I hate it when movie trailers give away the entire plot. How’s that supposed to make me want to see the movie? There are no surprises left. If I know the story why pay $10 to see it?
Then there are the times you see a movie you were looking forward to and realize afterwards that the only good parts were in the trailer. That feels like a ripoff. In those cases I think they are trying to make some money on the movie before the word gets out it’s crap.
I recently saw a movie trailer for Paranoia. It sounds like a cross between Wall Street and Duplicity with a strong cast. I put it on my list to see. Then I went to the movies on Friday to see Wolverine (great movie, BTW) and saw another trailer for Paranoia. This time it included a big plot twist. At first I thought, Oh, cool. But then about a second later I thought, Wait a minute. That just gave the whole movie away. It really turned me off. It’s taken all the surprise out of the story for me. Curiously, my friend, Hilari, said it made her more inclined to see the movie. Before, she wasn’t that interested as she didn’t feel the characters had much to recommend them—remember this is about big business, corporate secrets, and greed. I like dark characters so that didn’t affect my interest in seeing the movie. Plus it has a strong cast and I trust certain actors not to sign on for a flop (yes, I know everyone has them in their past and I will check the review when the movie is released). I found it interesting, though, that knowing about the twist had such an opposite affect on us. I don’t like knowing about the surprise—even as a kid I never looked for my Christmas gifts or tried to find out what I was getting. It diminishes the joy of the moment. Much like knowing what is going to happen in a movie diminishes the feeling and response I have. But Hilari doesn’t like stories that will make her sad or ones that have no good guys to root for. She wants the security of knowing she’ll like the story before she sees it (or reads it in a book).
So, what do you prefer? Do you like the safety of knowing the story will develop the way you want it to before you see or read it? Or are you like me and prefer to live dangerously—letting the surprises hit you when you don’t expect it so you get the full gamut of emotions?