It’s so easy to miss a AAA trailer these days, even with all the endless marketing build-up around teasers, pre-trailers (“in one day,” etc) and other forms of cinematic hype. A good trailer is an art form, one that is able to convey a movie’s plot, tone and style all while resisting that ever-present urge to score it to a slowed-down pop song. So here’s the Trailer Park, where we’re parking all the trailers you may have skipped, missed or want to revisit from the past week. Appreciate them. Nitpick them. Figure out if the movies they’re selling are actually going to be any good. That’s all part of the fun, after all.
This week, we’ve got a look at Halloween Kills, Sundance-winner Coda, star-studded Western The Harder They Fall, Raw follow-up Titane and extended trailers for The Suicide Squad and Shang-Chi.
Director: David Gordon Green
Release Date: October 15, 2021
Brace yourself for the shock of a lifetime: Turns out that the basement fire at the end of 2018’s Halloween actually wasn’t enough to permanently kill Michael Myers. I know, right? Who would have expected the slasher icon to pull through, just because there had been not one but two more sequels already announced? The latest in these we’re-still-not-going-to-kill-Michael-Myers installments is the upcoming, oft-delayed Halloween Kills, which released its first trailer today. The footage below is a real charnel house, seeming to promise a body count of grandiose proportions—by our count, Michael kills at least 10 people in the trailer alone. It’s a bit spoiler laden, essentially depicting Michael’s entire escape as he carves his way through a team of firefighters, but once again, it’s not as if his survival is a surprise here. Nor is the insistence of Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis, still frantic) that “evil dies tonight.” Of course, given that there’s still one more sequel coming, Halloween Ends in October of 2022, we can say with 100% certainty that Michael won’t really be dying this time around either, unless the writers have something particularly kooky in mind. Still, Curtis’ promise that “evil dies tonight” could technically still be true, especially if Halloween Ends ultimately takes place on the same night as the events of Halloween Kills ... which may be taking place on the same night as 2018’s Halloween, come to think of it. The plot, meanwhile, seems to involve our heroines putting together a citizen lynch mob to fight Michael, something that was previously attempted with poor results in 1988’s Halloween 4. Also returning is the character of Tommy Doyle, the young boy that Laurie was babysitting in the 1978 original, here played by Anthony Michael Hall, who looks hungry for vengeance. Regardless, the series is clearly abandoning any attempt at subtlety at this point, in favor of pure brutality. The scene with the firemen in this trailer in particular is unlike anything we’ve seen in a Halloween entry before, with Michael choosing to walk straight up to a group of people in order to tear them apart. It’s more like something you’d expect Jason Voorhees to do, rather than Michael Myers, who is better known for hiding in the shadows and silently dispatching people one by one.—Jim Vorel
Director: Jeymes Samuel
Release Date: Fall
Netflix has debuted the trailer for their upcoming neo-Western The Harder They Fall, which boasts an impressive cast of Black actors. The film stars Jonathan Majors as outlaw Nat Love, who discovers that his archnemesis Rufus Buck (Idris Elba) is set to be released from prison. So, Nat rounds up his gang—Stagecoach Mary (Zazie Beetz), Jim Beckwourth (R.J. Cyler) and Bill Pickett (Edi Gathegi)—to find Buck and get revenge. Buck has his own crew, however—with “Treacherous” Trudy Smith (Regina King) and Cherokee Bill (LaKeith Stanfield)—and the two gangs, of course, must go head to head. The cast also features Delroy Lindo, Damon Wayans Jr., Deon Cole and Danielle Deadwyler. From a script co-written by Boaz Yakin (Now You See Me) and director Jeymes Samuel (the British singer-songwriter and music producer), The Harder Fall was co-produced by Samuel alongside Jay-Z, James Lassiter and Lawrence Bender.—Brianna Zigler
Director: Julia Ducournau
Release Date: July 14, 2021 (Cannes)
French director Julia Ducournau’s mysterious new thriller from Neon, Titane, released its first trailer today, and it’s raising more questions than providing answers. The follow-up to Ducournaru’s highly acclaimed 2016 feature debut Raw—a slick horror film about a vegetarian college student who discovers her unorthodox bloodlust—is set to premiere July 14 at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival, competing for the top prize of the Palme d’Or. Starring Agathe Rousselle and Vincent Lindon, the film’s plot has been kept entirely under wraps, save for this trailer and a first-look image released in April of a child in some sort of terrifying, steel head contraption, which does appear in the trailer. The trailer also features a number of shirtless and/or gyrating bodies, gnarly head wounds, a car crash and other quick glimpses at some unsettling imagery that seems to promise Titane as another disturbing treat from Ducournau. The word “titane” is defined as “a metal highly resistant to heat and corrosion, with high tensile strength alloys, often used in medical prostheses due to its pronounced biocompatibility.” The film is produced by Jean-Christophe Reymond with cinematography from Ruben Impens, who also collaborated with Ducournau for Raw.—Brianna Zigler
Director: James Gunn
Release Date: August 6, 2021
The newest trailer for James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad is here, and was allegedly leaked online by the cast. While it was planned for the trailer to only run in ads between other YouTube videos and then be released wide by Gunn later in the day, an unlisted trailer video began to circulate online, entitled “The Suicide Squad – Early Access Trailer Do Not Share.” Gunn then tweeted that the cast was to blame for leaking the trailer early. Whether it was truly leaked or just a gimmick, this new trailer offers more of a look at Idris Elba’s character, Bloodsport. The trailer opens with an extended sequence of Bloodsport which showcases a moment between him and his daughter Tyla (Storm Reid), and one in which he’s successfully recruited into the titular Suicide Squad by head of Task Force X, Amanda Waller (Viola Davis). The trailer also spends a tiny bit of extra time on Pete Davidson’s character Blackguard, Daniel Melchior’s Ratcatcher 2, and an anthropomorphic weasel named, uh, Weasel (Sean Gunn)—whom, it is revealed, has actually killed 27 children. How fun! It also gives us a little glimpse into the squad’s mission: something called “Project Starfish,” which quite literally has to do with a giant, destructive star-shaped monster wreaking havoc upon Earth.—Brianna Zigler
Director: Destin Daniel Cretton
Release Date: September 3, 2021
Now here’s some actual info about Shang-Chi. After an initial teaser that was more of a vibe check that anything else, the next big Marvel hero introduction gets a number of key moments in this extended trailer: An evil dad, multiple scaly beasts, some indication on what exactly this movie was going to do with its ten rings. Sure, we’d seen some martial arts in the first glimpse, but nothing like the magic-blasting here. Comic diehards should be geeked to see what looks like Fin Fang Foom swimming around and MCU historians will note that Abomination is back from his earlier Hulk appearance. A family clash is nothing knew to the MCU, but Simu Liu taking on his dad, who seems to be the real Mandarin (Tony Leung), looks to carry things in an entertaining if not novel direction.
Director: Sian Heder
Release Date: August 13, 2021
The winner of several top awards at this year’s Sundance, Coda (writer/director Sian Heder’s sophomore effort after 2016’s Tallulah) is a coming-of-age story about a hearing teen (Emilia Jones) in a deaf household. With the ability to go to music school, she’s faced with a crossroads and the likes of Marlee Matlin (playing her mom) backing her up. The first trailer shows a far more standard family drama than something like last year’s critical darling Sound of Metal, which also centered on staging deafness in an evocative cinematic way, which should make it plenty likable for general audiences when it hits Apple TV+ and theaters later this year.