The tl;dr version of an incredibly laboured train of thought: How do you recommend something to someone without spoiling it for them, when the spoilerific things are the exact things that will motivate them to ingest said media?
Two cases predominate for me recently, Cabin in the Woods, and Miss Smilla's Feeling For Snow.
CitW, for those who haven't seen it, is about a group of teens who go to aforesaid domicile...and that's about all you can say without spoiling the film. If you haven't seen it DO NOT go and read a synopsis. Don't commit such an act of self-harm. See the film, even if you have to wait months for it to come out on BR/DVD. It's not a straight horror film, but the most you can say without spoiling anything important makes it sound like exactly the type of film it isn't. "A bunch of American teens go to a cabin in the woods." immediately makes people make faces and wave their hands.
Miss Smilla suffers from a similar problem in that it's a great book that is ostensibly a murder mystery but contains certain elements that would greatly interest readers of other genres (the reasons for the expedition, those that have read the book). Trying to pass the book to a friend, he made the tactical mis-step of reading the blurb and passed it back, declaring he was not interested in murder mysteries. Once again, le sigh, as the French say.
There must be a way around this. More and more I believe that you should just go into a work as 'blind' as possible to its specifics, but this makes it harder and harder to back up one's recommendations with examples from the work itself. In case you think this is a trifling matter, I can assure you it is not. My brother has recently started mocking me by declaring "Bruce Willis is a ghost!" every time something falls over, so preoccupied have I become with presenting him with spoiler-free media descriptions.
This must stop.
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