In Praise of Teasers ~ Psycho (1998)

psycho

I have a serious problem with movie trailers lately. It seems like nearly every preview that’s released is about 2:30 minutes long and gives away almost every aspect of the movie, acting more like a Cliff Notes version of the movie being advertised rather than something to entice an audience into coming back and seeing the full product.

In this day and age where all aspects of a movie are fairly well known before an inch of footage is seen the subtlety of a well crafted “teaser” trailer is totally gone…and I miss it…I miss it a lot. So I decided to go back to some of the teaser trailers I fondly remember and, in a way, reintroduce them. Whether the actual movie was good or bad is neither here nor there…but pay attention to how each of these teasers work in their own special way to grab the attention of movie-goers.

Psycho (1998)

Riding high off of a string of movies that were critical and box office successes, the (cinematic) world was director Gus Van Sant’s oyster.  So on one hand it was easy to imagine why Universal Studios would allow Van Sant to take on what was essentially a shot for shot remake of Alfred Hitchcock’s legendary 1960 thriller.  On the other hand, why would any director even want to go near the property to begin with?  I remember being excited to see what Van Sant would do with the material and his starry ensemble cast…and also feeling a bit shell shocked leaving the theater after viewing the ultimately unwise finished film.  Hitchcock’s film still has an impact even 15 years after this bungled remake so in the end this head-scratcher exists merely as curiosity.

Missed my previous teaser reviews? Check out my look at Alien, Misery, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Showgirls, Jurassic Park, Jaws 3D/Jaws: The Revenge, Total Recall, Halloween II: Season of the Witch, In the Line of Fire, The Game

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