Brow Beat

Is Anyone Else Obsessed With the Weird Little Melody in the Annihilation Trailer?

Natalie Portman stands amid foliage holding a machine gun
You know the one.
Still taken from the trailer

“WAH wah WAH wah-ah.”

Those five little notes have haunted me ever since I first saw the full-length trailer for Alex Garland’s upcoming sci-fi flick Annihilation in December. That trailer, like the ones before it, showed off plenty of the film’s extraordinary visuals, but it also added an audio element that’s just as strange and compelling as what we see onscreen.

The tune repeats throughout the trailer, but you can first hear it at the 0:55 mark below. I recommend listening with headphones.

For something that’s just five notes long, this melody is both deeply unsettling and yet kind of irresistible. I’ve already heard it dozens of times now at the movie theater, and it still makes my skin crawl every time I hear it. Is it a sound effect? A musical cue from Geoff Barrow and Ben Salisbury’s score? Just a fun little gift for those of us who experience ASMR?

Whatever it is, it’s catchy as hell.

Marissa Martinelli

Marissa Martinelli is a Slate editorial assistant.