IFC Films has, at long last, released a trailer for The Nightingale. This may not be a movie that many horror fans have on their radar just yet. However, plenty who have seen director Jennifer Kent’s previous work, namely her 2014 feature debut The Babadook, are surely going to perk up when they find out that she’s finally got her follow-up coming down the pipeline. While this is going to be a decidedly very different kind of movie, it’s clear based on this trailer that moviegoers are in for a brutal ride later this summer.
The trailer kicks off with some very uncomfortable shots that set the tone. This looks bleak, to say the least. The whole thing is very atmospheric and not an in-your-face type of horror flick. It’s very much not aiming for the crowd that would perhaps shell out to go see The Curse of La Llorona, for example. It’s less mainstream and far more gritty. Things get progressively savage and even more unsettling as it rolls on. This is going to be a bloody, dark ride. That much is certain.
Aisling Franciosi is at the forefront as our lead character Clare, and this looks to be a powerful performance from here, even based on just this bit of footage. Jennifer Kent serves as both writer and director. The story is said to be “a meditation on the consequences of violence and the price of seeking vengeance.” It also has a pretty intriguing setting, as it takes place during the colonization of Australia in 1825. Not exactly the sort of thing we get to see in a horror movie every day.
From the twisted mind of Jennifer Kent, The Nightingale centers on Clare, a 21-year-old Irish convict. She is desperate to be free of her abusive master, after having served a seven-year sentence. Lieutenant Hawkins refuses to release her from his charge. When her husband retaliates, Clare falls victim to an evil crime at the hands of the lieutenant and his underlings. British authorities fail to deliver justice, which leads Clare to pursue Hawkins on her own after he leaves his post suddenly. Unable to find others to join her, she is forced to enlist the help of a young tracker who reluctantly takes her through the rugged wilderness to track this man down. Things get even more complicated and terrifying as fighting between the original inhabitants of the land and the colonizers plays out in what is now known as ‘The Black War.’ As their journey leads them deeper into the wilderness, the two must set aside their differences and weigh the true cost of revenge.
A new poster has also been revealed, which focuses on Clare and an eerie bird, which is befitting, given the movie’s title. Baykali Ganambarr, Damon Herriman and Ewan Leslie round out the cast. The movie will first arrive in theaters in Los Angeles and New York City on August 2. A larger theatrical rollout is scheduled to follow. Be sure to check The Nightingale trailer from the IFC Films YouTube channel below.