The “A24 bait-and-switch” — where the boutique distributor and Apple bestie crafts a streamlined and accessible trailer and marketing campaign for an esoteric and difficult film (see The Witch, It Comes At Night, Hereditary and so on and so forth) so that it’ll get butts in seats that opening weekend (a noble goal!) — is already a well-known ruse in the film community, but it’s normally done to their horror acquisitions.
But after seeing Claire Denis’ High Lifeat TIFF this past September and hearing the news that they picked it up, we should have realized what was going to happen. So, the company dropped a trailer for the film on Wednesday (compare and contrast it with the French trailer for the film if you so dare), and we’d say that the bait-and-switch is in full effect.
Take a look:
For those hoping for a more conventional thriller as (somewhat) advertised here, you will undoubtedly be very, very disappointed by High Life. If you were the kind of dipshit bro who shouted at the screen during Hereditary because “the fucking movie sucks, bitch,” (like one dude shouted at a person who tried to shut him up during a screening of that movie that we saw in Boston) you should probably stay away from this film. But if you’re the kind of person who was willing to give something like Alex Garland’s Annihilation or any of those A24 horror titles we listed above a shot, and you like good things, you’ll probably enjoy this quite a bit. It’s one hell of a movie, and we can’t wait to see it again, especially at an AMC or a Regal on opening weekend so that we can hear the boos.
Here’s A24’s plot synopsis for you (though you should really read our review instead):
“Monte (Robert Pattinson) and his baby daughter are the last survivors of a damned and dangerous mission to deep space. The crew—death-row inmates led by a doctor (Juliette Binoche) with sinister motives—has vanished. As the mystery of what happened onboard the ship is unraveled, father and daughter must rely on each other to survive as they hurtle toward the oblivion of a black hole.”
And here’s the film’s official US poster:
High Life hits select theaters on April 12. We hope it sticks around long enough for 4/20, because you might need a little something to take the edge off while watching.