Brian De Palma is an amazing talent. He’s had staying power, cultural relevence, and a knack for picking interesting projects.
His latest work, Passion, is a film about… well, I’m fairly confident I could explain not only what the movie is about but what happens in it beat for beat. The new trailer for De Palma’s Passion is so idiotically poorly made it’s almost humorous. The movie doesn’t look bad but I now have no desire to see it because of the trailer. It told me every major plot beat, every twist, and even spoiled the be third act climax.
This has been a growing problem in film today. Why would you make a trailer that destroys your whole movie? Is this the ‘web comics’ formula for big feature film sales? Give it all away and then pray for people to buy a ticket cause they want to see it in a massive theatre with a crying baby and that one woman who won’t stop yelling at the screen? I don’t think so. This is just poorly constructed salesmanship.
See what I mean? How bad is that? Really bad, right? Like so bad you’re not only not going to see the movie in theaters, you’re not going to stream, rent, steal, or even watch it On Demand. You’re going to avoid that film for the rest of your life, if only for the principle of the matter. It’s that right?
This seems to be an epidemic in film right now. I don’t know why studios are signing off on ad campaigns and trailers that gut their films but they are. Take for example the trailer that debuted last week, the Stallone/Schwarzenegger team up joint Escape Plan.
What is it with these films? They’re completely opposite and yet they both aren’t getting my money because they’ve already given me the movie. Studio films should take a page out of Shane Currath’s notebook and market their films the way that he chose to market Upstream Color.
What is that movie? What is it about? I think I have an idea. I’m not sure. But I want to see the movie. I need to see the movie. I understand the atmosphere. I understand where we’re going and that’s something that will get me into the theatre.
And the best part? The film is almost NOTHING like the trailer.
Hopefully the studios will try a little harder in the future. The reality is that things will probably only get worse.