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This Kong: Skull Island trailer owes its brilliance to a Korean thriller

Got two minutes for some heart-stopping monster fun?

Even if Kong: Skull Island ends up being a disappointment, at least it produced one of the best trailers in recent memory.

The movie’s final trailer — which dropped two weeks ahead of Skull Island’s March 10 release — abandons the usual structure of setting up the story, cutting to some sweet action shots of monsters kicking human ass (or vice versa), and throwing in a few good quips from its handsome leading pair (Tom Hiddleston and Brie Larson) for good measure.

Instead, it drops us right into the world of Kong and the explorers who would tame him with a quick introduction from wary explorer James Conrad (Hiddleston) listing “all the ways you’re going to die.” It soon jumps to quick, rhythmic cuts between the gigantic Kong, his unlucky victims, and Skull Island’s fantastically creepy Skullcrawler monsters, punctuated by the crisp sounds of every stray bullet and unexpected explosion. The trailer only occasionally stops the underlying push of the Animals’ “We’ve Got to Get Out of This Place” to drop a comedic beat, reveal a new and horrifying creature, or incorporate the clicks of guns being reloaded as beats of their own.

So it’s an unusual trailer, but it’s even more surprising when you consider how it came about in the first place. Per Kong: Skull Island director Jordan Vogt-Roberts, he specifically asked Warner Bros. for a “heavily rhythmic” trailer in the vein of a gripping one produced for Chan-wook Park’s slick 2016 thriller The Handmaiden:

Now, The Handmaiden is excellent, but it isn’t at all like this trailer. So there’s no reason to believe that Kong: Skull Island will be as tightly edited — or even half as clever — as the trailer that came before it. But no matter what, we’ll always have these two and a half minutes, in which Skull Island is the fantastic monster free-for-all of every King Kong fan’s dreams.