When Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner and Forest Whitaker go to meet the aliens (called Heptapods) in the latest Arrival trailer, we see a smokey circle form against a glass barrier. It seems obvious to me that Villeneuve chose this image because it summons memories of Gore Verbinski‘s The Ring (’02) and more originally Hideo Nakata‘s Ringu (’98). The message is clearly “watch out, possibly something malevolent.” And yet that doesn’t appear to be where Arrival is coming from. Go figure.

Heptapod smoke circle in Denis Villeneuve’s Arrival.

Creepy circle image from Gore Verbinski’s The Ring