Best trailers of 2018?

Well it’s December folks. You have to start compiling your “Best of” lists somewhere. In the next 10 days we’ll be showing you our customary lists, so let’s kick off “Fun Friday” with someone else’s list.

In the AV Club’s list of best trailers of 2018, there are a mix of movies that have already been released and those that haven’t. That’s not the point. The point is that trailers are mini-movies all to themselves. They give you a taste of the movie to come but unlike a movie which aims to satisfy, the point of a trailer is leave you wanting a bit more.

The AV Club’s list is pretty good, but there are two trailers that didn’t make it. I’d like to show you both.

The Lion King (2019)

I’ll admit, this isn’t actually a terribly good trailer. If it were, it would stand on its own. But it makes you remember the original 1994 Lion King trailer, which stands alone as an awesome piece of cinema. It’s even more amazing when you realize not a single computer was used in its making. Take a look at the two together and see which one you think is better.

Personally I think the older one is actually better. Yes it suffers from a case of “the 90s” especially in the dated narration, but it shows you everything you need to know. It also shows you just how beautiful all that hand-drawn animation is.

Sorry to Bother You

I’ll admit that Sorry to Bother You has been one of my favorite movies of the year. The trailer really played a part in that.

In this case the trailer works because it really leaves you thinking you know everything you need to know about this film. It shows you enough of the plot to really establish it. However, this trailer was really made for the internet age. Instead of hiding a lot of its details, it puts them right out front. And then, the internet does the rest.

Sorry to Bother You is not the movie you think it’s going to be, based on the trailer. You’re expecting a stylish urban comedy and you get a science-fiction commentary on today’s workaday world. The trailer shows you nothing of that second part.

So, if you only saw the trailer, you might want to see the movie because you think it’s cool and funny. Or, you might have read some stuff about it on the internet. Some of the early reviews hint at the strange right turn the film takes halfway through, and that might have intrigued you.

By itself, this trailer is good enough to be a short comedy film on SNL. In fact it owes a lot to a 1980s short with Eddie Murphy:

So you can enjoy the trailer by itself. Really you don’t want to, and that’s the whole point. You like the trailer enough that you want just a little more. And that, of course, is the whole point.

By the way, Sorry to Bother You is available on Hulu right now. I don’t know if the 90s Lion King is available for free on any streaming service, but I’m sure you can rent it if you choose.



About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.