A movie trailer is akin to a carnival barker whipping the crowd into a frenzy as they breathlessly describe the wonders that await inside the Big Top. Yet sometimes they go too far, there’s a thin line between merely giving audience’s a taste of what to expect and telling the wildest porkies. For the sake of a few extra bucks a heartrending drama might find itself billed as a wacky fun-for-all-the-family caper or a fluffy romantic comedy might get a trailer composed of scenes from its one action sequence. It’s easy to say ‘so what’ – surely we’re savvy enough consumers to expect this kind of tomfoolery from studios by now?
But what happens when they go too far and twist a film beyond all recognition? Is lying to an audience about the kind of film they’re going to see crossing some kind of moral event horizon (perhaps even worthy of a lawsuit), or do audiences need be lied to in order make a film work or simply to get unwilling asses on seats?