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Friday, October 22 12:00 AM ET

Trailer Review: The Machinist

By Brian Briggs


Trailer Quicktime

Christian Bale
Jennifer Jason Leigh

Director Brad Anderson
Official Site Link
US Opening

October 22, 2004

Rated R
Genre Thriller
Trailer Clichés Review quotes, Quick-cut title splash
Explosions 0
Weapons Industrial machinery
Voiceover No
"In a world where..."

"How do you wake up from a nightmare..."

Déjà Vu
One Word Review Creepy
Spoilage Factor 25%
Geek Factor 25% (Sleep deprivation)
See Trailer? Yes
See Movie? Yes

At the beginning of the trailer, a skeptical waitress asks Trevor if someone is chasing him. He answers, "Not yet, but they will when they find out who I am." Right away, you get the feeling that something is not quite right with Trevor. We learn that he has not slept in over a year, he is emaciated, and imaginary co-workers are terrorizing him.

Another repeated phrase in the trailer, "If you were any thinner you wouldn't exist" says his girlfriend and the waitress. This film seems to have a lot to do with questioning existence.

This trailer proves that reality can be much creepier than special effects. Christian Bale lost a lot of weight for this role, and he looks creepy. He does look like he has not slept in over a year. In addition, simple things like industrial machinery are scarier than some CGI beast. Michael Ironside gets his sleeve caught in a dangerous piece of machinery, and that's more real than aliens biting off his hand are.

Get this guy some NyQuil and Doritos!

Like The Forgotten, this movie hinges on the explanation for his insomnia and the phantom co-worker. Will it be a "shocker" that we won't believe or will the movie pull us in and give us an ending that satisfies us? This trailer gives me much more hope than The Forgotten did.

The trailer also features many post-it notes, including several with a hangman game. At first, he thinks it's his boss MILLER, but turns out to be KILLER. He's also keeping track of something by putting numbered post-its in his bathroom.

"Is someone chasing you?" the waitress repeats at the end of the trailer, but by now, we're wondering if maybe he's not so crazy.

Conclusion on Trailer: Creepy visuals and compelling storyline make this definite must see.

Conclusion on Movie: Hinges on a good payoff, but the trailer gives me a lot of hope that this one will turn out well.

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