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July 11, 2007 12:36 PM   Subscribe

It's just a teaser trailer for a monster movie, but people (geeks) are going crazy trying to figure out what it's about. It may or may not have some ambiguous viral marketing associated with it (previously). Some think it's Cthulhu come to destroy New York, some think it's Voltron. Other less sensible people think it's a lion. It is definitely not a lion.
posted by jiiota (122 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
Whatever it is, the special effects look terrible.

It's neither Cthulhu or Voltron, but the director, I've understood, has said that it's less Godzilla and more The Host.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 12:48 PM on July 11, 2007


Maybe I'm old-fashioned, but if I were marketing a film I thought people would be interested in, I think I would take the bold step of...telling them what it was. Whereas if I were albatrossed with a film I thought might not really have all that much appeal -- the kind of big budget action movie that gets slated for a January (!) release, let's say -- I might try to artificially create a buzz by withholding its title, releasing a cryptic teaser, etc. But that's just me.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 12:49 PM on July 11, 2007 [2 favorites]


I got a tenner on it being Godzilla 2.

Though IMDB sez "A giant monster movie currently referred to as Cloverfield, revolving around a group of people using a home video camera to record their experience of an attack from the monster, "The Parasite" (not to be confused with the film project The Parasyte) in New York City."

A lot of people say it's a promo for Lost as there is some correlation between noises something makes in the series (I stopped watching after the first series, so don't ask me for details).
posted by slimepuppy at 12:51 PM on July 11, 2007


I love me some monster movies is all, and I don't care if it looks like a guy in a rubber suit; in fact sometimes I prefer it. Was The Host any good, btw? I must wait for NetFlix on that one.
posted by Mister_A at 12:54 PM on July 11, 2007


The Host is very good indeed. And the CG in that is mostly excellent.
posted by slimepuppy at 12:55 PM on July 11, 2007


Saw this trailer when I saw Transformers last week. Thought, "hmm, I'll have to look that up on IMDB when I get home." Promptly forgot about it until a couple days later when a friend said, "Oh yeah, what was that stupid trailer about?"

I predict a thoroughly generic movie about some alien invasion or virus or monster, probably ripped off from 30 year old source material, but ooh-so-cutting-edge-handicam-footage galore.
posted by papakwanz at 12:56 PM on July 11, 2007


I'm really glad all this monster crap happens in New York. We don't need it in Iowa City.

We have tornadoes for that kinda fun.
posted by MarshallPoe at 12:56 PM on July 11, 2007


I have it on good authority that it's actually the sequel to When Harry Met Sally.
posted by quin at 12:58 PM on July 11, 2007 [2 favorites]


I've heard the Lost connection. And I've heard that it's a synthesis of several home video accounts of a monster attack.

But honestly, having the face of the statue of liberty land right there, in the street, by the camera? That's so corny that it spoils the entire tone of the trailer. If they wanted to be real, to be gritty, to be the Blairzilla Project, this trailer should have been more chaotic, less editing, scarier and more brutal. But the statue of liberty? It's like Independence Day being directed by a 5th grader.

The Host is great, though. Pretty different from standard monster fare.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 1:00 PM on July 11, 2007 [3 favorites]


i looked into all this for about 5 minutes.
that's probably how long i will watch the movie for as well.

the only thing that caught my attention as bizarre, is that at www.parasitemovie.com, whilst it says 1-18-08, there's a counter that has only 20 days on it.

perhaps they're just as bad at math as they are making me want to see their movie, but i was confused to the point of no longer caring.
posted by Palerale at 1:01 PM on July 11, 2007


Other less sensible people think it's a lion.

A good litmus test for whether it's a lion is whether the trailer shows massive numbers of people screaming "Jesus!" and running for their cars.
posted by Krrrlson at 1:02 PM on July 11, 2007 [11 favorites]


I think it looks promising. J.J. Abram's biggest problem, I think, is long-term plotting (see "Lost," see also "Alias") and that shouldn't be an issue here. It's also written by Drew Goddard (Lost, Angel, Buffy the Vampire Slayer), who's quite good. And the mixing of big CGI effects with hand-held Steadicam work is nifty.

Also, it was made on what's practically a shoestring budget with a bunch of unknown actors--it may end up being something of an antidote to big crappy FX-fests with big-name actors. I think a movie looses some tension when you know a character's not going to die because he's Bruce Willis.
posted by EarBucket at 1:03 PM on July 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


I thought the statue of liberty thing was hokey too, but there was something about the rest of the trailer that I found captivating.

I'm with Mister A, waiting for the Host on Netflix.
posted by jiiota at 1:05 PM on July 11, 2007


Wow!

I'm really surprised by the outpouring of "meh."

I think it looks really, really cool. Then again, I'm a sucker.

