I was hooked instantly. That’s probably the best way to begin talking about this trailer. It doesn’t start with some vague threat, or generic establishing shot. It starts on a metaphor, a literal fable, one about unchanging nature. But whose? Humanity’s, or something else?
Mysteries are a powerful tool, and this trailer wields it with expert precision. The edits are quick; no shot ever lingers for too long. Combined with the eerie score, it creates a feeling of unease in the viewer. Even without the dialogue, you can tell something’s coming, something big.
The plot appears to be within the tried and true subgenre of “friends invent something together.” But unlike others of that ilk, it takes it quite seriously. What they are doing is dangerous, possibly even illegal. As with everything in this trailer, we’re only given hints.
My favorite part of it is perhaps its brevity. Trailers will often give away their entire stories, going on for too long, and rendering watching it obsolete. But not here. It’s short, it’s sweet. I adore the way it ends: a character panicking, asking, “What have we done?” We as the audience don’t know; we have no idea what they’ve done. We can infer, but we’re just as uncertain as they are. That’s engaging. That’s brilliant. Within less than two minutes we’re brought into the same mindset as the characters.
Our uncertainty invests us in what’s happening. And because it’s a trailer, we don’t get to know. Curiosity piqued, but no answers given. It demands you watch this movie when it’s released. In fact, I’m going a bit nuts not knowing. What were those shadows? What is the contest mentioned on the radio? And perhaps most interesting of all, what message did they receive?
It’s dark and mysterious. It’s an excellent example of how to make a trailer that pulls people to a movie. And if the film itself has the same level of attention to ideas, and metaphors, and intrigue, then it’s going to be a treat to watch. A treat that I, personally, am looking forward to enjoying.
You can find out more about Shadows on the Wall by clicking right here.
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