2016, Movies


I hate most movie trailers nowadays. The teasers are more along the lines of what good trailers should be like, but those teasers are released months, sometimes years, before the movie comes out and, inevitably, trailers that follow reveal the vast majority of the plot. Why can’t trailers give us just the basic gist of the film – style of film with these famous people – and nothing more? If, for example, you were into the idea of a new Star Wars film, wouldn’t just the teaser be enough to get you to see it? Remember the teaser for The Phantom Menace? That was better than the movie.

I remember the year of Blair Witch and The Matrix. Those films were well teased. They both used a lack of information about the films themselves to generate interest. (And now I sound like an old man.) But I can recall few effective trailers since. One that pops to mind: the trailer for Little Children:

Well, while we were seeing Deadpool this weekend, we saw the theatrical trailer for 10 Cloverfield Lane, a movie I have no interest in seeing  for two reasons:

  1. Though I generally liked the first act of the original Cloverfield, the rest of the movie sucked.
  2. The TV trailer for the sequel isn’t very good:

Now, it doesn’t show the monster, but it sure does come close. Obviously this movie is kind of doomed to start with, because of it’s title. But let’s imagine it wasn’t called 10 Cloverfield Lane and, instead, was called something like John Goodman goes crazy in an emergency shelter. (I’m joking, but you see what I mean. People would be interested in John Goodman torturing youngsters in a shelter.) Now watch this trailer:

Now, that’s a trailer. If this movie wasn’t called 10 Cloverfield Lane I’d want to see it. I’d go see it. Sure, I’d prefer it stopped a few seconds sooner – no need to even hint the monster is coming – but it would still be a movie I wanted to see: John Goodman terrorizes people in a bomb shelter. And when the monster showed up…I mean, holy shit. And you know people would market the shit out of this thing once they saw it. It would be like when I watched From Dusk Till Dawn and didn’t know about the [redacted]. And then told everyone it was awesome. (Sorry?)

That’s what trailer creators don’t seem to understand. If you make a film, and it has a good twist, the audience will market it for you. Remember The Crying Game or The Usual Suspects? (I know, I’m old!) These films are famous because of the mystery, not because the trailer said Jaye Davidson’s character is [redacted] or [redacted] is Kaiser Soze.

We, as a society, should demand better trailers. Don’t you want some mystery before you see the damn movie? I sure do.

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