I love movie trailers. They’re one of the reasons I get to theaters early and they always provide interesting looks at upcoming movies. Many trailers nowadays are so effective that making a list of the best would be near-impossible. Instead I’m focusing on the trailers that were/are terrible from 2010 to today. The only exemptions here are direct-to-DVD/TV films, and trailers focusing solely on the film’s home video release. If I miss any, please feel free to leave a comment saying what trailers you thought were just as bad, if not worse.
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (Trailer 2)– This one’s become notorious for spoiling almost the entire plot. If you can’t figure out how to make a trailer without throwing nearly every surprise in the movie at the screen, you have editing issues. Although it stopped at giving away every plot point, the trailer was still more than enough for comic book fans to go nuts.
X-Men: Apocalypse (Super Bowl Trailer)– When doing superhero movies, especially those concerning teams, the team members have to be the focus of the movie. I guess that didn’t get across to the editors of this trailer, who featured Jennifer Lawrence’s Mystique so much I half-wondered if they were trying to bank this film as a Lawrence star vehicle. I know she’s a wonderful actress, but the spotlight shouldn’t focus on the individual as much as the team.
Mother’s Day (Home Video Trailer)– I’m making an exception for home video-centered trailers, because this one is awful. The first time I saw this I thought it was a direct-to-DVD feature. When the trailer voice says: “brilliant cast” or something along those lines, it shows nobody put any effort into it. Even home video trailers for blockbusters typically consist of a mash-up of the best scenes. This one fails on all levels.
Ghostbusters (Trailer 1)– Yes, it’s the 2016 film but you probably knew that. The only other thing I have to say is go check the YouTube like/dislike ratio. That alone will tell you more than I can say here.
Drive/The Village/The Babadook (Main Trailers)– All three of these have the same problem: misleading their audiences. Each trailer presented a different setup than what the actual films turned out to be. Drive wasn’t an action flick, The Babadook didn’t have a real monster, and The Village was a romance movie, not a “creature feature”.
Terminator: Genysis (Trailer 2)– Perhaps the most important rule of any trailer is never give away the plot of your movie. That was completely ignored by the makers of this trailer, who threw in the major plot twist and didn’t bother to correct themselves. It’s become an issue with trailers these days. Some of them do it better while others, like this one, don’t.
The Emoji Movie (all trailers)– I remember the utter shock and disbelief going through me when I saw the first teaser. No matter what the trailers did they couldn’t disguise what this movie was. It didn’t help they were edited in such a predictable manner.