Transformers, now that was a shitty, shitty movie.
posted by kbanas at 1:07 PM on July 11, 2007


JESUS CHRIST IT'S A LION
GET IN THE FUCKING CAR
posted by Greg Nog at 1:11 PM on July 11, 2007 [6 favorites]


This whole thing is a viral marketing campaign to increase rentals of The Host.
posted by davejay at 1:17 PM on July 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


these marketers, they're clever
posted by davejay at 1:18 PM on July 11, 2007 [2 favorites]


Also, it was made on what's practically a shoestring budget with a bunch of unknown actors--it may end up being something of an antidote to big crappy FX-fests with big-name actors. I think a movie looses some tension when you know a character's not going to die because he's Bruce Willis. - earbucket

I am holding the same kind of hope for this film, despite knowing that it will probably go unfulfilled. I thought it looked a little "Blairzilla project" at first, but hopefully that's not the way it's going.

Anyway, bring on The Host!
posted by Mister_A at 1:21 PM on July 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


I saw this preview when I went to see transformers and for about 2 minutes I thought transformers was going to be the best movie ever. Alas, it was not.
posted by brinkzilla at 1:21 PM on July 11, 2007


>:3
posted by Shecky at 1:25 PM on July 11, 2007


The Host is a really good flick. My video store had a copy of the Korean DVD before it hit theatres in the U.S., so you should be able to find it somewhere right now. Stop thinking about what is sure to be yet another Abrams failure, and see a real monster movie.
posted by Palerale at 1:26 PM on July 11, 2007


I think a movie loses some tension when you know a character's not going to die because he's Bruce Willis.

Unless it turns out that Bruce Willis has been DEAD THE WHOLE TIME!

*cue dramatic chipmunk*

DUHN DUHN DAAAAAAAAHHHH!
posted by buriednexttoyou at 1:27 PM on July 11, 2007


I think a movie looses some tension when you know a character's not going to die because he's Bruce Willis.

By the way, for an excellent example of this rule, see "Serenity." For a hilarious exception to this rule, see "Executive Decision."

posted by EarBucket at 1:27 PM on July 11, 2007


I'm still betting on Cthulhu... remember... always bet... on Cthulhu.
posted by Derek at 1:34 PM on July 11, 2007 [4 favorites]


If it is a Cthulu flick which takes place in the present time, I want to see it even less. Part of the charm of Lovecraft, for me anyway, was the time period.
posted by Palerale at 1:38 PM on July 11, 2007


people are losing sleep on this? it looks like POO.
posted by cazoo at 1:40 PM on July 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


I think a movie looses some tension when you know a character's not going to die because he's Bruce Willis.

Bruce Willis has died in movies before but he's not quite Lance Henrikson yet. I vote for more dead Willis.
posted by longbaugh at 1:46 PM on July 11, 2007


J.J. Abrams dropped Ain't It Cool News a line about the secret movie for which the teaser was revealed in front of Transformers. His comments might surprise you:

Regarding the online stuff you posted: yeah, we're doing some fun stuff on the web. But, obviously, if the movie doesn't kick some massive ASS, who gives a rat's about what's online? So as you can imagine, we're focusing mostly on THAT. For what it's worth, the only site of ours that people have even FOUND is the 1-18-08.com site. The others (like the Ethan Haas sites) have nothing to do with us. (via)

I have to say, 'Cloverfield' is a wimpy code name for a movie intended to kick some massive ASS.

angler, now THAT'S a scary code name
posted by misha at 1:49 PM on July 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


I really really really loved the trailer when I saw it the other night on YouTube. O M G, watching it at midnight when there's no sound = awesome and scary.

But then, I've always had a love-terror relationship with camcorder style films. Without Warning terrified me as a 12 year old. As did another film involving a house under siege from aliens. And the Blair Witch Project. I refuse point blank to go back and watch them, both because I'm too scared and because I don't want my jaded adult self to butt in and ruin my memories.

But honestly, having the face of the statue of liberty land right there, in the street, by the camera? That's so corny that it spoils the entire tone of the trailer.

That clinched the whole deal for me, to be honest. I thought it was great. Big Deal American movies aren't here to be serious and classy, that era is long gone. A decapitated Statue of Liberty is there to make a dramatic point, and thus, it was made. Lest we forget Snakes on a Plane...
posted by saturnine at 1:53 PM on July 11, 2007


...not to mention it'd be pretty weird for t he Statue of Liberty head to land in midtown.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:56 PM on July 11, 2007


I don't think that this movie comes out 1-18-08; I think that is the day the fictitious action takes place, and the movie comes out August 1 07. Or else that is a red herring; who knows?
posted by Mister_A at 2:00 PM on July 11, 2007


...not to mention it'd be pretty weird for t he Statue of Liberty head to land in midtown.

Unless Cthulhu carried it there for his own awful reasons. Cthulhu f'taghn, baby!
posted by Mister_A at 2:02 PM on July 11, 2007


The Statue of Liberty gave me head in Midtown last night.... except it was a just a costume.... and it was a dude... and I gave him 5 dollars for crack.
posted by Debaser626 at 2:02 PM on July 11, 2007 [5 favorites]


O snap!
posted by Mister_A at 2:10 PM on July 11, 2007


Cloverfield? Clovertown?

Those quad-core xenons are pretty hot, but I don't know about "horror". I think I'll stick with the Allendale-generation chips.
posted by GuyZero at 2:12 PM on July 11, 2007


Palerale - Word. Cthulhu happens in New England during the early twentieth century - I certainly enjoy how the mythos is bigger than time, but somehow taking Cthulhu out of that specific historical period can have truly odd results.

