Man, this movie — which premiered earlier this year at Sundance, and which will open in October — is some kind of haunting. Starring Elizabeth Olsen (younger sister to the Olsen Twins) and the spectacular John Hawkes, Martha Marcy May Marlene will crawl up inside you and stay, for days. It was the best movie that played at Sundance this year, and I’m not even sure there was much competition. As I wrote in the review, “Sean Durkin’s Martha Marcy May Marlene will hurt you deep in the pit of your stomach. It’s a slow burn of a film, immediately engrossing, but meticulous in the way it incrementally lays down alternative tracks of bleak and dread, ratcheting it up minute by minute, scene by scene, threatening to explode on you, but then lingering with the off-key music that will resonate long after the experience has ended.
I’m impressed they managed to make a decent trailer out of a film full of mostly quiet moments of dread — it’s not particularly representative of the film, but if it manages to put some asses in seats, I won’t begrudge the distortion. What it’s really missing is John Hawkes — as a brainwashing cult leader — standing over your shoulder, breathing on your neck, and an overwhelming anxiousness as you wonder whether he’s about to bed you or snap you in two. And that fear lingers long after you’ve escaped from the cult and attempted to acclimate yourself to civilian life again.
Do check out the trailer, but more importantly check out the film when it opens this fall.