The Best - and Worst - Movie Trailers of the Week

The Best - and Worst - Movie Trailers of the Week

Jan 24, 2014

It’s a good thing that Vampire Academy makes some progress with its latest trailer because now that it’s been bumped up to a February 7 release, it’s got a lot of ground to cover if it’s going to reel in moviegoers beyond fans of the book. Clearly it’s latest promo isn’t a total success, otherwise it would have made its way into the Best Stuff, but this star-hosted format does boast a fresh feel that doesn’t quite succeed in convincing potential viewers that there’s more to it than vampire and high school clichés, but it still rocks appeal thanks to riveting editing, on-point song selections and a strong sense of tone. But again, it’s a no-go for this week’s Best Stuff, so check out what did make the cut.

The Best Stuff

1. Oculus

The new trailer for the horror movie Oculus uses up the large majority of its running time on a shot that simply shows a sheet falling off a mirror, but good scares largely come down to timing and tone and that rather bare visual paired with the slightest push and effective fairy tale-like narration creates quite the build, intensifying the effect of the eerie and nightmarish imagery that follows.    

2. The Raid 2

After killing all momentum via an abundance of plot details in its last trailer, The Raid 2: Berandal makes quite the comeback with a brand new piece that ditches all the talk about the structure of the underworld and puts character development in its place, making the promo exponentially more powerful – and that’s before we even hit the remarkable montage of downright stunning fight sequences.     

3. Tracks

It’s trailers like these that remind you how pivotal a marketing campaign can be. Tracks had completely fallen off my radar since wrapping its festival run and never secured domestic distribution, but thanks to this promo, I plan to seek it out. It’s a little slow to start, but once it hits the meat of Robyn Davidson’s 1,700-mile trek across the desert, you can truly feel her resolve, pain and hope, establishing a connection to the character and leaving you with a need to see more.

The Worst Stuff

1. Blood Ties

All the famous faces in the world can’t help the new trailer for Blood Ties. There are problems with this one the moment the piece kicks off because the start of the trailer doesn’t even feel like a beginning thanks to an inappropriate music selection. The beat to the song creates an unearned and unnecessary sense of urgency that makes it difficult to absorb all the details being blurted out in the endless string of sound bites, most of which feel quite flat. That beat persists and so does the dialogue, making the trailer totally monotonous, dull and ineffective.

2. The Bag Man

The Big Wedding, The Family, Last Vegas, Grudge Match and now this? Robert De Niro has had a tough run since the release of Silver Linings Playbook and it looks as though it’ll continue with The Bag Man. Hopefully David Grovic’s first feature has more structure than this because the new trailer for the film is totally lost in a variety of conflicting tones, is entirely devoid of suspense, has no hook, and awkwardly shows off De Niro lurking in a bush.

3. Easy Money: Hard to Kill

Say hello to your first voiceover abuser of 2014, and hopefully it doesn’t get much worse than this as the year progresses because the use of narration in the new trailer for the Easy Money sequel Easy Money: Hard to Kill is well beyond laughable; it’s so astonishingly ridiculous, it’s maddening.

What are your favorite and least favorite movie trailers this week?




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