I'll never forget the first time I saw the teaser trailer for David Fincher's The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. I hadn't seen it yet on the internet and I was in the cinema patiently waiting out the 15 trailers that get played nowadays before a picture. I was nearly asleep when, like a jolt of electricity, I nearly sprang from my seat intrigued at what was playing in front of me. I knew it was for Dragon Tattoo. I had seen all of the Swedish films and read the book. However I had never seen a trailer like this in my life.
It's brilliance lies in the fact that by cutting it in the way they did they set up a number of things. First of all it sets up the mood of the film with Trent Reznor and Karen O's brilliant cover of Immigrant Song. Images flash before us, mostly lasting only a second for about 1 minute and 39 seconds, shorter then the average trailer (true this was a teaser) at 2 minutes and 30 seconds. What are film goers always complaining about? The trailer gives away too damn much of the film! Some trailers save you the 11 dollars you would have to pay to see it in theaters.
This however is tremendously different. While I knew the Dragon Tattoo story I was amazed how they were able to get so much across about what is going to happen and leave so many questions about what the film is about and what is going on. The makers of this trailer (I think Fincher cuts his own trailers) realize that Dragon Tattoo is an enormously popular book and a very successful trilogy of Swedish films. They know that most of us probably know the story already so by cutting so quickly and igniting the pace up to 11 we don't really have time to comprehend what just happened.
However, it's clear that every second of this trailer was methodically picked to convey the mystery and suspense of the story. It's like Stanley Kubrick's Clockwork Orange trailer made by someone high on cocaine. The cuts also match perfectly with the pace of the song. There are many shots of eyes looking, characters who are curious, characters who are devious, characters who are scared. Everything is implied and almost none of the plot is given away.
Every time I feel artistically retarded (yeah that's not real) I play this trailer and it just ignites the creative juices. They would go on to make other trailers for the film, one even being 8 minutes and 24 seconds long but none reach the heights of this brilliant trailer which is a masterpiece in itself. Fincher would not be done with Immigrant Song yet as Led Zeppelin agreed for a cover to be used for the trailer and the film's opening sequence.
Just like the teaser trailer this too is brilliant and sets the pace for whats to come with symbolism and intrigue. Of course none of this would matter if the film wasn't any good but thankfully Fincher's Dragon Tattoo is great and in my opinion vastly superior to the Swedish original. All hail David Fincher! By the way I brush my teeth every morning to Trent Reznor's Immigrant Song.