A Tale of Two Trailers

I’m no expert.  Which, in the blogosphere, entitles me to an expert opinion.

The field of study today is movie trailers.  Specifically, how this increasingly decisive aspect of the moviegoing process can be done skilfully – even artfully – and how it can also make you want to stick chopsticks in your eyes.  I have selected, for the purposes of comparison, two upcoming, mainstream, popcorn Hollywood flicks (so as not to apples vs. oranges things with, say, Transformers vs. There Will Be Blood).

The first is for Ridley Scott’s Prometheus which is, according to the protestations of its producers, not an Alien prequel.  (Side Note:  Why bother denying the obvious fact that it is an Alien prequel?  Especially when the movie looks as promisingly awesome as it does?)

Prometheus trailer

Now compare to Chernobyl Diaries, a new horror movie from the people that brought us Paranormal Activity (I’m a fan, BTW), about a group of young “extreme tourists” who get stranded in…Chernobyl.

Chernobyl Diaries trailer

Okay, maybe that wasn’t fair.  Or on the other hand, maybe it was.

Yes, Prometheus likely had ten times the budget of Chernobyl Diaries.  But that’s still no excuse for a trailer (presumably composed of the movie’s best bits) showcasing an idiotic premise (“Screw Moscow!  Let’s hit Chernobyl and get cancer instantly!”), laughable dialogue (“I’m not leaving without my brother!” etc., etc.) and worst kind of horror movie cliche after worst kind of horror movie cliche (the false shock at the pond, the van that won’t start, the dragged-off girl, the camera held by someone suffering the DTs).  As a horror fan, this sort of thing breaks my heart.  I’m not kidding.  It.  Breaks.  My.  Heart.

But there’s still Prometheus to look forward to…

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