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Beau Is Afraid Looks Like a Horror Flick for Joaquin Phoenix Only

It might not be as scary as director Ari Aster's Hereditary or Midsommar, but it's certainly just as trippy.

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Beau, on a small motorboat, stares upwards in stunned disbelief.
Image: A24

Director Ari Aster is known for his critically acclaimed horror films Hereditary and Midsommar, but his upcoming film Beau Is Afraid seemingly has a twist. As its title implies, its main character (Joaquin Phoenix) is certainly terrified by the world... but that world looks far more bizarre than threatening, at least as this buck-wild first trailer shows.

There’s no official synopsis, but when you watch it, I think you’ll see why:

Beau Is Afraid | Official Trailer HD | A24

1) There’s probably no explaining the film before you watch the entire thing, and 2) Aster surely has no desire to try and explain anything about the film before people see Phoenix travel through a sprawling, increasingly fantastical landscape for what seems like a decade or more. But while there are certainly disturbing elements, like whatever’s going on with Beau’s mom from the beginning of the trailer and riots in the streets, but once Beau steps out of reality things look relatively benign. Besides, who’s to say whatever the hell the sinister character played by Nathan Lane isn’t as much as fantasy as the cartoonish wonderland Beau wanders through for seemingly years?

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However, given this is an Aster film, I feel things are probably not as straightforward as they seem, and yes, I say that knowing things already don’t look straightforward at all. Beau Is Afraid also stars Nathan Lane, Amy Ryan, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Zoe Lister-Jones, Armen Nahapetian, Parker Posey, and Patti LuPone, which is a hell of a cast. It’s currently set to hit theaters on April 21.


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