Is This Officially The Most Mysterious Horror Movie Of The Year?

Photo: Matt Kennedy
Occasionally, movie trailers are accused of giving away the entire plot of a film. Other trailers, however, prefer to leave the film so cloaked in mystery that the only way to make sense of the teaser is to head to the theater when the movie is released. The new trailer for horror film Antebellum is squarely in the latter camp, adding to the buzz surrounding the movie by giving away as little as possible. 
Described as a “terrifying new thriller” in its Youtube synopsis, Antebellum follows successful author Veronica Henley (Janelle Monáe), who is forced to solve a “mind-bending mystery” when she finds herself “trapped in a horrifying reality.”
Advertisement
The trailer offers only a bit more in terms of plot. In it, Veronica is seen giving a speech to a crowd of fellow Black women, in what appears to be a very modern conference center. Later, on a night out with friends, Veronica is kidnapped from the back of a car when, suddenly, she’s a slave, forced to work a field on what appears to be a Southern plantation.
Now, for the theories: The word “antebellum” typically refers to a time before the American Civil War, and it’s possible that Veronica was kidnapped and brought back in time to this point in history, where she was enslaved. However, this doesn’t quite fit with an earlier teaser for Antebellum, which shows a group of workers on the plantation looking up to find a modern plane flying overhead. 
If Westworld offers any clues, it’s possible that Veronica is still in the modern age, but brought to a deranged "theme park" for some (and nightmare for others) where she’s forced to live the life she would possibly have lived prior to the Civil War. It’s unclear from the trailer if Veronica is even aware of the 2020 life she led before being arriving on the plantation.
Then, there’s the Black Mirror version of this, where Veronica didn’t actually “go” anywhere, but is being forced to participate in a simulated version of this dark era. Blumhouse's Into the Dark movie Culture Shock depicted a similar concept, focused on the border crisis.
Advertisement

Antebellum, which is directed by Gerard Bush and Christoper Renz, is produced by Ray Mansfield Sean McKittrick, producers behind Jordan Peele’s social thrillers Get Out and Us. As with those films, which featured jaw-dropping twists, Antebellum may be one movie where the less you know going in, the better.
Check out the trailer below:
Antebellum hits theaters April 24, 2020.

More from Movies

R29 Original Series