“Beau Is Afraid” Trailer Takes Us Inside a Troubled Mind

Ari Aster is part of a younger generation of filmmakers that has delivered a strong debut and a superior follow-up, and have thus far avoided getting sucked into the comic book machine. His first two films were clearly horror, but also had genuinely funny moments. His latest looks like there's more of the latter than the former.

Oscar winner Joaquin Phoenix plays the titular frightful man in Beau Is Afraid. A trip to visit his mother faces detour after detour, including kidnapping, assault and lots of surreal moments. What does any of this mean? I have absolutely no idea, but this trailer gives me Charlie Kaufman vibes, and that's a major compliment. Whether it ends up making sense - or runs close to four hours as rumored - remains to be seen. But this does boast a strong supporting cast, including Amy Ryan, Nathan Lane, Parker Posey and Richard Kind.

Beau Is Afraid opens in theaters on April 21.


About Kip Mooney

Kip Mooney
Like many film critics born during and after the 1980s, my hero is Roger Ebert. The man was already the best critic in the nation when he won the Pulitzer in 1975, but his indomitable spirit during and after his recent battle with cancer keeps me coming back to read not only his reviews but his insightful commentary on the everyday. But enough about a guy you know a lot about. I knew I was going to be a film critic—some would say a snob—in middle school, when I had to voraciously defend my position that The Royal Tenenbaums was only a million times better than Adam Sandler’s remake of Mr. Deeds. From then on, I would seek out Wes Anderson’s films and avoid Sandler’s like the plague. Still, I like to think of myself as a populist, and I’ll be just as likely to see the next superhero movie as the next Sundance sensation. The thing I most deplore in a movie is laziness. I’d much rather see movies with big ambitions try and fail than movies with no ambitions succeed at simply existing. I’m also a big advocate of fun-bad movies like The Room and most of Nicolas Cage’s work. In the past, I’ve written for The Dallas Morning News and the North Texas Daily, which I edited for a semester. I also contributed to Dallas-based Pegasus News, which in the circle of life, is now part of The Dallas Morning News, where I got my big break in 2007. Eventually, I’d love to write and talk about film full-time, but until that’s a viable career option, I work as an auditor for Wells Fargo. I hope to one day meet my hero, go to the Toronto International Film Festival, and compete on Jeopardy. Until then, I’m excited to share my love of film with you.