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Joaquin Phoenix makes great escape in surreal Beau is Afraid trailer

The new movie by Midsommar and Hereditary director Ari Aster shows Joaquin Phoenix embarking on a journey full of fear, violence, and animation

Joaquin Phoenix in Beau is Afraid

The first trailer for horror movie director Ari Aster’s latest project has finally dropped, and by all accounts, Beau is Afraid — which was previously entitled Disappointment Blvd. — is going to be just as colourful, complex, and batshit as the Midsommar filmmaker’s previous work.

Fronting this A24 movie is Joker actor Joaquin Phoenix, who, in this trailer, is living on a diet of various prescription medications and microwave meals, and goes on a wild and terrifying odyssey to visit his mother.  At one point, the trailer depicts a bizarrely de-aged child Phoenix aboard a cruise ship, as his mother whispers to him, “I’m so sorry for what your dad passed down to you, but I wanted a child, the greatest gift of my life.”

It’s at this point that things in the horror-tinged adventure movie go off the deep end, as we see Beau facing various hurdles and setbacks in his quest to visit his mother.

These include getting run over by a car, being held hostage and tagged by the people who ran him over, dodging raining bullets, and trying to navigate various animated terrains like a snowstorm, fairytale forest, and Western-like desert. As this is all going on, one character can be heard asking, “Scared of going home, Beau?”

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Previously described by Aster as a “nightmare comedy,” the trailer is intercut with clips of an increasingly-confused and distressed Beau as he tries to navigate this journey, while the new movie promises that “from his darkest fears comes the greatest adventure.”

The good news is, you don’t have to wait long to embark on this adventure. 2o23 movie Beau is Afraid will be released on April 28. In the meantime, if you want to watch more thought-provoking, offbeat horrors, why not check out some Jordan Peele movies?