In 1892, Lizzie Borden was accused and acquitted of murdering her father and stepmother with an axe. Although many movies and television shows have tried to capture what can be considered one of the most notorious crimes in American history, Chloë Sevigny brings to life a new rendition of the Lizzie Borden story.
Sevigny adapted the work with screenwriter Bryce Kass and went on to produce and star in Lizzie as the murderous daughter of the successful property developer. As noted by Variety, Twilight star Kristen Stewart co-stars with Sevigny as Bridget Sullivan, the Irish maid who testified against Borden during her trial in 1893. In addition to Sevigny and Stewart, the cast consists of Fear the Walking Dead’s Kim Dickens as Lizzie’s Sister Emma, Fiona Shaw as Lizzie’s stepmother Abby, and Jamey Sheridan as Lizzie’s father Andrew Borden.
History remembers the infamous murders through the nursery rhyme, “Lizzie Borden took an ax and gave her mother forty whacks. When she saw what she had done, she gave her father 41.” The trailer confirms that Sevigny has a much different perspective for the narrative. The preview shows a very intimate relationship between Borden and Sullivan, and that it was the physical and mental abuse of both daughter and maid at the hands of Lizzie’s father that resulted in her murderous rage.
In addition to the story divergence featuring a homosexual relationship (that does not seem to fit with historical information of the time), the trailer also hints that Sullivan may have been involved in the murder itself. It is widely believed that Lizzie was either naked or near naked when she committed the murders to avoid creating any evidence. The trailer exposes a brief glimpse at Sevigny naked, covered in blood spatter with the next brief clip showing Stewart also nude, screaming in horror. Even though these two moments could be from completely different parts of the film, it is suspicious that they paired them one after another in the trailer. Either way, Lizzie promises to be a familiar crime suspense story with a new attitude.
Lizzie is directed by Craig William Macneill, who also brought us thrillers such as The Boy and Channel Zero: Candle Cove. Lizzie hits theaters on September 14. Watch the trailer below.