The Dark Puppet Movie has a long (and not always celebrated) history in the annals of cinema, from Peter Jackson’s Meet The Feebles, to last year’s The Happytime Murders, to more conceptual territory like rare genre high spot Being John Malkovich. All of these movies, to some degree or another, tap into the inherent creepiness of puppets: The inhuman movements, the sense of being controlled, the weird little hands. But not even Feebles (to say nothing of the hard-felt excesses of the puppet-jizz movie) got quite as realistically dark as this trailer for Mia Wasikowska’s new Dark Puppet Movie, Judy & Punch.
Directed by Mirrah Foulkes, the film stars Wasikowska and Damon Herriman as a puppet-loving double act whose working and romantic relationship gets a lot more grim (not to mention Grimm) once a baby enters the routine. It’s a real mixture of madcap weirdness and, uh, domestic abuse—presumably inspired by the original Punch And Judy puppet routine itself—with a heavy implication of some medieval revenge thriller violence kicking in at the end.