Everyone loves a good cult story. There’s something about them — the layers of manipulation, the blind reverence, the quiet cruelty — that makes the subject endlessly fascinating and consequently apt for film and TV programming. If we are on the outside of a cult looking in, there is a huge disconnect: one that inspires our curiosity in the subject. How did these people become so entrenched in a maniac’s ideology? How can they be so blind to manipulation? Last year, Hulu picked up 10 episodes of a show called The Path that centers on a married couple’s whirlwind experience in a controversial cult. The official trailer is now available for you to watch, and there’s plenty of Aaron Paul for those of you who have missed him since his Breaking Bad days.
Creator Jessica Goldberg said in a recent interview that the cult she created for The Path is entirely based off her own life experience, not the controversial religion of Scientology. The show, she said, was inspired by “personal experience, and feeling that the frame of my life had crumbled,” much like the experience of waking up one day and finding that “the ground you stood on is no longer ground any more.”
The newest and most official trailer for The Path paints the show as a suspenseful thriller interspersed with bits of drama. Similar to the way cult-related ideologies initially seduce through actually useful and enlightening lessons, the trailer begins with an innocuous depiction of the cult that Aaron Paul’s family is part of. Even the soundtracked song “White Winter Hymnal” by Fleet Foxes — a tranquil and repetitive hymn — coincides with the levity in the beginning of the trailer. “I don’t want to live for this moment. I want to live forever in the garden that we are creating here together,” the cult leader, played by Hugh Dancy, preaches to a group of eager followers. Sounds like a good deal so far, right?
Things go quickly downhill from there. We see dimly-lit corridors, bloody quivering hands, and hear foreboding whispers while Aaron Paul and his wife, played by Michelle Monaghan, completely lose it. On top of that, “White Winter Hymnal” continues to play, adding an eerie tone to the short clip by contrasting the dark imagery. Based on what can be seen in the trailer, Aaron Paul will be panicked, confused, and stuck between a rock and a hard place quite frequently in the upcoming show, much like his character Jesse was in Breaking Bad. Hopefully he says the B-word less, though. The Path premieres on Hulu on March 30.