I’ll be in my trailer… watching trailers: Mapping and plotting, scaring and dancing

Join us every week for a trip into the weird and wonderful world of trailers. Whether it’s the first teaser for the latest installment in your favourite franchise, an obscure preview for a strange indie darling, whether it’s good, bad, ugly or just plain weird – your favourite pop culture baristas are there to tell you what they think.


Julie: It may be common knowledge that Charles Lindbergh, for all his bravery, had some pretty dodgy ideas. But Philip Roth, in his 2004 novel The Plot against America, imagines even further. What if Roosevelt loses to Lindbergh in the 1940 election? Now adapted by team David Simon and Ed Burns of The Wire fame, it seems like a scarily timely message for 2020. Featuring the likes of John Turturro and Winona Ryder and Zoe Kazan it promises to be a well-written well-thought-out piece of alternate history, that may feel to close for comfort.

Mege: Pablo Larrain, director of such political movies as No! and Jackie, has made another feature, an unpolitical one, judging from the trailer alone, about a couple who have to deal with a failed adoption. Of course, such a movie must involve lots of dance routines. If it gets you through an emotional slump, why not? And it must contain a flamethrower. Since the trailer reminds me so much of Climax, this one here is a must for me.

Matt: Leave it to me to post a trailer not just for a computer game, but no less than an artsy computer game nine years in the making that takes its lead from Americana, expressionist stage design and magic realism. Kentucky Route Zero came out in acts, with years in between the individual acts. It is surreal, for some to the point of huhwhat?!ness, but it is utterly unique, beautiful and not just one of the most poignant games I’ve ever played, it would be one of the most poignant anythings in any medium I’ve followed. And now, finally, the fifth and final act is out, so my trip down the route can finally come to an end. Truth be told, I’m hesitant to take my first step.

Eric: After Midnight presents a straightforward premise: guy with commitment issues is dumped by his girlfriend, ends up dealing with a monster at his doorstep every night after. We know what that means, and the trailer does too, because it foregrounds that thought with a little werewolf ‘oowoooo’ at the end.

Being haunted by ghosts, terrorised by monsters, followed by strangers, manoeuvred into dark spaces with no exits – horror movies deal with humanity’s larger abstract fears by making them physical. Horror doesn’t often trade in subtlety, but when done right, it can afford a perspective into relationships that normal drama can’t (The Babadook, El Orfanato, Under the Shadow). A romance horror movie (‘romror’? ‘hormance’? ‘hor-rom‘?), then, isn’t as weird a notion as it seems. After all, many a time, it takes facing your fears to realise what your heart really wants.

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