Coincidentally and deservedly, this week’s best movie trailers of the week rock a SXSW theme. The festivals kicks off with the world premiere of The Incredible Burt Wonderstone tonight, but three other SXSW entries prove the best may be yet to come in Austin.
The Best Stuff
1. Kiss of the Damned: Clearly vampire romances have been done to death, but the new trailer for Kiss of the Damned suggests director Xan Cassavetes will spice it up with curious characters, a sexy tone and a killer theme song. The piece is also particularly well cut, establishing Djuna and Paolo’s intimate connection and then building upon it by adding the layers of the larger vampire community, resulting in an effective and intriguing building.
2. Cheap Thrills: The marketing team behind Cheap Thrills takes a risk by ditching the formal trailer format for something more along the lines of a music video and it pays off big time, the editors establishing a powerful pounding beat and using it to the material’s advantage. The basic plot details are there, but, more important than anything, the trailer has a pulse and that pulse infuses the piece with an infectious dose of life, guaranteed to get your adrenaline pumping. (Click the image below to watch the trailer)
3. Snap: Similar to Cheap Thrills, the first trailer for Snap wins big by running with an unconventional structure. The bookend setup is highly effective, winning attention via the grizzly details of a massacre then jumping to portraits of the main players only to jump back to the violent account, leaving you with the horrifying realization of what actually goes down in this film.
The Worst Stuff
1. Rapturepalooza: When the red-band trailer for Rapturepalooza opens with a voiceover from Anna Kendrick, you may think, hmm, maybe it’s worth giving this one a shot, however, be warned: Anna Kendrick or no Anna Kendrick, Rapturepalooza looks like an absolute disaster. Kendrick’s relationship with John Francis Daley elicits the slightest dose of charm, but after every single gag in the trailer is so painfully unfunny, it’s tough to have any hope for the full feature.
2. What Maisie Knew: When films like Cheap Thrills and Snap are so successful conveying tone and narrative using more challenging editing techniques, it’s exponentially more disappointing that What Maisie Knew can’t achieve even the slightest degree of that through a standard assembly. The film has a number of main players involved and the trailer does give adequate time to each, but without much suspense and no clear hook, the promo just leaves you with a handful of facts and little desire to see how they all fit together.
3. Frances Ha: Let’s just start with the obvious: Why is the trailer in black and white? A little Googling will answer that question by revealing that the film itself is in black and white, but again, why? But even worse, the trailer for Frances Ha will leave you with that very same question for the story as a whole: Why? So Greta Gerwig can have another chance to show audiences how quirky and awkward she can be? It’s just not enough anymore.
What are your favorite and least favorite movie trailers this week?