10:00 AM and I have my ticket. I wait in line at the concession stand and two women stand behind me: they also bought tickets for the show. While they talk about it, I ask, “Have you read the book?”

Both of them shake their heads. “No,” they say.

They look older. Maybe fifty. Inside my head, I smile. You have no idea what you’re getting into, I think to myself.

I get my popcorn and enter the theater. People fill about half the seats: something I did not expect for an early showing. I look around and notice the audience is mostly older women. I saw a few men who looked like husbands dragged along for the affair, but mostly older women. I think, They probably read the book and are here to see the movie. Then, I remember the two women standing behind me at the concession stand. I wonder just how many of them know what they’re getting into.

Their reactions showed me.

The audience jolted about like a sea in a storm. Watching the audience only added to the experience for me. Watching their surprise, anguish, fear, disgust and betrayal. All there.

And I wondered to myself, What were they expecting? Did they even know?

One scene in particular made them flinch. If you see the movie, you’ll know which one I mean.

I heard at least two screams. From deep in the throat screams. The kind of scream that proceeds a swoon. I wish I paid better attention to the audience then, but everything about the sequence glued my eyes to the screen. The choreography, the cinematography, the special effects, the acting, the music… the scene kept my eyes center-forward. I could not look away. And the music. Atticus Ross and Trent Reznor’s soundtrack loomed in the background of this film for more than two hours, and then, without warning, picked up a razor and cut my throat.

My hands shook. My mouth dried up. For a moment, I forgot I was in a theater. Just a moment. And that’s all I’m looking for in a film.

This movie gave me that moment. It also gave that moment to a small group of middle-aged women who got ambushed by something they never saw coming.

(I wrote this “review” using e-prime, a linguistic tool that excludes all forms of the verb, “to be.”)

Gone Girl