March 6, 2020 at 12:13 am PST | by John Paul King
Trailer drops for new Janelle Monáe thriller, ‘Antebellum’

Janelle Monáe in “Antebellum” (Image courtesy of Lionsgate)

Fans of musician and actress Janelle Monáe are finally getting a better look at the star’s next movie thanks to a provocative new trailer.

The new clip for “Antebellum,” dropped by Lionsgate on Thursday, reveals more about what to expect from the upcoming horror movie than an earlier teaser trailer that was released last November – but instead of answering our questions, it only leaves us asking more.

 Described in studio publicity as “a terrifying thriller,” the eagerly-awaited film by directors Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz (Bush+Renz) is due for release on April 24. Produced by Sean McKittrick with Bush, Renz, Zev Foreman and Lezlie Wills, it features Monáe leading a cast that includes Marque Richardson II, Eric Lang, Jack Huston, Kiersey Clemons, Tongayi Chirisa, Gabourey Sidibe, Rob Aramayo, Lily Cowles, and Jena Malone.

According to the official synopsis, the movie centers on successful author Veronica Henley (played by Monáe), who “finds herself trapped in a horrifying reality and must uncover the mind-bending mystery before it’s too late.”

The trailer doesn’t give us many clues about the nature of that mystery, other than that it seems to involve a scenario in which Monáe (whose character is clearly a strong and empowered, modern woman of color) is thrust back in time into the era of American slavery – a reality far more horrifying than any supernatural trappings might be wrapped around it in Bush + Renz’ provocative thriller. With such a setting, it’s a sure bet that “Antebellum” will be the next entry into the rising sub-genre of racially-charged allegorical horror, following in the footsteps of “Get Out” and “Us” – both of which were also co-produced by McKittrick.

The brief (less than 45 seconds) clip may not answer our burning questions about what we can expect from the story, but it definitely leaves us wanting more of what looks to be a sharp and intense performance by Monáe.

You can watch the trailer below.

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