They’re engineered to arouse suspense, intrigue and emotion but film trailers manipulate us in the exact same way as job interviews, first dates and house inspections. Strengths are magnified, flaws hidden, facades sheened clean and time in contact kept to a minimum. We only experience “the best possible version” of that thing and signs of disaster are obscured or omitted like a promising blind date who turns into a weirdo stalker rummaging through your trash. But still we try. That’s part of the fun I guess, finding out whether we like something in its totality.
But how do trailers ensnare us in the first place? What makes a two minute jump-cut-fest compelling? How much of the plot should they divulge? What emotions should they target? And what’s up with all the doom rock? Hungry Beast alumni Marc Fennell, Nick Hayden and Nicholas McDougall consider these questions and more in Coming Sooner, a web series which explores what makes a movie trailer “bad, brilliant or abominable”. We suggest you watch the trio’s autopsy of the new Twilight trailer below then read on as they discuss the best, worst and most misleading trailers of 2011.
What’s the best trailer you’ve seen this year and why? Without a shadow of a doubt it has to be the trailer for Dead Island. The weird thing is that it’s NOT actually a trailer for a movie, but rather a game. It’s wonderfully constructed to play out in in reverse. It’s compelling, intriguing and achingly beautiful.
What’s the worst trailer you’ve seen this year and why? That would have to be the leaked trailer to the forthcoming Aussie shark film Bait 3D. The film appears to involve a shark trapped in a supermarket. That shit should market itself! And yet the trailer is so poorly produced it makes me cry shiny shark-tears. If you subscribe to the Coming Sooner YouTube channel you can see us going to town on Bait 3D next week.
Which trailer trends need to die and which do you wish we saw more of? We wanna see less trailers where a bunch of anthropomorphized animals magically turn our hero into a better person. Mr Popper’s Penguins? The Zoo Keeper? I’m lookin at you. The worst offenders are probably Romantic Comedy trailers which give away the entire plot – which usually isn’t that good to begin with. What do we want to see more of? More trailers for Rubber! Who doesn’t want to see a murderous tyre western?
What is the most misleading trailer of all time? Transformers 3. It’s misleading because it makes me want to see the movie, forgetting how terrible the first two were. Generally speaking I have a theory that the better a trailer is for a Micheal Bay movie, the worse the actual film will. Case in point: The Island trailer is thrilling, beautiful and colour-graded within an inch of its life. The film on the other hand was so stupid that physically gouging brain matter with an ice-cream scoop is less damaging to your IQ.