Cookies notification

This website uses cookies to provide you with a better experience

You can adjust your cookie settings at any time at the bottom of each page. If you do not adjust your settings, you are consenting to us issuing all cookies to you

This notification will be automatically dismissed in , dismiss this countdown.

9 reasons why the chilling Mother! trailer isn't for the faint of heart

screen-poster

Tempting as it is to read the title in the voice of Steve Martin from Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Darren Aronofsky's new psychological horror Mother! looks truly terrifying.

The first full-length trailer has been revealed and it's given us serious chills. Providing you're not of the faint of heart, and you're in the market for a relentless Black Swan-esque exercise in menace, here are the highlights.


Happy families...?

The premise of Aronofsky's new movie is vague, pitched as the following:

A couple's relationship is tested when uninvited guests arrive at their home, disrupting their tranquil existence.

We're introduced to the as-yet-unnamed central couple, played by the dynamite duo of Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem, who are enjoying a tranquil existence in a creaky old house.

Or are they? The body language of the actors suggests ill-defined psychological trauma for Lawrence's character and barely concealed frustration on the part of Bardem's. Then she discovers blood on the doormat. And then there's an unexpected knock at the door...


Dread Harris

Why does Bardem's character allow seriously creepy Ed into the house without a blink? And why does he offer to put him up for the night?

Little wonder Lawrence looks so perturbed. It mirrors our reaction brilliantly, hearkening back to the slow-burning psychological threat and anxiety of earlier Aronofsky classics like Pi, Requiem for a Dream and Black Swan.

Plus, with the whole home invasion angle, we're getting a serious Funny Games vibe from this. (Google it and be scared.)

Given Harris' reputation for playing borderline (and sometimes fully) psychotic characters, we're already on edge.


Mich-hell Pfeiffer

Still, if you thought Ed looked creepy just wait until Batman Returns and What Lies Beneath superstar Michelle invades the house.

Through snatches of voiceover dialogue it appears she's the wife of Harris' character, and Lawrence starts to become seriously alarmed. (Well, who wouldn't?)

Somehow this moment where she locks eyes with Lawrence is the most disconcerting and frightening of the whole trailer. Is each character seeing something in the other? It's a classic Aronofsky trait (see the emphasis on doubles in Black Swan) so we wouldn't be surprised.


Dark secrets

The movie references keep piling up as the trailer escalates in intensity. When Lawrence pulls Bardem's photo out of Harris' bag, we're forced to question the couple's relationship, calling to mind the dysfunctional central relationship of classic Roman Polanski horror Rosemary's Baby.

Are we to assume Bardem has somehow sold his soul?  Even if that isn't the case the Satanic imagery is about to ramp up...


All about the basement

Few horror concepts are scarier than secrets concealed in one's own home. When Lawrence ventures into the cellar she discovers what looks like an ancient symbol scrawled in blood, calling to mind several recent indie horrors like The House of the Devil and Kill List.

Has Bardem been concealing something very bad from her, right under her nose? Either way, it's not good news.


Drink up

Talking of Rosemary's Baby, this segment where Lawrence drinks some sort of tonic calls to mind the wicked witch's brew served up in the latter movie.


There will be blood

Aronofsky is famous for his twisted, surreal imagery and this moment where a blood-splattered lightbulb explodes is properly sinister. It again reinforces there's something going on beneath the house – and our suspicions would appear to be founded when Lawrence discovers what looks like a secret door hidden behind the wall...


Boo!

Brooklyn and Star Wars actor Domhnall Gleeson is credited in the movie but doesn't turn up in the trailer – at least until this moment in a shock stinger when Lawrence's back is turned.

We've no idea who he's playing yet but the shuddering nature of his arrival seems to indicate he plays a significant role in Lawrence's on-screen breakdown. Plus, is that blood on his face and t-shirt?


Into the inferno

As the trailer descends into increasingly frightening imagery (including the house being beset by hordes of dark-suited mysterious figures a la Kill List again), it's this brief yet ominous shot of the basement opening up that indicates we're on a course towards hell. In more ways than one.

Are you brave enough to watch the Mother! trailer? Then check it out below and send us your responses @Cineworld. The movie hits us on 15th September.