In Personal Shopper, actress Kristen Stewart teams with director Olivier Assayas for a unique tale of fashion, family and ghosts. The movie follows Stewart as a personal shopper in France who attempts to communicate with the ghost of her recently deceased twin brother, presumably with plenty of scares along the way.The film’s proved rather divisive, earning resounding boos at a press screening before a standing ovation after its official premiere at the Cannes Film Festival. That might be because of its genre-twisting blend of indie drama and horror. It’s a unique combo for sure, so you’ll want to check out the film’s trailer to judge for yourself.This is an Art Film
Right off the bat, it’s easy to see that Personal Shopper is an artsy affair. Of course, that has something to do with the official Cannes Film Festival logo right up front, but is driven home by an opening reference to abstract artist Hilma af Klint. As we’re told, “She claimed that the spirit world communicated with us,” laying the groundwork for the ghostly events of the film.
Fashion isn’t Fun
Kristen Stewart hates her gig as a personal shopper. That doesn’t come as a shock, as we suspect she’d hate it in real life too. You have to admit that the movie has some good casting.
But most importantly, that job is keeping her from pursuing anything else in life. It’s the sort of existential frustration that would feel at home in the indie dramas that have attracted Stewart recently, making this seem like a typical entry in the her filmography. Ghost in the Water
Thankfully, the trailer steers away from the norm by introducing the fact that THERE’S A FREAKING GHOST! Or maybe there’s not? It’s somewhat unclear.
Kristen Stewart enters a spooky home, goes to the sink, and begs for the “tiniest thing” before the first jump scare of the trailer. From there, we finally get some insight as to what’s going on. Her brother died in that house, and before his death the siblings promised that whoever died first would send the other a sign. But her therapist begs the question — “How do you know if it’s a sign?”Texts from the Dead
It’s 2016, and ghosts have adapted to modern tech. Stewart starts receiving ominous text messages that appear to be the type of sign she’s looking for, pushing her to further investigate the paranormal activity. But who are the texts from? Is she really getting contacted by her dead brother, or is she being preyed upon by someone else? What if the entire ghost story is all in her head? Thankfully, answers to those questions aren’t revealed in the trailer.Not Your Standard Ghost Story
Personal Shopper certainly doesn’t look like a standard ghost story. The trailer blends arthouse elements and indie drama influences with horror to create a tone that feels spot-on for this sort of psychological thriller. While it may not have been a hit with every viewer at Cannes, it’s definitely marking its own cinematic territory. If you’re interested in stylish, unique filmmaking you might want to check this one out.
IFC Films will distribute Personal Shopper, with a release date yet to be announced.What do you think of the trailer for Personal Shopper? Will you see the movie when it’s released? Let us know in the comments.