Why I'm over Hollywood trailers
Published 01/08/2014 | 16:40
This morning I watched the third Interstellar trailer. Christopher Nolan’s sci-fi feature is probably one of the most highly-anticipated of the year. And the trailer is undoubtedly incredible - powerful and moving - and it made me want to weep, although not because it’s emotional, but rather because it’s so revealing.
I feel like Scrooge has whispered in the ear of my 5-year-old self and revealed exactly which surprise I’m getting for Christmas. I feel deflated, cheated and more than a little irked. Even if the trailer is deliberately misleading (more on that later), it has diluted my excitement for the movie.
It wasn’t my choice to watch the trailer. In an ideal world I would arrive at the multiplex on November 7th, day of release, jittering with excitement becoming completely immersed in the Interstellar world and feeling overwhelmed by the cinematic treat unfolding before me - just like I did when I was 7 years-old and happened across Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. I had no idea what to expect, and it blew my mind.
No such luck these days, however. Not only do studios bombard us with several trailers before a film’s release (did we really need three for Interstellar? And how many more broody-eyed Christian Greys must we endure before Fifty Shades releases?), but it’s a necessary evil of my job to have to watch them and flag their arrival for people who want to know.
It’s beyond me, however, why anyone would want to know more about a movie in advance than the genre, cast, and director – details you’ll find on a two-line synopsis. For me, trailers are the ultimate spoilers. They’re that guy on Twitter who reveals the plot twist at the end of a TV series to people who were saving the surprise. They are the mercliness, sadistic slayers of suspense. It's rage-inducing. Case in point (WARNING – SPOILERS): the Castaway trailer which shows Hanks back home in the final scenes. Or the What Lies Beneath trailer which reveals the identity of the ghost haunting Michelle Pfeiffer. We’re talking key plot points about which the entire movie revolves.
Trailers are simply adverts designed to sell the film and studios will go to any lengths to get your prize bum on an over-priced cinema seat, revealing far too much, and often portraying a movie as belonging to a completely different genre simply because that genre is more marketable. Watch some trailers and you’ll have watched a summary of the entire plot, including pivotal scenes, or the ending. Or, just as frequently, scenes which never materialise in the final cut. Either way, they have little to do with the actual film.
Spare yourself the spoilers and make a concerted effort to see a movie without watching the trailer in advance. It's tough, but your enjoyment levels will skyrocket. Check out the trailer afterwards and I’ll have proved my point.