"Cthuhlu. I heard of him. He's bad, right?"

Oh, and the movie looks pretty fun. I'll probably not sweat much about figuring out this scant information, because within a month of the film's release, we'll get buried under a hype avalanche. It'll be all we can do to avoid information about this film, whatever it is.
posted by EatTheWeak at 2:15 PM on July 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


Always bet on Batman. Bat-Frickin-man!

Need I say more?
posted by blue_beetle at 2:19 PM on July 11, 2007


I don't think that this movie comes out 1-18-08; I think that is the day the fictitious action takes place, and the movie comes out August 1 07. Or else that is a red herring; who knows?

You may be right, in which case they started promoting this film WAY too late. Usually when you see a brief trailer in the theater, it's months and months in advance, not a couple weeks.
posted by Palerale at 2:29 PM on July 11, 2007


Maybe I'm old-fashioned, but if I were marketing a film I thought people would be interested in, I think I would take the bold step of...telling them what it was.

You are old-fashioned. So am I, for that matter, because I'd prefer to live in the sort of world where people just "told it like it is."

But for the past years, I've been working for a viral marketing company, and it's opened my eyes to all sorts of things.

Powerful players (e.g. movie-studio heads) believe that young people (the major demographic they're after) HATE traditional advertising. They may or may not be right that kids hate advertising, but the key fact is that they BELIEVE kids hate advertising.

So the trick is to make ads not look like ads, and people have come up with all sorts of stealthy tricks to do this: product placement, ads that look like games, rigged word-of-mouth, etc.

I'm not sure how much of this trend is about deception and how much is about ritual/fashion. In other words, is the idea "the kids KNOW it's an ad, of course, but they appreciate it if they feel like the ad-creator is making an attempt to entertain them"? Or is it, "they don't know it's an ad! Tee hee hee!"? I'm sure it's a little bit of both and a lot of "We don't know, but it seems to work!"

Something else to keep in mind: the old guard in various media industries is PANICKING! They grew up pre-web and are disparately trying to understand the mindset of the iPhone generation. Sometimes (often?) it's hit and miss.

What I find fascinating -- and I don't think this is new at all -- is the tug of war between the attitudes of "all ads are EVIL" and "ads are fine as long as they entertain me!" When you come across stuff like this -- if it's done well -- do you feel like, "cool! I'll play along. I don't care if they're trying to sell me stuff. If it's fun, I'm there!"? Or is it, "Damn corporate assholes trying to hoodwink me!"? Or some complex mix?
posted by grumblebee at 2:29 PM on July 11, 2007 [12 favorites]


It's kind of nice for movies like this to come out, because then all the people who might normally devote years of their life running in circles in their mind trying to figure out why men have never walked on the moon can instead just spend a summer photoshopping together two different actresses half-faces, or look for Highlights-style hidden pictures in eyeballs and hairlines.

Also, numerology.
posted by 23skidoo at 2:31 PM on July 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


Yeah, statue of liberty head = supermeh. I mean come on.
posted by delmoi at 2:45 PM on July 11, 2007


23skidoo, here is one of those people for you.
posted by jiiota at 2:46 PM on July 11, 2007


Always bet on Bat-Thulhu
posted by Tenuki at 2:48 PM on July 11, 2007


longbaugh : Bruce Willis has died in movies before but he's not quite Lance Henrikson yet. I vote for more dead Willis.

I'm not sure what you mean by this, I'm hoping you are suggesting that we should use Lance as a unit of measurement for the number of times an actor has died in thier films. Though if that's what you are going for, I submit that a Paxton might be an equally good choice.
posted by quin at 2:55 PM on July 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


Wait JJ Abrams? Dammit. He puts hidden things everywhere to get us going, but then the hidden things have no relation to the actual plot. If I go to a movie and the monster disappears and the characters don't mention it for an hour and ten minutes and then it reappears and is tangentially related to the plot -- I'm going to be pissed off.
posted by geoff. at 2:55 PM on July 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


Grumblebee: I've been working for a viral marketing company
[...]
the iPhone generation


Hey! Cut that out!

:)
posted by Kattullus at 2:55 PM on July 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


I thought the stupid thing was Transformers.

..for like, you know, all of 45 seconds.
posted by niles at 2:56 PM on July 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


Obviously it's another remake of Planet of the Apes. "You maniacs! You blew it up! Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!"

Cthuhlu. I heard of him. He's bad, right?

You see this cat Cthulhu is a bad mother--
(Shut your mouth!)
But I'm talkin' about Cthulhu
(We can dig it.)
posted by kirkaracha at 2:59 PM on July 11, 2007


grumblebee-
The issue with viral marketing is more the "aren't we clever" aspect of it. That air of "we know something and you want to know it too, but we're going to make you jump through hoops and smirk while not telling you" and then the big reveal comes and *phfeh*, oh, you want me to buy Pepsi Blue, please go fuck yourself, thank you very much.

