17 Movies That Prove Trailers Can Be Deceptive

Movie trailers are meant to entice the audience into seeing the full feature. Sometimes, however, they can use trickery to get you to buy tickets, and the actual movie is nothing like the trailer indicates.

A recent online discussion discusses 17 examples of the most misleading movie trailers in cinematic history.

1. Jack (1996)

Image Credit: Buena Vista Pictures Distribution.

This movie’s trailer failed to communicate that it was a tragicomedy and not a funny big film. A movie fanatic says it was about a dude with a devastating medical condition, and there was nothing funny about that.

2. Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

Miracle on 34th Street
Image Credit: 20th Century Fox.

Tricking people into watching a Christmas movie in May may not be the best marketing strategy. A reviewer writes that Miracle on the 34th Street was originally released in May, and the trailers did not feature any Christmas themes. They advertised how hilarious, charming, and romantic the movie was. 

3. The Family Stone (2005)

The Family Stone
Image Credit: 20th Century Fox.

Do you love a good Christmas comedy to brighten the Christmas spirit? You may want to stay away from the original version of The Family Stone. A filmaholic indicates that the trailer sells a lighthearted Christmas comedy, but the movie is about terminal cancer and an intolerant group of simpletons who lack manners and class. Someone mentions that the remake is very Christmassy.

4. Downsizing (2017)

Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

A movie enthusiast states that the Downsizing trailer seemed like pure comedy. However, the comedy lasts only ten minutes, after which it turns into a weird attempt at drama.

5. Click (2006)

Click Adam Sandler Kate Beckinsale Christopher Walken
Image Credit: Sony Pictures.

Whenever I see an Adam Sandler film, I immediately think, laughing and snorting. This is not always the case, as a moviegoer experienced the existential crisis side of Adam Sandler movies. They purposefully chose the film to have a good laugh as they were going through a rough patch at the time but left feeling worse.

6. The Beach (2000)

The Beach
Image Credit: 20th Century Fox.

I believe that omitting scenes from the trailer in the movie falls under false advertising. We get that a trailer is a marketing strategy, but selling a lie is wrong. A film fan expresses their disappointment after watching The Beach. The trailer showed a girl in a bathing suit, which attracted them to the film. Little did they know that it was all a marketing ploy, and the movie didn’t include the scene with the girl.

7. Looper (2012)

Looper Joseph Gordon-Levitt Bruce Willis Emily Blunt
Image Credit: Looper, LLC/ TriStar Pictures.

Another analyst thinks Rian Johnson missed the plot on this one. The trailer sold it as a fantastic sci-fi action movie where Joseph Gordon-Levitt is chasing down his older self in a futuristic city. Reducing it to a film about a little kid with psychic powers who lives on a farm was a colossal waste.

8. Catfish (2010)

Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

This movie’s title is a giveaway; you may not get what you signed up for. According to a critic, they went in expecting a found-footage horror movie, as the trailer showed. They didn’t get any of that.

9. Blade (1998)

Image Credit: New Line Cinema.

Not everyone enjoys films about supernatural beings like vampires. Some would appreciate a warning. A film connoisseur answers that one of the trailers for Blade only talked about a secret underground society. They did not mention anything about vampires.

10. Skinamarink (2022)

Image Credit: IFC Midnight.

Have you ever sat through a movie waiting for when it gets exciting and ended up staying the entire film? A horror movie fan remarks that the Skinamarink trailer hinted at something interesting, but that’s where it all ended. They watched the whole movie, and even when it ended, they thought, “Okay, but the last shot of it’s going to be something crazy and validate what I just sat through.”

11. John Carter (2012)

Image Credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

This is a rare case where the trailer sabotages the film. Someone claims the John Carter trailer is a chaotic combination of sequences and flashes with scenes that fail miserably at explaining the movie’s plot. The movie is decent and fun, so it’s surprising that the studio would discourage people from watching it.

12. Passengers (2016)

Image Credit: Sony Pictures.

Several thread contributors agree that the trailer for Passengers was misleading. The movie is enjoyable, but the trailer makes it look like a sci-fi thriller instead of a twisted space romance with philosophical drama.

13. Man of Steel (2013)

Man of Steel
Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures.

Finally, a film lover comments that this trailer portends a keen examination and deconstruction of hero mythology from a humanist lens. The movie is far from this. It is noisy and aggressive.

14. Snow Dogs (2002)

Snow Dogs (2002)
Image Credit: Walt Disney Pictures.

Trailers for the 2002 film heavily featured sequences of huskies lounging on a beach. Spoiler alert: that's just one dream sequence; the movie deals with heavier themes.

15. The Village (2004)

The Village Bryce Dallas Howard
Image Credit: Buena Vista Pictures Distribution.

The M. Night Shyamalan film was marketed as a horror mystery thriller, but it had more in common with a romance movie.

Source: Reddit.