Everyone expects Cary Fukunaga’s child-soldier drama Beasts Of No Nation to be disturbing, but viewers may still be surprised by the power of its teaser trailer, which manages to drum up palpable waves of fear, sadness, and rage in less than two minutes. The first preview for the Netflix feature depicts an attack on a road convoy in an unnamed African country, which a guerilla commander played by Idris Elba sees as an opportunity for his youngest recruit (Abraham Attah) to make his first kill. “These are the ones that killed your family,” the commander says, giving a firm kick when the recruit hesitates. Flashbacks allow us glimpses of the family the recruit has lost, and closeups of the terrified prisoner help sell the child soldier’s conflict. A mere twitch of the recruit’s shoulder before the title card suggests the final outcome, and viewers might ultimately wonder if they can manage two hours of that kind of intensity.
Beasts Of No Nation will premiere on Netflix and in select theaters on October 16.