'Shirley' Trailer Highlights Elisabeth Moss' Hypnotic Performance

How do you make a biographical drama about Shirley Jackson, one of the most renowned American horror writers of the past century? You cast Elisabeth Moss to do her best woman-on-the-edge performance yet, and turn the biopic into a horror movie. Shirley has received raves since it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, and genre fans eagerly anticipated its theatrical release. Sadly, because of the coronavirus pandemic, that theatrical release never came to be. But, as the newest Shirley trailer advertises, the film is now available to watch on digital platforms everywhere.

Shirley Trailer

NEON has released a new trailer for Shirley that spotlights Elisabeth Moss' tour-de-force performance as Shirley Jackson, the horror writer behind The Haunting of Hill House, We Have Always Lived in the Castle, and more. Witness the "madness" of Moss' performance in Shirley, the trailer teases, with a screeching, creepy score and plenty of shots of Moss looking absolutely unhinged. In addition to Moss the film features Michael StuhlbargLogan Lerman, and Odessa Young.

As Chris Evangelista wrote in his 2020 Sundance Film Festival review (which is quoted twice in the trailer), "No mere biopic, Shirley is a haunting portrait of author Shirley Jackson, telling a tale that didn't actually happen. This is a fictional biography, and yet every moment rings true. Director Josephine Decker and screenwriter Sarah Gubbins have captured Jackson's literary voice, while Elisabeth Moss has captured the late author's very essence itself. Moss is so good here it's scary, playing Jackson as a raging, neurotic mess prone to fits of crippling depression and bursts of brilliance. She's a force to be reckoned with."

Shirley debuted on digital platforms to rent or purchase on June 5, and also debuted on the streaming service Hulu, which has an overall deal with studio Neon, through which the streamer has debuted the Oscar-winning Parasite and upcoming films like Palm Springs. It's not clear why Neon released a new trailer nearly a month since the film was made available on VOD, but perhaps the studio wants to get the word out on a hidden gem.

Here is the synopsis for Shirley:

Renowned horror writer Shirley Jackson is on the precipice of writing her masterpiece when the arrival of newlyweds upends her meticulous routine and heightens tensions in her already tempestuous relationship with her philandering husband. The middle-aged couple, prone to ruthless barbs and copious afternoon cocktails, begins to toy mercilessly with the naïve young couple at their door.

Shirley is now available to watch on digital platforms everywhere.