‘Medusa’ Trailer: Beauty Is in the Eye of the Cult Beholder in ‘Purge’-Like Religious Horror Film

·3 min read

You can run but you cannot hide — not even behind a blank mask of devotion.

Medusa,” Anita Rocha da Silveira’s long-awaited follow-up to her 2015 film “Kill Me Please,” follows Mari (Mari Oliveira) as she harnesses her spiritual devotion into a “Purge”-esque rage against sexually active sinners alongside an all-female gang led by a male cult-like figure, played by Thiago Fragoso. Yet after an attack leaves Mari physically scarred, her entire worldview is torn apart. The film premieres July 29. Watch the trailer exclusively on IndieWire below.

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“Nightmares of repressed desires and haunting visions of alluring temptation become undeniable and the urge to scream and release her paralyzing inner demons is more powerful than ever before,” the official description of the film reads. “A neon-tinged genre-bender that gives provocative form to the overwhelming feminine fury coursing through modern life, ‘Medusa’ dares us not to look away.”

Lara Tremouroux, Joana Medeiros, Felipe Frazão, Bruna Linzmeyer, Carol Romano, and Isadora Ruppert also star.

“Medusa” was selected for Cannes Directors’ Fortnight, TIFF, and AFI Fest before opening via Music Box Films July 29 at the Angelika in New York City and the Laemmle Noho and Alamo Drafthouse DTLA in Los Angeles. A national rollout will follow.

Similar to Rocha da Silveira’s debut coming-of-age feature “Kill Me Please,” sophomore film “Medusa” is set in contemporary Brazil.

Writer-director Rocha da Silveira previously told Variety that “Medusa” represents the cathartic releasing of “anger that women have been putting aside for years, for generations” and cited Dario Argento’s “Suspiria” and Brian de Palma’s “Carrie” as aesthetic inspirations.

“We can release this anger that we have to keep inside because you’re told you can’t speak out loud, you can’t be crazy, you have to be this controlled woman that speaks in a low voice and doesn’t lose control,” Rocha da Silveira added. “I can be perceived as loud, as crazy sometimes, but that’s fine with me.”

“‘Kill Me Please’ is as much a teen movie as it is a horror movie, vacillating between the genres in such a way that you’re reminded from one scene to another how similar the two really are — when you’re in high school, is a knife-wielding psycho truly any scarier a prospect than the acceptance of your peers?” IndieWire critic Michael Nordine wrote in the review of the filmmaker’s first slasher flick. “‘Kill Me Please’ oozes style even as it betrays its influences (namely the candy-coated nightmares of David Lynch), with a wonderfully strange ending that feels inevitable even if it doesn’t make immediate logical sense — which is to say, it’s a lot like so many other key moments of growing up.”

“Medusa” premieres in select theaters July 29.

Check out the trailer below.

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