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 Megan Fox chained to a corpse, Nicolas Cage searching for his lost pig, a cutesy piece of stop-motion and a self-referential horror movie.
Director: Michael Sarnoski
Release Date: July 16, 2021
Nicolas Cage’s penchant for taking on eccentric roles treads new ground in his next star vehicle, Pig. The official trailer dropped for the new Neon drama, which follows Cage’s as-yet nameless truffle hunter whose beloved pig is taken, forcing him to embark on a journey to get the creature back. The film also features Alex Wolff (Hereditary), Adam Arkin (Chicago Hope) and Gretchen Corbett (The Rockford Files). The trailer synopsis reads “A truffle hunter who lives alone in the Oregonian wilderness must return to his past in Portland in search of his beloved foraging pig after she is kidnapped.” While filmed back in 2019, the pandemic delayed the release of the film, now set for a theatrical release this summer. The screenplay was written by the film’s director, Michael Sarnoski, who adapted it from a story co-conceived by him alongside Vanessa Block. Block and Cage serve as two of the film’s six producers. From the looks of the trailer, Pig seems partly positioned as a gritty drama, partly as a thriller, partly as a character study. It’s certainly out-of-the-box subject material, but the recent acclaim of indie documentary The Truffle Hunters may add to the appeal, notwithstanding the enduring, oddball charm of Cage.—Brianna Zigler
Director: Scott Dale
Release Date: July 2, 2021
In the mind of actress Megan Fox, “chained to a corpse” may well sound like an apt metaphor for the years she spent attached to the live-action Transformers franchise, but it’s also a succinct description of her latest film, horror-thriller Till Death. Looking like one part Gerald’s Game and one part Home Alone, with a dash of Ready or Not for good measure, the film pits a seriously disadvantaged Fox against ruthless home invaders, and will begin limited theatrical release on July 2, 2021. As seen in the first trailer below, Fox’s character Emma is simply looking forward to a romantic getaway weekend with her husband, but the anniversary celebrations go seriously awry when she wakes up handcuffed to his corpse in the morning. As the synopsis reads: “After a romantic evening in their secluded lake house, Emma (Megan Fox) awakens handcuffed to her dead husband. Trapped and isolated in the dead of winter, she must fight off hired killers to escape her husband’s twisted plan.” Judging from the trailer, those killers seem to be operating under the husband’s instructions, so it seems fair to surmise that the entire ordeal has been orchestrated from the start. Regardless, that leaves it up to Fox to drag her husband’s body around the cabin, first hiding from the intruders and then finding a way to fight them, even in her current predicament. With action scenes that look impactful and appropriately grisly, our hope is that Till Death captures a delightfully sordid, modern grindhouse aesthetic.—Jim Vorel
Director: Roberto De Feo, Paolo Strippoli
Release Date: July 14, 2021
Typically, when horror films get deeply self-referential, it’s in service of delivering a few laughs to the horror geeks in the crowd. The meta-horror comedy has essentially become its own sub-genre at this point, as seen in movies such as The Cabin in the Woods and The Final Girls. “Legitimate” horror, on the other hand, often occurs in a universe where characters are blind to the idea of horror movie tropes, as knowledge of those tropes would theoretically lessen the genuine fright involved. Or that’s the theory, anyway, but A Classic Horror Story doesn’t seem to care. The upcoming Netflix horror film is populated by characters who know their horror movies, but that doesn’t stop them from ending up in what looks like a deadly and supernatural situation. Moreover, the first trailer below seems to imply that the scares here are being taken completely seriously, which is a pretty novel approach to meta horror. As the synopsis reads: “Five carpoolers travel in a motorhome to reach a common destination. Night falls, and to avoid a dead animal carcass, they crash into a tree. When they come to their senses, they find themselves in the middle of nowhere. The road they were traveling on has disappeared and there is only a dense, impenetrable forest and a wooden house in the middle of a clearing, which they discover is the home of a spine-chilling cult.” The references and allusions to other films and horror sub-genres in the trailer are copious in quantity and pervasive in their scope. The cabin setting is a clear allusion to the likes of Evil Dead or The Cabin in the Woods, while the “folk horror” stylings and cult suggest the influence of The Wicker Man, Apostle and Midsommar. The Italian influence, however, also evokes some of the more gruesome, torturous scenes of Dario Argento, and one of the torture devices looks quite reminiscent of Argento’s own Opera from 1987. This film just sort of seemed to appear out of nowhere overnight, so we can’t help but be curious.—Jim Vorel
Director: Daniel Ojari, Michael Please
Release Date: November 27, 2021
Few things are sweeter than stop-motion animation. Aardman Animation, those of Shaun the Sheep and Wallace & Gromit, know this like few others. Their cuteness abilities are hard to surpass, and their latest film—a Netflix original—looks to capitalize on that. Robin Robin, featuring the voices of Gillian Anderson, Richard E. Grant, Bronte Carmichael and Adeel Akhtar, is a yarny and fuzzy little Christmas tale about a family of rodents that adopt a robin into their homes. If that description, and the trailer’s hints at slapstick and a Fantastic Mr. Fox level of tangible warmth, don’t melt your heart, you may need to get yourself checked out before Santa leaves you with a lump of coal.