Top 10 Reasons Why I Absolutely Love Odeon Screen Unseen 

If you haven’t heard of Odeon Screen Unseen well, my friend, you are missing a brilliant cinema experience. In short, you pay half the typical cinema ticket price to see a new movie at the cinema.


However, you do not know what that movie is until the BBFC rating certificate appears. 


Recent Odeon Screen Unseen films have included Room, Inside Out, Selma, The Revenant, Nightcrawler, Whiplash and The Big Short.


I love these film screenings for many reasons - here are ten of them:


10 Reasons To Love Odeon Screen Unseen

1. It's Cheap

Let’s face it, a trip to the cinema is no cheap evening out these days. A full price adult ticket can cost between £10-13 - and that’s before you sidle up to Ben & Jerry. So, Odeon’s Screen Unseen £5 ticket price is a pretty attractive prospect. 


2. It's All Pretty Mysterious

There is something mysterious about these screenings. I don’t think that they would be anything like as much fun if we knew what we were in for. And you don’t get much notice either, which all adds to the excitement.


3. It's Super Fun

The fun of Odeon’s Screen Unseen starts well before you take your seat in the cinema. When you receive the email about the next event, you are also given the first clue as to what movie Odeon is going to screen. Further clues are then dropped (via social media) in the days leading up to the event.


Now, I have to admit that these clues vary from being pretty easy to utterly inscrutable. At any rate, these clues all add to the exciting experience - just don’t let them drive you mad!


4. It's Really Social

As I mentioned above, Odeon drop a trail of social media clues in the days before a Screen Unseen event. These can be found on the cinema chain’s Facebook and Twitter accounts. I love to read other cinema goers predictions - you can have a lot of fun guessing (and hoping) with fellow film fans.


5. It's Popular

One thing that I have learned since attending these events is that you have to book your tickets stat (this applies to my local Odeon - is it the same with yours?). If I leave my booking until a couple of days before the screening, I know I will be in the worst seats in the cinema. And that really bothers me.


On the flip side, I love the fact that Screen Unseen is so popular. How often do you get to see a film in a packed cinema? It can really make a difference to your movie experience. 



6. It's All Very Tense

My favourite moment of the entire Screen Unseen event has to be the seconds before the BBFC certificate comes on screen. I am literally squirming in my seat and I can feel the anticipation build all around me. It is so tense! I am sure that they hold that certificate for longer than in a normal film screening.


Then, finally, we know what we are about see and there is a buzz around the cinema (or a ripple of applause in the case of The Revenant) as the audience comes to terms with the movie that they are about to watch.


7. It's Quality

As tense as I feel before the BBFC certificate is shown, I am never really worried. Odeon has proved trustworthy in its selection of Screen Unseen movies. I now feel sure that, whatever film is selected, the movie will be of a very high quality and certainly one worth seeing.


8. It's All New

As well as being critically acclaimed, Odeon’s Screen Unseen films are also pre-releases. I have seen several films weeks before they appear on general release. Apart from being useful from a film review perspective, there is also something satisfying about being the first to watch a new movie.


9. It's Controversial

All of the films that I have seen via these cinema events have been superb. However, I may not have chosen to see some of these movies had it not been for Screen Unseen. Take Room, for an example. I wasn’t sure about this film (I was worried that it would be too upsetting to see in a cinema.) But I am so glad that I did - indeed, Room is now one of my favourite films.


However, not everyone feels the same way and one of my guilty pleasures is counting the number of walkouts after the film has been revealed. You would be surprised at how many people leave. About ten people scarpered at the screening of Inside Out for goodness sake!


10. It's A Community

I love Odeon’s Screen Unseen events because they make me feel part of a community. As I take my seat, I know that the people all around me love cinema (okay there’s also the cheap ticket price, but still) and are willing to watch anything.


Meanwhile, these events also build communities online as people predict the films and then dissect them afterwards.


What Do You Think Of Odeon Screen Unseen?

For all of these 10 reasons (and probably many more), I love Odeon’s Screen Unseen films. Here’s to many, many more! 


Have you been to one of these movie events? 


If you have, what did you think of the screening? I’d love to know. Do feel free to leave me a comment in the box below.


Write a comment

Comments: 12
  • #1

    Andy Oliver (Monday, 29 February 2016 00:15)

    I love and also hate the moments that lead up to "The Big Reveal": the anticipation of checking the Odeon website, scrolling down the advance dates page and finding a new Screen Unseen listed, or not; the guessing at the impossibly cryptic clues; thinking I know what it's going to be and then realising I'm wrong when my guess appears in the trailers; the wondering how those impossibly cryptic clues fit in with the film I'm watching; watching audience members miserably filing out when they realise they're not going to see the new Star Wars movie or 50 Shades of Grey!
    Great article, well done

  • #2

    Jane (Monday, 29 February 2016 15:51)

    Hi Andy,
    Ah, so you have a love/hate relationship with Odeon's Screen Unseen. I can see where you are coming from and yet I still love it all - even when people file out! I like to count the deserters... the most came from the Inside Out screening funnily enough! Thanks for stopping by :)

  • #3

    David Grice (Friday, 25 March 2016 23:28)

