Janelle Monáe has always been behind some incredibly unique and thoughtful projects. When the first trailer for her new horror film Antebellum dropped earlier this year fans were once again excited by the intriguing (apparently) Octavia Butler inspired story. Well, in a new teaser that was dropped today, Antebellum revealed a few more of its secrets.
In case you haven’t checked out the other trailers, Antebellum centers on a successful author named Veronica Henley (Monáe). Henley has a charmed life with a beautiful family and dream career, but the horror begins when she somehow finds herself transported back into Antebellum-era America. Or at least that’s what the other trailers seemed to hint at. It’s a narrative that sci-fi fans might recognize as it’s pretty similar to Octavia Butler’s novel Kindred. This teaser peels back the layers a little and reveals that all may not be as it seems in the world of Antebellum.
Whereas all the previous looks that we’ve gotten hinted at some kind of time-travel story, this trailer is different. Being “Chosen” has been a big part of the campaign, here we get more of an idea of what that might actually mean. This trailer introduces some Confederate soldiers who appear to be in charge of the women. What’s unclear is if they’re modern white men who have created a vile fantasy land where Black women are their slaves, or if they’re actually in Antebellum times. We get to see a lot more of Veronica’s modern life here too. As well as that other women have also been “transported.”
This all means we think the modern era has more to do with the core conceit of Antebellum than we first thought. A twist like this would also be a good way to separate the film from Kindred comparisons. There’s definitely something of The Village to it all. So could the Antebellum era location just be a rural compound? It would explain the planes that we saw in earlier trailers…
In the age of COVID-19 one of the most interesting things about this trailer is it ends with “Coming to theaters soon” a refrain we haven’t seen in a while. So, if all goes to plan you’ll be able to see Antebellum at your local cinema on August 21.
Header Image: Lionsgate