The youth of today are caught in the grips of an alarming trend. No, it’s not butt-chugging, it’s the filming of reaction videos. Those who suspect they might have an emotional short-circuiting of some kind during a viewing experience record themselves while it happens, and then post it online. In the wake of the recent Red Wedding fiasco on Game of Thrones, reaction videos conquered the web. It turns out, though, that sometimes reaction videos inspire reactions of their own.
The trailer for the next movie in Peter Jackson’s perhaps overgenerously sized Hobbit series premiered online Tuesday June 11. Many Tolkien devotees were moved to tears by the spectacle and thus recorded themselves as the emoting occurred, as is the custom. One of the more popular reaction videos, if you can even believe there are enough for a hierarchy, comes from a fanatical sister act called Happy Hobbit, who make Hobbit-centric videos often. Little did they know, however, that this latest video would be watched by some of the stars of the series--who would also record themselves doing so.
The new video begins with the Happy Hobbit reaction clip and then pans out to show Orlando Bloom and Evangeline Lilly watching it while taking a break on set. “This is more intense than the trailer,” Lilly says at one point, as the two sisters freak out over the new footage. She and Bloom smile and laugh along as the reactors react. Of course, once you know you’re on camera, there’s an element of artifice in your reaction--it becomes a performance. Which is why it’s interesting to see performers participate in a weird meta-reaction video.
Have a look at the trailer and the original reaction video in the slides above.