The movie trailer starts innocently enough: A fresh-faced couple counts down to 2016 with friends. “New year, new house, new us!”
Then things turn dark. A gorilla is shot. The deaths of beloved musicians, actors, and athletes. Surprise votes for Brexit and Donald Trump. Exploding phones. “Things just don’t feel normal,” gasps one character, as another tries to make sense of the mayhem by pasting photos of the dead on a string-covered board—”George Michael, Rickman, Wilder, Prince, Bowie, Ali.”
“I tried to call for help and my phone exploded!” exclaims the female lead. “England just left Europe,” another incredulous character announces.
Then chaos. “Did you remember to vote?” a panicked male character asks, as a Donald Trump caricature tries to force his way into the house.
For many, 2016 unfolded like a horror movie and a farce, so the filmmakers at Friend Dog Studios gave the past 12 months the appropriate cinematic treatment: a parody horror trailer for “2016: The Movie.”
The filmmakers have tapped into the zeitgeist of this moment as the year comes to a close—less celebratory than defiant: “Fuck 2016” is the theme of New Year’s parties from Los Angeles to Louisville, from New York to Amsterdam, turning the year-end revelry into a wake with bottle service.
The trailer thankfully stays away from some of the most brutal tragedies of the year—Syria’s civil war and the refugee crisis, terrorism, police brutality, and simmering geopolitical tensions. And it culminates with a personification of the year itself, oozing a braggadocio and self-esteem that may sound familiar: “I have the best months,” it declares. “Everyone says I’m a great year.”
After a spooky lullaby of Auld Lang Syne, the narrator reminds us the year may be over but the horror isn’t: “We’re just getting started.”