The Assassination Nation red band trailer - full of blood, gore and disturbing images - is definitely not for everybody. Instead of focusing on the celebrity factor, the red band teaser highlights the film’s central themes, all of which are controversial but entirely relevant to modern America.
Written and directed by Sam Levinson, the son of filmmaker Barry Levinson (Rain Man), Assassination Nation first premiered in January at the Sundance Film Festival. Overall, critics delivered polarizing reviews about the thriller's narrative featuring the moral destruction of a small town, and how the residents turn violent after an embarrassing data hack. Australian actress Odessa Young is featured in the lead role, and she’s supported by Suki Waterhouse, Bella Thorne, and Pennywise himself, Bill Skarsgård. Assassination Nation was co-produced by David S. Goyer, who wrote the Blade trilogy and collaborated with Christopher Nolan for The Dark Knight trilogy.
Today, NEON released Assassination Nation's explosive first teaser on YouTube, and it comes with “a few trigger warnings.” Along with its new red band teaser, Assassination Nation also released its first poster, too, and it’s already got people buzzing. Take a look at the red band trailer above, and the poster below.
After the opening narration teases the storyline, complete with some well-timed profanity, the red band trailer sets the narrative mood with an unnerving visual: a bike-riding child staring directly at the camera wearing a red, white, and blue mask. The image itself bears a striking resemblance to The Purge’s franchise aesthetic, and the trailer’s visuals as a whole are blunt, and to the point. With America-themed graphics placed over provocative sequences, the Assassination Nation clip essentially warns viewers about what they can expect, and there’s indeed plenty to process. Much-discussed concepts like “Fragile Male Egos” and “Toxic Masculinity” are emphasized, but there’s an inherent darkness to the trailer given the most obvious themes are blood and death.
Meanwhile, the Assassination Nation Twitter account not only hyped the trailer and first image, but actually teased America itself with three emojis, all of which are representative of the film’s primary (and satirical) themes: consumption, America, and love.
The red band trailer suggests that Assassination Trailer is “100 percent a true story,” but given its visual connection to an abstract yet well-known filmmaker like Jean-Luc Godard - known for his big fonts, bold colors, and big ideas - audiences can probably expect a heavy dose of visual hyperbole. Based on early reactions, it seems that Sam Levinson’s film will undoubtedly have a polarizing effect after its wide theatrical release on September 21.