The Trailer Park: The Best New Movie Trailers of the Week from Nightmare Alley to West Side Story

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The Trailer Park: The Best New Movie Trailers of the Week from <i>Nightmare Alley</i> to <i>West Side Story</i>

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 longer peek at the West Side Story remake, a first look at Guillermo del Toro’s long-awaited Nightmare Alley, V/H/S/94, Humans and a slasher with the great title There’s Someone Inside Your House.

Here are the best new movie trailers of the week:

Nightmare Alley

Director: Guillermo del Toro
Release Date: December 17, 2021

It’s been four long years since Oscar-winner Guillermo del Toro last graced us with a feature film, the ethereal and unsettling The Shape of Water. Now, he’s finally ready to deliver his genius back into the world—on December 17th, to be precise—this time with a film that takes place in a creepy carnival. Nightmare Alley is adapted from William Lindsay Gresham’s 1946 novel of the same name that takes a deep dive into the underbelly of the carnival world. Hollywood has already taken a stab at an adaptation of the novel, with a sleek, critically acclaimed 1947 noir directed by Edmund Goulding. And while, based on its trailer, Nightmare Alley is definitely steeped in film noir tropes, do yourself a favor and don’t expect anything like the novel or the original film. Del Toro has a habit of bringing crazy, unexpected stuff to the table…though he told Collider that the film wouldn’t have any supernatural elements. Yup, that threw us all for a loop. The first trailer for the film starts with Stan Carlisle (Bradley Cooper) arriving at a carnival. We then hear a voiceover from Clem Hoately (Willem Dafoe) who asks: Is he man or beast? But this beast (or man) may not even be the real threat at hand. The trailer reveals a suspicious cast of characters, not least of which is conniving psychiatrist Dr. Lillith Richter (Cate Blanchett). Also in the cast are Toni Collette, Rooney Mara, Richard Jenkins, Ron Perlman, Holt McCallany, Tim Blake Nelson, Mary Steenburgen and David Strathairn. Based on this one minute and forty second teaser trailer, it looks like Nightmare Alley will have just about everything you need to get your del Toro fix on: Gothic scenery, complex fairytale-esque lore, delightfully awful villains. And, of course, there’s gonna be a big mystery to unfurl here. This trailer has only really scratched the surface.—Aurora Amidon


West Side Story

Director: Steven Spielberg
Release Date: December 10, 2021

The career of Steven Spielberg has been marked by innumerable box office blockbusters, but it’s somehow still surprising that the man continues to produce at this kind of level. Now 74, the director is tackling legendary Broadway musical West Side Story, with an adaptation that looks as visually resplendent as anything we’ve ever seen from Spielberg before. Every frame of the newly released trailer looks like a work of art, and it’s likely to draw interest even from those who typically have no interest in movie musicals. Spielberg has stated that his version of West Side Story is not an attempt to remake the iconic 1961 film adaptation by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins, but rather a more direct film adaptation of the original 1957 Broadway musical by Arthur Laurents, Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim, which was of course based on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Regardless, there are indeed references to the first film, such as the appearance of 89-year-old star Rita Moreno, who is also an executive producer on this project. One wonders if we might even see her dance a bit—perhaps the magic of West Side Story just can’t be denied. Spielberg’s film stars Ansel Elgort and Rachel Zegler as star-crossed lovers Tony and Maria, although one will note that in all the footage we’ve seen so far, Elgort in particular has only a single line, whereas much of the trailer is focused around Zegler as the cinematic ingenue. One wonders if perhaps Elgort is being held out of the marketing as a way to reduce his visibility, after he was accused of sexual misconduct by a woman on Twitter in 2020—charges that he denied. Regardless, one wonders how you can market a West Side Story adaptation with only Maria, rather than Maria and Tony. Regardless, Spielberg’s adaptation additionally stars Hamilton’s Ariana DeBose, along with David Alvarez, Mike Faist, Josh Andres Rivera, Corey Stoll, Maddie Ziegler and Brian d’Arcy James.—Jim Vorel


V/H/S/94

Director: Simon Barrett, Timo Tjahjanto, Jennifer Reeder, Ryan Prows, Chloe Okuno
Release Date: October 6, 2021 (Shudder)

