Benedict Cumberbatch Whistles Through the First 'The Power of the Dog' Trailer

(Photo: Netflix)
(Photo: Netflix)

Netflix has dropped the first trailer for the upcoming film The Power of the Dog, a clear awards season contender that stars Oscar nominee Benedict Cumberbatch and is written, directed, and produced by Academy Award winner Jane Campion

Based on the 1967 Thomas Savage novel of the same name, the film follows the story of a pair of rancher brothers in 1920s Montana. Brutal, charismatic Phil Burbank (Cumberbatch) is a cruel, uber-masculine type, who sublimates all his feelings into the land he works and seems to exist in a state of semi-perpetual grime. (We get it, he's a cowboy!) But when his younger brother George (Jesse Plemmons) decides to marry the widow (Kirsten Dunst) who runs a local restaurant and brings her and her awkward, impressionable son (Kodi Smit-McPhee) to live at the family ranch, things take a dark turn.

Phil launches a reckless campaign to torment the newcomers, taunting Rose, mocking Peter, and encouraging his ranch-hand acolytes to do the same. Until he doesn't. But is Phil's decision to take Peter under his wing a sign of his softening towards the young man, or an indication of a more sinister intention?

If the teaser trailer is anything to go by, the latter certainly seems possible, if not outright likely. The clip features Phil hovering ominously and whistling almost menacingly throughout, the sort of moody table setting that lets you know that more likely than not something incredibly disturbing is about to happen. And if that weren't enough, the trailer ends with a foreboding shot of some flowers covered in blood. 

Watch the trailer for yourselves below.

Other notable members of the film's cast include Thomasin McKenzieFrances ConroyKeith CarradinePeter Carroll, and Adam Beach.

The Power of the Dog will have its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival this September, before receiving a very limited theatrical release beginning November 17. It will arrive on Netflix on December 1. 

What do you think of the look of this film? Let's discuss in the comments.