It smells of desperation. It wreaks of misdirection and something untrustworthy. Example: you have a movie to market, and it's a real stinker, I mean Uwe Boll level of suck, but you've got several million dollars invested in it and you need to make money on it, so what do you do. Hide the fact that it's Uwe Boll, make it look like something some low budget nobody is trying to break into the business with, market it through cheap means and try to surround it with an air of "innovative" and "new" hype so people will talk about it and spend their money on something that they will probably not enjoy. That is what these marketing ploys smell of, and that is why they are greeted with a great deal of derision.

Another example: you've got this not quite good enough mp3 player that you want to break into the already over-populated market with (ahem: Zune). So you get all these hip looking people and throw Zune parties that are so "exclusive" and something that everyone should aspire to, right? Everyone wants to go to exclusive private parties where awesome chart topping bands are playing, right? I mean, right?
No, we don't. We have our own tastes, and our own feelings about what is and isn't cool, and hanging out with a bunch of "beautiful people" is about the last thing on my list of "fun" things to do.

If you want to sell me a product, tell me 3 things. What it does, how this will improve my life, and what I can expect to achieve by buying this from you. Dress it up all you want, but those are the keys to the kingdom in marketing. Look at car commercials. I know what it is, it is presented for what it does (burn gas, go zoom, etc, etc), and when I buy one I can expect to enjoy my purchase.

Instead we are _told_ we should want something because some basketball player, some actor, so television personality, or some useless bag of flesh like Paris Hilton uses it. What the hell is that? That is the bullshit that marketers have been trying to sell us on for decades now and it has made us jaded and angry. I don't want to go to the parties that Paris Hilton and her ilk go to, because I'm not about to be that much of a shitheel. I am not , thus I do not feel that his endorsement means much beyond he is willing to accept money to shill for a marketing firm. Your hollywood pretty people, or New York hipsters, or international supermodels can go fuck themselves. This is very similar to my hatred of reality television, but that's a whole different rant.

This kind of brings me to why I liked this movie trailer. The people featured in front of the camera were all people I looked at and felt like "oh, look, preppie shitbags that I want to punch for being not like me"(hey, at least I admit it, I know I'm a monkey). Then the whole monster roar and blackout and stuff and I'm like "AHAHAHAHAHAHAH, YES!!! Monsters going to eat them all! DIE YUPPIE SCUM!!"

But that's just me. Misanthropy is fun.

posted by daq at 3:01 PM on July 11, 2007 [6 favorites]


I'm not sure how much of this trend is about deception and how much is about ritual/fashion.

You're sidestepping a bigger trend that is can be framed as a reaction to new technology. If there is a machine out there that can help you skip commercials, why not turn the ad into content itself?

BMW Films is a classic example of this. As in, hell, why not let the end user make his own advertisement for our product?
posted by phaedon at 3:03 PM on July 11, 2007


I went to a zune party.
Blonde Redhead played. The sound was awful and the people were mostly microsoft. Not the best time I've had, but it was a valuable experience.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 3:05 PM on July 11, 2007


phaedon : You're sidestepping a bigger trend that is can be framed as a reaction to new technology. If there is a machine out there that can help you skip commercials, why not turn the ad into content itself?

Though that sort of presupposes that ads have no artistic merit on their own. Just because something is trying to sell me something doesn't mean that it can't be done in a compelling, artistic, and interesting way.

Actually, the BMW ads are pretty good examples of this.
posted by quin at 3:13 PM on July 11, 2007


I don't view "viral marketing" as too far off from when Ralphie in A Christmas Story finally got his fucking decoder ring only to find the secret message said "Drink your ovaltine." The concept is not new, the execution has just changed a bit.

Personally, I like the mysterious buildup around this film. I loved it when they did the same thing for Lost. It builds my interest and it's like playing a game because you have to search for clues and so forth. Does that automatically mean I'll enjoy the movie? No. Would I go see it in theaters if they hadn't done any of this viral stuff? Probably.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 3:14 PM on July 11, 2007


I'll have to come back to the larger discussion of viral marketing, but as to the release date -- I doubt it's 8/1. A quick check of the calendar reveals 1/18 to be a Friday; 8/1 is a Wednesday, and while a Wednesday release is hardly unheard of, it's usually reserved for stuff that's gonna be BIG, and for holiday weekends besides. More, release schedules are set pretty far in advance, and Illuminati levels of secrecy would be required to have kept some Loews wage slave from spilling at least the existence of the film well before now.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 3:16 PM on July 11, 2007


Wait JJ Abrams? Dammit. He puts hidden things everywhere to get us going, but then the hidden things have no relation to the actual plot. If I go to a movie and the monster disappears and the characters don't mention it for an hour and ten minutes and then it reappears and is tangentially related to the plot -- I'm going to be pissed off.

geoff, that's actually what I love about abrams. In most movies they feel the need to explain every little thing.
I read an interview once with the guy who directed Ringu, the original Japanese version of the Ring. He was working on the American version of one of his movies, and he said the most difficult thing about remaking his movies is that Americans want to have everything, everything explained. The ghost is crawling on the ceiling? How can the ghost crawl on the ceiling? Why is the ghost crawling on the ceiling?

The star wars saga is the most egregious example I can think of- they couldn't even leave the smallest details to our imaginations. Where did c3po come from? Baby darth vader created him! Why does the emperor look old and wrinkly? Because Samuel Jackson reverse-lightninged him!