It’s been seven years at this point since V/H/S: Viral effectively put the well-liked and influential found footage horror series into its grave, but the resurrection is nigh. We have our first trailer today for the Shudder Original Film V/H/S/94, which is rebooting the V/H/S series with its trademark combination of disturbing genre material, gore and buzzy horror directors. This go-round in the found footage series features segments from franchise alumni Simon Barrett (Seance) and Timo Tjahjanto (The Night Comes For Us), in addition to Jennifer Reeder (Knives & Skin), Ryan Prows (Lowlife) and Chloe Okuno (Slut). The trailer, meanwhile, looks absolutely gnarly in terms of the blood-n-guts factor, and we see quick glimpses that suggest some informercial parodies, a first-person shooting sequence, and even something that looks suspiciously like an I Think You Should Leave-style “coffin flop” in progress. One can only hope that the final product is more reminiscent of V/H/S 2 than the likes of V/H/S: Viral.—Jim Vorel


The Humans

Director: Stephen Karam
Release Date: TBD

Stacked, impressive casts are nothing new when it comes to A24 film productions, although it’s almost a novelty at this point to see a trailer from the arthouse production company that doesn’t thrust those well-known faces into an “elevated horror” setting. Instead, The Humans looks to be a down-to-Earth and restrained family drama, taking place in a single setting over a Thanksgiving dinner as two sides of an extended family grapple with generational baggage. The Humans is adapted from a one-act play by Stephen Karam, which opened off Broadway in 2015 and then on Broadway in 2016, where it would eventually go on to be a 2016 Pulitzer Prize finalist and the Tony winner for Best Play. The official synopsis is as follows: “At Thanksgiving, the Blake family gathers at the run-down Manhattan apartment in Chinatown of Brigid Blake and her boyfriend Richard. Brigid’s parents, Erik Blake and Deirdre Blake, arrive from their home in Scranton, Pennsylvania, to have dinner with Brigid, Richard and Aimee, their other adult daughter. Brigid is a musician and Aimee is a lawyer living in Philadelphia. Aimee has recently broken up with her girlfriend and has developed an intestinal ailment. Also present is Erik’s mother Fiona “Momo”, who has Alzheimer’s disease. The parents are unhappy that their daughters have left home and have abandoned their religion. The family members must deal with ‘aging, illness, and a changing economy.’” It’s probably the cast, though, that is most likely to get people excited about the film, as The Humans stars Beanie Feldstein and Steven Yeun as the Millennial couple, supported by turns from Richard Jenkins, Amy Schumer, June Squibb and actress Jayne Houdyshell, who starred in the original stage version of the play. With cinematography that feels at a glance like it truly captures the trapped sensation of both spending time with difficult family members and living in a crumbling apartment in one of the world’s most alienating cities, The Humans will strive to encapsulate modern ennui.—Jim Vorel


There’s Someone Inside Your House

Director: Patrick Brice
Release Date: October 3, 2021

From the delightfully campy Fear Street trilogy to Nia DaCosta’s revamp of the iconic Candyman, 2021 seems to be the year of the slasher. And hey, maybe we don’t know exactly why that is, but we’re not exactly complaining about it. The year’s newest addition to the genre is There’s Someone Inside Your House, from Patrick Brice, director of the magnificently unnerving Creep (2014). From what we’ve already seen from Brice, paired with the fact that he’s teaming up with James Wan and Stranger Things’ Shawn Levy as producers, there’s ample reason to be excited for the film right out of the gate. The first trailer for the Netflix horror movie starts in a peaceful midwestern town that teen Makani Young (Sydney Park) recently moved to. Life there is pleasant and idyllic. And it pretty much stays that way the whole time. Just kidding! Things take a turn for the gory when a mysterious masked killer arrives and starts to wreak havoc on residents, terrorizing high schoolers and forcing them to reveal their darkest secrets to the world. And what is the killer’s mask, you might ask? A replica of his victim’s face. From the looks of it, this film is going to bring to the table everything that’s so great about slasher films: The creepy masks, the popular kids, and, of course, there being someone inside your house. But it also comes with a fresh new twist, which is always great to see when it comes to such a popular, trope-heavy genre.—Aurora Amidon