If you’re like me (don’t be), then Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water kind of snuck up on you. The film’s early clips and trailers suggested that the film’s tone would be some kind of sweet, quirky, workplace drama, which blends elements of Spielberg’s E.T. with Tim Burton’s Edward Scissorhands, albeit with a freaky water creature and an R-rating… but the new Red Band trailer dispenses with all that warm, syrupy nonsense and gets right to the blood, anger, and violence that we’d expect from a del Toro horror-fairy tale.
What makes the red band trailer so effective is that it uses the previous trailer as a springboard, leading us into this film’s darker elements. I think you’ll come away with an impression of a much different film, which promises far more horror than fairy tale. From the 60s Cold War setting, the neon lights of the small town, the sprawling industrial facility holding our creature, and the period music, the setup is brilliant — the cheery brightness quickly recedes, and you can feel the tension building… something sinister is happening.
I’m not sure why the previous trailers worked so hard to conceal the crazy that’s splattered all across this Red Band trailer, but I’m oh-so-glad that they did. About halfway through the trailer its tone and mood shifts dramatically. The government realizes that someone has infiltrated their facility and is screwing with their experiments … but they’d never suspect that their own lowly worker-bees are actually the cause… until they do, and things go sideways real fast.
If you’re wondering what kind of Michael Shannon we’re getting in this movie, wonder no more — it’s the uber-crazy version from Man of Steel or The Iceman or Revolutionary role… OK, he’s always uber-crazy, but in this film he seems particularly motivated to beat, stab, shoot, or strangle anyone standing between him and his creature. Works for me.
In this trailer, we also get a much closer look at the creature, which bears an absurdly strong resemblance to Hellboy‘s Abe Sapien — from played by Doug Jones in both films — albeit a rather pissed-off variation. Jones appears to be creating another legendary Hollywood monster to sit alongside Sapien, Alien, Predator, and Gollum.
The Shape of Water is blowing people’s minds, based on reports coming out of the Venice, Telluride, Toronto, and London film festivals. The holiday movie schedule is going to be insane (Justice League, The Last Jedi, Jumanji, and Coco).
Are you surprised by the violence and horror in this new Red Band trailer for del Toro’s The Shape of Water? Let us know in the comments down below!
The Shape of Water hits theaters in December 8, 2017.
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