Cormac McCarthy’s book, The Road is a miserable (in the “good” way) experience; an unrelenting vivid nightmare. One could easily wonder whether they should have ever made a movie in the first place. The human reality of the Apocalypse is unimaginable, but the power of the book is to force you to try. But a movie takes a lot of the work out of it. You’re just confronted with a series of pre-fabricated one-sided images of a wasteland that resembles previous Hollywoodian wastelands (Day After Tomorrow, I Am Legend, the Terminator: Salvation trailer). Moreover, movies tend to be closed systems of thought (where books tend to be open), hermetically appeasing the viewer’s need for closure or catharsis even when they don’t try to.

That being said, like the fictional Apocalypse is to the man and the boy, The Road movie is just a fact that now must be confronted and survived. Perhaps even “enjoyed”?

The Road trailer, you guys:

OK. I know they expanded the Charlize Theron role to try and get that coveted “women who enjoy Apocalyptic horror-survival daymares but feel like it’s too male-centric” audience. And sure, the trailer is one Linkin Park song away from being another post-Apocalyptic thrill(er)-ride. But this still looks really scary, and really relentless, and really about as close to the book as a Weinstein adaptation is going to get, and it’s got Omar in it. So I am going to do something I have never done before, I am going to use “woof” as a compliment.


(Thanks for the tip, Joseph.)

Comments (51)
  1. Laura  |   Posted on May 15th, 2009 +5

    Definitely not my favorite trailer ever, but it’s directed by the guy who made The Proposition. I am so fucking excited to be traumatized by this movie.

  2. Looks good, aside from that totally canned scream they use in everything at minute 2:03.

    • I remember first hearing that scream while playing Daggerfall like 13 years ago.

      (Huge nerd, right here.)

    • It does sound Wilhelm scream-esque.

      Hopefully it’s more Children of Men-ish and less I am Legend-ish.

    • Merritt  |   Posted on May 15th, 2009 +2

      Hahaha. I was totally going to comment on that scream. I first remember hearing it on the A-Team when I was a kid. Years later I worked in a recording studio that did audio-for-video and had a stock sound effects library with that scream in it. I recall writing a bad stream of consciousness poem in college about it, called something to the effect of… wait for it… “The Scream”.

      As for the movie/trailer, there appears to be too much backstory , too much Charlize, and aside from Viggo’s beard, not enough soot, grime or clothes in tatters. But I’ll still see it.

    • final fight for snes. freals.


  3. eric.  |   Posted on May 15th, 2009 +22

    John Hillcoat + Cormac McCarthy + Nick Cave + Viggo?

    My boner just knocked the desk over. That being said, this is a horrible trailer for what is going to be an awesome movie.

  4. tom  |   Posted on May 15th, 2009 +5

    Uh, music by Nick Cave? I’m there.

  5. there is no way this movie will not make me cry.. but i am going to refuse not to love it..

  6. i’m going to be that snob who isn’t going to see this because it looks like a terrible adaptation of the book, which was amazing. sorry, guys. i just can’t do it. they’ve killed the entire concept and ideology of the book. lame.

    • this does not look good. why is there so much charlize theron? and, are they going to show us the world ending? weak. the book is all the more creepy for never saying.

      • I’ll bet all the big bucks she’s dead within 15 minutes.

        • According to Esquire, who’s seen the finished product, this is just a horribly misleading trailer that contains probably 75% of the full movie’s action. It is supposed to retain the book’s plot and ideals and be amazing.

    • Beans  |   Posted on May 19th, 2009 +4

      I can’t wait to see the trailer for that movie you’re making called “Psychic Nerd.”

  7. leah  |   Posted on May 15th, 2009 +2

    After reading this book, I made a Promise to myself that I wouldn’t do anything reckless, such as put myself through a film version of it… I am absolutely going to put myself through a film version of it, and then cry myself to sleep for two months after.

    There’s a review at Esquire of the cut they screened last fall:

    Hopefully they don’t end up putting (most of) the trailer into the actual movie.

    • great recommendation on the Esquire article. it sets up the movie and gives some context without giving anything away – you can’t ask for more than that from a review.

      but i’m also biased. i think tom chiarella is the best writer working at Esquire these days. tom junod was doing great work until he started thinking that he was the important part of the story, instead of the story.

  8. justthecrust  |   Posted on May 15th, 2009 +12

    I loved this book and I refuse to judge it by this trailer because it seems like they’re trying to get an audience that wouldn’t normally go see this. ie. people who called the No Country for Old Men ending “terrible”
    I read an early review and it said it was a very important piece and it was respectful to the source material. Also, I think they should have made this 100x more creepy with just images of the father and son walking and soft music and vague images of the cannibals. I hope people think this is an action film and then go see it and are like OH SHIT HUMAN SUFFERING.

  9. njoy  |   Posted on May 15th, 2009 +2

    Dammit I totally told myself that I was not going to see this movie, and now I have to. Th dad should be more sick looking though. Ugh and I really hope that the Charlize Theron we see in the trailer is about all there is in the movie.

  10. Jim  |   Posted on May 15th, 2009 +3

    You know in Achewood when Phillipe asks Lie Bot what the saddest thing is? This book is the saddest thing. Cormac McCarthy is a cruel fuck because there are probably only a handful of writers in the entire world who write with the kind of voice that can depict something truly horrifying, and he had to go and do it.

