Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Common Parlance: Nightmare Trailer Syndrome

I haven't defined a new term in a long time.
The Pumpkin King is insane.  For years, he's been making Halloween truly scary.  Gone are the costumes, the candy, the parties.  Halloween is now a festival of death, darkness, and fear.  Parents and children cower in their homes as monsters roam the streets at night. 
But it's not enough.  The King wants more.  He's going to destroy the other holidays, starting with Christmas.  With the help of Evil Scientist, he creates skeletal reindeer and goes out to impersonate Santa Claus.  Jack, the sole voice of reason and most hated man in Halloweentown, protests, but is ignored. 
Jack eventually reveals to his undead girlfriend that he is the rightful Pumpkin King.  Evil Scientist created the fake King and usurped his power.  Together they attack the usurper and save Halloween. 
This is the story of A Nightmare Before Christmas I expected when I saw the trailer as a young man. 

Note: Not the trailer I originally saw, but I can't seem to find it online.

It's the story I expected when I went to the film.  What did I get?

Nice songs.  Pretty animations.  A story about some weirdo who hates his job and, inexplicably, decides he likes it again.  A fight against a bag of bugs monster that was tacked on in the end to add dramatic tension.
"You're joking!  I can't believe my script."
I know Nightmare is a "beloved family classic," but bleah.  The film worked great as a poem, but without the songs and animation, it falls down as a story.

This is Nightmare Trailer Syndrome: a movie where the trailer is better than the movie.  Sadly, that's most movies these days.  We need a "Great Trailer/Bad Movie Film Festival."  Any suggestions of what trailers we would show?

No comments: