343. The Girl With The Great Trailer. 
Jun 4, 2011 at 03:10PM

I've not read a single word of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, but I do know from talking to a few folks that it's originally a three book series by Swedish author, the late Stieg Larsson. I also know that there is a Swedish version of the film that people seem to really enjoy - though I have yet to see that either. I really came to this trailer not knowing much about the content of the films, except that it's pretty dark material. Oh, and there is a beautiful set of hardcover versions called the Millennium Trilogy Deluxe set that you can order from Amazon. (It's typically minimal Swedish design, but there is a lot of nice touches to love from an art director's standpoint. Really well-crafted books. See below or view the Amazon link that shows a video of the Art Director who designed the covers.)

Steig Larsson's Millennium Trilogy Deluxe Boxed Set: 

The recently released trailer for the film is wonderful from a storytelling aspect. Unlike most trailers that either give away too much of the plot, are produced into a jumbled mess of one-liners, or just fit into the usual mold of the movie business as usual, this one actually teases. Just by watching this trailer, I know I want to see this film.

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo Trailer:

So why does this trailer work? let's break it down.

 The Soundtrack. The film is pretty dark, so who better to build the score than Trent Reznor himself? Coming off the pretty successful soundtrack for The Social Network, the former (or current?) frontman for Nine Inch Nails is making a new career for himself in Hollywood. Other than Daft Punk's ridiculously cool soundtrack for Tron (that was snubbed in Oscar-town), Reznor produced the best work last year and did in fact take home the Oscar for Best Original Score with Atticus Ross. So we have Reznor at the peak of his powers, doing his own interpretation of a Led Zeppelin tune, Immigrant Song. One could argue that this song would have worked on its own, but I prefer the update - in this particular case - because the updates help the song better match the film. That's not to say that the original doesn't matter. On the contrary, it's the perfect choice. The tweaks just help keep it relevant. So, we have a rocking tune that paces the experience, what else?

The Editing. Almost as if you are blinking more than normal while watching, the editing gives you just enough glimpses into this world that you can't help but want more; but not enough that you feel grounded into the story. These peeks move too quickly which only adds to the uncertainty of what you are seeing while being introduced to much of the cast and locations. You see everything but only in thin slivers. And of course, this editing trick matches perfectly the soundtrack we discussed above.

The Color. The trailer, which most likely matches much of the movie, is dark. Literally. The blacks are crunched to the point that you lose a lot of detail. Which seems to be a theme in this trailer, only giving enough to tweak your interest, but never a full view. Even the scenes of winter with all that white snow manage to feel black. Everything is shadow and evil.

The Voiceovers. Thankfully, there are none. And that makes it easy to forget that you're watching a trailer and get sucked into the movement of this short film. I'm sure they talked about having a voiceover, and am glad they decided against it. And the soundtrack provides all the overt messaging one needs.

The End. The way a trailer ends is probably the most important aspect in its success. And this one comes to a frenetic, mangled, and pulsating end. It leaves you on a high, much like a car driven too fast off a cliff, with broken but bold sans serif type proclaiming that this movie is coming with a vengeance, The Feel Bad movie of Christmas. Normally, I'd cringe at that tagline due to all the bad horror films and awful comedies that have used the same messaging before, around the holidays—but this one seems to mean it. The whole thing feels almost more of a warning, even the touch at the end where it simply says, Coming, instead of coming soon.

This trailer single-handedly made me interested in not only this movie but also the series of books. Not bad work for a minute and a half. It will be interesting if David Fincher can pull off this somewhat-of-a-remake.

Article originally appeared on Graphicology (http://www.graphicology.com/).
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