch phrases and cursing at the top of his lungs about damn dirty snakes so that we can throw things at the screen and celebrate its badness by punching the guy next to us in the arm. Anyone going to see this movie wants a bad movie and by hiding it from critics New Line is saying that they don’t think critics will get it… when the irony here is that it seems to be the studio that simply isn’t getting what they’ve got on their hands here.

The problem seems to be that they’re buying into their own hype. They’ve read the reports. Snakes on a Plane is the most talked about movie on the internet. It was about the time we heard that when New Line shifted the movie’s marketing campaign from sleezy, cheesy, snake attacks to the airborne equivalent of When a Stranger Calls. My fear is now that this movie simply won’t be bad enough. That New Line has tried to “fix” it and has now ended up with a movie that’s a bore instead of a fucking jumbo jet plane crash.

New Line: Don’t hide this movie from critics. If they get it, and they love it, then you win. If they don’t, and they hate it, you still win. You accomplish nothing by refusing to screen it except that you’re making everyone interested in seeing it nervous. Enough is enough. Stop fucking with our Snakes.