Horror movies like Get Out and Us shifted horror culture by centering on Black protagonists and combining terrifying elements with social commentary. Now, there’s another film on the way that will likely shake things up in 2020. Antebellum is set to hit theaters on April 24, 2020 and its has all the makings for yet another intensely great flick.
First, Get Out and Us producer Sean McKittrick, who also worked on BlacKkKlansman, will produce this film written and directed by Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz. The duo is known for their police brutality PSA Against the Wall with Michael B. Jordan and Danny Glover.Antebellum’s onscreen talent is equally awesome, with Hidden Figures actress Janelle Monae leading the film as Veronica. The cast also includes Marque Richardson (Dear White People), Gabourey Sidibe (Empire), Kiersey Clemons (Dope), Eric Lang, Jack Huston, Tongayi Chirisa, Rob Aramayo, Lily Cowles, and Jena Malone. There’s isn’t a ton of information about the film’s storyline outside of this logline: Successful author Veronica Henley finds herself trapped in a horrifying reality and must uncover the mind-bending mystery before it’s too late. A teaser trailer, seen above, was also released to build additional intrigue for the film.
As evidenced by its name, the trailer starts off on a plantation with an enslaved woman running from her captors. Oddly, there is audio of a 9-1-1 call playing during her terrifying moment. Several women, including a character portrayed by Monae, stand in a field of cotton in a stoic disbelief as a modern-day airplane flies over their heads. Later on, Veronica and several friends are gathered for dinner and drinks. They are shocked when a galloping horse and carriage blocks their path on the street. Veronica arrives back to her home and sees a young girl in a white dress standing the hallway.
The clip then cuts to several scenes, including a White woman putting on red lipstick, Veronica being grabbed by a hand, an enslaved woman screaming in a field, and the little girl instructing someone to shhhhh. There are also title cards that say, “If it chooses you, nothing can save you.”
It’s a lot to take in and speculate about until more clips and information are available. There is definitely a breakdown between two different time periods as they begin to meld together. And, it’s never a good sign when a creepy kid shows up.
So far, Antebellum is reminiscent of Octavia Butler’s 1979 novel Kindred where the protagonist is shifted between her modern life and a plantation. She meets her ancestors and has to fight to survive so she can go back to her own timeline. It will be interesting to see how much of an influence that Kindred will have on this film as it infuses its own unique elements. There will surely be some deeper commentary about race relations, slavery, and what it means to be free.
Antebellum will surely gather a strong fanbase by combining history, time travel, and some thrilling horror themes to tell a grim story of a woman who is trying to save herself from impending doom.
Featured Image: Lionsgate Movies/YouTube