Lost can be frustrating at times, but I would much rather be left perplexed than feel like the last half hour of the movie is ruined because there's nothing left to wonder about. I was about to give up on Lost because it was turning into just a regular show, and then they had that freaking inexplicable season finale and now I'm hooked again.
posted by jiiota at 3:16 PM on July 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


Of course, now that I'm thinking about it, what I'd really like this movie to be is Cthulhu vs. Voltron - Can the Blazing Sword of the Lion Force at last end the threat of the He who Lies Dreaming? Tune in 01-18-08 to find out!

You done fucked up, J.J. Abrams. Your actual film cannot possibly live up to the Awesome I've pictured while contemplating this viral.
posted by EatTheWeak at 3:17 PM on July 11, 2007 [4 favorites]


You people are jaded. I thought that was one of the best trailers I've ever seen.

Though I agree the Statue of Liberty head was a bit too jokey. Hopefully that's not in the movie.
posted by empath at 3:18 PM on July 11, 2007


Re: The statue of liberty head, maybe they just really really wanted to be able to tell you where all of this was taking place?
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 3:22 PM on July 11, 2007


Maybe I'm old-fashioned, but if I were marketing a film I thought people would be interested in, I think I would take the bold step of...telling them what it was. Whereas if I were albatrossed with a film I thought might not really have all that much appeal -- the kind of big budget action movie that gets slated for a January (!) release, let's say -- I might try to artificially create a buzz by withholding its title, releasing a cryptic teaser, etc. But that's just me.

Bah, that's like saying if DEVO was a good band, they wouldn't have worn flowerpots on their heads. The exact right way to get the most number of people to see this specific movie (a JJ Abrams monster movie) is to be a little mysterious in the advertising, regardless of how good the actual movie is.
posted by 23skidoo at 3:23 PM on July 11, 2007


I don't think that this movie comes out 1-18-08; I think that is the day the fictitious action takes place

If that were true, then it would have looked like it was winter in New York City, which it clearly was not.
posted by deanc at 3:25 PM on July 11, 2007


I think most viral marketing is directed at people who can't yet afford iPhones.
posted by desjardins at 3:27 PM on July 11, 2007 [2 favorites]


People have actually mapped out exactly where in New York that building is in the hopes of decoding some secret message or another. That's a little too intense for me.

Regarding the weather, I think someone else noted that it was listed as 63 degrees on the TV in the apartment, and bothered to look up the record high for that date, which was higher than 63 degrees.

I feel like I need to wash my brain out with soap now.
posted by jiiota at 3:30 PM on July 11, 2007


You done fucked up, J.J. Abrams. Your actual film cannot possibly live up to the Awesome I've pictured while contemplating this viral.

Similarly, I have decided that this is a trailer for an Ultraman movie. In the longer cut, I bet one of those guys totally reaches into his jacket, pulls out a beta capsule, and goes all "SUWATCH!" before totally wrestling that moaning monster to the goddamn ground.

I am now watching this movie in my head. It is awesome.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 3:34 PM on July 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


...As did another film involving a house under siege from aliens...
posted by saturnine


I've seen this 'movie'. Definitely well done and effectively scary.
posted by Totally Zanzibarin' Ya at 3:38 PM on July 11, 2007


Not sure if anyone has noticed, but if you select-all on the website, "< ---------august 1st, 2007 12:36 am reveal ....... project cloverfield. ---------->
" becomes visible at the top.
posted by FritoKAL at 3:47 PM on July 11, 2007


I really wanted to like this trailer, but I just can't. The partygoers in no way seem real to me. They seem like actors trying to act like they're at a hip party, and failing. It doesn't look like home video. It looks like Cheez Wiz.
posted by tastybrains at 3:48 PM on July 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


It's Giant Gay Monster Cyborg Shatner and he's PISSED about not being in JJ's Star Trek.

You heard it here first.
posted by WolfDaddy at 4:18 PM on July 11, 2007


It can't be Lost, because Lost is Disney and this is Paramount.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 4:23 PM on July 11, 2007


By the standards of what a lot of viral marketing is these days, this really isn't as non-traditional as a lot of people seem to be suggesting. It's a perfectly standard teaser trailer for a movie (a very well done and intriguing one, in my opinion, but standard nonetheless) - the only twist is that they haven't named it.

It played in a regular way in front of a big summer blockbuster, and was put online a few days later, as usually happens. The movie has a website which says, after you get round a bit of obfuscation, that more details will be released at a later date. Apart from a few fun but superficial bells and whistles, it's absolutely standard movie marketing. Which ties in with what Abrams was saying about the online stuff being a secondary consideration after actually making the damn movie.

Either way, I'm quite interested to see more of it - as much down to Drew Goddard's involvement as anything else, to be frank.
posted by flashboy at 4:28 PM on July 11, 2007


That was sorta like the rave scene from Matrix Reloaded spliced with outtakes from Independence Day and War of the Worlds. In other words, a symphony of crap.
posted by brain_drain at 4:29 PM on July 11, 2007


In line with the Lost connection, the unseen giant monster stomping around New York and decapitating Lady Liberty is only what happens before the opening credits. It will never appear again, and the characters in the movie will have entirely forgotten about it after the opening credits finish. It'll actually be a light romantic comedy after that.
posted by Drastic at 4:31 PM on July 11, 2007


Your actual film cannot possibly live up to the Awesome I've pictured while contemplating this viral.

