The appeal ofÂ Velvet Buzzsaw, which surprised the world on Thursday morning with its very first trailer, is twofold. The first thing that will intrigue is the cast: Jake Gyllenhaal takes the lead, and seems to be toeing the line between the chilling, demented performance he gave inÂ NightcrawlerÂ (from whose writer and director this new film hails) and the wackier character work he displayed inÂ Okja. But he’s just one of the gems on boardâ€”Toni Collette, John Malkovich, Rene Russo, Billy Magnussen, Daveed Diggs, and other familiar faces show up in the trailer, each prompted the sort of jazzed, “Oh hey!” definitive of the most fun ensemble pieces. But then there’s the second, and even more exciting, piece of the puzzle: the absolutely bananas premise.
In a few words, this movie appears to be about works of art that murder people. And we’re not talking in some roundabout way; these aren’t paintings that simply depict some ominous fate that eventually befalls their unlucky onlookers. No, the pieces do their own dirty work,Â literally grabbing and beating the life out of the likes of anyone who gets too close. Why? Who the heck knows!Â But that’s what Jake Gyllenhaal, the troubled (at least if we’re assuming based on that voice) critic who finds himself saddled with unraveling this mystery, will be charged with finding out. At this point, all we know is that the movie looks rather twisted, andâ€”unlike the works of an artist unappreciated in their own timeâ€”we’re sold.Velvet BuzzsawÂ will hit select theaters on February 1, and will proceed to Netflix from there.