Film: The Revenant
What We Know So Far: Based on the true events of a man’s epic struggle to to stay alive and seek revenge in the then unknown North American wilderness. An explorer named Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) is attacked by a bear and his fellow hunting team members leave him for dead and partially buried. He then must survive the brutal winter and endure horrific odds to find the man who betrayed him.
The Trailer: (Official #2)
Dan: I’m still soaked in atmosphere after watching this trailer. Filmed under natural lighting really imbues the scenery with a moody quality focused on stark and brutal realism. One terrifying image that sets the mood is the pyramid of skulls lit under the dawn sky. While the visuals are oddly serene at times, there’s never a still moment. The camera constantly glides around, roaming and floating around the action. There isn’t one static shot. Even still moments feel shaky with the handheld approach. The horseback set-piece has a 180 degree shot, fully displaying the carnage, and mounting the tension of the pursuit. The trailer builds a constant energy with its sound design. Edits match the rhythm of breathing, drums accompany the beat, amping up the tempo. Then there’s an eerie haunting chanting, a shrill piping, blending in with the increasing anxiety of the action and amplifying the excitement. This highly anticipated revenge-fueled story looks to be an intense thrill-ride. The simple concept and the impressive cast are intriguing, but the alarmingly beautiful photography is the main draw for this nerdy viewer.
David: While the first trailer was very stylish and offered almost hint as to what the story would be about, we see (maybe a bit too much) of what we’re in for. That said, what we are looking at is pretty spectacular, rich with atmosphere and luscious environments with scenes of unimaginable suffering and trauma. The gritty, Earthy feel is punctuated by an near oppressive weight of dank, coldness that permeates throughout. Somehow, director Iñárritu puts us right in the action unlike anything before. It feels both glorious and truly frightening and a place that while terror seeps into every frame’s corner, is a place I want to spend some time in.
What To Look For in The Trailer
Dan Says: While the visuals are incredibly astounding, my Sneak Peek Moment is actually performance based. Leonardo DiCaprio’s character is left for dead, beaten and buried. The Moment comes when he births himself from the soil, reborn and fueled by vengeance. The look on his face is terrifying in a feral way. Emotions boil to the surface, and without conveying a word his expression speaks volumes. The extreme determination and incredible will to survive is somehow embodied by DiCaprio. He is utterly convincing. He won’t have to deliver a speech to captivate us with this role. It looks to be DiCaprio’s most physical performance to date. This Moment is just a taste of what’s in store for us at the cinema (I’m sure). Just this one scene here would be enough to sell most viewers a movie ticket. The trailer on a whole is just an amazing experience. There’s Star Wars: Force Awakens, Hateful Eight, and then there’s The Revenant as my most anticipated films of 2015. I simply can not wait to see this on the big screen.
David Says: The bear. The Sneak Peek Moment comes early in the clip, and obviously crucial to the film’s plot, Hugh is seen in a dense heavily foliated forest aiming his rifle toward the front when behind him, shuffling fast through the underbrush, a massive black bear is rushing in for an attack. Hugh spins to face it just as it is upon him. He manages to fire a shot but it’s not enough and the bear has him in his maw, thrashing him about as the scene ends with Hugh’s screams. Certainly, we know he survives, but the brief attack is so unnerving, it rattles us and stays with us far beyond the rest of the trailer. Bear attacks in dramatic films are always hard to watch, but Iñárritu puts us right in the middle of it, on the ground and at the end of it, in Hugh’s point of view and we can’t take our eyes away. Along with Ryuichi Sakamoto’s evocative score, this looks to be a truly new and extremely emotional film experience.