Something that’s noticeable in older film trailers is the informative and novel-like narration they receive. In 2012, where, in advertising terms less is more, such trailers stand out like a sore thumb. Trailers from the 70s and, to an extent, 80s tend to be the main culprits at large, especially where some classics are concerned.
Delving straight in: this is another classic film ruined. Well, it certainly is unless you’ve seen it or are completely unaware of the Stephen King horror it is based upon. This particular trailer up for analysis, however, is from 1976, so comes complete with well spoken gentlemanly voice over. This narrator literally tells all — a rather vivid description of the film which sets up the finale in some detail.
Carrie is certainly no exception. The simple (as with many of the film trailers I’ve critiqued) synopsis can be summarised in a sentence: a bullied and abused schoolgirl explores supernatural methods in order to seek revenge on her tormentors.
*If you’ve not seen the film then the analysis that follows contains spoilers*
What the trailer reveals
The detailed elements of her seeking the meaning of telekinesis, the extent she is bullied and by who (including her mother) don’t need to be so blatant. Not only this, but we subjected to the whole build up to the film’s climactic school prom and how her powers grow. Why? What is the point in revealing all of this?
It’s therefore a little pointless watching the first hour or more and should skip to the end…
…But wait! We’re told all about that too, leaving no stone unturned and no plot point unanswered. In fact, the voice over/imagery combination does a wonderful job of both explaining Carrie’s motivations, abilities (she looks up telekinesis is a dictionary for heaven’s sake) and actions — just in case you couldn’t fit the pieces together — as she torments and terrifies the entire class in attendance of the Senior Prom.
Why they feel the need to depict the iconic moment Carrie is covered from head to toe in pig’s blood is too far. Seeing as it then follows on with her getting revenge on classmates as she exits the prom with a firey backdrop, meaning any suspense is gone. Any mystery behind the horror — which often by its very nature asks more questions than it answers and oozes ambiguity — is gone.
All it needed to do was present intrigue and mystery with moments of inexplicable horror in order to get its audience interested; not reveal the whole damn film right before our eyes.
Spoiler rating: 10/10