The Girl Before Trailer: Hair-Raising Residence Has Renter Reeling

"The Girl Before" isn't a remake of Alfred Hitchcock's 1958 psychological thriller, but it hangs onto the film's elements of psychological obsession with women and repeating motifs between them. As a voice in this trailer points out, someone is "acting out the same psychodrama with new players allotted the same role." Based on the 2016 novel of the same name by J.P. Delaney, "The Girl Before" has been adapted by Delaney and newer co-writer Marissa Lestradem (writer of 2022 environmental thriller series "The Swarm") into a four-episode series for BBC One and HBO Max. The series already dropped in the U.K. in December, but will be streaming on HBO Max in February.

The Girl Before Trailer

"The Girl Before" seems to be hanging around the house despite the arrival of Jane. The smart house is going down the spooky checklist: stovetop turning on by itself, bizarre light shows, ominous messages scrawled on the walls. It's not spoilery (this writer has neither seen the series nor read the book yet) to observe that stories of this kind often reveal a past occupant using the house to either warn the current one, or to drive them out. We know that the last person to live in the smart house (perhaps a little too smart) died suddenly, and Jane is eventually motivated to dig into the history of the place and those who lived in its walls. What are the motivations behind the late girl before?

"The Girl Before" stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw, David Oyelowo, Jessica Plummer, and Ben Hardy, with recurring roles from Ian Conningham, Amanda Drew, Mark Stanley, Rakhee Thakrar, Ben Addis, and Natasha Atherton. Delaney executive produces the adaptation alongside Eleanor Moran, Rory Aitken, Ben Pugh, Ben Irving, and Lisa Brühlmann. The series is backed by the UK-based 42, the production company that brought forth Netflix's 2020 sport series "The English Game." Next up on 42's slate is "Silent Twins," about extraordinary twins June and Jennifer Gibbons, which is directed by Agnieszka Smoczyńska ("The Lure") and stars Letitia Wright and Tamara Lawrance. 

The synopsis, per HBO Max:

"The Girl Before" tells the story of Jane (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), who gets the chance to move into a beautiful, ultra-minimalist house designed by architect (David Oyelowo) –the one catch being that occupants have to abide by his list of rules. When Jane makes the shocking discovery that her predecessor Emma died in the house, she begins to question if her fate will be the same as the girl before...

"The Girl Before" streams on HBO Max on February 10, 2022.