Hopefully you read Esquire’s article on John Hillcoat’s adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. If so, you knew to expect a trailer that might portray a film that didn’t seem quite like the book. Now the thing is available (at Yahoo) and, if I hadn’t been prepared, my first reaction would be to cringe. Often.

There’s the opening, which suggests the cataclysm that depopulated the world and created the grey, violent landscape through which a man and his son must travel. There are the many shots of Charlize Theron, playing what was in the book a very minor character. We knew she’d been more extensively written into the film, but this trailer makes her appear to be a rather frequent presence. And, finally, there’s the violence, which is quite hyped up. The book is brutal, yes, but this film sells the brutality more than anything else.

And you know what? If it puts asses in seats, fine.

Because I can also see how there might be a very good movie here. Viggo Mortensen and Kodi Smit-McPhee look great, as does the frightening Garret Dillahunt. In between the flash cuts and the emphasized violence, there might be the stark, lonely and devastating movie we’ve hoped for.

Head to Yahoo to read between the edits.