    That being said, just as I was completely unable to put the book down once I started, I’m going to have to go see this film. And I’ll probably be fucked up for three weeks afterwards just like I was after the book, too. Fuck you Cormac McCarthy.

    • joe  |   Posted on May 15th, 2009 +2

      i sure hope you aren’t planning to read blood meridian or else you’ve got a whole extra ton of misery and bleakness coming your way

  11. zilla  |   Posted on May 15th, 2009 +5

    I read this as a new dad during a couple of flight layovers. Bad idea, people were craning their necks to see what book had this grown man sobbing at a high top table in an airport sports bar.

    But I agree that the film should not show what brings the apocalypse. The way the book simply describes the man seeing a rose colored light in the distance and having the where-with-all to immediately fill up the tub with fresh water was perfect. His wife comes in and asks why he’s taking a bath. Awesome.

  12. Part of me sees the changes they’ve already made and thinks, “No effing way.” But then I see Omar and I’m like, “Oh, fo sho.”

  13. bree  |   Posted on May 15th, 2009 +5

    a few points:

    1. i am a woman who likes dystopain daymare horror movies, so i fit into the mocked demographic.

    2. “the road” is seriously nowhere near as horrifying as “blood meridian”.

    3. supposedly they filmed parts of this out in new orleans east, which means that some of the landscape isn’t going to be studio-manufactured horror wasteland, it’s going to be actual horror wasteland. some parts of new orleans is basically cite soleil, populated by wild dogs and crazy druglords at this point, surrounded by shit tons of abandoned buildings that are slowly collapsing to the earth. yay for real life dystopias!

    • Word up, holmes, on #2. I LOL out loud when people say, “The Road is so grueling and relentless!” Okay, yes, sure, but ironically, it’s a very quick read (Oprah loves it!). The prose definitely puts a low ceiling on the relentlessness of it all.

      Blood Meridian, though? Fuuuuuuck. I’m sorry, but nothing in The Road even comes close to detailed descriptions of NATIVE AMERICAN ANAL RAPE.

  14. Looks good, but it’s not dark enough. That snow is totally white. I hate to be fussy, but isn’t the dead sky supposed to be raining ash and black rain? Not normal white snow.

  15. renaldo  |   Posted on May 15th, 2009 +4

    Chilllllll Winston.

    Word fromt he Esquire review and the screenings is that

    ? Theron isnt even in it 10 minutes

    ? All that news footage nonsense is only in the trailer to sell the flick

    ? The nature of the disaster is still nebulous

    So relax. Have some faith.

  16. UGH. The Weinsteins always mess things up. This looks nothing like the book at all. Typical.

  17. I have to imagine that this trailer is TOTALLY mis-representative of the film therein. And fuck I love this book. Just unrelentingly horrific. And, oddly, I never imagined them going through a city with actual office buildings, I just imagined a bunch of hollowed out small towns in the midwest. And I thought the streets would look more melt-y (that’s what happened in my head movies).

    P.S. — I love that coke scene.
    P.P.S. — Garret Dillahunt is the best, creepiest thing ever.

  18. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

  19. I actually saw this movie as a focus group lab rat. It’s not as good as the book.

  20. Ok, totally off topic.

    WTF is this “woof” shit? In my experience “woof” is something that is said while at events predominantly attended by people in the gay bear community. You say “woof” when you find someone attractive. Gabe, do you know that this woofing is a common and complimentary thing in some circles? Because I don’t think I’ve ever heard it used outside of the bear events I go to and have no idea what “woof” is supposed to mean here.

  21. I read that book and really liked. It looks like they completely f#$%^d it up.

  22. “You said it was Austrian or Australian or one of those A countries. Is that correct?” “Indeed.”

  23. I don’t think I can see this. The book wrecked me.

  24. The Road is absolutely incredible – horrifying yet hopeful. I cannot wait for the movie! Movie adaptations are rarely better than the real thing – when reading a book, we allow our imaginations to make the movie, and no director/set design can capture what we imagine. That being said, you always have to drop your own version at the door and hope for the best. I have faith that this will be good!

  25. <-------------- "women who enjoy Apocalyptic horror-survival daymares but feel like it's too male-centric" audience.

    I was all "oh wow, Charlize Theron is in this? Maybe I will see it.*"

    *I'm not ever ever going to see it. You guys go ahead & tell me all about it.

  26. Audrey  |   Posted on May 18th, 2009 +1

    Is that Baby Spock?

  27. yodaknows  |   Posted on May 18th, 2009 -1

    this just LOOKS way off. if they couldn’t get away from the Kodachrome look, they should have done it in black and white – they need more gray, more soot, limited colors, low visibility. these guys should be choking on ash, wearing paint masks to breathe, etc. one of the best images of the book is them huddled under a blue tarp with a small kerosene burner and surrounded by impenetrable blackness. totally can’t see this now, it’ll mess up my visual memories of the book.

  28. jacob  |   Posted on May 18th, 2009 0

    gabe, you didn’t go to COLLEGE, did you?

  29. This fits very well into my thesis (of life): that Viggo Mortensen will kill you…. hard. All the time. Every day.

  30. This is Charlize Theron’s 400th time as the same character, “Whimpering Wife”.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post, reply to, or rate a comment.