Dutch director Paul Verhoeven is back with his revenge-thriller Elle, and the first trailer has dropped online. Though the footage has no English subtitles, it’ll give you a sense of the intense cat-and-mouse game to come.
Elle is based on the novel Oh… by French author Phillippe Dijan and stars Isabelle Huppert from the Oscar-winning film Amour. The actress plays Michèle, a seemingly indestructible head of a video game company. Her family and love life are not what you would call traditional. She’s divorced and having an affair with her best friend’s husband, while her son’s girlfriend is pregnant with another man’s baby. Her life is forever changed when she’s attacked and raped in her home by an unknown assailant, after which she stalks him to discover his identity, a game that threatens to spiral out of control.
Watch the trailer below.
Verhoeven told Variety during Cannes that Elle is more of “a mystery story. Part of the film consists in Isabelle Huppert’s character finding out if the rapist is somebody she knows. But there are other elements in the story, about her mother and father, her son, her lover, her best friend.”
Back in the ‘80s and ‘90s, the filmmaker debuted a string of widely successful films — RoboCop in ’87, Total Recall in ’90, and Basic Instinct in ’92. Though the film that followed eventually became a cult classic, Showgirls threw a chink in the chain of his trajectory. What followed, Starship Troopers and Hollow Man, weren’t anything to write home about, critically speaking, and he eventually took a hiatus from Hollywood. He came back on the seen with the 2006 film Black Book, which was followed by Tricked in 2012. Now he’s back (again) and hopefully this time he’ll stick around in the scene for a bit.
Elle is getting a premiere in France on September 21st, but one for the U.S. has not be announced.