Movies That Aren't What We Thought They'd Be

Not all films play out exactly as the trailers depict them. Sometimes, directors and film companies choose to lead audiences to believe one thing, and then deliver an entirely different experience in the theater. The editing for a trailer can be vastly superior to the film itself, while other times the released trailers never come close to doing the film justice. We've compiled a list of movies that turned out to be nothing like what audiences expected. Marketing flops, trailer misdirections, and hidden plot points fill out the totally opposite films on this list.

Cloud Atlas (2012)

Fans expected the Wachowski-directed Cloud Atlas to pack a strong punch, given that they'd delivered such strong films as The Matrix and Speed Racer. What it delivered instead wasn't much better than a limp handshake. Cloud Atlas improperly handled heavy subject matter regarding the soul and reincarnation, even though it was supported by a stellar cast and had a screenplay based upon a beloved book. The Wachowskis used a nonlinear story-telling format and the same actors in various roles with hopes of entertaining audiences. But instead, these techniques quickly bored them out of the theaters. Reviewers disliked it mostly for its massive running length and poor editing, and Cloud Atlas managed to pull in $130.5 million at the box office, only $28.5 million more than its budget.

District 9 (2009)

This film by first-time director Neill Blomkamp didn't have much marketing hype, so when District 9 was released, it blew everyone away. Audiences were treated to one of the most technically impressive sci-fi movies in recent decades, and were surprised and rewarded with an original story that took on heavy topics such as racism, poverty, and class warfare. District 9 pulled in an international box office of $210 million, which, considering the film's budget of $30 million, is quite the haul.

The Guest (2014)

The Guest, a true sleeper film from 2014, is a psychological action-thriller that packs the biggest punch since Terminator. An ex-soldier, played by newcomer Dan Stevens, arrives at the home of his deceased brother-in-arms' family to deliver the dead man's last words. Stevens quickly steps in as a surrogate brother to help his dead friend's younger brother with a bully problem at school—which culminates in unexpected violence. What seems like the blossoming of a romantic relationship between the ex-soldier and the sister of his dead friend quickly turns scary. Incredible acting and a soundtrack vibe straight from the '80s makes The Guest one of the most unexpectedly great thrillers of the last five years. The Guest will leave fans on an edge-of-their-seat fright ride, wondering up until the last moments who will live and who will die.

Cabin In The Woods (2012)

Cabin in the Woods, set up no different than any number of slasher films from the last forty years, veers hard from expectations early on and never goes back. The Drew Goddard-directed 'Woods entirely revitalized the slasher genre, while also successfully satirizing torture porn horror flicks. A trip to the aforementioned cabin by an eclectic mix of college co-eds spirals wildly and dangerously out of control when audiences learn the cabin's hidden secrets. A secret cult unknown to the characters not only constructed the cabin, but the prison containing a myriad of monsters beneath it, all as an offering to the Dark Gods of Old. Cabin in the Woods not only wins with the thrills, but is praised above its competitors by refusing to follow gender and race stereotypes. Cabin in the Woods, since release, has spawned two books, been parodied in both television and film, and inspired a maze at the Universal Orlando's Hollywood Horror Nights.

The Lego Movie (2014)

No one expected the Lego franchise, which up until The Lego Movie, had only been a series of animated television shows and direct-to-dvd home movies, to perform well at the box office. The Lego Movie not only performed well, it captured the minds and hearts of audiences everywhere, no matter their age. Chris Pratt plays Emmet the Builder, a regular guy with nothing special about him. Emmet rises up to stop the Evil Lord Business, played by Will Ferrell, from gluing the universe together. On the journey, Emmet learns the lesson that everyone is special, even the regular guys. The Lego Movie delivered to audiences an unexpected and unforgettably touching story about the importance of creativity and communication, while also managing to wade successfully through heavy meta-territory. Warner Bros announced that a The Lego Movie 2 would grace theaters in 2018, and with a staggering box office of over $400 million, we're not surprised.

The Grey (2012)

Marketing and trailers billed The Grey as another Liam Neeson 'beat-em-up' film, but when the movie hit theaters, audiences walked away stunned. The Grey turned out to be a masterfully crafted emotional thrill ride about the perils of survival in a dangerous landscape. When a small plane carrying a group of oil drillers crashes in the remote Alaskan wilderness, Neeson must attempt to lead the survivors to safety. The survivors slowly begin to dwindle as they try to deal with not only a lack of weapons and threats from a pack of wolves, but the harsh terrain and weather as well. A thought-provoking piece about the power and strength of indomitable human will, The Grey brings up emotions and questions that will stay with the viewer long after the film ends.