The new trailer for I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore suggests that first-time director Macon Blair, the star of 2013’s Blue Ruin, has picked up a thing or two during his time working under the guidance of Jeremy Saulnier.
Following a nursing assistant who, per the film’s synopsis, is “[suffering] through a crisis of existential despair,” the trailer begins with relatively low-key absurdist comedy—a great opening bit shows the heroine trying unsuccessfully to circumnavigate a car backing out of a parking spot—but then escalates into savagery as the protagonist Ruth (Melanie Lynskey), with the help of her nunchuck-wielding neighbor Tony (Elijah Wood), attempts to catch the burglars who robbed her house. This quest, which on the one hand gives Ruth a renewed purpose in life, lands the painfully ill-equipped pair in deep water filled with lots of thudding blows to the face, a brandished knife, and at least one casualty.
In other words, it all sounds like a film Saulnier would have made, given that the director’s last two films featured precisely the premise of average Joes who wander out of their depth in the most dangerous of ways and are thus forced to tap their inner survivalist barbarity. In Blue Ruin, Blair’s gauche character kills out of revenge but unexpectedly triggers a violent retaliation from the victim’s family of hardened criminals, whereas in Green Room, young punk rockers become the target of a neo-Nazi gang after accidentally witnessing a murder. From the trailer, I Don’t Feel At Home In this World Anymore looks to be lighter in both tone and violence than Saulnier’s past two pictures (then again, this isn’t saying much, because Blue Ruin and Green Room are very violent), which holds out hope that Blair might come into his own style rather than simply parroting Saulnier’s brand of raw, offbeat naturalism.
Watch the full trailer above, and catch the film when it hits Netflix on Feb. 24.