Not too long ago, I went to the movies with my friend to see The Nun and, per usual, there were new trailers presented to the audience before the movie. Only one of those trailers stood out to me and left a lasting impression in my mind, which, to me, is the sign of an effective trailer.
To be completely honest, the trailer was for a movie I never in my existence thought I would be anticipating. It was for Godzilla: King of Monsters, a movie in which I am now expecting to be as superb as the trailer.
Let’s start from the beginning. If you watch the trailer, the opening frame is of Millie Bobby Brown in an ominous setting, making it inside the building she was on top of right as a cloud of debris takes over the spot where she was originally.
From this point to the end of the trailer, a beautiful rendition of Debussy’s “Clair de Lune” begins to play, which automatically draws the viewer in, due to the unexpected use of this type music after the opening scene.
It leads the viewer wondering what this movie could be about since there is a striking juxtaposition between the music and what is being seen.
There is a powerful dialogue led by Dr. Emma Russell, played by Vera Farmiga, which is complementary on the haunting music in the background. She is speaking of the impending end of the human race if certain titans, the rightful rulers, are not released.
This voiceover leads the viewer to piece together that this movie will be action-packed. Yet still, the audience does not know this is a Godzilla movie until he rises from the sea, and with a powerful chorus of “Clair de Lune” to match, unleashes a dazzling beam of light from his very being.
The first time I watched this, I was shocked that this was about Godzilla. Whenever I previously thought about the giant being, a song like Clair de Lune did not come to mind.
Instead, I normally picture unmatched destruction and action-packed music to match.
The cyan and orange filter, seen in the trailer, is nothing new to the action film industry, and in most cases, I, like others, am bored when seeing it. However, the colors in this trailer highlight destruction in a painful yet beautiful way and it led me to try and think of the last time an action trailer conjured up so much emotion.
Similarly, the scene directly after Godzilla appears is of Mothra, another kaiju, whose wings expand with a long note from the music and that left me in awe. Not only was the visual incredible but the audio to match gave me goosebumps.
Additionally, it added the idea of human emotion and tried to cater to the audience through pathos, which is something I do not normally see being portrayed in this type of movie.
Just from the short clips, we see the relationship between Dr. Russell and her daughter and how that seems to be strained for some unknown reason. The only indication we have that something is awry in their relationship is the fact that Millie calls her a monster and not soon after that is seen screaming as the building she is in shakes as her family picture topples over.
The symbolism here is strong, in that whatever happened to the family members in the picture may have caused a riff and that since the picture is falling over, there is a hint that everything Millie knows about her family is falling a part in front of her.
Godzilla and destruction are not the typical images that come to mind when using the word “beautiful”, but this trailer accomplished just that. The imagery was superb, the music fit shockingly well and the characters already seem more developed than your typical action protagonists.
I believe all of these aspects appealed to both old fans of the franchise and welcomed in new fans as well. I hope after reading why I believe this trailer is so effective, you will take a look at it, and determine whether, regardless of whether or not you are a Godzilla fan, you might consider seeing the movie after viewing the incredible trailer.