This is the problem with ARGs as viral marketing, isn't it? The theories, the anticipation, the potential are always so much greater than the actual gameplay and final results.
posted by Rock Steady at 4:41 PM on July 11, 2007


The Monster........is YOU!
posted by doctorschlock at 4:46 PM on July 11, 2007 [1 favorite]



It's a miniature gigantic pie.
posted by Pastabagel at 4:47 PM on July 11, 2007


You remind me of a monster.
Who do?
Cthulhu!
posted by doctorschlock at 4:49 PM on July 11, 2007 [2 favorites]


Any time I see a teaser trailer like this, the only thing I can think is the producers know they have a stinker on their hands, and the only thing that will put butts in seats is to build up a sense of mystery. It almost feels as if the real achievement isn't the movie itself, but the hype mechanism that surrounds it. The movie almost seems like a secondary consideration.

Then again, I have absolutely no idea what movie this is. I'm already expecting it to suck though.

Lentrohamsanin's Utraman movie rocks though. C'mon in, I've made popcorn.
posted by lekvar at 4:52 PM on July 11, 2007


On the movie site the photographs have 01/18/2008 as if it were the time of the picture... which makes me think the movie is supposed to be set at this time.
No idea why the the weather outside appears to be too warm for New York in January.

I'd like to also add that the trailer was pretty cool. Unfortunately, ever since I saw the teaser-trailer for Twister and thought "this is going to rule!", and then later saw that film - I haven't trusted "big" trailers ever again.
posted by Tbola at 4:53 PM on July 11, 2007


Drastic : It will never appear again, and the characters in the movie will have entirely forgotten about it after the opening credits finish. It'll actually be a light romantic comedy after that.

I joked about it, you joked about it, but how great would it be if there was actually some truth to that? Like it's pitched as a creepy horror movie and it turns out to be some fluffy love story.

I've always felt that From Dusk till Dawn would have been better if they had sold it as a straight up crime thriller. Never mentioning the vampires at all. Just think about how many Tarantino crime fans would have been pissed and/ or bewildered at such a dramatic shift in plot.

Abrams has the chance to do the same thing, and I would laugh my ass off if it were true.
posted by quin at 4:58 PM on July 11, 2007


would much rather be left perplexed than feel like the last half hour of the movie is ruined because there's nothing left to wonder about

This is what happens when writers (all types) follow the dictum that everything should advance the plot. You get these hermetically sealed stories which suffocate slowly before your eyes. I recently had that experience with Yiddish Policemen's Union. I used to think of it as first-time writer syndrome (the first Inspector Rebus novel suffers from it, for instance) but it happens even to authors in the bloom of their careers, like with Chabon's book.
posted by Kattullus at 5:01 PM on July 11, 2007


> Cthulhu happens in New England during the early twentieth century - I certainly enjoy how the mythos is bigger
> than time, but somehow taking Cthulhu out of that specific historical period can have truly odd results.

Totally agree. Dragging the Mythos into the present would be as lame as remaking Godzilla in New York instead of Tokyo. Not even Hollywood could be that dumb.
posted by jfuller at 5:04 PM on July 11, 2007


Is it a lion? It doesn't think of itself as a lion. We might as well, though - it has a mighty roar.

Oh, I thought... That's weird.
posted by Soulfather at 5:08 PM on July 11, 2007 [7 favorites]


I've always felt that From Dusk till Dawn would have been better if they had sold it as a straight up crime thriller. Never mentioning the vampires at all. Just think about how many Tarantino crime fans would have been pissed and/ or bewildered at such a dramatic shift in plot.

A huge problem with a lot of movies is that their scripts are structured so that major plot points are twists that are supposed to be revealed as the film unfolds, but the trailers reveal those plot points up front.

If you watch "The Sixth Sense" carefully, you see that the writer intended the whole "I See Dead People" thing to be a shock to the audience, whereas anyone who saw the trailer sat around bored waiting for this already-known point of the plot to be revealed so that they could see what the rest of the movie was going to be about. "What Lies Beneath" starts off as a murder mystery but turns into a supernatural thriller which everyone who saw the trailer already knew about, defeating the purpose of the whole MacGuffin setup.

The problem is that those who market movies intuit (probably correctly) that the best way to attract an audience is to tell viewer what the film is about to attract fans of those films. They want people who like vampire films will be drawn to see From Dusk till Dawn, people who like supernatural thrillers will see What Lies Beneath and The Sixth Sense, and the studios won't face the problem of bad word-of-mouth from theater-goers who were expecting one kind of movie but ended up watching something totally different. I guess this isn't so bad, but scriptwriters don' seem to realize that the marketers are going to spoil the narrative flow.
posted by deanc at 5:09 PM on July 11, 2007 [2 favorites]


I've always felt that From Dusk till Dawn would have been better if they had sold it as a straight up crime thriller. Never mentioning the vampires at all. Just think about how many Tarantino crime fans would have been pissed and/ or bewildered at such a dramatic shift in plot.

