If Guillermo del Toro were to merely tell us he is looking forward to a new horror film, we would be a lot more likely to go see it. When he’s actively involved in the making of one—like he is with the upcoming monster flick Antlers, which he produced—we’re ready to line up on for tickets on opening night. However, we didn’t even need to know he had anything to do with the movie, because the first trailer has us totally freaked out and ready to never go in our basement again. It’s an unsettling, entirely new monster story that looks like a children’s bedtime tale came to life as a living—and human devouring—nightmare.
“In Antlers, a small-town Oregon teacher (Keri Russell) and her brother (Jesse Plemons), the local sheriff, discover that a young student (Jeremy T. Thomas) is harboring a dangerous secret with frightening consequences.”
“Dangerous secret with frightening consequences” is certainly one way to describe a monster—that appears to be a half-human/half-buck—on the loose and on the lookout for something/someone to eat. The terrifying trailer depicts several shots of the eerie creature. So if you’d rather be surprised by the movie—or home to sleep peacefully tonight—don’t freeze frame any of the creature shots. We certainly wish we hadn’t.
Directed by Scott Cooper (Crazy Heart, Black Mass), who wrote the screenplay with C. Henry Chaisson and Nick Antosca (Hannibal, Channel Zero), Antlers is based upon the short story “The Quiet Boy” by Antosca. Graham Greene (Dances with Wolves, Wind River), Scott Haze (Venom), Rory Cochrane (Black Mass), and Amy Madigan (American Woman) also star in the film. David Goyer (The Dark Knight trilogy) and J. Miles Dale (producer of The Shape of Water and Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark) serve as producers, alongside del Toro.
While the first Antlers trailer teases the waking nightmare young student Lucas lives with every day, the final trailer dives deeper into the events that led up to the animal’s appearance and how it affects the town. The myth of a mysterious creature comes to life after a man’s body parts are found scattered throughout a small town. Lucas, a young student, is somehow at the center of this horrifying mystery. The trailer also shows how Russell’s and Plemons’ characters become involved in the terrifying saga—though Plemons’ sheriff is certainly more reluctant.
While the sheriff is reticent to buy into this local fable, he agrees to help his sister save her disturbed student. As this is a horror film, we can only guess that he’ll regret his decision—something we can already see based on various spooky shots in the trailer.
It’s not hard to see why this particular story appealed to the monster-loving Guillermo del Toro. No one does a nightmare children’s story quite like he does. If he wasn’t involved with this one we’d still be thinking about him when we saw it.
Antlers comes to theaters on April 17, 2020.
Featured Image: Fox Searchlight