12 Trailers That Give Away the Whole Movie

The new remake of Carrie came out Friday, and as we discussed last week, the genuine mystery of its need to exist is multiplied by its spoiler-iffic trailer — which basically reveals the entire film, beat by beat, up to and including its blood-soaked finale. That said, it’s far from the first movie to be marketed with a trailer that gives away the entire game; here are a few of the most notorious examples (and consider yourself warned, spoiler-wise).

Cast Away / What Lies Beneath

Here’s director Robert Zemeckis on the purpose of trailers: “We know from studying the marketing of movies, people really want to know exactly every thing that they are going to see before they go see the movie. It’s just one of those things. To me, being a movie lover and film student and a film scholar and a director, I don’t. What I relate it to is McDonald’s. The reason McDonald’s is a tremendous success is that you don’t have any surprises. You know exactly what it is going to taste like. Everybody knows the menu.” So it probably shouldn’t come as a surprise that both of his 2000 releases show the entire film. In the case of Cast Away, we basically get a Reader’s Digest Condensed Books version of the movie, up to and including our hero’s escape from the island, rescue (“You were on the island for four years”), and reunion with his lady love — so anyone who saw the trailer before the film (which is, y’know, most people) had no worries whatsoever, through the middle hour and a half or so of the movie, that he was going to make it back to civilization.

Zemeckis’s dollar-menu sensibility even more egregiously harms What Lies Beneath, a vaguely Hitchcockian thriller which lives and dies by its twists — all of which are inelegantly revealed in what amounts to a two-and-a-half minute spoiler.