When I saw Martha Marcy May Marlene for the first time at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, it didn’t’ feel like I had simply watched the movie. Instead, the experience was akin to being thrown into a cage with a sleeping lion—me on one end, scared out of my mind, the lion on the other, snoring and showing its teeth once in awhile. At some point, the lion would make up and tear me to bits. It felt that way even after the movie had ended!
Martha Marcy May Marlene is a truly terrifying experience, full of tension, silence and chaos. The movie stars Elizabeth Olsen (younger sister of the infmaous Olsen twins) as…well, all the titular characters. Martha takes on multiple identities as she joins a cult run by the unhinged Patrick (played by 2011 Oscar nominee John Hawkes), then escapes to her sister Lucy’s (Sarah Paulson) lake house. The film intercuts Martha’s experiences during and post-cult life, building the paranoia that her former brethren could be lurking around every corner. Creepy stuff.
The film’s haunting imagery is simultaneously beautiful and unsettling—so it’s fitting that the recent posters and clips capture that mood. Check out the latest one-sheet, new trailer and a few more of the innovative posters below. Martha Marcy May Marlene is one of the best films of the year and it hits theaters October 21.