I actually have a number of friends who sat down to watch it thinking it really was a straight-up Tarantino crime flick, along the lines of Reservoir Dogs. Imagine their surprise.
posted by EarBucket at 5:12 PM on July 11, 2007


but the trailers reveal those plot points up front.

Oh god I am so sick of this phenomena. More than once I've been in a theater and when the trailer was over I turned to my wife and said, 'well, we know how it ends, no reason to see the film now.'

Flight of the Phoenix (I hadn't seen the original) was one, Evan Almighty just did it as well.

It's like whoever is chopping it is willfully trying to ruin the film. I've gotten to the point where I won't watch trailers for movies that I want to see. I just don't want to risk the whole thing being spoiled.
posted by quin at 5:23 PM on July 11, 2007


MY GOD! IT'S THE STATUE OF LIBERTY! AND IT DOESN'T NEED A HEAD!
posted by Citizen Premier at 5:28 PM on July 11, 2007 [2 favorites]


It's a lion literal viking!
posted by kyleg at 6:03 PM on July 11, 2007


It can't be Lost, because Lost is Disney and this is Paramount.

Leave it up to Brad Grey to fuck a good thing up.
posted by phaedon at 6:07 PM on July 11, 2007


Looks better than Shortbus.
posted by malaprohibita at 6:25 PM on July 11, 2007


whilst it says 1-18-08, there's a counter that has only 20 days on it.

The countdown is just when the Axons go hot. Or something. If it stays at the same cryptic BS level I'm sure as hell not answering any more pay phones.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 6:31 PM on July 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


Cloverfield?

Its a giant, angry cow.

cmon people, isn't it obvious?

"It came from the Cow Galaxy, in search of clover...."

dun-duuun-DUUNNNN

CLOVERFIELD 1-18-08
posted by Avenger at 6:45 PM on July 11, 2007


I thought this was the "Year Zero" movie...
posted by rhizome23 at 6:52 PM on July 11, 2007


The Monster........is YOU!

The Monster is Time Magazine's Person of the Year?
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 7:01 PM on July 11, 2007


A huge problem with a lot of movies is that their scripts are structured so that major plot points are twists that are supposed to be revealed as the film unfolds, but the trailers reveal those plot points up front.
Another example of this I like to bring up is Terminator 2. The scene where the two Terminators first converge on the young John Connor you aren't supposed to know that Arnold is a good guy.
There's a shot where he pulls a shotgun out of a box of roses, and the roses fall to the ground, and he steps on and crushes them as he approaches. That little ominous flourish is completely wasted however, since everyone in the theatre knew that Arnold was the "good Terminator", and that he isn't going to shoot John, he's going to shoot the other Terminator.

So much for building tension.

(I'm pretty sure I didn't need to put a spoiler warning on this rant.)
posted by Tbola at 7:54 PM on July 11, 2007


So like, a remake of Zadar, Cow from Hell? With an actual evil cow this time?
posted by erikharmon at 7:57 PM on July 11, 2007


Looks better than Shortbus.

What? Are you kidding me? You didn't like Shortbus? The pursuit and achievement of love/the Big O as an analogy for everything being good again in Modern Fucked-Up NYC?

Wow!
posted by humannaire at 8:00 PM on July 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


The Monster........is YOU!

No, don't watch any further! There's a monster at the end of this film!
posted by kosher_jenny at 8:01 PM on July 11, 2007 [4 favorites]


Totally agree. Dragging the Mythos into the present would be as lame as remaking Godzilla in New York instead of Tokyo. Not even Hollywood could be that dumb.

The sheer excellence of Dagon says otherwise.
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:01 PM on July 11, 2007


Since when is "producer" synonymous with "auteur"? JJ Abrams didn't write or direct this movie; for that matter, Judd Apatow didn't write or direct Superbad.

I understand that "producer" can mean a million different things, from "I pretty much made the entire thing" to "I'm a celebrity with a vanity production company" to "I'm the real producer's personal assistant." I'm not doubting that Abrams and Apatow were heavily involved in making these two particular movies, but acting like they're wholly responsible for the result gives short shrift to the actual film-makers.
posted by Ian A.T. at 9:06 PM on July 11, 2007


I read an interview once with the guy who directed Ringu, the original Japanese version of the Ring. He was working on the American version of one of his movies, and he said the most difficult thing about remaking his movies is that Americans want to have everything, everything explained.

If so, the guy who directed Ringu is one of the most extraordinary dingbats to grace our Earth, because Ringu was the most annoyingly explanatory movie I have ever seen.

Let's help the girl to release the curse!
What, you mean that to release the curse, we have to help the girl?
Yes! By helping the girl, we will release the curse!
I want the curse released! Therefore I say that we should help the girl!
Good! Because helping the girl will release the curse!
Then we are in agreement. Let us go and release the curse.
Yes, by helping the girl!

If I see one more movie with a long-haired semi-spastic wet girl menacing people, I will go seriously apeshit on something.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:07 PM on July 11, 2007 [4 favorites]


Wow...now I wish that horrible tentacular Lovecraftian horrors had invaded NYC and slaughtered everyone in sight halfway through Shortbus. I would have wished this while watching it, had it occurred to me at the time.

