Proof That the “Inception Sound” is Taking Over Movie Trailers


Everyone likes to poke fun at the fact that a lot of movie trailers have now taken the BWAAAAAAAR sound from the original Inception trailer and used it for themselves. But I did not realize that this style went this far or this deep in the action movie genre.

The video above shows almost every case of a movie since Inception where this has taken place, and man there are a lot of them. I would only fault them for including Tron Legacy, because it doesn’t seem to qualify. But all the rest? Absolutely, and I don’t think we’ve seen the end of the trend yet either.

What happened to actual….music in trailers? The air horn on an aircraft carrier is not music.

  • It’s hilarious that this has been brought up … and then what happens this week – the new Star Trek trailer debuts and all I kept thinking the entire time was how that Inception sound is used all the damn time!

  • Draugr

    This started like a month after inception came out.

  • Ryan

    Prometheus doesn’t really fit as it’s mimicking the original “Alien” trailer.

  • FrankenPC

    Somewhere out there is a bullet time collage that is MUCH longer.

  • Oddjob

    There’s a theme with all the movies that tries to copy the sound from Inception. They are all bad movies.

  • TMek7

    wasn’t this sound also used in one of the Terminator trailers, pre-dating Inception ?

  • Josh

    Yeah, this has been done for years. Each Transformers film used the technique, even the two before Inception. The Tron trailer used music that had been created before the Inception trailers as well. I believe Bay used the sound for The Island, as well.

    Honestly, just take a look at movies of Hans Zimmer and his proteges (Jablonsky, Lorne Balfe, Klaus Badelt, Streitenfeld, and Jackman). They almost all use it to promote the movies.

  • Joe

    Yeh this sound doesn’t remind me of Inception, it reminds me of The Terminator. Maybe Terminator 2, did they both use the same sound?

  • RBourn

    It’s been well documented that low frequency sounds produce feelings of awe and dread. Almost all of the films shown include something larger or more vast than regular human experience, and the makers of the film want to tap into that as it adds tension and suspense to a trailer.

    Obviously, the industry being as boneheaded as it is this would only happen as a fashion after a famous film does it.

  • Maira

    The effect started with Star Trek: The Motion Picture. The instrument is called a Blaster Beam. Here’s a video about the effect, go to 2:45 to skip the chat.

  • Jdaw

    What was the movie with the ship crashing on a moon?

  • Steve2

    This is like the James Horner music from Aliens (right before the big explosion) that was used in a lot of movie trailers over a decade after its release.

  • DBrew

    Your only Hole though is Tron:Legacy came out the same Year as Inception in 2010 and as a matter of fact you can argue Inception came out in July and Tron in Dec but I would than beg to reason the TRON:Legacy Trailer teaser was released long before INCEPTION Trailer! And that Tron:Legacy had been in the works for a very long time with the Soundtrack being used through out the movie and promoted in Trailers as well by that of DAFT PUNK!! Who’s beats and sounds have been there’s and there’s alone since they have been active since 1993 !!! So from my conclusion is that all these movies got the BRAAAAAM!!! From Daft Punks sound/ Tron Legacy !! Fuck your Theory HOW IS THAT FOR FACT BITCH !!

  • Semisonic

    The Inception trailer track was composed by Zack Hemsey, not Hans Zimmer.

    Track is called ‘Mind Heist’.

  • Ross LaDrillo

    not the same sound, but the same idea – a low musical stab.

  • monstrinho

    @jdaw. It’s transformers 3.

  • I always linked this sound with Shutter Island, that came a few months before Inception and has A LOT of these honking sounds

  • James

    For the record — the sound effect is manipulated by taking a recording of something as simple as a public trash can lid, and opening it to get the creeking/groaning sound. You can then further edit the sound through effects manipulation on software such as protools to achieve the full sound you hear on trailers.

    Mass Effect also used this sound back in 2007, and did an amazing job making it the pinnacle ‘sound of death’.