On October 9 — just four days ahead of the first season’s debut — Netflix dropped the third (and presumably final) trailer for Mindhunter, a minute-long affair that largely disposes with the humor we’ve seen in previous trailers, instead focusing on the serial killers that main characters Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff) and Bill Tench (Holt McCallany) are interviewing.
Featuring such questionable lines of dialogue such as “It’s better to ask forgiveness than permission,” and “It’s not our job to commiserate these men; it’s our job to electrocute them,” the trailer is appropriately set to the Talking Heads’ Psycho Killer, which does provide a bit of levity. See the trailer above.
A blend of genres
In late August, Netflix released the second official trailer for Mindhunter. It’s just a 33-second teaser, but it does give us a quick glimpse into the relationship between Ford and Tench. As Ford prepares to visit a prison and interview a murderer, he equips himself with a sidearm, and Tench makes some snide remarks about Ford’s inability to protect himself. Like the first trailer (which you can view below), the teaser combines humor and horror.
Same dog, same tricks, new toys
In early August, Netflix released the first official trailer for the show. While trailers can sometimes be misleading, this one makes the upcoming show look like a masterful, disturbing exploration into the work of criminal profiling.
Fincher, who produced and directed some episodes of Netflix’s Emmy-winning House of Cards, is a producer on the series, and the show bears his stylistic touches, particularly steady camera work and bleak lighting. The show also deals with familiar subject matter for Fincher, whose films Seven and Zodiac both followed investigators hunting a serial killer.
Mindhunter is set in the late 1970s and focuses on two detectives, Ford and Tench, who conduct interviews with numerous serial killers in an attempt to discern why they commit such heinous acts of violence, and how police can better track down future perpetrators. The cast also includes Anna Torv, Hannah Gross, and Cotter Smith.
It’s a bold career move for Groff, who is most famous for his role as the petulant King George III in the musical Hamilton. Ford comes across as a sharp but naive young detective, whose zeal for the case may be his undoing; as he probes into the minds of such depraved individuals, he cannot help but get some filth on his hands. It’s a familiar theme — movies like Silence of the Lambs and Fincher’s Seven have examined this territory — but a compelling one.
Mindhunter has some grounding in reality, as it is an adaptation of a nonfiction book by John Douglas, a former FBI agent and pioneer in the field of criminal profiling. Throughout his career, Douglas has interviewed some of the 20th century’s most notorious killers, including the Son of Sam, John Wayne Gacy, and Charles Manson.
Mindhunter will premiere October 13 on Netflix, just in time for a Halloween horror binge. Even though the show has yet to debut, Netflix has already renewed it for a second season.
Update: Netflix has released the third trailer for Mindhunter.
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