From the moment Hilary Duff announced she would star as Sharon Tate in a supernatural horror film about the Manson murders, fans were skeptical about how such a terrible and tragic crime would be depicted. Now, a trailer for The Haunting of Sharon Tate has officially dropped, and fans are no less concerned about the potentially problematic film.
In August of 1969, Valley of the Dolls actress Tate, as well as four of her houseguests, were killed by members of Charles Manson's cult. Tate was eight-and-a-half months pregnant at the time.
In the trailer for Duff's new movie, Tate is depicted as having nightmares and visions of her death. The film (which says it is "inspired by a true story") suggests that the Manson family has a supernatural connection.
Tate's sister, Debra Tate, criticized the film for falsely depicting the events prior to Tate's murder.
"I know for a fact she did not have a premonition — awake or in a dream — that she and Jay [Sebring, her hairstylist] would have their throat cut,” Debra told People in February 2018. "I checked with all of her living friends. None of her friends had any knowledge of this. Tacky, tacky, tacky."
YouTube commenters who viewed the trailer claimed the film was insensitive of the real Tate.
"I was actually looking forward to this move but not anymore," wrote one. "This is the definition of totally exploiting her death. Not here for it."
"Disrespectful to all of them, especially Sharon...Wow," added another. "If your [sic] gonna make a movie about a real-life tragedy at least tell their story as it actually happened. Not twist it around like this."
"This shows a truly sickening lack of empathy for Sharon and her friends and the unimaginable terror and agony they went through that night," said a third.
Still, some argue that since the film claims to only be "inspired" by true events, the horror aspect is fair game.
"There are so many horror films 'based' off of real life events, so what makes this specific story so insensitive and infuriating to people? Just curious."
The Manson killings have long held public fascination. In recent years, multiple films, books, and television shows were centered on or featured the cult and their horrific crimes. Quentin Tarantino's upcoming movie, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, stars Margot Robbie as the ill-fated Tate. Kate Bosworth will also portray the late star in Tate, which Tate's sister Debra is co-producing.
Watch the trailer for The Haunting of Sharon Tate below.