Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Manson Family and The Curse of the Advanced Promotional Marketing!

Theatrical trailers have the power to spoil the entire plot, without leaving one entirely sure what, if any, surprises the movie has left to offer. Sometimes this is frustrating, oftentimes detrimental. Other times we should just take it as a favor.

The Strangers sums this up perfectly with its eerie trailer that gives away 95% of the film's content. Yes, the movie is that simplistic, by-the-book and grim, and yes, that's all you're going to get... with the surprise addition of a crummy ending.

But then who really has the time to watch a two-minute trailer, let alone the entire eighty-minute film? Why bother when you can just stroll through the lobby? The Strangers takes its upfront marketing approach right down to its artwork. The film's posters, effective as they are, actually present the key memorable scares, expose the lineup of vacant villains, and even imply the basic structure of the story with just as little weight and motivation as can be found in the actual film.

So accept the favor...

Put on a a scratched record, stare at this sequence of images until it seems monotonous, then shrug. Now you too can say you've experienced The Strangers.

My personal conclusion: it's a faster-paced Funny Games with masks, jump scares and some dim character choices, made for people who don't like that film's more direct provocations.

But hey, considering it's an American horror film, at least it only feels like a remake.

1 comment:

Dame James Henry said...

I can't wait for The Informers either. I haven't read the book yet, but Bret Easton Ellis is one of my favorite authors and I would love to see what he does with a screenplay.