I’ll admit I was a little surprised at how comedic the first trailer for Neil Marshall’s Hellboy was when it released back in December. Sure, it was rife with the rough-talking humour and gun-twirling action I'd appreciated in Guillermo Del Toro’s unfinished trilogy in the mid-2000s, but it seemed somewhat lacking in the sense of scale detailed so well in Mike Mignola’s original comic books. Still, beneath washes of crimson makeup and signature shaved horns, Stranger Things star David Harbour nevertheless looked like he was having the time of his life as the infamous monster slayer.
However, a new Red Band trailer released recently, and it does appear that Marshall’s film will offer a darker take than was suggested before, with one kissing scene taking place in a downpour of blood.
Starting with his apocalyptic birth off the coast of Scotland, the trailer opens with the familiar story of the Hellboy of Mike Mignola’s original comic book series. After opening a portal to the paranormal, the Nazis summon a powerful “something from the depths of Hell” to end mankind. However, that something decides he’s not cut out for bringing about the apocalypse, choosing instead to protect humanity from the wealth of supernatural beasts that appear here to preside over contemporary London.
Fans of the Hellboy comics (as well a the monster movie in general) might be pleased to know there looks like there'll be far more variety in terms of beastly foes than was shown in the first trailer - including a rather toe-curling man-to-jaguar transformation of Ben Daimio. More significantly, though, the trailer offers a better look at Milla Jovovich as The Blood Queen, the reboot’s main antagonist. Also known as Nimue, the fifth-century sorceress returns in the film to "bring down the curtain on London and the world."
Granted, there's not a whole lot to go by, but even in those split seconds that see her reduce the residents of London to mere dust clouds, Jovovich definitely seems to nail the sense of effortless impress needed to match Hellboy’s coarse power. That’s unsurprising, given her previous experience in Paul W.S Anderson’s Resident Evil movies, as well as her role in the upcoming Monster Hunter movie.
While Del Toro’s respected series sat happily at a 12 rating, Marshall’s film recently received an R-rating in America, meaning it'll probably be certified 15 in the UK. Back in November, David Harbour mentioned that the reboot would be going for a style that was “a little bit gory, a little bit horror film-y,” and would be a mature movie with adult themes.
It’s true that the ‘gore’ on show in the trailer isn’t quite as profound as what might be expected of an R certificate film. What's more, some fans have questioned the need for a reboot following Ron Perlman’s lovably cantankerous performance back in 2004's Hellboy and Hellboy: The Golden Army in 2008.
Others, though, certainly seem much more on board with this trailer than was the case back in December.
Yup, feeling way better now. Want.— Pascal Blanché (@pascalblanche) March 1, 2019
Myself? I think the Marshall reboot looks a tonne of fun, and certainly won’t be lacking in the monster department. If they’re anything like the truly monstrous figures in Marshall’s previous Dog Soldiers and The Descent, Hellboy has a good chance of providing a treat for both fans of the series, and monster movies in general.
Hellboy: David Harbour (Stranger Things)
Nimue, the Queen of Blood: Milla Jovovich (Resident Evil)
Benjamin Daimio: Daniel Dae Kim (Lost, Hawaii Five-0)
Alice Monaghan: Sasha Lane (American Honey, The Miseducation of Cameron Post)
Trevor 'Broom' Bruttenholm: Ian McShane (John Wick)
Ganeida: Penelope Mitchell (The Vampire Diaries, Hemlock Grove)
Lobster Johnson: Thomas Haden Church
Lady Hatton: Sophie Okonedo (Christopher Robin)
Director: Neil Marshall (The Descent, Dog Soldiers, Tales of Halloween)
Writers: screenplay by Andrew Cosby, based on the original Dark Horse comic books by Mike Mignola
Producers & Executive Producers: Christa Campbell, Lawrence Gordon, Jeffrey Greenstein, Lati Grobman, Carl Hampe, Marc Helwi, Avi Lerner, Lloyd Levin, Matthew O'Toole, Lonnie Ramati, Elena Melamed, Mike Richardson, John Thompson, Les Weldon, Philip Westgren
When to watch: 12 April 2019
Where to watch: releasing in cinemas nationwide
Synopsis: Based on the original comic book series by Mike Mignola, Hellboy pits the titular half-demon monster slayer against the formidable Queen of Blood: a fifth-century sorceress bent on obliterating humankind.
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