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Image / Editorial

WATCH: Four 2017 Trailers That Were Better Than The Films


by Jennifer McShane
02nd Dec 2017
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Trailers can be as powerful – sometimes even more so – than the film itself. Jennifer McShane rounds up her top four of 2017 (and laments they were better than their respective movies).  


To the average film fan, movie trailers have always been fascinating things; a subtle combination of art and advertising with alluring imagery – fragments and a tease of what is to come. The explosion of all things digital has meant that these previews have almost become an event in themselves; scores of viewers dissecting each and every line, each frame for a plot hint, a twist or glimpse at a big reveal. Look at the last Star Wars films and the near-hysteria the preview of the now record-breaking official trailer even generated. To put out a truly fantastic trailer is a unique skill; you must tempt the viewer, entice them, without giving the game up. Done badly, and it could give a little too much away as Thor: Ragnarok did or worse, polarise the audience at what is a very early stage. And there are generally two kinds of film fans: those that gleefully anticipate the trailers and those that feel the film in question has been completely ruined and given all the “good” parts away. Sadly, I felt some of the most anticipated releases in 2017  didn’t live up to the hype – but their trailers were a thing of beauty.

Mother!

Jennifer Lawrence plays a young and beautiful woman obsessed with rebuilding her house – the house her husband grew up in. Her husband is played by Javier Bardem, a much older poet tormented by writer’s block. She remains happy enough to play housewife, eager to restore their home even though she’s continually ignored by her disinterested husband. That is, until a ‘mysterious couple’ (played by the divinely creepy Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer) turn up, and are allowed to stay on, much to her chagrin. The trailer is all unease and houseguests from hell; giving the audience a glimpse at the Rosemary’s Baby-type horror but without going onto the twists that made audiences – and myself included – feel sick to their stomachs. It was all too much in the film, and the trailer promised nothing of its hellish last hour – this is perhaps why it was so much more effective.

Blade Runner 2049

One note of the thrilling, re-vamped Vangelis score was enough to send chills into even the most die-hard Blade Runner fans but despite the overwhelmingly positive critical reception, something was amiss in this visually-stunning film. Officer K (played by a dashing Ryan Gosling), a new blade runner for the Los Angeles Police Department, unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge what’s left of their dystopian society into chaos. It was a work of beauty to take in on the big screen but generally, I felt it missed something fundamental – the emotional current so strong in the original film. I didn’t connect with K or any of the other characters as I did with Deckard (Harrison Ford) on his previous journey so overall, I was disappointed. However, in the trailer, there are callbacks peppered throughout the whole thing, from the now infamous towering Atari billboard to an ambiguous Gosling tell Harrison Ford that he’s come to “ask him some questions.” The preview felt both old and new – nostalgic yet made for a modern audience. It was a tantalising glimpse into what could have been something truly glorious but at the end, only makes you want to revisit the original again. This is its greatest triumph.

The Killing Of A Sacred Deer


Colin Farrell, Dunkirk’s Barry Keoghan and Nicole Kidman star in this psychological horror film from the director of The Lobster. Farrell plays a prominent surgeon who strikes up a close friendship with a mysterious teenager (Keoghan) but it’s not long before events take a dark turn. Keoghan is the one who really shines here; sinister and menacing in the most unexpected of ways, he holds his own opposite screen heavyweights Kidman and Clueless star Alicia Silverstone. The film was similar to the trailer; unsettling on different levels. But the trailer got it right: it kept the fear simmering just beneath the surface. In the setting of the movie, some of the more frightening moments seemed at times, darkly comical – the viewer isn’t sure what to take seriously. But in the teaser, there’s nothing but unease. An eerie a capella rendition of Ellie Goulding’s “Burn,” children dragging their limp bodies down the stairs and ominous threats; “Don’t worry mom…soon you won’t be able to move either.” What we don’t see and hear only makes it more nightmarish.

Atomic Blonde

Charlize Theron stars as badass M16 agent Lorraine Broughton, who’s sent to Berlin during the Cold War, and partners with embedded station chief David Percival (played by the ever-charming James McAvoy) to navigate her way through a deadly game of spies. She’s a fantastic female lead and though the film was engrossing overall, I felt it generally lacked the same punch as its 3-minute trailer – all violence, sex, fashion and moody energy. She’s a female John Wick – and kicks twice as much ass.