Trailer Released for Charlie Kaufman’s ‘I’m Thinking of Ending Things’

i'm thinking of ending things trailer jessie buckley
Netflix has released the trailer for one of its most anticipated autumn releases, I’m Thinking of Ending Things

Adapted from Iain Reid’s 2016 debut novel of the same name, I’m Thinking of Ending Things follows a girl who is meeting her new boyfriend’s parents for the first time. Despite observing that she has a rare connection with her partner, the protagonist constantly shares that she is thinking of ending the relationship. Reid co-produced the project with Academy Award-winning filmmaker Charlie Kaufman (Anomalisa, Synechdoche, New York), who is also directing the film.

What is described as a literary thriller has been transformed into a psychological horror for the screen and stars Jessie Buckley (Chernobyl, Beast) as the girlfriend and Jesse Plemons (Fargo, Black Mirror) as Jake. The trailer opens on a quintessential rom-com scene with a snowy street, hopeful melody and childlike excitement from the pair about the novel weather. However, the mood of the trailer changes once the pair near Jake’s parents house. The charming soundtrack stops abruptly, and a haunting mix of silence and sharp, ticking beats take its place. 

The trailer crosses genres from rom-com to horror with great expertise. In a style that is reminiscent of the trailer for 2017’s Get Out, the viewer is guided to a feelings of unsettlement and discomfort without quite understanding why. Jake’s parents, played by Toni Collette (Hereditary, Little Miss Sunshine) and David Thewlis (Naked, the Harry Potter franchise), make an odd and off-putting pair. They’re friendly to the extreme, and Collette’s unnerving laughter puts the viewer on edge. They are shot at unusual angles, with an eerie focus on facial movements. 

We are offered the stereotypical disconcerting pet in the form of the parent’s dog, who can’t stop obsessively shaking her fur as though she is wet, and whose collar contributes to the sporadic noises that are layered in the background. The atmosphere is rounded off with the cast and director being introduced in text that is laid over classic shots of outdated and stale wallpaper. 

Fans will be pleased that the trailer also showcases many of the significant locations from the original source text, teasing that the events of the film will likely not differ far from Reid’s initial concept. The philosophical tone that runs through the novel is present in the snippets of speech we are given privy to. 

I’m Thinking of Ending Things is coming to Netflix on 4 September. Just as the book is better read with no knowledge about what you’ve signed up for, I suggest that those keen to see this adaptation don’t delve beyond the trailer. 

Words by Ellie Robson

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