We have already looked at the Top 5 movie trailers as per YouTube but they were the same old, same old. Nothing interesting or even remotely radical.
The trailers on offer here are the kind that tell a story, that capture a mood, that have a flow all their own. They are not simply clip shows to create anticipation, they function as pieces of entertainment or art on their own merits.
So here we have hand selected, the best trailers of 2012. The results may surprise you, they may even disappoint or enrage, but they will not be your standard choices.
10. Zero Dark Thirty - Final Trailer
Haunting, intense and utterly engrossing, and this is just the trailer for what is one of the prime Oscar contenders this year. The trailer slinks through the decade long hunt for Osama Bin Laden, giving us enough insight into the alarming lengths taken but not enough to ruin any plot developments, while dragging us along the outskirts of the (unsurprisingly contentious) moral murk that surrounds this hunt.
A child's chorus interpretation of a Metallica classic adds prestige and a haunting aura to the proceedings and the trailers money shot (the Navy SEAL 6 team slowly pushing open the doors to Bin Laden's compound, knowing full well what awaits them inside) is a true goosebump-inducing moment. That a trailer can get such a reaction, despite being based on the most famous news stories of the decade, is a real feat of editing.
9. The Lords of Salem
I speak now as a movie viewer with little time for Rob Zombie; I love one of his films (his Peckinpah-esque The Devil's Rejects) and utterly loathe the rest. This aggressive disdain for his work should impress upon you just how much The Lords of Salem's trailer worked for me.
Low on story detail or even dialogue, The Lords of Salem's trailer rides on stunning imagery that would be more at home in an art house production, like Kubrick or Von Trier, not the usually scrappy and wild Zombie. This is truly unlike anything Zombie has produced before, carrying a distinctive feel akin to an unholy amalgam of Italian Giallo and Ken Russell's The Devils. The Lords of Salem's trailer is beautiful and grotesque at once; one of the real surprises of the year.
8. Man Of Steel - Teaser Trailer
It was difficult to decide on which Man of Steel trailer to use but, ultimately, I went with the one that had the most lasting impact on me. The full trailer is stunning, emotive and filled with action unlike anything we have seen from the character on film before.
However, the teaser trailer blew me away on my first viewing. I saw it before The Dark Knight Rises and it caught me completely off guard, I was unaware that a teaser trailer even existed, but the excitement generated was palpable. I turned to my fiancée and tried to lower my voice as I excitedly said "IT'S SUPERMAN!"
This trailer samples Howard Shore's gorgeous theme from Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, taken from the tear-inducing moments following Gandalf's fall into the pit. That level of emotional baggage really helps the teaser, it gives it the impression of a wounded spirit, which wonderfully compliments the beautiful, Terrence Malick inspired imagery of a lost and dishevelled Clark Kent as he travels the world in search of himself.
This trailer works so effectively because it is contrary to everything audiences know about Clark Kent and Superman; in one and a half serene, moving minutes this teaser sets Man of Steel apart from everything that came before. And for a property that is desperate to escape the shadow of Richard Donner, I would call this teaser a resounding success.
7. Django Unchained - Official Trailer #1
The arrival of a new Quentin Tarantino movie is always worthy of fanfare and Django Unchained got a fanfare so big and so loud, it was like a thousand trumpets blown by a choir of boisterous angels.
The début trailer opens with your standard Western tone and imagery, admittedly with the confidence of a Tarantino picture, but once Christoph Waltz's Dr. Schultz frees Jamie Foxx's Django we get that glorious Tarantino twist.
James Brown's The Big Payback sets this trailer apart from the stale, po-faced image that the Western has (quite unfairly) amassed in recent years. It's funky, slick and loaded with attitude; something reflected in the way the trailer is edited. It's pure Tarantino bliss.
6. Pain And Gain - Trailer
This is what Michael Bay should have been spending his years doing, instead of toiling away in a quagmire of Transformers. Bay is at his best when he is without restriction, when he can be as aggressive, as loud and as lascivious as he damn well pleases. He should not be making movies for kids, the bare minimum of restraint he applies makes his PG-13 productions far more offensive than his hard-charging R-rated works.
The last time we saw Bay pitching at this volume was the sublimely merciless cinematic assault that was Bad Boys II. I love Bad Boys II. I spent my Christmas Day watching it, that's how much I love it, and everything about the Pain And Gain trailer's brash style and lunkheaded charm has me believing this could be the next great Michael Bay movie. It certainly seems to indicate Bay has finally made good on his years of Coen brothers worship (he goes out of his way to work with any actor who has worked under the Coens, just look at his filmography) and produced the Michael Bay equivalent of Fargo. Sold.
5. Shut Up And Play The Hits - Official Trailer
Uplifting and bittersweet, the trailer for LCD Soundsystem's final concert is a marvel to watch. Whether you are a fan of James Murphy's seminal electronic rock work, there is no denying the power of this trailer. If you have ever attended a concert that transcended just light and sound and hit you to your core, you will relate to the images of ecstasy and sorrow on display.
This beautifully shot and edited 2:12 trailer manages to perfectly capture our intense relationship with music. It is a trailer every bit as satisfying and emotionally complete as the full film, which is a massive achievement for the editors of this piece.
4. Les Misérables - Official Trailer
Beautiful and heartbreaking, this simple teaser is carried entirely by Anne Hathaway's blisteringly raw musical performance. The imagery didn't exactly have the sweep and grandeur that a story of this scale demanded but the intensity of Hathaway's vocals elevated the entire thing to something transcendent. Simple and effective, it's hard to imagine there being a dry eye in the house during this number.
3. Maniac - International Red Band Trailer
This movie has been on my radar for some time, the 1980 original is a flawed slasher classic, a scuzzy little trip into insanity and deprivation, but it was far from untouchable. Based on the trailer to the Franck Khalfoun directed, Alexandre Aja penned/produced remake, it feels like the ideal circumstances for a remake.
The visuals have changed drastically, adopting a warped, voyeuristic point-of-view aesthetic and trading the sweaty, imposing look of Joe Spinell (best known to film fans as Tony from Rocky) with the disarmingly meek looking Elijah Wood.
The result is something that looks striking, haunting and incredibly disturbing. This is a remake that feels artistically valid, an envelope-pushing piece of experimental horror cinema. If you can stomach it, the trailer is well worth your time.
2. Cloud Atlas - Extended Trailer
Is it cheating, allowing an extended trailer to beat out so many other standard sized trailers? After all, they get a good three minutes more to communicate their information and sell the film to audiences.
In this case, I show some leeway because the concept of Cloud Atlas is so tangled and heady that it requires time to even scratch the surface. This was proven by how unsatisfyingly vague the truncated theatrical trailer turned out by comparison.
The trailer elegantly lays out the premise of the film, where the central themes weave through multiple narratives connected by a core cast playing different characters in each, with some immaculate editing to juxtapose the imagery together. Despite the dense narrative and the varied cast of characters, the trailer still manages to maintain a level of mystery some shorter trailers struggle with.
Elevated in the back-half by the eclectic sounds of M83, this is an emotional, visually stunning trailer for one of the few blockbuster-scaled movies with an ounce of artistry and ambition.
1. Prometheus - Official Trailer #2
Try to forget everything you know about Prometheus, the frustration and disappointment you might have felt, and try to engage with this trailer as a separate entity. That the trailers still create excitement, despite knowing what a mess the actual film turned out to be, is a testament to the brilliance of Prometheus' award-winning marketing campaign.
It's a trailer that creates a sense of awe, a sense of dread, builds genuine suspense and delivers some startling jolts. You almost forget that the finished product was a lovely looking waste of your damn time.