3 Movies Ruined by their Trailers

December 13, 2012 12:30 pm

In the last handful of years, I have seen several films unfairly attacked by the public because their trailers were poorly made. Some of the examples below may not be the best movies ever made, but in a way, that makes the success of the trailer even more vital. The trailer creates the mood that people enter the cinema with and if the trailer misrepresents the film, then we end up with films that take far more criticism than they deserve.

3 – DARK SHADOWSDark Shadows flopped

It is always hard to create a trailer for a comedy. Producers are always tempted to use the best jokes to bring the crowds in, but the audience often feel cheated if they’ve already heard the best gags before they’ve even gone to the cinema to see it. Dark Shadows is a good example of a trailer that failed in this aspect. For those readers, who are bored right now, look up the trailer on Youtube: it is a fairly good laugh. Johnny Depp plays a fairly eccentric vampire in awkward social situations. It filled the cinema with laughter, when I saw it.

The actual film: not so much. For a start, the actual film isn’t exactly a comedy, the producers merely thought the jokes were the best bait for their target audience (pointless, as Tim Burton has enough of a cult audience, not to need cheap gimmicks like this). Therefore the film felt hollow, as we had already heard the best jokes. The end result is Dark Shadows being a contender for the biggest flop of the year.

The Expendables 2 suffered because of the first film2 – THE EXPENDABLES 

When I first heard about the upcoming Expendables film, my feelings could only be described as euphoria. All of the classic 80s action heroes (Stallone, Lundgren), and a handful of the new musclemen on the block (Statham, Li), join together to create a uber-action film. It sounded flawless. But despite all of these top action stars, the two people we really wanted to see were Bruce Willis, arguably the one actor with the acting abilities to bring it out of B-Movie territory, and Arnie, who is pretty much the face of the best action movies ever made.

The trailer comes out nearer to the release and there is a brief shot of Willis and Arnie trading some wise-cracking banter. Hardcore action fans everywhere became ecstatic. So imagine the crushing disappointment when that clip in the trailer was 75% of their appearance in the film. Rightly so, the fans felt cheated. The trailer was nothing more than a dirty trick to fill cinema seats. In fact, we could even argue that the failure of Expendables led to a hate vendetta beginning on the sequel, which made that one a failure too. So basically, in this instance, we could argue that the bad trailer set off a chain reaction of bad movies.

1 – THE GREYThe Grey was a disappointment to many

The Grey is the most frustrating of these examples. It truly is an amazing film; a tense thriller about a group of survivors with some great directing and a fantastic script. Some of the characters are under-written and the psychology of wolves is a little ‘creative’, but the film focuses mainly on Liam Neeson. Neeson chose some bad films in 2012; the Grey was not one of them.

However, the trailer showed Liam Neeson diving into battle with a wolf, fists flying. People came to the cinema to see Liam Neeson punch a wolf. So when the film developed into the story of one broken man trying to get back home and save his fellow survivors as a quest of redemption, the audience didn’t want any of it. At the cinema, the couple next to me got up and left early. Ironically, Liam Neeson actually taking on a wolf in hand-to….. paw? contact would have made the movie laughable and, quite frankly, awful.

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