Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone co-wrote this star vehicle, and while the results were wildly uneven, there's more to it than the slapstick-y shtick in the trailer. Movie fans are familiar with McCarthy's physical comedy from her roles in Bridesmaids and The Heat, but Tammy squeezes in some more emotional moments with co-stars Susan Sarandon, Kathy Bates, and Mark Duplass.
Based on this trailer, you could be forgiven for thinking this was only a slightly scary fairy tale, right? You get a glimpse of a monster or two, but mostly it's this creative little girl who's living in Spain during a war. It's a fun night out at your local indie movie theater! If you're familiar with the work of writer/director Guillermo del Toro, however, you know that things are about to get real for young Ofelia (Ivana Baquero) — even tooth fairies are a menace in del Toro's world.
Sarah Jessica Parker stars as a frigid, fancy-pants woman who, though fairly loathsome in her own right, is bested by the awfulness of her boyfriend's "cool" family. It's got a fine cast that includes Dermot Mulroney as her boyfriend Everett, Luke Wilson as Everett's charming, slacker bro, Rachel McAdams as his bespectacled snarky sister, and Diane Keaton as the liberal matriarch of the family.
Here's another arthouse flick whose marquee names and action-packed trailer caused some consternation among viewers. One woman even filed a LOL-worthy lawsuit alleging that, among other things, the trailer "was promoted as very similar to Fast and Furious," and it "bore very little similarity to a chase, or race action film, for reasons including but not limited to Drive having very little driving in the motion picture." She's not entirely wrong; director Nicolas Winding Refn does favor a saturated color palette and shocking violence over vroom-vrooming through the streets of Los Angeles.
Way before he was doing the American Hustle, David O. Russell wrote and directed this clammy comedy about a college student (Jeremy Davies) who gets stuck taking care of his incapacitated mom over summer vacation. When I took my crush to see this in high school, I had no idea that there would be more to Ray's dismal life than brushing his dog's teeth or carting around his mom and her broken leg.
There's no two ways about it; this would have been a hard sell no matter how the trailer was cut. Jennifer's Body, which was written by Diablo Cody and directed by Karyn Kusama (Æon Flux, Girlfight), is a surprisingly bad-ass feminist horror movie that explores the dark side of high school female friendships. The twisted body horror would make David Cronenberg proud, and the razor-sharp insights into girl-on-girl crime and the aftermath of sexual assault will make you cringe. The former would probably not sit well who know Cody from Juno, and the latter would send genre fans running from theaters. It's much easier to show Megan Fox and Amanda Seyfried share what looks like a sultry kiss in some sort of slumber party situation, right?
In the same vein as Pan's Labyrinth, the trailer for this Disney kids' film screams imaginative coming-of-age story about two kids named Leslie (AnnaSophia Robb) and Jess (Josh Hutcherson) who find adventure and refuge in a magical kingdom they dub Terabithia. There are all sorts of amazing creatures in the action-packed trailer, but there's little mention of the bullying and other terrible crap that drives Jess and Leslie to create their own imaginary haven. Plus, have you read the book? Seriously, have you? It is sad as hell!
If you're not familiar with Bobcat Goldthwait's filmmaking career, gird your loins for some truly black humor. The trailer looks like your average indie comedy about a put-upon beta male: Lance is a frustrated writer turned poetry teacher who's used to putting a cheery spin on things, from his unpopular classes to his unsatisfying relationship and, most importantly, his utterly loathsome son. Revealing more would defang Bobcat's creation, but this is really a case where it pays to be an educated viewer and research what you watch if you're easily offended. I mean, try watching Bobcat's dramedy Sleeping Dogs Lie after a break-up and not blubbering like a maniac — and that's a movie that hinges on an act of bestiality.
Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody made twee magic with Juno, so it stands to reason that Young Adult was marketed as a dramedy with a little bit of romance thrown in. NOPE. Mavis Gary, who's played to icy, deluded perfection by Charlize Theron, is more than your prototypical high school bitch all grown up. She's the kind of awful female protagonist that most movies and books are scared to touch, which is what makes Young Adult so remarkable. Certain details make her disarmingly human, like when she slumps to her fridge in the morning to suckle from a giant bottle of Diet Coke, or when she falls asleep with reality TV droning on in the background. This movie also has one of the most awkward, heart-wrenching sex scenes I've seen in years.
To be fair, this trailer isn't misleading per se, and to give away more of the story would be a disservice to the movie and the viewer. The Cabin in the Woods is a delightful deconstruction of the horror genre, so of course its trailer would read as your typical slasher about dumb college kids. Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard co-wrote the script, with Goddard also directing, and it's the kind of sharp, funny script that you'd expect from these Buffy alums. Unfortunately, it's all too easy to spoil the joys of Cabin for yourself; journalists were asked not to reveal one of the particularly cool cameos, but a brief look at IMDb reveals all. Sad trombone.