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From the Inside: A Case of Misleading Paranormal Activity 3 Trailers

Posted on October 20th, 2011

via Inside Pulse

This evening Paranormal Activity 3 is being released early as part of a late night sneak preview. Some markets are getting the film at 9 PM while other, larger markets will get a 10 PM screening. The one thing both markets will have in common, though, is that as the film lets out, the theater lobby will host a stream of confused audience members — perplexed by just how much of the movie’s trailers and TV spots included footage that was nowhere to be seen in the final version of the film.

… [snipped] …

I’m not going to go into specifics about which footage will be awaiting you when you go and see the film but I’d put it at 50 percent for the amount of footage used in spots that is not in the final film.

Is this a good thing? Can this deliberate misdirection and decoy footage actually help audiences’ enjoyment of the movie? One of the biggest complaints about trailers is that they give away too much of the movie. By the time you see most comedies and horror films, you already know the best laughs and scares, respectively. By filling a trailer with footage not actually in the movie, perhaps audiences are being treated to the rare experience of seeing a film that they haven’t already experienced piecemeal through advertising.

… [snipped] …

The trailers give a very different impression of the actual movie than what audiences will discover when they go to see it. They trailer (successfully) compiles the best scares from not one but two different horror films — the Paranormal Activity 3 being released in theaters and the Paranormal Activity 3 destined to be released as a supplemental bonus disc during the movie’s home video release. By doubling up on the amount of scares in the trailer, the marketing material is giving the impression that the film is full of edge-of-your-seat horror from start to finish. Instead, Paranormal Activity 3 is a movie with maybe half a dozen really good scares before a pretty intense finale — in other words, pretty much par on course with the previous two movies. The trailers are promising scary moments in the film that just aren’t there.

Read the full story at Inside Pulse

Trailer 1:

Trailer 2:




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