One of the movies coming out this Friday is The Woman in Black, starring Daniel Radcliffe. As his first role after Harry Potter, most of the anticipated audience will be Potter fans eager to see how Daniel steps in to more adult, challenging roles. I was curios to see how the editing of each of the trailers would subtly vary the focus of the film.
Don’t get me wrong, Daniel Radcliffe is shown plenty in each of them. However, after watching them all several times (I will probably now have nightmares tonight, so fair warning for all of those who don’t like scary movies), it’s clear that the editing choices shift the focus slightly in each trailer.
This first trailer, entitled “Tremble,” is the shortest and most “teaser-like” of them all. While the child’s voice-over is consistent in each of the trailers, this one focuses on promoting the film as “the scariest movie of the year.” Another trailer that has been aired over the past week shows audience members’ reactions as their watching the film, much like each of the Paranormal Activity trailers. The editing in this trailer focuses more on the battle between Radcliffe’s character and the Woman in Black, which is what you would expect from your typical ghost story.
This next trailer, I confess I hadn’t seen this one prior to visiting the official site and watching it there, showcases the Woman in Black herself. Again, Radcliffe’s conflict with her ghost is highlighted, but rather than just showing her tormenting him, this trailer also delves into how she affects the townspeople. We never get more than a glimpse of her, but the addition of townspeople, most especially the children, adds another layer to the film that wasn’t shown in the previous trailer.
As mentioned earlier, the editors and producers know the biggest draw they have for the film is Daniel Radcliffe. This next trailer, which is actually a variation of the first trailer they released with the addition of the last fifteen seconds, emphasizes both his involvement with the film and the film’s release date. In addition, the nursery rhyme gives more of the back story and shows how deeply the Woman in Black appears to affect the surrounding town, especially the children. This is demonstrated with the nursery rhyme, the opening set for the trailer, and the multiple shots of children throughout the spot.
This last trailer, which I have also never seen aired on TV, delves more into the Woman in Black’s back story. The emphasis on the children is still present, but now it carries a heavier meaning. Having a ghost terrorize children is one thing, but having her do it because she lost her own child not only humanize the villain of the story, it also raises the stakes because, as I just learned, Radcliffe’s character has a son. Now, not only is he fending off this ghost in defense of his life, but he’s also fighting to protect his child from harm.
I’m not a fan of horror movies, but I’m curious to see how accurately the movie is portrayed in these trailers. I’ll keep you posted.