The first official US trailer for Alex Ross Perry‘s Queen of Earth highlights an unsettling and electrifying Elisabeth Moss (The One I Love) as a woman in the midst of a psychological breakdown while on a remote vacation with her friend. The friend, played by Katherine Waterston (Inherent Vice), begins to butt heads with the imbalanced Moss, and the conflict appears to threaten not only their friendship, but much more.
The trailer is certainly inspired, presenting the story with eerie voiceover narration and a dark and grainy approach similar to the trailer of many horror and exploitation films of the 70s and 80s. But while Queen of Earth isn’t outright horror, some elements of the genre are present in the film.
For Moss, Queen of Earth is her second collaboration with director Perry, after last year’s Listen Up Philip. She also starred in The One I Love last year, which similarly dealt with a couple taking a hasty retreat out to a vacation house to restore their marriage.
Although Queen of Earth walks a line between psychological drama and horror, it’s not the first film to do so, especially with regards to using female leads. Ingmar Bergman (The Seventh Seal) famously highlighted similar themes in his 1966 film Persona, and director Roman Polanski (Venus in Fur) in 1965 directed Repulsion, which also follows a mentally unhinged lead in Catherine Deneuve (Belle de Jour).
Queen of Earth, which first premiered at the Berlin Film Festival to unanimous praise, will be released stateside on August 26th in theaters and on iTunes. The film also stars Patrick Fugit (Almost Famous), Kate Lyn Sheil (The Heart Machine), and Kentucker Audley (Ain’t Them Bodies Saints).