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Wilderness-swift.jpeg

Are We Using Taylor Swift Songs to Promote Movies Now?

By Dustin Rowles | TV | August 23, 2023 |

By Dustin Rowles | TV | August 23, 2023 |


Wilderness-swift.jpeg

A great song can make all the difference for a movie trailer. Off the top of my head, I can think of two (ultimately bad) movies that I got excited about because of the songs used in the trailer: A 2002 Jake Gyllenhaal, Dustin Hoffman movie called Moonlight Mile, because of its perfect use of Elton John’s “Someone Saved My Life Tonight,” and — this is stupidly embarrassing — a 2006 movie called The Last Kiss starring Zach Braff, Casey Affleck, and Rachel Bilson (what a bizarre cast) because of its use of a song called “Chocolate” by Snow Patrol. What can I say, it just worked. Likewise, put an Elliot Smith song or David Bowie’s “Under Pressure” in a trailer, and I am almost guaranteed to watch.

The thing about all of those movie trailers, however, is that no one ever promoted the trailer by highlighting the song selection for it. Is that how popular Taylor Swift is now? Is this what the studios are doing during the SAG strike in lieu of using actors to promote their movies? “Look! The stars of this movie can’t promote this trailer on their Instas, but hey! there’s a Taylor Swift song in it.”

Here, in the trailer for Wilderness, it’s both effective and distracting. Jenna Coleman and Oliver Jackson-Cohen (who has always seems to straddle the line between preppy guy and redneck) play husband and wife in a “twisted” love story, where it looks like maybe the wife decides to kill her asshole of a husband. It looks like a fun B-movie, but is in fact a Prime Video television series.

The point, however, is that the social media conversation is less about a glimpse of the series and more about a sneak peek of Swift’s “Look What You Made Me Do (Taylor’s Version).” I hope it’s better than The Last Kiss (it would be hard not to be).

Wilderness premieres on Prime Video on September 15th.