Trailers are awesome. They’re sweet tools to get us psyched for the movies we look forward to and an entertaining way of introducing us to new films we haven’t even heard of. I’m the kind of guy who gets to the theater early just to make sure I catch all of the trailers. We Rejects surf the web trailer-hunting and can sit and watch them for hours. Which is why it hurts so much when the trailer lies to us. When the person behind it cuts a trailer that tells a story that has nothing to do with what’s going on. Trust is the most essential ingredient to every relationship and if our introduction to the film is a lie, soon we’ll take solace in the arms of another.
I totally get that the real purpose of a trailer is to get me to see the film. It has to be exciting, it has to reel me in. I understand that. But the studios and advertising companies need to know that I want to see the movie that was advertised. Take, for example, Vacancy 2: The First Cut. Many of the clips in the first trailer came from the original flick. I enjoyed Vacancy and was expecting the prequel to have some common threads with it. I mean, why else would you use footage from the original so heavily? But in actually watching the movie, it was complete and utter bullshit. The motel was different and there were no returning characters or threads connecting the films together. God damn I hate being lied to.
Then you have the “mysterious” trailer that wants you to believe, well, nothing about the movie. So it’s like “Hey, this movie exists and like, you should see it, but I can’t really tell you what it’s about.” Seven Pounds: guilty as charged. I guess that’s a marketing ploy, a gambit you can take. But even a mystery should give you some sort of clue as to what the mystery is going to be. I think in the end, this flick was hurt by the poorly presented trailer and advertising.
The first movie to really raise my ire, though not the first to play the game of deception, was Cold Mountain. The trailer made it look like some awesome Civil War action film, complete with explosions and gunfights and doses of awesome. Instead we got 2 hours and 35 minutes of not action. Seriously. There was one action scene in that whole movie and it was the first thing we saw. The gunfight at the end, it freaking cut away from it. Such bullshit. I don’t know if I ever felt more ripped off. So maybe it’s a good thing we sent Hunter to watch The Unborn, because from the trailer I thought it looked like a badass movie filled with creepy ass stuff and rotating heads. Turns out the real deal is that there are only a few moments of scary awesome head spinning spread throughout a crap movie. Why can’t movies have honest trailers or honest titles? Everyone knows exactly what’s in store with My Bloody Valentine 3D or The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
It’s cool that trailers exist. Love ‘em. And I know it isn’t art, but advertising. But that doesn’t mean I’m not upset anytime I get tricked into the theater. I’m pretty sure that’s what caused the burning of Rome – false advertisements for awesome “Gladiator versus Animal fights,” but when the people showed up it was just a regular “Feed Unarmed and Tied-up Christians to Lions Day.” But what can ya do? Right now, all I do is curse the studios, kick over potted plants, and dive past my boiling point when I see these patently dishonest trailers.