Kate Aselton's New England island thriller Black Rock was one of my must-see films at this year's London Film Festival, due to the screenplay being penned by one of my favourite writer/director/actors out there today, Mark Duplass. Since it was must-see, I of course missed it due to the London transport system having a minor meltdown and leaving me stuck on a train somewhere between Richmond and Waterloo for the duration of the screening time.
Hopefully I'll get another chance when Black Rock sees a UK release some time next year. The film is about three childhood friends (played by Kate Aselton, Kate Bosworth, and Lake Bell) who go to an island off the coast of Maine in order to reconnect and repair a bond between two of them that was broken years ago when one stole the other's boyfriend. On the island they find a group of three hunters who seem friendly enough at first, but quickly reveal their darker side after a violent incident occurs.
The trailer was recently released over at Yahoo, and you shouldn't watch it. It is a bad trailer.
First of all, the Generic Dramatic Orchestral Score #235 reaches the climax of its tempo long before anything remotely threatening or exciting is shown – it's confusing to hear such an intense, ominous tune underneath a conversation about how the characters went to school together and who had a crush on whom back then. Once the action starts, it quickly develops into a weird looping beat, like a retro arcade game, that's more grating than thrilling.
The trailer also suffers from the more common affliction of condensing the entire plot of the film down into just over two minutes, rather than simply teasing enough to make people want to see more. Who wants to go into a film knowing all the major story events up until about the three quarter mark?
During the last minute or so, which sort of flounders around just showing lots of shots of people running, the trailer tagline pops up in a bland WordArt-esque font to inform us that, "Three women will discover the power of friendship." Yes, someone out there thought it would be a good idea to sell a survival thriller film about a deadly battle of the sexes by focusing upon the appeal of three women discovering the power of friendship. Presumably their trailer for Fatal Attraction would have teased the audience with the promise that, "One man will learn to appreciate the importance of fidelity and family values."
The market for low-budget independent thrillers is a tough one, and this trailer is several miles and a few locked doors away from attention-grabbing. Whether or not Black Rock deserves better is something I look forward to finding out.
If you're a bad trailer junkie or would simply prefer to make your own judgement, click play on the video below.