    I had heard of Screen Unseen fairly early into its existence. But I was always busy when it was around. This included the screening for Whiplash where I saw it on the same of the Screen Unseen viewing but at a Picturehouse and I never realised it was a Screen Unseen until after seeing the film.
    Since the Black Mass screening I have not missed one (my local Odeon is at Liverpool ONE in case you were interested). But I had seen all the other Screen Unseen's by then. The £5 ticket gimmick seems to be the main hook for many people at first. The surprise factor had it for me. I loved the premise of it and especially when it is supposed 5* films. All of their choices apart from possibly Black Mass have had giving it two thumbs up every time.
    It does feel like a little community. You sometimes get chatting with the people around talking about your theories on what it could be. I don't usually chat to people at the cinema. But these screenings seem to bring that out of me. The clues are a nice addition for people who are unsure of whether to see it or not. It is also great to see what the majority think it is. I remember for both screenings of Room and The Revenant that many were expecting Spotlight or The Big Short for either of them.
    But when the BBFC certificate came on for Room, most were like "what's this?!", but I was like "(gasp), oh yes yes yes" because I was excited to see this and it ended up being my film of 2015. The best reaction I remember was for The Revenant. When the certificate came up, the first reaction was a collective grown. But then it was suddenly an "oooooooooh" as they it was the one with Leo in.
    I've not seen any instant walk-outs when the title appears. The only walk-outs I've seen at all was a handful walking out part way through watching Disorder. That was understandable as subtitles is not everyone's cup of tea. But it was nice to see Screen Unseen do something different. I hope for more of that whilst doing the regular ones. I loved reading articles of something walking out of the Room screening thinking it was Star Wars. What were they thinking?!
    Great article and I'm glad it continues to grow in popularity and people are spreading the word. I hope it does not get out of control as most cool things do. So let's enjoy this while it lasts.

  • #4

    Jane (Saturday, 26 March 2016 12:39)

    Hi David,
    Thanks for stopping by!
    I see you like Screen Unseen for many of the same reasons as I do. I love that community spirit so much and these screenings never feel like a risk because they are all (usually) high quality films (Room was also one of my favourite films of 2015).
    Glad to hear that your cinema doesn't have too many walk outs. This fascinates me - I couldn't believe it when people left at the start of Inside Out!
    Here's to many more Screen Unseens!
    Take care, Jane
    PS. Have you ever been to a Scream Unseen?

  • #5

    Mark Hulme (Monday, 28 March 2016 03:53)

    Remember Disorder? Remember when half of the audience left as soon as they saw a French word in the opening credits? They don't know what they missed, an astounding piece of foreign cinema twinned with a beautiful, techno-heavy soundtrack by Gesaffelstein.

    As for previous events, i have only seen one other, which was The Revenant. I did love some scenes, and the whole film was beautifully shot, but it was a bit slow paced for me, and as I am 16, I did have to be at school the next day! This is why I left about 30 minutes prior to the end.
    Now that i'm off for another week, because Easter, i can look forward to watching the whole of tonight's movie.
    Are you going? What do you think it will be? (I think Midnight Special) Did you enjoy Disorder?

    Mark Hulme

  • #6

    MattR (Monday, 17 October 2016 17:37)

    Love, Love, Love!

    Screen Unseen is a great concept - we try and go to every one, have seen some great movies... Room, Disorder, War on Everyone - even Inside Out (which I wasn't initially that sure on).

    £5 is not a bad price for a great night out - early in the week!

    we're booked in for one tomorrow night... Maidenhead for us.

  • #7

    Jane (Monday, 17 October 2016 19:21)

    Matt, I absolutely agree! For £5 you can't go wrong! I missed War On Everyone... but am also booked in for tomorrow's screening! Do you like to guess from Odeon's clues or leave it as a complete surprise? Fingers crossed for another classic!

  • #8

    Paul Redford (Sunday, 04 December 2016 21:27)

    These Screen Unseens are absolutely brilliant. I've been to a fair few, The Revenant being my first, and as other people have said, that was the one with the biggest applause. I think the biggest walkout I have seen (having not seen Disorder) was for I Daniel Blake, especially as I'm pretty sure Odeon gave clues intentionally referencing Doctor Strange. They missed out on that one though, it was one of my favourite Unseens to date. Hoping the next one this monday will be another stunner.


  • #9

    Jane (Tuesday, 06 December 2016 14:49)

    Hi Paul, thank for your comment! Good to meet a fellow Screen Unseen fan! I agree, I, Daniel Blake was superb - well worth staying the course. Did you enjoy A Monster Calls? Will you be going to the next one on 12 December? They are so addictive aren't they! :)

  • #10

    Paul Redford (Tuesday, 06 December 2016 22:21)

    Hi Jane, I really like A Monster Calls, there wasn't a dry eye in the house. Unfortunately I don't think I'll be able to make the Unseen on the 12th due to Odeon deciding to not show it at my local cinema. Absolutely gutted!


  • #11

    Jane (Thursday, 08 December 2016 10:36)

    Glad that you enjoyed A Monster Calls! So sorry that your local Odeon aren't screening the next Screen Unseen. Is it worth double checking? I heard that some listings took a while to appear online. Fingers crossed...

  • #12

    harry (Sunday, 12 January 2020 17:14)

    Does anyone know how Odeon selects the Screen Unseen films?
    We're hooked and always look forward to the event - only very occasionally have we seen a dud.