Fall is decisively under way. September saw the release of many new movie trailers. It’s an interesting time of the year, not quite late enough to start seeing much from next year’s highly anticipated lineup of blockbusters. That clears the way for some lesser known projects to take a greater share of the public’s attention. Here are the top 10 most popular movie trailers released in September.
10. God Help the Girl
Emily Browning has a stealthy little career going for her, working steadily in films which no one sees. Her most mainstream appearance came in Zack Snyder’s directorial misstep Sucker Punch. The other places you may have seen her were this year’s Pompeii and the Jim Carrey showpiece from a few years back, Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events.
She has a trademark beauty which oscillates between strange and captivating. It’s a look which suits this eccentric musical drama well.
9. The Houses October Built
There’s a point in life beyond which haunted attractions no longer frighten. Once you realize that none of these guys dressed in costumes lurking around fog-machined sets will ever touch you, the best you can hope for is a good startle, followed by some amused laughter.
This entry in the found footage genre builds off of that realization. What if there was a haunted attraction where you could actually get hurt?
8. Big Hero 6
The first two trailers for Disney’s Big Hero 6 focused primarily on the bumbling “balloon man” robot and his companionship with a young boy. With this latest preview, we get a broader picture of the world these characters inhabit.
Big Hero 6 is based on a Marvel comic, and this trailer gives us the first sense of that origin with the gearing up of Baymax and his companions. With a distinctly Japanese sensibility, Big Hero 6 looks different from what we’re used to seeing from Disney. But that could end up being a good thing.
7. The Equalizer
This new Denzel Washington vehicle has been out for a couple of weeks, and has been getting decent reviews. At first glace, this is a paint-by-numbers, revenge-seeking action picture, complete with a retired underworld badass returning to take names after an innocent acquaintance is brutally attacked.
Despite treading familiar territory, The Equalizer demands attention on account of its talent, lending credence to the notion that a story well told is more important than one which has never been told before.
6. Big Eyes
You can usually spot a Tim Burton film coming from a mile away. The director of Edward Scissorhands, Beetlejuice, and the 1989 Batman has a distinct visual style which leaves his fingerprints on every frame.
That highlights one of the most remarkable things about Big Eyes. This looks nothing like a Tim Burton film. I watched this trailer three times before realizing Burton was the director. That’s exciting. A deviation from a proven filmmaker suggests he may be exploring another side of his craftt. He’s even breaking from his typical pool of talent to showcase Amy Adams, Krysten Ritter, and Christoph Waltz.
5. Horrible Bosses 2
The Empire Strikes Back. The Dark Knight. The Godfather: Part II. Every once in a while, a sequel comes along which proves better than the original in every category. Horrible Bosses 2 may earn that distinction, though it certainly comes from a lesser pedigree. If the film proves as well-crafted and perfectly paced as this trailer, than it may be among the very best comedies of the year.
Of particular interest is the father-son dynamic between Christoph Waltz and Chris Pine, the latter of whom looks to be milking his innate smarm for all that its worth.
4. John Wick
Ditto everything said above regarding The Equalizer. John Wick looks to be cut from the same cloth, though with a distinctly more modern style.
This trailer proves bold right out of the gate, daring to break an unwritten rule of Hollywood – never kill the dog. Somehow, having the bad guys off the anti-hero’s pooch seems a greater motivation for rampaging vengeance than the typical attack upon significant others.
It’s been a while since Keanu Reeves has delivered a performance that commanded attention. This turn in John Wick may be his return to form.
3. Monsters: Dark Continent
The original Monsters, a sleepy horror film which hit back in 2010, impressed Legendary Pictures execs enough that they granted writer/director Gareth Edwards the reins of their Godzilla reboot. That turned out well enough to earn him the helm of a stand-alone Star Wars film due in 2016.
The problem with Monsters: Dark Continent, the imminent follow-up to Edwards’ original, is that Edwards is not involved. Add to that the drastic departure from the setting and spirit of the original, and this sequel seems like a crapshoot which may have been better off as a property all its own.
2. The Boy Next Door
When I first read the synopsis to The Boy Next Door, I questioned Jennifer Lopez’s choice to star. After all, a school teacher who falls into an affair with one of her students hardly seems sympathetic. But as this trailer demonstrates, the circumstances of the sin make for some taut drama.
Evoking the feel of Fatal Attraction, if the gender roles were reversed, The Boy Next Door wonders what would happen if a statutory rapist became the victim of her victim. What if the boy used her indiscretion as leverage to take over her life?
1. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1
One trailer or another from this forthcoming entry in The Hunger Games franchise has made our list of most popular trailers three of the past four months. That’s each month in which a new trailer has been released. This latest preview takes our top spot, ramping up the excitement metered out to this point.
We appear to have moved past the games themselves at this point. Now, as President Snow promised Katniss in last year’s Catching Fire, we get to be in a real war.