Are We Seeing Too Much In Horror Movie Trailers?

Photo Credit: Universal Pictures
Photo Credit: Universal Pictures

Photo Credit: Universal Pictures

Nestled within the mass celebrations of 4th of July weekend, I went to see The Purge : Election Year. As I settled within my seat with pretzel bites in hand, I awaited the upcoming trailers. See, I’m a huge horror movie fan and this is time where most of the September/October coming attractions bless us with their presence. Within that time frame was a two minute and thirty three second coming attraction for Ouija: Origin of Evil. (I may have lost you there because the first one left much to be desired. Ok, maybe if it’s a Friday night, you should Netflix it).

Watch The ‘Ouija: Origin of Evil’ trailer

Everything was going well – it gave us a loose basis of the overall story which is set years before the original movie. Around the minute mark, we get scary images galore. I’m talking stretched out faces, telekinetic powers, and the proverbial “run across the wall while possessed.” Something is very wrong with Doris, the little girl who will be the medium in this movie, but it looks as though all of the “jump scares” were shown within that last minute.

Now, let’s look at the recently released trailer for Rings, which is a prequel to the two prior American adaptations. It counts down the entire seven day curse and what happens to Matilda Lutz’s character within that time frame. There’s quick flashes of every single plague. Is there any intrigue still attached to this movie? As an avid horror movie fan and a person who has invested in The Rings franchise (both American and Japanese counterparts), I will go see it, but my expectations are a little lower. I know when most of the “jumps” are coming.

Watch the ‘Rings’ Trailer here

With movies today, for some studios at least, the trailers are made by a completely separate company. You can look at trailers as a mini-movies of some sort. They want to develop and expectation and tone right off the bat. Are these doing more harm than good? There’s a tightrope-like balance that you have to consider when you make a preview about your upcoming film.

With horror, especially in an age where if one thing works, (found footage movies, I’m looking at you) studios are inclined to repeat the same formula over and over again. These movies usually have a small budget and can make their money back easily.

As seen with earlier horror films like The Conjuring 2 and Lights Out, we got a sense about the movie, but there was still room to be surprised and in some cases, frightened. If a magician tells me how a trick is done before they complete it; yea, it may look cool. That essence of mystery is gone. It’s the same mystique that modern day horror films are having a constant tug-of-war with. My suggestion is to give us a tiny morsel of what’s to come and let our imagination do the rest. The more we wonder about the possibilities on how we can be scared, the better reception to the upcoming movie.

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Author: Murjani Rawls View all posts by
Writer | Photographer | Beast

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