Getting home proves an especially bizarre and danger-filled journey for a paranoid man with mommy issues, played by Joaquin Phoenix, in the first trailer for Beau is Afraid, which dropped on Tuesday.
The teaser for writer-director Ari Aster’s A24 film opens on Beau, played by Phoenix, having a frightening flashback to a family cruise vacation during his childhood. “I’m so sorry for what your dad passed down to you, but I wanted a child. … The greatest gift of my life,” Beau’s mother tells his younger self.
Then, Beau, suddenly fast-forwarded to the present, tells his therapist: “I’m visiting my mother tomorrow.” That unleashes a bizarre and, at times trippy, journey where Beau, at one point escaping the clutches of his doctor, played by Nathan Lane, darts around and over people while madly running in the street, gets hit by a car and even walks through a forest during a hybrid animated and live action scene.
The A24 synopsis for Beau is Afraid, earlier titled Disappointment Blvd., says “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.”
The nightmarish trailer is set to the upbeat tones of Supertramp’s “Goodbye Stranger” song as the audience is told, via the film’s tagline, “from his darkest fears, comes the greatest adventure.”
A24 and Aster worked together on the earlier features Hereditary and Midsommar. Beau is Afraid also stars Amy Ryan, Parker Posey, Richard Kind, Patti LuPone, Stephen McKinley Henderson and Armen Nahapetian, who plays a younger Beau.
Beau Is Afraid will hit theaters on April 21.
Watch the trailer below.