Dissecting Trailers: Horror Movie Malarkey
By Kyle Anderson on August 4, 2011
As promised, friends, I’m back with trailers for upcoming horror movies. The tricky thing about horror trailers is that they tend to look good all the time, even if the movie itself ends up being incredibly stupid. Horror trailer editors need to be given a special award, but that’s neither here nor there.
Let’s get to the trailers, shall we?
PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3
Remember when I just said horror trailers tend to look good all the time? Forget all that; This looks like balls. For some reason, people find the “ParaSNOREmal INactivity” movies scary, and they cost, like, $8 to make, so why the hell not keep making them? And it’s a prequel, my favorite. Did you notice? It takes place in 1988 when HD movie cameras were all staticky.
Here’s my main problem with this: Ghosts? Fine. I can buy houses are haunted or even that specific people are in some way more affected by paranormal stuff than others, but Bloody Mary? Are they that bereft of ideas that they have to turn to an old game kids play? Yes. I think the answer is yes.
Oh good, another found-footage movie. I love those. (I do not really love those at all) At the very least, though, this one is more inventive than the others. Also, it’s an interesting way to explain why America stopped giving a shit about the moon. I wouldn’t want to go, either, if there were weird little critters up there. Or big critters. This movie was supposed to come out in the Spring and was held back, which I hope doesn’t reflect on its quality, though it’s possible. Even though I’m pretty interested in seeing this, I admit I’ve grown really tired of the gimmick of somebody getting pulled by their feet into darkness. They did it in Jurassic Park, for golly’s sake. Let’s just all agree to stop doing it, okay?
Sonofabitch. Twice. This trailer does the pulling into darkness thing twice. Ugh. John Carpenter’s 1982 film The Thing is one of my favorite movies of all time, so the idea of prequel-remaking it doesn’t sit all that well with me anyway. It does look like they’re trying to at least stay true to the look of Carpenter’s film, which I appreciate, but one of the hallmarks of the earlier film was its amazing use of practical effects. All of The Thing’s many incarnations were made in all their visceral, tentacular glory by Rob Bottin or Stan Winston, and the craftsmanship of those effects were such that you really felt like these things you were seeing were real. This film, as is all too common, just uses CGI. No matter how good CGI looks, it doesn’t look real. Period. Done. End of. But, I’ll probably still go see this movie.
Okay, let’s completely gloss over the fact that this trailer also does the pull-into-darkness thing; This movie looks bonkers. Some kind of gargoyle or demon thing is surrounded by fire. The fuck? Although 11-11-11 is one of the lamest titles ever, especially for a horror movie. Also, did I miss something about the “11 11″ prophecy they talk about? That’s made up, right? That’s not a real thing? I will say, the direction looks good and it’s nice to see Darren Lynn Bousman doing non-Saw stuff.
DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK
Leave it to Guillermo del Toro to remake a 1973 TV movie and turn it into something that looks absolutely terrifying. The sound design alone is enough to give you nightmares, with the whispers and all that. Yikes. While not directed by del Toro, it was produced and written by him so it’s got the style and the creepy fairy tale vibe of his other films. Is moving into an enormous, old, rundown house ever a good idea? No, no it isn’t. And do you know why? Because likely there will be goblins living in the over-sized duct system. Ask anybody in charge of zoning, it’s a lot more common than you think.
FINAL DESTINATION 5
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, how can you have more than one FINAL destination? I will give it to the franchise that they do think of incredibly horrific and elaborate deaths for people, but that’s what I said about the Saw movies, too. It’s the law of diminishing returns. Remember how the last one was just called The Final Destination, implying that it was going to be the last one they did? But that movie did unbelievably well at the box office, so they went “aw, fuck it,” and made yet another one. This is what’s known as the “New Beginning Phenomenon.” In 1984 they made Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, and only one year later there was Friday the 13th: A New Beginning, which then gave birth to six more films. Money will always win out.
So, go get scared at the movies. Next time on Dissecting Trailers, I’m going back to my original, pick-it-apart-by-the-second format and do the trailer that made me call “No Way” faster than any trailer in recent memory: Battleship.
-Kanderson enjoys watching trailers but enjoys even more having you as a TWITTER follower