Lars Von Trier’s End-of-the-World Movie Is Gonna Be a Real Bummer

The Projector
We're the planet on the left.
We're the planet on the left.

When you tell most people that a movie's coming out about the end of the world, the normal reaction is "Awesome!" because the assumption is that it's going to be an action-packed, effects-heavy, carnage-rich extravaganza. So how are folks going to react to "Antichrist" filmmaker Lars Von Trier's "Melancholia," which is about a planet heading right toward Earth? If the first trailer is any indication, audiences better get ready for a somber affair.

The two-minute clip lays out the story, but if you didn't know what "Melancholia" was about already, at first you might think this is a romantic melodrama. Kirsten Dunst and Alexander Skarsgard are at their wedding, which should be a happy occasion, but Dunst seems to be having second thoughts about the whole thing. But soon her problems don't seem that important because they discover that a planet is on a direct path to Earth. The rest of the trailer consists of Dunst and the people around her coping with the fact that, yeah, they're basically screwed if there's a collision between the two worlds.

Because Von Trier is known for his willfully antagonistic films, we admit to being somewhat underwhelmed by this "Melancholia" spot. For any other director, this trailer would seem provocative and nervy, but from Von Trier it seems almost sedate. With that said, though, it sets up an expectation that the film won't be your typical "Stuff's gonna get messed up!" disaster flick and will instead be a psychological character piece as the world waits to learn its fate. (So, you know, sorta like "Deep Impact" except hopefully not completely terrible.)

Initial reports were that "Melancholia" was going to be Von Trier's sci-fi film, but judging from this trailer, that doesn't seem quite accurate. We're used to being floored by Von Trier's trailers: Maybe this time around he's saving the shocks for the actual film.