Column: Movies are meant to be watched at home


By Erin Kady

I love movies; it’s plain and simple. From chick flicks to A-24 to action-comedy, I’ll gladly give it a watch. If I am recommended to view something, I do not give it a second thought; I will simply look it up and watch without any prerequisites. I lay in bed, prop my pillow up, and open my laptop to whatever I feel at that exact moment.

While I wish that everyone could view movies in the same respect that I do, I know that is not possible. Not everyone wants to spend their night staring at a screen for two hours, watching something that they may have no knowledge of or even a general desire to view. That being said, I still want to spread the word of why cinema is a fulfilling experience and how movies are meant to be watched.

I haven’t always loved movies. When I was younger, my family would put on a movie on the living room TV and I would sprint upstairs to my room. The thought of spending my precious time, on the worst part of the couch, watching a compromise of a movie with my family, was not my idea of a good time. 

It wasn’t until Covid struck that I realized how movies were meant to be watched. With theaters closed and social distancing in full swing, I began to stream movies alone in my room. It’s not like I had never used Netflix before, but in this era I truly realized its beauty.

I could laugh and cry without a second thought of whether someone was judging me. I didn’t have to drive 15 minutes to the nearest theater just to go somewhere that didn’t let me take off my shoes and snuggle up in my comforter. Most of all, I didn’t have to hear someone laugh at the wrong moments.

As Covid began to slow, I went to the theaters for the first time in over a year. As I was crying over Brian from “The Breakfast Club” getting an “F” in his woodshop class, a viewer behind me thought of this as nothing short of comedy gold, with hearty laughter echoing through the audience. 

It hit me at that moment that movies are meant to be watched alone. We are always told to not let other peoples’ opinions alter our own, yet the traditional movie-watching style forces us to congregate in crowds of more than 100 and listen to other’s opinions at full volume. Not only do I personally find it a little annoying, but the concept itself is hypocritical. 

There are some movies I feel I am quite literally “glued” to the screen. In the comfort of my room, I experience minimal distractions, and the metaphorical “glue” continues to hold. In the theater, the crinkle of a candy wrapper or a shadow scurrying to the bathroom is enough to distract from the screen.

One thing I have yet to mention is the power of closed captions. To me, closed captions are one of the greatest inventions in cinema. Why would anyone want to watch something with dialogue that they can’t even understand? 

The only con I am able to see for an at-home viewing experience is the lack of a big screen. Even with this downfall, is it wrong to say “use your imagination”? I think if a screen is big enough to see the movie, then it works for me. I don’t see a need for a screen that fills up the room if there is so much lacking otherwise.