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Godzilla Minus One trailer works better when we can barely see Godzilla

The shadow is scarier than the kaiju

Still image from Godzilla Minus One trailer
Image credit: Toho International

Horror afficionados know that the idea of the monster is usually a lot scarier than what any monster designer can think up. The horror comes with not knowing what's coming, and the new Godzilla Minus One trailer really captures that fear, though it dispels some of it too.

Kaiju stories demand scale, and there's no better way to take advantage of that than to show a kaiju that can't even fit on a movie screen. Today's Godzilla Minus One trailer really leans into this storytelling tool by showing terrifying shots of a bit of Godzilla's back moving beneath a huge ship, a giant foot crushing part of a city, the outline of a face just barely peeking out from a cloud of debris.

And then the trailer loses all of that tension by showing a clear shot of Godzilla chomping down on a train.

We get a few more clear shots of Godzilla that certainly look cool, but aren't nearly as scary as the partial shots. It seems a bit of a shame, considering how scary the trailer gets in the moments when it focuses on just a bit of Godzilla (like his monster of a tail cutting a building in two) or on the fear and worry that his destruction causes. But, of course, it would probably seem risky nowadays to throw out a Godzilla trailer without multiple full body shots of the beloved kaiju. And yet, I can't help but feel like the trailer would be better off without it.

Watch the full Godzilla Minus One trailer here:

Tiffany Babb

Tiffany Babb: Tiffany Babb is a professional lurker (aka critic) who once served as Popverse’s deputy editor and resident Sondheim enthusiast.


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