Serenity, A Good Place to Hide a Body

The ocean. The ocean is vast, all encompassing, majestic, and endless; and a very good place to hide a body.

Serenity is an upcoming neo-noir thriller directed and written by Steven Knight. Knight’s other notable films, with director and writer credits, include Hummingbird (starring Jason Statham), and Locke (starring Tom Hardy). His current film stars Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Diane Lane, Djimon Hounsou, and Jason Clarke.

McConaughey plays earthy, fishing boat captain Baker Dill. Baker lives a quiet life on a small island off the coast and is currently seeing a beautiful women, played by Diane Lane. All is well in his peaceful world. That is, until his ex-wife Karen, played by Anne Hathaway, shows up on the island, unannounced. Karen has a problem. Her wealthy husband, played by Jason Clarke, whom she left Baker for, is cruel and violent. She now fears for her life and that of her son. She asks Baker to do one final thing for her. To take her husband out on his fishing boat in the middle of the ocean, drop him overboard, and leave him for the sharks. Baker’s life is thrown into disarray by her request. His moral compass refuses to direct him and everyone around him seems to know more about his situation than they’re letting on. He is now forced to choose his path. Will he be a murderer, or will he stand by and see harm done to a person he once cared about?

Neo-Noir, is a genre that, as the title implies, arose from the film noir of the 1940’s. Generally neo-noirs are crime dramas or thrillers and have a certain dark wit. They usually star the same cast characters, such as the gruff everyman, the femme fatale, the villain, and the partner. In this way they are truly a callback to the noir of the forties, but neo-noir also has more updated values, visuals, and themes. Other notable attributes are the blurred lines between good and evil, and themes of revenge, paranoia, and mystery.

The trailer most likely stands out for its genre, but there is something inherently intriguing about Serenity. Everything about the mood is tense. The motif used to increase tension in the trailer is a taught, deep-sea fishing line, on the edge of Baker’s boat. Click. Another crank of the line. We are the ones caught on the end of the line and being reeled in to this mystery. This film aims to play with audience expectations. And in an endless sea of similar films with similar plots and similar characters, I am ready for Serenity to reel me in.

Go check out the trailer (above) and let us here at Narrative know what you think.