Okay, I'll be honest: That totally occurred to me at the time.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 9:34 PM on July 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


My money is on The LOST Ringu of Bat-thulu.
I hear that in the 1st 5 minutes Bruce Willis gets killed by Bill Paxton.
posted by ForBroadcast at 9:58 PM on July 11, 2007


Not sure if anyone has noticed, but if you select-all on the website, "< ---------august 1st, 2007 12:36 am reveal ....... project cloverfield. ---------->
" becomes visible at the top.


I think this is just another take on the "video game teaser" habit of having countdowns to new trailers, that end with more countdowns that lead to new trailers that.....until the product is released.
posted by graventy at 10:17 PM on July 11, 2007


It's the Stay-Puft marshmallow man.

what? I can't be the only person who thought that.
posted by ikkyu2 at 11:33 PM on July 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


They're Identical Giant Carnivorous Space Goats, and they look just the sa-aame! They're Identical Giant Carnivorous Space Goats, and they're the ones to bla-aame!

Fuck me, I couldn't care less about yet another Hollywood turd. I am, however, deeply fascinated by Giant Carnivorous Space Goats.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:34 PM on July 11, 2007


hahaha, ikkyu2 - that's what i was thinking as i watched 'nightwatch'.

i kinda like the statue of liberty head... if it turnes out as old-school campy horror. hopefully not going tha 'independence day' stylee, though.
posted by lapolla at 1:59 AM on July 12, 2007


You rock, Soulfather.
posted by dreamsign at 2:33 AM on July 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


Anyway, screw that fight. This is the fight I want to see.
posted by dreamsign at 2:47 AM on July 12, 2007


Someone beat me to the obvious viking line, and then Soulfather went and fouled things up for me further by taking my second choice, the Firefly reference.

Sadness.

(Also, while I have problems with a lot of his output, JJ Abrams's stuff tends to be worth at least glancing at... So, I'm in at least until further marketing turns me off to the whole thing.)
posted by sparkletone at 6:54 AM on July 12, 2007


Hey, that's my birthday.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 7:16 AM on July 12, 2007


It's a lion?
It's Al Lyons?
posted by ormondsacker at 7:48 AM on July 12, 2007


I have a lot of faith in this, and Abrams tends to make "gimicky" pretty fantastic. I think a lot of the Lost speculation comes from the fact that the monster noise sounds a whole lot like the Monster from Lost.

What I learned from the Host (SPOILER ALERT):

As long as there is not a net loss of children, it's fine, even even the one you bring home to live with you isn't the one you left for work with.

Oh: And what's for blaming him for Lost? I don't think Abrams has written anything since the pilot. It's all C & L now.
posted by absalom at 8:14 AM on July 12, 2007


A friend of mine mentioned that it might be a movie version of the old Rampage game. That would be the only thing that gets in the theater for this.
posted by xmutex at 9:18 AM on July 12, 2007


Wow...now I wish that horrible tentacular Lovecraftian horrors had invaded NYC and slaughtered everyone in sight halfway through Shortbus.

Thank you, kittens for breakfast, for saying what I should have elaborated more fully. Instead of "Hey, cool NYers, let's all get together and fuck each other because we lead such shallow lives" we get "Hey, cool NYers, let's all get together and... HOLY SHIT! A FUCKING MONSTER! RUN!"

I think it's safe to say I found Shortbus abhorrent.
posted by malaprohibita at 12:47 PM on July 12, 2007


The movie takes place in purgatory.
posted by effwerd at 6:54 PM on July 12, 2007


Metafilter: Oh, it comes out in 6 months, I have no idea what it's about, and all my cool friends say it sucks.

THEN I HATE IT.
posted by Cyclopsis Raptor at 7:06 PM on July 12, 2007


It appears to be a movie about the characters in a beer commercial being chased by a big flame-throwing statue-bashing thing-a-majig.

I love scary movies, but seriously, I expected there to be a big bottle of Miller Lite or something stomping over the horizon there at the end.
posted by BoringPostcards at 7:37 PM on July 12, 2007 [2 favorites]


It's a movie about a fucking ski resort, isn't it?
posted by educatedslacker at 8:07 PM on July 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


My money's on Dinosaur Neil, because "I've been the janitor to the Apocalypse for six long months, Arthur... and it's a-comin' this way!"
posted by Zack_Replica at 9:09 PM on July 12, 2007


This all started with "what is the matrix", didn't it.
posted by tehloki at 12:32 AM on July 13, 2007


CHUD vs Aslan
posted by moonbird at 6:03 PM on July 13, 2007


Shortbus was hopeful. And a light came on at the end.

That's what I look for in life. So cool.

Monster movies with annoying and overtly shallow/non-redeemable characters in vague trailers, however, do at times hold my attention.
posted by humannaire at 6:16 PM on July 13, 2007


I am betting on a Blob remake: Paramount owns the right, the movie was announced in 2006 and a character in the trailer says "I'ts alive and is huge!", implying the monster is something that usually don't walks around blowing things up. And there is the slusho connection with a story about a strange substance found in deep water.

However on Wikipedia the screenwriters for the Blob remake are different.
posted by darkripper at 4:29 PM on July 14, 2007


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