In This Month in Trailer Music, the team at Canada-based research project Trailaurality takes a look at the musical highlights of the past month’s film and TV trailer drops. Be sure to also check out the detailed breakdowns on their website!
Terminator: Dark Fate
The Terminator franchise returns with Dark Fate, and an eerie cover of Björk’s 1997 track “Hunter” underscores the trailer. Thematically, it fits like a glove: the lyrics ominously intone “If travel is searching / And home what’s been found / I’m going hunting” as the cat-and-mouse game ensues on screen. The cover, by RIAYA and featuring John Mark McMillan, uses epic trailer music tropes such as choir and military percussion to good effect.
Rambo: Last Blood
Featuring another franchise enjoying resurgence, the trailer for Rambo: Last Blood picks up a decidedly less esoteric track, opting for the recent Billboard hit “Old Town Road” (Remix) by Lil Nas, with Billy Ray Cyrus. Cyrus’ slightly grizzled voice complements the narrator nicely, having “lived through a world of death.” It’s this compelling mix of world-weariness and promising to gear up for all the action Rambo is known for, that matches the choice of trailer music here to a tee. It reminds of the trailer for Logan a few years back, which used Johnny Cash’s celebrated cover of Nine Inch Nails’ “Hurt.”
In what has become the theme for this month’s entry in our survey of the trailer music landscape, the Charlie’s Angels franchise is set to return to theatres after a hiatus of some 16 years, and with it we get the launch of a musical single. Much like Rihanna’s “Sledgehammer” and its deep tie-in with the trailer to Star Trek: Beyond back in 2016, here we’re getting a deep preview of not only the next Charlie’s Angels, but also the forthcoming co-production between Ariana Grande, Miley Cyrus, and Lana Del Rey (coincidentally, another all-girl super trio), “Don’t Call Me Angel.” While this musical collaboration might be seen as novel or slightly contrived, Charlie’s Angels has always been as much about fun as it is—perhaps especially in this post-#MeToo era—an affirmation of female empowerment.
These are just a few of what we felt were the most interesting and / or attention-grabbing trailers released in the past month or so, especially in terms of their music and sound. Have a suggestion on what we should look at next time? Follow us @trailaurality and visit our weekly blog at trailaurality.com for even more analysis and discussion. See you next month!