The Trouble with Trailers

Steven Greydanus describes a growing problem for moviegoers, and he’s absolutely right.

Have you ever been shocked at what you saw during the trailers?

Have your kids ever been frightened by a trailer before a family film?

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About Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet departed the Patheos network in order to escape click-bait advertisements that were offending him and his readers. He will re-launch Looking Closer at soon. He is the author of The Auralia Thread, a four-volume fantasy series that begins with Auralia's Colors, and a memoir of "dangerous moviegoing" called Through a Screen Darkly. He teaches creative writing and film studies; speaks internationally about art and faith; served as Writer-in-Residence at Covenant College; and is employed by Seattle Pacific University as a project manager, copyeditor, and writer.

  • David H.

    When I was in the 2nd grade, I remember going to see “Superman: The Movie” as part of a friend’s birthday celebration and was utterly traumatized by a trailer for a remake of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” that was shown before the film. I cried throughout the entire movie and had nightmares for months thereafter. That was in the late 1970s, so this is certainly not a new problem!

  • Claire

    I didn’t see too many movies as a kid, but when I started going to the movies with friends as a teenager, I was often frightened by ‘scary movie’ trailers. As an adult, I love trailers, I think they’re fun. But I still hate scary movies and I’m annoyed when they sneak one into a movie I go to see. I take my younger sisters to the movies sometimes, and inevitably there will be a scary preview. I think I may try to complain next time, never thought it might make a difference before reading Steven’s article…

  • Chris

    I remember when I was 10 being taken to see “Ghostbusters 2.” Before that PG-rated comedy–which kids loved because of the animated Ghostbusters show that was popular at the time–they played a trailer for the distinctly un-PG rated “Friday the 13th: Jason Takes Manhattan.” I remember hiding my eyes and cowering behind the seat, plugging my ears because the screams scared me.

    It was the scariest thing until I actually saw the movie about 10 years later…but that was scary for a whole other reason.