Ari Aster is the master of throwing a curveball — anyone who’s seen the opening moments of Midsommar or that car ride scene in Hereditary can tell you that. His latest film, Beau is Afraid (recently changed from original title Disappointment Blvd.) seems to be no different. Fans didn’t know what to expect, but a new trailer released today proved that whatever they thought, this is something completely different. Check out the trailer — and our best guess at what it could possibly be about — below.
Beau is Afraid has quite the task ahead of it. Not only is it Ari Aster’s third attempt after two horrific hits in Hereditary and Midsommar, it’s his first collaboration with Joaquin Phoenix, the enigmatic icon who fell in love with an AI in Her and turned the Joker into a haunting Scorsese-esque figure in Joker.
It looks like we’re going to get a number of Joaquins in this movie, including a creepily realistic de-aged version. Check out the full trailer below.
Aster’s films have always flirted with surrealism, but it looks like this is his first time going all-in. There are cartoonish worlds, creepy phone calls, ankle bracelets written off as “assistant health monitors,” and somewhere in that mix are Parker Posey and Patti Lupone.
A24’s official synopsis is “A paranoid man embarks on an epic odyssey to get home to his mother in this bold and ingeniously depraved new film from writer/director Ari Aster,” but that doesn’t help decode just what is happening either. We know Beau is going to visit his mother, he gets run over, he wake up in a stranger’s house, and then things get ... weird.
If this movie is anything like Aster’s previous work, there’s sure to be some logical throughline tying all these disparate scenes together, but their surrealism is obvious. It’s clear this is a movie that will fit in alongside Eraserhead and i’m thinking of ending things on the shelf of all-time best absurdist horror.
Maybe 2023 is the year that audiences are truly ready for something so abstract, and if anyone can lead the charge into Dali-esque film, it’s Ari Aster with the help of Joaquin Phoenix.
Beau is Afraid premieres in theaters April 2023.