7 Times Movie Trailers Used a Sad Pop Song Cover to Make Us Think They Have Emotional Resonance

A lot of giant tentpole films now have advertising budgets as big as the film itself. And trailers are a key component of that advertising — hell, sometimes a trailer is even better than the movie itself. And you can tell a movie is not going to be good is if the trailer employs the ol’ “Incredibly slow cover of a well-known pop song” trick. Being forced to use one of these songs to invoke emotion from the viewer, like the ones we’ve collected below, means there won’t be any actual emotion in the film itself.

Transformers: The Last Knight

SONG COVERED: “Do You Realize” By Ursine Lupine

Come on, does this trailer really expect us to believe there will be even a moment of emotional resonance during a Transformers movie? Hell, this awful Ursine Lupine cover of “Do You Realize?” turns what is actually a powerful song into a slow, distorted, electronic mess. It’s a perfect metaphor for the experience of sitting through a Transformers movie.

Suicide Squad

SONG COVERED: “I Started a Joke” by ConfidentialMX and Becky Hanson

Here’s what emotion the song in the Suicide Squad trailer SHOULD have elicited — despair that you’re about to spend over two hours watching Suicide Squad.

Last House on the Left

SONG COVERED: “Sweet Child Of Mine” by Taken By Trees

The original Last House on the Left is a famous exploitation film that sort of manages to elevate itself above the other sleazy films of its genre. The remake essentially just remade the movie while also adding a big layer of Hollywood sheen. Guess what? It completely defeats the entire thematic point of the original movie. This cover of “Sweet Child Of Mine” gives you the false impression that anything you’ll watch in Last House on the Left will be anything but hollow.


SONG COVERED: “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” by Antony and the Johnsons

Lord God, this song has been covered ten thousand times. The movie is one of the most dull movies made by a visionary director ever, and this “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” cover tries to do some heavy lifting to convince you that won’t be the case. But just look at the actual clips in the trailer — just the blandest garbage on Earth.

The Great Gatsby

SONG COVERED: “Happy Together” by Filter

Here’s why this song choice is extra crazy — The Great Gatsby is set in the ’20s and is about big, excessive lifestyles that end up being totally hollow! WHY NOT GET A SONG IN THE TRAILER THAT REFLECTS THAT?!


SONG COVERED: “This Little Light of Mine” by Who Knows

Oh good, now it’s not just pop songs; now we’re using old Gospel standards as well. Can we leave some genres untouched by the hand of “slow sad trailer music”?!

San Andreas

SONG COVERED: “California Dreamin'” by Sia

This one makes me the craziest; we all know what a movie starring The Rock about the San Andreas fault collapsing was going to be about. It’s a giant disaster film! It’ll be dumb and fun, not the kind of thing for Sia to sadly sing over. Honestly, this seems like a huge marketing misstep. Who wants to see an incredibly earnest and depressing DISASTER FILM?!?!

Which movie trailers do you hate on a deep and fundamental level? Let us know on Twitter!

Will Weldon
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