Love or hate the movie (I think it's okay), I think we can all agree that Shark Night 3D was saddled with one of the most misguided horror trailers in recent memory, though it gets a couple of things right. It admirably matches the pace of the film in that it takes too long for the sharks to show up, which will test the patience of those who have no interest in beautiful idiots having fun in/around a lake house (the trailer makes no indication of its being a horror film until the 45 second mark; the movie at least has an opening kill to whet our appetites). It's honest! I can respect that. And it shows Sara Paxton in a bikini, which is probably the only reason I was able to find someone to go with me (note - I was mainly going for Kat McPhee in a bikini).
But otherwise, yikes. For starters, they give away all of the film's twists - not only that the sharks were placed in the lake on purpose (even though they quickly edit in the "it's a saltwater lake" explanation for those who like to call out plot holes just from the trailer), but WHO put them in, as well! All three of the human villains - none of whom are introduced as "guy who wants to kill you with sharks" - are shown dropping people into the water during the two minute spot.
It also has the dreaded "From the producers of _____" credit, which is never a good sign. A writer or a director, of course that makes sense. A producer worth mentioning by name (Joel Silver, Jerry Bruckheimer, etc), OK, sure. But just some random producer? That means they're grasping at straws, and worse - the two movies mentioned are Hostel and Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003 they mean, but there's no indication, naturally), both of which are hard R horror films that don't hold back. Yet this is a PG-13 movie, so they're selling it on the names of gory films when they didn't have the balls to join their club. And "From the director of The Final Destination" was probably a bad call since the last sequel (in theaters a few weeks before) tanked, not to mention that particular film in the series, while financially successful, is generally considered one of its worst.
Oh, and like 90% of the action shots they show for a movie called Shark NIGHT are set during the day (much like the film itself, to be fair). So they can't even get the point of their title across. This carried over to Blu-ray, as the film most commonly known as Shark Night 3D (and at one point, Untitled 3D Shark Thriller) was not given a 3D transfer.
It's a shame that the film tanked. Good or bad, it might have ushered in a new wave of crazed animal films, some of which would obviously also take advantage of the 3D format. Come on, who wouldn't want to see a big budget remake of Day of the Animals in glorious 3D? But Shark Night wasn't that good and worse (for Hollywood) it didn't make any money, so that's not going to happen. Thanks a lot, audiences who weren't swayed by my "Eh, it's dumb fun and better than Apollo 18" review! But really, whoever assembled this trailer is the real villain, as it practically goes out of its way to convince audiences to just skip the damn thing.
P.S. If you HAVE seen the film, do you agree that the post-credits "scene" would have been a vastly superior way to market the film? I guarantee it would have doubled its take if they didn't hide it from those who hadn't already bought a ticket. Shark ghosts!