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Watch the trailer for a satirical thriller set in the murky LA art world

An exclusive first look at Velvet Buzzsaw, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, John Malkovich, Toni Collette and more

“Critique is so limiting and emotionally draining,” says a pondering, heavily affected Jake Gyllenhaal, wearing thick glasses and an all black suit in that very specific, snooty art scene man uniform. From this first look at Velvet Buzzsaw, we see the likes of Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Zawe Ashton, Natalia Dyer (Stranger Things), John Malkovich, Daveed Diggs, Toni Collette (Hereditary) and Tom Sturridge as characters big and small in the LA art world, where things take a dark turn. And it’s not because Basel ran out of Moet. 

Velvet Buzzsaw is billed as a satirical thriller set in the contemporary art world scene of Los Angeles, “where big money artists and mega-collectors pay a high price when art collides with commerce”. Zawe Ashton plays a young woman who discovers paintings by an unknown artist that are touted to make her some serious cash – the ensuing interest in the work highlights the art scene’s grim avarice. From the art, a supernatural force unleashes revenge on those who have allowed their greed to get in the way of art. In the short peek at the movie, we see Gyllenhaal descending into a murk of madness as paintings begin to move and lash out. Monkeys reach out of jungle scenes to grab people by their throats, and Toni Collette gets grabbed through a modernist spherical sculpture. 

The film is writer/director Dan Gilroy’s latest, and was well-received at Sundance – billed as a horror comedy, it has already been likened to Rod Serling’s Night Gallery TV series. Gilroy last worked with Gyllenhaal on 2014’s Nightcrawler.

Watch the trailer, a UK exclusive first look, below.

Velvet Buzzsaw drops on Netflix and in selected cinemas February 1