The first full-length trailer for Assassination Nation has arrived, and the red band version suggests there will be blood, along with a deep dive into the dark side of social media.
Written and directed by Sam Levinson, the son of filmmaker Barry Levinson (Rain Man), Assassination Nation examines the moral destruction of a small town called Salem, and how the residents turn violent after an embarrassing data hack. Last month, a red band teaser trailer for Assassination Nation mostly hyped the narrative themes, but offered little information about the main characters and cast, featuring Odessa Young, Suki Waterhouse, and transgender actress Hari Nef.
Today, Neon released Assassination Nation’s full-length trailer, which more than earns its red band label. But rather than opening with blood, profanity, and controversial images, the clip introduces its narrator, Lily, who then introduces her three best friends via a stylized montage that leads up to the inevitable chaos. From there, the trailer focuses on the perks and perils of modern technology, as the visuals shift from sexualized domestic scenes to dramatic public scenes, and how social media fails affect small communities.
While the trailer unsurprisingly covers the basics about embarrassing hacks, it ups the ante by highlighting the extreme reactions from all parties involved. Initially, everyone seems to be having the time of their life, at least until the first splatter of blood. Whereas last month's clip showed narrative restraint, this one goes all out for nearly three minutes until the red, white, and blue title card appears.
Assassination Nation was co-produced by David S. Goyer, who wrote the Blade trilogy and collaborated with Christopher Nolan for The Dark Knight trilogy. The trailer incorporates the action of those films, but the visuals and dialogue capture real-life issues that affect Americans in 2018, albeit with a surrealistic edge. On Twitter, the psychosexual aesthetic has not gone unnoticed, and the film’s official account seems more than ready to provoke potential viewers. Alongside the featured cast, Bella Thorne, Abra, Maude Apatow, and Colman Domingo also have supporting roles in what is sure to be one of the year’s most talked about thrillers.
Many directors struggle with social media concepts (including social media-themed graphics), but Assassination Nation’s trailer suggests that its director will take a fresh narrative approach to complement his obvious sense of cinematic style.
Assassination Nation will be released on September 21.