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New trailers: Slender Man, A Series of Unfortunate Events, and more

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A Series of Unfortunate Events season 2 photo Photo: Joseph Lederer / Netflix

For lack of better judgement, I decided to watch Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals a couple months ago. The movie just looked so tense and downright gorgeous that I was willing to ignore the fact that I turned off Ford’s first movie halfway through. I should have done the same with this one.

I don’t like to be dismissive of movies in this weird little intro space here since I never write more than a few short paragraphs, but Nocturnal Animals is a whole other beast. The film’s hero is a guy who spends over a decade writing a book just so he can get revenge on his ex-wife for... breaking up with him? The conclusion is that the book makes her feel bad. It also equates abortion to a gruesome double rape/murder.

Obviously, movies are allowed to be about bad people. The problem with this one is that the film takes the bad guy’s side, as though his ex deserves to be punished for wanting to escape their unhealthy, loveless relationship. The film’s point of view is just so morally corrupt that I don’t know how everyone agreed to make it. There’s an argument to be made that creating this kind of repulsed feeling in the viewer is a type of art, but I don’t believe that was the intention here. Also, the movie contains numerous extended reaction shots of someone reading a book.

Last week was slow so there was no new trailers column, so check out seven trailers from this week and last week below.

Slender Man

The internet’s most famous meme villain / horror legend is getting an appropriately creepy movie adaptation, and this trailer is a first look that just never seems to end. On one hand, it may have only been a matter of time before a studio brought a legend with a built-in audience and minimal copyright to life; on the other, it feels extra weird since there are actual incidents in which 12- and 13-year-olds attacked people in the name of Slender Man, which makes me wonder if there’s a degree of sensitivity this movie needs to approach its evil lore with. The film comes out on May 18th.

Channel Zero: Butcher’s Block

Speaking of creepy internet stories, Channel Zero is a Syfy anthology series that’s based on a new myth each season. I’d missed this show until now — it’s two seasons in — but a trailer just came out for its third run, and it looks exceptionally creepy. It starts February 7th.

A Series of Unfortunate Events

Netflix’s big, colorful, and super-stylized adaptation of A Series of Unfortunate Events is close to returning for a second season. The streaming service released a brief teaser this week, though you likely won’t have to wait too long to see more. The second season comes out on March 30th.

My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman

Netflix put out a very brief teaser for its new David Letterman-hosted talk show this week. But the real highlight isn’t Letterman, or the set, or anything unusual that’s going on: it’s the guests. For its first six-episode run, the show has landed President Obama, Jay Z, Malala Yousafzai, Tina Fey, George Clooney, and Howard Stern. In an usual move for Netflix, the season won’t premiere all at once: the first episode will go up January 12th, and new ones will roll out once every month after that.

Foxtrot

This is Israel’s entry for the foreign language Oscar this year. The trailer is not great from a ‘convey the tone of the film or what it’s about’ kind of standpoint, but it has so many great shots and so many perfectly strange moments throughout that it still caught my interest. The movie follows the parents of a solider after his death and also follows that solider’s depressing, but also apparently quite odd, experiences leading up to his death. It opens in the US with a limited release on March 2nd.

The End of the F**king World

This show actually came out yesterday, but Netflix did’t put out a trailer for it until early this week and it’s too weird not to include here. Be warned, the show looks exceptionally twee, but the dark twist could make it a lot of fun.

Mom and Dad

Once or twice a year, Nicolas Cage turns up in a completely bewildering role. This is one of those roles, and yet it is also the perfect role, one that finds him screaming the lyrics to “Hokey Pokey” while destroying his home with a sledgehammer. It opens January 19th.