The 10 Most Misleading Horror Trailers

The 10 Most Misleading Horror Trailers

by | Oct 3, 2015

Film trailers are supposed to give us a preview of films, by showing us key scenes from the feature. In the space of 2:30 seconds, the maximum length allowed by the MPAA, the trailer should give us an overall idea of what to expect. Studios usually show us the most exciting, thrilling and scariest scenes in order to draw us in, and if it looks good, it will find it’s audience. We are all suckers for big explosions , funny dialogue and the promise of some terrible threat! However, not all studios are completely honest with their trailers. They twist things round and edit them to make them seem more exciting, and that’s OK. We all like to exaggerate things, and film trailers do this all the time. There are limits to how far you can push this before your basicly mis-selling the film, and this is what we are looking at today. They twist, cheat and lie. 10 of the most misleading horror trailers I could find.


Splice – Hunted

The trailer for the DNA mixing drama promised us an alien style film, where a demon spawn creature is hunting people down in a menacing and inhuman way. What we got was two hours of nonsense about how NOT to bring up children and an underlining message NOT to have sex with your daughter!


Arachnophobia – A Family Film

With it’s light hearted music and comedy vibe, it would be easy to believe that this film is a harmless family film. But the real deal is a horrific arachnophobes nightmare, where hundreds of spiders go about killing people, draining their corpse dry and popping out of their dead mouths! The trailer even highlights John Goodman’s role as a quirky exterminator Delbert, making his role seem central to the film, despite having quite minimal screen time.


Dark Water – Snappy Editing

The trailer for the American adaption of Dark Water showed what looked like an epic thrill ride, with jumps every minute. Using a editing techniques, such as quick cuts and sped up footage, the trailer seemed to show something fast paced and full of scares. Instead, the movie was really a slow, psychological drama, that had very little horror in it at all.  All the scary bits were shown in the trailer and there were scenes and dialogue thrown in out of context. The trailer even included shots that never appeared in the film, making the movie appear much more scarier than it actually was. With such a misleading trailer, it’s no wonder that the film received such poor reviews.


Friday the 13th – Numbers Don’t Add Up

The original trailer for the first Friday the 13th film, way back in 1980, showed a countdown of 13 murders. Despite it’s clever idea, the film only included 9 murders, not counting Mrs. Vorrhees. Then a year later, the trailer for Friday the 13th part 2 continues this theme with another inaccurate set of deaths. Confusing fans even more by claiming “12 of her friends were murdered” and then starting the countdown from 14.



The Halloween: Resurrection – Back To Front

The Halloween: Resurrection trailer had fans of the series excited, with the prospect of Jamie Lee Curtis’s Laurie and Michael Myers facing off once again. The trailer showed Laurie coming to the rescue, making everyone believe she had a large part to play. Sadley for everyone Laurie is killed off within the first 15 minutes of the film, leaving Buster Rhymes to save the day. Yes..I said Buster Rhymes!


Predators – More Means Less

Probably the sneakiest misdirection in a trailer,  Predators literally lies to the audience about the number of predators in the film. The trailer includes a scene where a dozen or so Predator laser sights (the classic triangle) trace on Adrien Brody‘s  Royce. It’s a shot that screams out ” were are going bigger, badder with more!”. And fans were psyched to finally get to see a film with dozens of predators fighting side by side. Sadly, the movie only managed to deliver us four hunters. This scene does indeed appear in the film, but with fewer sight shining upon Brody, meaning the scenes was altered for the trailer. Shame on you Hollywood!


The Apparition – Only If You Believe

Sometimes, film trailers weave plots of their own, producing something widely different from the film it represents. Such is the case with the Apparition. The trailer plucks a story out of the air, suggesting that the spirits from the film only attack if you believe, a story line that is never explored or mentioned in the film. Lets face it, it would have made the film better. Pretty much anything else would have made this film better!


Black Christmas – It’s not in the film?

Once in awhile, a studio will come to the realization that they have a stinker on their hands. If you’ve run out money and you need to boost audience attendance, the best thing to do is just make shit up! So was the case with Dimension Films 2006 remake of  Black Christmas. The studio went ahead and just filmed a load of extra scenes, such as people trapped under ice and a girl being dragged violently backwards by a roll of christmas lights, all exclusively for the trailer. Yep,  a huge chunk of the trailer is just made up to make the film looks more scary. Unfortunately for the studio, it did not improve the film and it bombed big time. I’d call that just desserts for a scheming studio that tried to fool us!


Alien 3 – Everyone Can Hear You Scream

Probably the biggest disappointment in the history of film trailers. This teaser trailer popped up with the iconic alien egg (well at least the egg that appears in the trailers) and distant screaming playing over the sound of wind. the clunky narration tells us that “On Earth, everyone can hear you scream” as the egg floats over the glowing edges of our planet’s atmosphere. And it gave us all chills! It’s seemed to make sense that the Alien would eventually make it to earth. Right from the first film, the Weyland-Yutani corporation had been trying to get hold of the dreaded creature, so it would have no doubt found itself here sooner or later. Unfortunately for everyone, the acid bloodied beasties never made it to earth, and Alien 3’s story took a vastly different direction, leaving cinema goers frustrated and saddened by the misleading trailer.
“On Earth, everyone can hear you scream” was more of a true statement in general, than something that actually happens in the film. Way to do go guys, thanks for lying to us!!


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