Ari Aster is at it again with a movie so trippy that the viewer is left wondering, “What the hell did I just watch? Also, why do I still want to watch it?” in Beau is Afraid.
Starring Joaquin Phoenix, it tells the story of a “successful entrepreneur” crossing multiple decades according to Variety. For the younger version of his character Beau, Armen Nahapetian is stepping in. But it looks like, through makeup and prosthetics, Phoenix will be taking on the older versions of himself as he “embarks on an epic odyssey to get home to this mother” according to the A24 synopsis.
On the surface, and in someone else’s hand, this movie wouldn’t be so intriguing. But Aster has proven themselves as a creator who pushes the boundaries of storytelling. And we don’t mean this in a pretentious way that some reviews try to describe an artsy film. Aster helps create an environment where the actors unleash the pure fury and horror within them to deliver something chilling. We saw this in Hereditary with Toni Collette and Midsommar with Florence Pugh.
In the official trailer for Beau is Afraid you feel the same uneasy nature that these previous films have had. You feel it in the opening when his mother is saying some truly haunting things to him. And that follows through into his adulthood, trying to get back to her, to only be captured. The otherworldly imagery furthermore unsettles the viewer and makes them feel like they don’t know what’s going on. But they’re willing to find out. And it’s because of Aster knowing how to tell a human story that you can relate to through a well-known medium used in new ways.
Check out the Beau is Afraid official trailer below:
Beau is Afraid hits theaters on April 2023.