As you might expect from the guy who brought you such nightmarish visions as Requiem for a Dream and Black Swan—less so, Noah—the film looks like the opposite of something you’d describe as “just like that movie Chef.” In other words: it’s fucking intense.
I invite you to watch the trailer below, and follow along with my running commentary.
0:05: Five seconds in and we’ve already got 1) a concerned looking Javier Bardem; 2) a scary-sounding pluck of the violin; 3) a potentially possessed Michelle Pfeiffer; 4) someone walking through fire or being immolated (probably the latter, because who just walks through fire); 5) Jennifer Lawrence screaming at the top of Jennifer Lawrence’s lungs, which we all know are very capacious. Keep in mind, this isn’t even the trailer: it’s the trailer for the trailer. I am officially frightened. Let us proceed.
0:10-0:26: So far, so nobody’s-dead-yet. Jennifer Lawrence is redecorating to create a paradise for her and her ostensibly Spanish husband, Javier Bardem. They’re in love. Their bed looks comfy. What could go wrong?
0:26-0:32: Jennifer Lawrence notices a blood stain on her brand new rug! Who’s blood is it? How was the blood spilled? Most importantly, how is she going to get that stain out?!?!?
0:41-0:48: There used to a time when you were happy to see Ed Harris at your door. I’m not sure when that time was, exactly—maybe somewhere in the mid-80s?—but I know there was a time. These days, he just fills everyone with a sense of dread. Jennifer Lawrence says: “He’s a stranger, we’re just going to let him sleep in our house?” And you got to give credit—that does sound weird, unless they’re Airbnb-ing a private room. Which would explain the redecorating...
0:48-0:58: Michelle Pfeiffer arrives. Apparently, she’s Ed Harris’s wife?
0:59: Why is there blood on the walls downstairs? Blood on the walls is never a good sign. I am officially freaking out.
1:05-1:07: Ed Harris has pictures of Javier Bardem in his luggage. And not, like, glossy magazine pictures. Old timey pictures. The violin here is on point.
1:07-1:09: “What were you doing in their luggage?” Ok, so this isn’t one of those movies where the husband and wife stick together to battle the crazies. It’s one of those movies where either the husband or wife is actually one of the crazies. Which is always worse. God damn crazies.
1:10-1:12: What kind of potion is J-Law drinking on the toilet? It literally looks like radioactive piss.
1:12-1:25: It would appear Michelle Pfeiffer is the head of some cult—probably religious in nature, but Conjuring 2-style religious. What follows in quick succession are images of the same section of wall, this time sans blood, then a light bulb filling with blood and exploding, then an erotic shot of Ed Harris(?) getting it on with Pfeiffer in sexy black negligee. At this point, I am simultaneously disturbed and kind of aroused. Dammit Aronofsky! You’ve done it, again!
1:29-1:31: By this time I am watching slack-jawed and wide-eyed. I believe this is my body’s natural response to fear (hey, it’s better than pee). Javier Bardem tells J-Law with a creepy smirk on his face that the people have come here to see him. Fuck. And here I thought they were here for some other reason that’s not as scary.
1:35-1:36: There’s a bunch of people with flashlights on J-Law’s front lawn, while she screams “You’re insane.” Somehow I don’t think they’re looking for the neighbor’s dog or whatever.
1:45: Huh. Perplexing moment of sexual ecstasy for Jennifer Lawrence.
1:50: The walls turn black, as if diseased. And just after she repainted them!.
1:55-1:57: There’s some sort of tunnel in the basement, I think. Is J-Law trying to escape? Are they trapping her inside? Fucking basements.
2:00-2:02: Gut-wrenching scream from J-Law. That probably accounts for the exclamation mark in the title. Either that, or she’s genuinely frightened.
I can’t wait to see this movie.