Wednesday, 2 April 2014

The Misleading Poster of "Tyrannosaur"

I've spent a lot of time on IMDB, and naturally it's a good way to keep up to date with the latest releases. The front page usually has a few trailers of upcoming films. Usually I only see a few of the ones that really catch my attention, but this was how I came upon the 2011 independent movie Tyrannosaur. I never actually saw it, so I can't make any comments about the movie itself, just the way it was advertised. Still, I do have a bit of a beef with that, and judging by the comments in the IMDB boards I'm not the only one. Some agreed with me, others thought we were being whiny and immature and failing to understand something about a great film.

So let me get to the heart of the situation. The movie itself is called Tyrannosaur, and of course most people who hear a word like that would associate it with the famous species of dinosaur. Now a few people have defended the title as being a metaphor and maybe it makes more sense in the actual film, I can't say for sure. That's all fair enough, but then we have the poster. Take a look at this image:

A number of people, myself included, were initially misled by this poster. It seems to convey the right sort of atmosphere, but there's still a giant dinosaur skeleton. When I first saw this image on the IMDB front page I was curious, as my initial assumption was that this was some sort of drama about the discovery of the first Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton, and thought that maybe that could be interesting. When I checked out the page it turned out a lot of people had slightly different impressions, mainly that it would be a Jurassic Park-style thriller with lots of dinosaurs (one user even claimed to have taken their kid to see the movie under that assumption). In actuality, it's a drama about abusive relationships and the "tyrannosaur" is apparently supposed to be metaphorical.

Again, I can't say anything about the movie itself. Maybe the "tyrannosaur" thing makes perfect sense in its context, but I do feel like they could have done better with advertising it. Even if the title of "Tyrannosaur" makes sense in context did they really have to mislead people by putting a giant skeleton on the cover?

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