Trailer Trend: Spoilers

Most of us believe that spoilers are bad. We believe that if we know who Luke’s father is, Star Wars isn’t as good. If we know Snape killed Dumbledore, Harry Potter is ruined. Or if we know that Bruce Willis’ character was dead the whole time, it takes away from our enjoyment of The Sixth Sense.

A horrible trend in movies today is to release trailers that give away too much. Some give away big twists that are essential to the movie, while others pretty much show you the whole movie in two minutes.

I made a list of some of the most recent and high profile offenders that came to my mind. So if you haven’t seen any of these movies, this is your only warning: SPOILERS.

The Double (2011)

My first reaction to this trailer was something along the lines of “What the F**k?!”. It literally shows the whole movie beat for beat. If someone were to pay me to watch this movie and make a 2 1/2 minute video summarizing it, this is probably what I would come up with. Which is pretty much what happened; the company that made the trailer got paid for spoiling the movie.

I will say that there are a lot of rumors/speculation about this film out there saying that the trailer doesn’t spoil the movie. Even if it turns out that what’s shown in the trailer isn’t a giveaway, even if there are yet more twists that the trailer doesn’t reveal, this is a bad trailer for two reasons.

1. It gave away too much. Most people who see this trailer will feel that it spoiled the whole movie (with good reason) and hence won’t pay to see it.

2. It angered audiences. If you look at the YouTube trailer, about 80% of people disliked the trailer.

I won’t be paying $9.50 to see this movie in theaters, which I would have done if I didn’t feel the trailer spoiled it. I’ll wait for it on Blu-ray.

Real Steel (2011)

Once again, I felt like I saw the whole movie; the trailers even shows the subplots within the movie (i.e. the romantic relationship between Hugh Jackman and Evangeline Lilly). However, with action movies like this, spoilers aren’t HUGE offenses since a lot of people care more about the action and special effects than the story (see: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen…actually, see: all Transformers movies)

The Beaver (2011)

The trailer speaks for itself.

Terminator Salvation (2009)

Obviously, the spoiler in this trailer is the scene that starts at 1:13. Why the hell would you reveal that in the trailer?? It’s a HUGE twist. This is the type of twist that, if kept secret, could have moved this movie from meh to good. Imagine if they gave away The Sixth Sense twist in the trailers – M. Night Shyamalan would probably not be making movies right now…which would not be a bad thing actually.

I love trailers. The previews are my favorite part of going to see a movie (with a few movies as exceptions). But it’s come to a point where every time I watch a new trailer I have to cross my fingers and hope that it doesn’t ruin the movie.

Although most of us believe spoilers to be bad, psychology researchers at UC San Diego recently concluded a new study whose results show that spoilers actually make audiences enjoy a story more. In other words, spoilers are good for you.

Do you agree?


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