The Mute Trailer Rule

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So I have this rule that I use to assess the potential of movies that I see advertised in the trailers before features. It hasn’t failed me yet, and it’s pretty simple: any movie which has no talking – be it dialogue or voiceover – in the trailer is going to suck.

It’s a simple equation: trailer + no talking = the studio has something to hide.

After all, if the movie was good, if it had a story or dialogue or anything that could sell it on its own merits, we’d be hearing about it in the trailer. Movies that have nothing to sell them use good soundtracks, flashy cuts, and smooth images in their trailers.

But then the trailer for French survival horror hit High Tension (nee Haute Tension) played before Saw and it had no dialogue or voiceover.

My conundrum is this: Everything I’ve heard and read about High Tension says that this is a really good movie. But here it is, conflicting with my rule, a rule which has never failed me.

Of course, there may not be any talking in the trailer because the studio distributing it doesn’t want to clue xenophobic, subtitle-phobic viewers in to the fact that this is a French movie in French.

Or so I’m hoping.

We’ll see how it turns out.

(edited Nov. 12 to correct for my imprecise wording)

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