Anyone can tell you if a trailer "looks good" or not. But Drew Magary, who spent over a decade working in advertising, is here to tell you whether or not a trailer WORKS. This week's trailer? "Chronicle".
Ah, another found footage movie. I think we all enjoy a good found footage thriller, if the box office results for "Paranormal Activity 3" were any indication (for the purposes of this exercise, I'll go ahead and pretend "Apollo 18" never happened). Thanks to the PA franchise, "The Blair Witch Project," "District 9," and "Cloverfield," we may never again see a thriller that doesn't consist of found footage of people hanging out just before something really crazy happens. Your latest foray into the genre/gimmick? "Chronicle," which follows around a group of teenage boys who are able to do all the stuff Chris Evans could do in "Push," but hopefully within the framework of a way better movie.
Does the trailer let us know what the movie's about? Yes. A bunch of hip teenagers (you can tell they're hip because one of them has an iPhone) have apparently acquired telekinetic powers, which empowers them to go out and pull BROTASTIC pranks on unsuspecting victims. OMG! That girl thinks that teddy bear has a ghost inside it! SO FUNNY BRO! And look at this poor woman searching for her car we just moved. DUDE IT'S FUNNY BECAUSE SHE'S A RICH PERSON WHO DRIVES A BEEMER! But then one of the gang (the nefarious "Andrew") has to go and use his mindstrength to run a tailgater off the road and kill him and all the other bros are like BRO! NOT COOL BRO! IT WAS TOTALLY COOL WHEN WE PHANTOM PUNCHED THAT ONE GUY, BUT YOU WENT TOO FAR! Then all kinds of mayhem ensues.
Is there a quick shot of a topless girl? Hell yeah. I bet one of the hip teens used his alien mind powers to get her shirt off. SWEET TRICK, BRO!
How's they'd get such nifty powers? Ah, see, that's the mystery. At first, they just seem to have these powers, but then the trailer suddenly goes all Coldplay on you and reverses the footage all the way back to the gang happening upon a giant hole in the ground hosting something mysterious and presumably evil. And dude, when there's a big hole in the ground, you GOTTA go down and look, bro.
Does one of the guys have a Bieber haircut? I think so. I think the evil bro does. NOT A COINCIDENCE.
Is there a possibility this will devolve into a rather standard thriller by the end? Oh yes. Between the flying cop and the stuff going through ceilings and one of the bros pulling a Magneto and shoving all the cop cars back, you could be looking at a movie that ends up being rather formulaic. Then again, FLYING COP SO KEWL BRO!
Does this trailer work? Yes. Found footage movies always make for great trailers. It's like a two-minute PowerAde commercial. Plus this one has a nice tagline ("What are you capable of?"), and they use a Facebook address instead of a traditional title reveal. SO HIP. They also include a hashtag for Twitter and that has elicited a favorable response. I expect "Chronicle" to do just fine. And I hope no cool bros ever get telekinesis.