Neighbors…They’re the Worst.
A Rachel L'Antigua Critique
I once heard a friend say that the previews before a film are the best part of a movie-going experience because the previews allow every viewer to be a critic and a judge. Movie trailers give viewers a sense of power; a sense of control. These carefully crafted, multifaceted snippets of movies allow viewers a chance to make a decision about whether or not to see a certain film. However, unbeknownst to the majority of movie-trailer viewers, these trailers are made for a target audience. These trailers are not made to appeal to every Peter, Paul, and Mary.
A movie-trailer that has recently captured my attention is the trailer for the movie Neighbors. This movie recently hit theatres and I have yet to actually see the movie. After first seeing the trailer I immediately wanted to see the movie. However, after talking to several friends who had already seen Neighbors, I decided it might be a waste of time. Several different people told me that Neighbors was a huge let down since it did not meet the standards that the trailer had set. I found this very interesting as it shows that the movie-trailer creators obviously did their job well; they carefully crafted a collection of the best parts of the movie in order to sell seats.
The movie-trailer for Neighbors incorporates the use of an ethos appeal, pathos appeal, and a logos appeal. The use of the ethos appeal becomes apparent during the first five seconds of the trailer as viewers hear the voice of Seth Rogen and subsequently see him appear on screen. According to the text, “…if anyone that is building an argument from character is well known, liked, and respected, that reputation will contribute to its persuasive power”. As Seth Rogen is arguably the most well known actor in the film, his immediate appearance on screen shows that the directors are using Rogen’s reputation to convince their target audience to see Neighbors. (The trailer also focuses quite a bit on Zac Efron and Dave Franco as they are also well-known actors.)
From the opening seconds of the trailer, till the end, the viewer is easily able to gather that the film is a comedy. While the theme of comedy is first presented through Seth Rogen; it escalates throughout the trailer through the use of music, scenes, and flashes of text on the screen.
The use of the pathos appeal is most notable through the music and pace of the trailer. The music that is used in the trailer escalates the viewer’s pulse as it appeals to their sense of excitement. The trailer is fast paced and keeps the viewer entertained. While it can be assumed that not every scene in Neighbors is at the “ROFL” level, every scene shown in the trailer certainly is. This deliberate use of the most funny scenes from the movie show that the directors are using the pathos appeal by appealing to their target audiences’ sense of humor.
Finally, the use of the logos appeal is quite obvious throughout the movie trailer. Some of the most overt uses of the logos appeal are seen through the use of text. Dispersed throughout the trailer are flashes of text that appear on screen. One such use of text reads, “From the guys who brought you This Is The End”. This text insinuates that if the viewer enjoyed the film, This Is The End, then, logically, they will enjoy Neighbors. (This is also an example of ethos as it shows the credibility of the directors of the film.)
As someone who generally enjoys films starring Seth Rogen or Zac Efron, this trailer did an outstanding job of capturing my attention. The trailer was also able to keep my interest through the use of exciting and anticipatory music and the funny lines and scene cuts. All in all, this movie-trailer deserves a rating of three. The trailer succeeds in making me, a viewer, actually desire to pay the outrageous ticket price of $10.00 to see Neighbors on the big screen; and, in the end, that’s all that really matters to the directors, anyway.