“Something truly goddamn strange is going on” in Netflix’s first trailer for Velvet Buzzsaw, the third film from Oscar-nominated Nightcrawler writer-director Dan Gilroy. The forthcoming horror-thriller’s star-studded cast includes returning Nightcrawler principals Jake Gyllenhaal and Rene Russo, who are joined by Toni Collette, Zawe Ashton, Tom Sturridge, Natalia Dyer, Daveed Diggs, Billy Magnussen and John Malkovich.
Velvet Buzzsaw’s synopsis teases “a satirical thriller set in the contemporary art world scene of Los Angeles where big-money artists and mega-collectors pay a high price when art collides with commerce.” That high price would appear to be measured in blood: After Gyllenhaal’s art critic character and his associates come into possession of a collection of pieces created by an anonymous, now-dead artist, they learn that the artwork has been imbued with supernatural malevolence, terrorizing the collectors who’ve sought to profit from it. “As I research these, I’m starting to think there’s a disgust for the world of money,” the Gyllenhaal character explains, alluding to Velvet Buzzsaw’s central thematic conflict of art versus commerce with all the subtlety of the film’s eponymous power tool. But Gilroy, Oscar-nominated for Nightcrawler’s original screenplay, is surely a filmmaker worth taking a leap of faith with.
We got our first look at Gilroy’s Nightcrawler follow-up in November, released among a cornucopia of Sundance Film Festival programming previews. The film will make its world premiere Jan. 27 at Sundance 2019, running Jan. 24 through Feb. 3 in Park City, Utah. Sundance’s Velvet Buzzsaw bio describes it as a “dark, uproarious and painfully accurate spoof of the art world,” adding that the film “invites us into a traditionally insular world that’s suddenly splattered wide open, where art and commerce collide with dire consequences.”
Velvet Buzzsaw hits Netflix and select theaters on Feb. 1. Watch the trailer below—unless you want to go in semi-fresh, in which case you should avoid it at all costs—and see a handful of first-look photos from the film further down.