The story of Lizzie Borden and the infamous (still technically unsolved) 1892 ax murders carried out on her father (and stepmother) have continued to send chills through popular culture. Christina Ricci recently starred in a campy Lifetime biopic about Borden, but the story takes a decidedly different tone with Roadside Attractions’ Lizzie, and the film’s first trailer is, well, intense. The film not only follows the trial of accused murderess Lizzie (played by Chloe Sevigny) but also speculatively follows the period leading up to the mayhem.
That is to say, the trailer hints at how Andrew Borden possibly abused his daughter (she later tells a prosecutor of her father’s possible enemies, “This is America, sir. Every man with a pulse has enemies”). And we see Irish maid Bridget Sullivan (Kristen Stewart) arriving in the Borden household, after which Lizzie and Bridget become intimate together. Here’s the film’s partial synopsis:
Chloë Sevigny stars as Lizzie Borden, the notorious woman at the heart of one of the most enduring mysteries in American history. After a lifetime of loneliness, Lizzie finds a kindred spirit in housemaid Bridget Sullivan (Kristen Stewart) and their secret intimacy sparks an unthinkable act. Director Craig William Macneill explores the days leading up to the savage crimes in a dark tale of repression, exploitation and thwarted dreams.
Punctuated by blood spattering and a bloodcurdling scream, the trailer takes great pains to draw out the moments of connection between Lizzie and Bridget. Whether or not it will succeed in its reimagining of the murders, audiences can find out when the film arrive in theaters on September 14, 2018. Lizzie debuted at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival to a mixed reception.