A good teaser is tricky, especially when it’s for a project that isn’t based on a well-known property and doesn’t have any name recognition. With as little as 30 seconds to work with, you don’t have time to delve into character or plot. You need at least one great moment, one irresistible hook, or at least a sense of mood so strong that we’re compelled to learn more. When the film you’re teasing is a short, it’s even more challenging, because you need to sell the premise without giving too much away. The new teaser for the French action/horror/science fiction short film Innocence shoots for the “moody” category, and while it succeeds at that…it doesn’t offer much else. Check it out:
See what I mean? Definitely moody…but it also gives me no freaking idea what Innocence is about. We’ve got soldiers, or at least guys with guns, running around some sort of building. They look nervous and they appear to be fighting amongst themselves toward the end. What are they up against? Why do they look so worried? What the hell is going on? As far as I can tell from this, these guys could just be a cranky NRA branch stuck in a parking garage after hours. Not exactly a rousing success, since the whole idea of a teaser is to, well, tease us into wanting more. I had to watch this teaser several times while writing about it just to convince myself that as little happens in it as I was remembering.
Thankfully, the short’s website provides a bit more info, including an actual synopsis. Directed by French filmmakers Jean-Christophe Savelli and Raphael Bertin, Innocence tackles “themes of horror, madness and childhood.” The pair also wrote the script for the short, which clocks in at 18 minutes long. Here’s the story, none of which you could have guessed from the above teaser:
A group of soldiers awake in an unknown place and have to fight to discover the truth and their reality, the notion of confronting two opposing realities. Not knowing why they’re there, their only motivation is to get out of this maze of rooms and hallways. The way leads them to a providential exit which won’t be without its traps…An undetermined force will ceaselessly divert them from their objective, an exit which is further than they could ever imagine…
Sounds like a better-armed version of Cube, which could be interesting. I just hope the full film is better than the teaser.