OPINION: why trailers sometimes tick me off

Sell me the movie, but don’t show me the entire thing. Please. PLEASE. Is it too much to ask for?!
(Spoiler: the answer is yes.)

About a month ago, my best friend told me that the trailer for The Martian was out. In one sentence, this movie is about an astronaut (Matt Damon) getting left behind on Mars. If you’ve read the book, you already know what happens. If you haven’t read the book (in a rare occasion, that’s actually me), then you don’t.

Then he warned me:

                                “Don’t watch it, Ria. It’ll piss you off.”

Now, there are only two reasons why a trailer would ever piss me off: one, it’s incredibly terrible. The second option (and that’s usually the case), is the trailer gives away the entire plot of the movie.

Like a moth to the flame, I ignored my buddy’s warning. I decided to log on to my computer, pull up YouTube, and watch two of The Martian’s trailers.

The first one was great. Matt Damon walking around, introducing you to the crew on board he’s about to blast off with.

When I saw the second one, it felt exactly like a three-minute mini-movie. I already knew what was going to happen. I’m going to save you the grief I endured, and not tell you what happened, but I will tell you it did result in a very long phone conversation with said best friend about how stupid the person who edited the trailer was.

Now, I know it was my fault this time around for going ahead and watching it (despite being warned). This isn’t the first time that I’ve been burned by a trailer that puts everything on the table. There have probably been five movies I can think of that wreck everything for the audience.

While I appreciate movies have box office moolah to make, what I don’t appreciate is the entire thing being divulged as if the movie were an after thought. This is a (possibly accidental, if I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt) tactic that takes away from the fun and charm a movie could possibly offer. Why should I go see it when I already know what’s going to happen at the end? That studio just saved me upwards of $12.00, and I’ll put that money towards the cost of the Bluray, if I’m truly invested in seeing it.

And that’s what it all comes down to. Sacrificing everything the movie experience in favour of the theater dollar. It comes back to my rant from last week.  I wish trailers weren’t so haphazardly put together. I would really, really, really love to see a trailer that’s been put together with consideration for not only the story and the art of the movie, but with consideration for the potential viewer, too.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, I didn’t get an “I told you so” from my buddy. In fact, he was empathetic to my trailer plight. Go figure.


Keep it reel!


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