Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Never Judge a Movie by Its Trailer

I love movie trailers. Sometimes they can be as good as (or better than) the movie itself. I think two of my all-time favorite trailers are for THE GREEN MILE and WATCHMEN. They both give an amazing sense of their films' content, story, and overall atmosphere. I can watch them over and over.

This trailer has the distinction of being the only film trailer that's actually made me tear up.

Good movie trailers should sell the movie to audiences. But sometimes they are deceiving. I've seen comedy trailers that put all of the funny bits in the trailer, and the rest of the movie is spectacularly un-funny. I've seen trailers that highlight a certain sequence that is maybe a blip of the overall story.

And because it's so easy to edit clips together, movie trailers can make a film look like whatever they want. Have you seen some of the awesome mash-ups on YouTube? I love the one that turns SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE into a horror film.

My most recent encounter with "Good Trailer, Disappointing Film" was the remake of A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET. I admit, I was annoyed when the remake was first announced. I mean, why mess with a classic? (And if I had a good answer to that, I could probably put an end to the equally-pointless, upcoming remakes of POLTERGEIST, ARMY OF DARKNESS, ALIEN, THE THING, and HELLRAISER.)

And then the first trailer surfaced, and I was in love:

It looked dark, scary, creepy, and I didn't even mind the recast Freddy Krueger. I started getting excited that the remake would do justice to the original.

I wish.

While the the movie wasn't bad, it wasn't as good as it should have been. It was easy to pick Nancy as the lead in the original 1984 film. In this movie? I couldn't figure out who our main character was. And the actress who played Nancy was in a coma the entire film. I don't think she cracked an expression, even when she was supposed to be scared.

And the rewrite of Freddy's backstory? HATED IT. Why? (SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS) Because for a brief period of time, we were led to believe that Freddy was innocent of the crimes against him, and that killing the Elm Street kids (although it was never established that they all lived on the same street, just that they all attended the same pre-school, so what the hell?) was some sort of justified revenge. Not only that, but instead of Freddy being arrested for multiple murders and then let off on a technicality, the parents in the remake went after him on their own because of lack of evidence. *facepalm*

I did like a few things. It had good atmosphere, and the dream sequences were cool. Some of the deaths were interesting. And I just love me some Clancy Brown, even if he was completely wasted in his role. There were also some fun nods to the other films: the Springwood Diner, the pool party bit, a character on the swim team, burning her arm to stay awake.

And Jackie Earl Haley as Freddy? Meh. The problem was he kept using his Rorschach voice from WATCHMEN. He was creepy at times, and had a few good lines at the end, but overall...I'm undecided.

So yeah, Trailer Win, Movie Fail.

But on to the actual inspiration for this rather lengthy post.

THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE (The First Sequence)

The trailer is probably not work safe, but here you go:

The internet is abuzz with talk about this movie and it's "shocking" science. People are comparing it to SAW and HOSTEL and other gore-fest films that rely on shock value. Naturally, this caught my attention. After I watched the trailer, I was equal parts appalled and intrigued.

And now I'm determined to watch it, if for no other reason than I can say I SAW IT AND AM JUDGING THE MOVIE FOR MYSELF. About half an hour ago (as of this writing) I read a rant by someone online calling for people to boycott this movie, to not watch it, to not support such awful, disgusting filth, lest it turn into the next SAW franchise.

Erm, okay....

All this based on having seen the TRAILER. I mean, jeez. It's about as bad as people who say "don't read this book, it has magic and is therefore awful and satanic."

Also? Check out this review at Babbling About Books. It's from someone who's actually, you know, seen the movie. Which apparently isn't as awful and graphic as people are assuming.

It's what helped cement my decision to watch it. And when I do, I shall report back.


Katie said...

That Sleepless in Seattle trailer is just disturbing. LOL!

Mardel said...

The most disappointed we've ever been was for the movie Mars Attacks. The trailer was so funny. It was hilarious. It was great. The whole family (all my kids were 12 and under - four of them) went to see it, and we had to splurge because we really couldn't afford movies. We saw it. Turns out that the trailer that was so great, entertaining and funny - had ALL the funny and entertaining bits in it. There was nothing else funny or great in the movie. Kind of ......blah. Now we don't pay much attention to movies trailers.