January 5, 2018
Trailer Watch

A Cannes Winner, Missing Children, Jon Hamm & More Trailers You May Have Missed

Staying on top of the trailer circuit is a full-time job in and of itself. We're here to help.

Step Sisters (dir. Charles Stone III)

The world of women's collegiate stepping receives a comedic and topical twist in the latest from Drumline director Charles Stone III. Tasked with having to teach an all-white, flighty sorority house how to step for an upcoming charity competition, an African-American student swallows her pride as she simultaneously balances team-building with proving that she's not a sell-out to steppers of her own race. If these white girls can ace the competition (and keep away from incessant partying and in-house fighting), their instructor will receive entry into Harvard. Although I'm not sure if that's exactly how the Harvard admissions office conducts their acceptances, it sure sets an interesting plot into motion. This feels like a thematic cross between Legally Blonde and Bring It On, and if its choreography gives off Pitch Perfect vibes, that makes sense: Step Sisters shares their choreographer, Aakomon Jones. Release Date: January 19, 2018, via Netflix

Loveless (dir. Andrey Zvyagintsev)

Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at last year's Cannes Film Festival (and a Golden Globe nominee this Sunday night), Russia's official entry for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film is Loveless, the newest epic of intimacy from Leviathan director Andrey Zvyagintsev. As a husband and wife decide on a divorce provoked by incessant fighting and accusations of adultery, they agree to shield their son from the pain this will ultimately cause. Divorces are messy for an entire family, and they're aware that they'll need to protect their child. And then, just like that, the child goes missing. Is this the story of an missing-child mystery? A murder case? A child's retribution for the tears brought about by his parents? The trailer is excellent in teasing out the viewer's intrigue. Release Date: February 16, 2018, via Sony Pictures Classics

Nostalgia (dir. Mark Pellington)

A house can be filled with memories, including some you're quickly ready to forget. A great cast lead by Ellen Burstyn, Catherine Keener, Jon Hamm, and Bruce Dern bring to life the newest film from Arlington Road director Mark Pellington and screenwriter Alex Ross Perry (Listen up Philip). The trailer echoes familial concerns, regrets, and the fear of having to confront a long-buried past, and if that feels too heavy, the promotional material feels appreciatively optimistic and hopeful. This trailer doesn't reveal too much, and I appreciate that. The pedigree behind and in front of the camera makes this highly anticipated. Release Date: February 16, 2018, via Bleecker Street

Truth or Dare (dir. Jeff Wadlow)

If you've ever played the playful teen game Truth or Dare amongst friends, you know that it's not a game you play to win or lose. Someone either reveals embarrassing information about themselves or is challenged to do something embarrassing.This film looks to take the concept to the extreme. As a group of friends play a round, they begin to realize that this game won't conclude in a single evening; they really don't have a choice as to when it will end. Either reveal a truth that will jeopardize a friendship or commit a dare that will harm others. Refuse to play the game and you die. A supernatural fusion of Saw, It Follows, and Final Destination is just what the doctor ordered here, and the trailer is appropriately crazy.  Also of note is that the film is billed as "Blumhouse's Truth or Dare", which is the first time in a very long while I've noticed a production company (lead by founder Jason Blum) as the film's primary auteur. Is a live-adaptation of Spin the Bottle next? Release Date: April 27, 2018, via Universal Pictures

Slender Man (dir. Sylvain White)

Based on the true(ish) story of the internet-birthed character known as The Slender Man, (have you heard of creepypasta?) and the two 12-year-old Wisconsin girls who stabbed a classmate 19 times because The Slender Man told them to, this film feels like a cross between a paranormal creepfest and a study of incurable mental illness. The Slender Man, as described across internet message boards that you dare not frequent, is extremely tall, thin, and lacking a face, which makes him ideal for a horror film.

The biggest question: How will the film treat the sensitive, very real issue of the two girls who committed such a heinous crime? The father of one of the criminals has already spoken out against the film, and Waukesha, Wisconsin theaters located in close proximity to the crime scene are refusing to screen it. Controversy may continue to arise as we get closer to the opening. Release Date: May 18, 2018, via Screen Gems

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