Sometimes watching a trailer for a movie can help to build hype for the story and its characters or creators. But other times, it can ruin the experience since many trailers will feel the need to explain the movie and show the best parts so people will come to theatres to watch the film. Instead of building hype, trailers that show too much actually end up making people feel like they have seen the whole movie, and there is no need to rush to a theatre and spend their money.
But on the other hand, without knowing a single thing about the movie, its genre, or premise, it can be hard to get into the right mindset to fully enjoy a movie. Viewers who go into new movies completely blind may spend a bit of time trying to play catch up to understand what is going on, and this can take away from their immersion and enjoyment. Still, there are plenty of people who say that their favorite memories of seeing movies in a theatre were when they saw the film without ever having seen any trailers or read any descriptions. For some, just knowing the genre of a movie and who is in it is enough for them to get ready for any story.
But if a trailer does its job correctly, then watching them will actually add to the experience of a story. If a trailer is done right, it will show exciting scenes—but not the best scenes. It should have just enough information so people will know what type of story it is (romance, heist, war, etc.), but its real story should be kept mysterious and vague. Thinking of trailers of the past that maybe showed a bit too much but were still vague enough to make people want to leave their homes to experience the real thing on a big screen, one of the best trailers of the past decade would be the trailer for Mad Max: Fury Road.
The trailer for this movie was exciting, and because there are so many cinematic moments from the movie, the trailer was able to show some very cool scenes without showing their best. The editing for the trailer also went beyond just showing people a summary of the movie, but instead created a whole new thing by editing the movie clips to go along with the music and sound effects. Cast Away is one of the greatest movies of all time, but if someone’s seen the trailer, they’ve seen the movie. Of course, there is more to the story if a viewer watches the whole thing, but the main idea of the movie is completely given away in the trailer—which is to cherish time and slow down.
There are a few different trailers for Cast Away, but if someone watched them all, each one gives more of the story away. This movie is an exception to the rule if someone doesn’t care about not having any spoilers, because the only thing people should have been told in the trailer is it’s about a guy on an island and it stars Tom Hanks. The trailer for Cast Away shows Chuck’s life before, during, and after the crash. It shows his hectic and fast life, it shows the crash, it tells audiences the message word for word, it shows how he was separated and then reunited with his love, and it shows how and why he left the island. This completely spoils the movie, and people already know what will happen next, so it’s basically like they are just rewatching the movie instead of seeing it for the first time.
Right now, while the world is still healing from the pandemic and movies theatres are just now opening back up, fans may have turned to trailers so they can get excited about new movies they have had to wait longer than normal for. But if there is a movie that is a remake or adaptation and viewers already know what to expect, then they should avoid trailers until after seeing the movie so it can be more of a surprise what direction the creators take the story in. Or, if there is a director fans really like who is making a new film, and they already know what genre the film will be, then fans can trust that the movie will be something they are familiar with since they have seen the director’s other work and can skip the trailer. It may not seem like that big of a deal to some, but if someone has never had a movie spoiled for them by a trailer then they wouldn’t understand.
And, if that same person has never experienced that joy of seeing a surprisingly good movie without knowing anything about it prior to viewing, they would likewise not understand the importance of choosing whether or not to watch a trailer.