A lot of very good movies released this year, and boy have they been advertised. In fact, so many films had trailers this year I once tried to round them up every week until I abruptly gave up because the mountain was way too steep to climb. But here we are at the end of 2013, so now’s the best chance to look back on which films featured the best and worst trailers.
A good film trailer inspires you to see a film regardless of whether or not you were interested in it in the first place. An average or badly put together trailer could turn you off a film completely. The best ones remember that they’re going to be the only thing we see or hear from a film for awhile, so they’re going to stick. While my perspective may lean toward bigger movies, they’re just the ones that affected me most (although one trailer in this list completely came out of nowhere to surprise me).
Here are the ten best trailers of 2013.
Honorable Mentions: An Oversimplification of Her Beauty, Coldwater (Flixist was quoted!), The Great Gatsby (Beyonce spot), Only God Forgives (Red Band Trailer #1), You’re Next, Despicable Me 2 (Eminem spot), The Bling Ring (Teaser #1), Library Wars, The Counselor (Trailer #1), The Wolf of Wall Street (Kanye trailer), The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (Teaser #1), The LEGO Movie (Trailer #1)
10. Pacific Rim (Trailer #1)
The way the first teaser is cut may be nothing new (oh please, another inspiring speech voice over?), but the film’s imagery inspired a lot of cool things. There was a video of the Power Rangers theme music spliced with it, someone did a “Japanese” version, Del Toro himself did a commentary for this teaser, and the trailers following never really reached this amount of greatness again. Come to think of it, the film didn’t live up to this either.
9. Man of Steel (Trailer #3)
Once again, here’s a trailer for a film that ended up painting a much better picture of the final product than we received. Man of Steel caused a lot of nerd debate. Is it a bad movie? Is it a good one? Is IHOP any good? That’s all still up in the air, but for a brief moment after this third trailer, I had no doubts with Man of Steel.
8. The Raid 2: Berandal (Teaser #1)
The Raid: Redemption was an amazing surprise last year, so I was really looking forward to the first footage of the sequel. Luckily, I was not disappointed. The best teasers are cut in a way that spark an interest in the film (or create a hype), without giving information. If you watch the trailer closely, you get brief looks at people killing things, but you really have no idea who anyone is or why they matter. Rama punches a wall with such ferocity it sounds like a drumroll the faster and faster he does it, then there’s a bloody lady and then — oh no I’m watching it again.
7. The Wind Rises (US Trailer)
The Wind Rises released in Japan to good success and Hubert and Alec thought the film was worth a watch, but I still wasn’t convinced. I like Studio Ghibli and all (Totoro is my dawg, dawg), but their films aren’t ones I need to go rush out to theaters to see…until now. Before Disney confirmed their voice cast for the English dub, they revealed the above trailer to promote its domestic release. There’s no dialogue, and it’s absolutely gorgeous. It marries sound and visuals so well that TWR automatically jumped to my “must see” list. Still, it’s no Totoro.
6. Fast & Furious 6 (Super Bowl Spot)
“We’re talking vehicular warfare.” I was more excited after seeing this thirty second spot for Fast Six then I was watching the entirety of the Super Bowl waiting for it. There were other teasers released that day, but does anyone remember them? NO. How can anyone expect to remember anything when you clearly see a friggin’ car drive straight through a friggin’ plane! Good thing the actual film lived up to this. If it didn’t, we’d be in a completely different world right now.
5. This is the End (The Real World: This is the End Edition)
I normally can’t stand awful MTV ties ins with popular movies. They’re always forced, everyone looks tired, and it’s never. ever funny to anyone over the age of 15. But when MTV decided to promote This is the End, the resulting short ended up being a better advertisement for This is The End‘s humor than any of its trailers could ever hope. It’s such a good standalone product too. You could see this short, get a laugh, and never need to see TiTE itself. Although, I hope you do because it’s magical.
4. Gravity (Teaser #1)
Before this first teaser for Gravity, I had no idea what it was. I didn’t know Alfonso Cuaron was making another movie, I didn’t know my boo Sandra Bullock was to star, and I sure didn’t know a movie was going to look this good. I may not have seen Gravity yet myself (which according to Matt’s review, sounds like a big no no), but ever since this first teaser made my heart drop when I first saw that final image of Bullock ceaselessly floating into the bleakness of space, it’s been running through my mind. Just thinking of that image gives me chills.
3. Carrie (Telekinesis Coffee Shop Surprise)
The biggest “surprise” of this “viral video” is that it’s actually a trailer for Carrie. You wouldn’t know it until the end, but it managed to fool a lot of people. Although it didn’t do enough for people to go out and see the movie, this “prank” video managed to top the YouTube charts without creating a big blowback for the film itself.
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1. The Act of Killing
Let me just say this outright. I’m not a documentary guy. Never have been, never will be. I’ve seen so few, I can count them on my fingers. I don’t know what it is about the documentary format that doesn’t appeal to me (maybe I just don’t like no fancy book learnin’), but something never clicks. That’s until I saw the above trailer for The Act of Killing. And WOW does it grab you and never let go. In its few minutes, it details an extremely interesting film with an extremely interesting premise. And that’s what the best of the best trailers do. They take a film you probably didn’t want to see and make you want to see them. As this is the only trailer that made me do a complete 180 on a genre I had no interest in before, I’d say it deserves the top spot here.
What are your favorite trailers from 2013? Do you have a “best” trailer that I didn’t feature here? Leave a comment below or hit me up on Twitter! Stay tuned tomorrow for the other side of the pillow, the Ten Worst Trailers of 2013.