BySteven José Morse, writer at
Lover of all sorts of TV and film. Virtually no end to what I'll sit through or talk about. Join the conversation! And on Twitter @stevgor_
Steven José Morse

Sometimes, getting excited for a film doesn't even require viewing the trailer. You recognize an actor in the film's poster and that's all you need. Of course, having the poster be immediately mysterious and intriguing helps a lot as well. And then, there's the trailer itself. If that wasn't reason enough, throw in the fact that the film is based on a classic novel, by an author whose works include other classic novels that helped elevate her status as a storyteller. At this rate, is a trailer even necessary?

The upcoming Fox Searchlight Pictures film My Cousin Rachel, based on the novel of the same name by Daphne du Maurier, is shaping up to be one incredibly compelling psychological thriller. However, as with any psychological , there comes a healthy amount of skepticism. With this type of film, and factoring in du Maurier as the author of the original source material, there's a lot to get excited about, but even more that could go wrong.

Romantic Mind Games

Prior to discovering there was a trailer for this film, I'd never heard of this book or previous adaptations. I've heard of du Maurier like everyone else, and as the trailer points out, because she's the author of The Birds and Rebecca, both made into what would become classic films. But this was new, and, as can happen from time to time, I was pleasantly surprised.

Weisz Steals The Show

'My Cousin Rachel' [Credit: Fox Searchlight]
'My Cousin Rachel' [Credit: Fox Searchlight]

Rachel Weisz (I know, right?) is the lead for this film, and that's all I needed to get me on board. I'll watch just about anything she's in. The moment you first see her in the trailer she's alluring and mysterious, which really helps sell this film's mystery-driven plot. Sure, Sam Claflin starts out wanting to get revenge on Weisz as he believes she's somehow responsible for the death of someone he knows and loves, but as is shown, this all takes a quick turn and nothing seems certain anymore. I love a good mystery, and this one already has me hooked! Hopefully it's handled with the care it so clearly needs. I'm sure a lot of people have read the book, but for most, it's probably been several years since, or they've simply never heard of it (Like me!). If this mystery doesn't unfold properly, the next big element won't matter much either.

'My Cousin Rachel' [Credit: Fox Searchlight]
'My Cousin Rachel' [Credit: Fox Searchlight]

What makes this film even more interesting isn't the fact that Claflin starts falling for Weisz, but the fact that this film appears to be taking on the mantle of psychological thriller as well. Now, it could just be clever editing, but I'm not convinced that's it. Why go through the motions of making it appear romantic if it weren't at all? Now you've got something that has to be fully explored and delivered, otherwise the film will fail. Granted, this will still be a hurdle for this film, as writer and director Roger Michell hasn't written anything before, so it'll be a complete toss up.

The Final Moments Seal The Deal

'My Cousin Rachel' [Credit: Fox Searchlight]
'My Cousin Rachel' [Credit: Fox Searchlight]

Now, what sold me on the psychological thriller aspect is the last 30 seconds of footage. It was amazing! Kind of crazy, but it certainly had me spinning. By the time it all ended, I wasn't even sure what to believe anymore. I thought I'd started figuring out Weisz's character, but all that work was for nothing. That last 30 seconds instantly had me doubting everything and made sure that I'd not forget this trailer so easily. I'm now intrigued enough to want a copy of du Maurier's book for myself. I have a copy of Rebecca, so why not this one? There's no such thing as too many books.

The last thing that looks exciting is everything that brings this world to life. It is a period drama after all. Everything that brings it to life looks great — costumes, sets, etc. There's also a built-in atmosphere. I'm thinking similar to, but not at the same level, of Crimson Peak. The look and feel could easily lead to some uncertainty, building suspense and, of course, a lot of beauty.

What do you think of this first trailer for My Cousin Rachel?

Expected Release Date: July 14, 2017

Written and Directed: Roger Michell

Starring: Rachel Weisz, Sam Claflin,Holliday Grainger, Iain Glen and Pierfrancesco Favino


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