I am just loving the viral clips that 20th Century Fox is putting out for their new sci-fi thriller Prometheus. First we had some utterly engrossing worldbuilding with a TED talk starring Guy Pearce as Peter Weyland, and an introduction to Michael Fassbender‘s eerie android David. With the movie coming out sooner than you think (June 8), the studio has released a new audio clip in puzzle form that coyly plays around with the idea of what constitutes a spoiler.
The latest piece of viral marketing is a clip that, when it was originally released, played backwards. Of course, it didn’t take the internet long to reverse it in the video you’ll see below—although you won’t see much, since there are no faces to put to the voices. But the scene is disturbingly clear: There’s a guy screaming “CUT IT OFF” while we hear some sort of alien creature growling and slurping. It immediately brought to mind the facehuggers from Alien, except that in this case the creature would have to be attached to somewhere other than the face. What’s especially great about this clip and how it was presented is that it taps into our experiences of horror movies. Ology points out that “despite the fascinating sci-fi touches, Alien was still a horror film at heart.”
Prometheus‘ intended audiences are smart: They’ve been mining the already-released content for clues to tie it to director Ridley Scott‘s Alien films. If Fox had put out a typical trailer, these people would probably have guessed half of the deaths by now. So instead we become intimately involved with these characters — as opposed to the plot and its twists — before they even touch down on the planet. And as Movies.com points out, just because you hear the voices doesn’t mean you can guess who’s who in this clip.