Netflix has released the first trailer for the upcoming film Velvet Buzzsaw, and it is certainly not what we expected. Written and directed by Nightcrawler filmmaker Dan Gilroy, the film stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Rene Russo and is described as a thriller set in the contemporary art world scene of Los Angeles, “where big money artists and mega-collectors pay a high price when art collides with commerce.”
But looking at this trailer, Velvet Buzzsaw looks like it could technically be considered a straight-up horror movie. Gyllenhaal appears to play an art critic of some sort, but things go topsy turvy when a woman passes off some strange artwork created by her deceased neighbor as her own. The art, it appears, has the power to injure or kill—either that or these people are going through some insane hallucinations.
Indeed the film looks to be dripping with symbolism and metaphor and may even be somewhat satirical in tone, and this is all just very exciting. Anticipation was high for Gilroy’s second feature, Roman J. Israel Esq., but that movie was a pretty big letdown—an unfocused, unsatisfying character study that ultimately didn’t really go anywhere. Velvet Buzzsaw, meanwhile, appears to be hewing back to the darker themes and tones of Nightcrawler, with an incredible cast to boot. I cannot wait.
First reactions to the film will arrive in just a couple of short weeks, when it premieres at the Sundance Film Festival. Collider will be on the ground at the prestigious festival so you can look forward to our review at that time. For now, check out the Velvet Buzzsaw trailer in its full glory below. The film also stars Toni Collette, Zawe Ashton, Tom Sturridge, John Malkovich, Daveed Diggs, Billy Magnussen, and Natalia Dyer. The 2019 Sundance Film Festival runs from January 24th to February 3rd. Velvet Buzzsaw will be released on Netflix on February 1st.