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Nightmare Fuel / Joker (2019)

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"I used to think that my life was a tragedy. But now I realize... it's a comedy."
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Given that this is a film proposing an origin for The Joker, you just know it's going to be full of some seriously messed up stuff especially with Todd Phillips confirming it would be rated R.


  • In the initial test footage, Joaquin Phoenix and Todd Phillips show just how creepy they can make a man smiling can be, complimented by footage of Phoenix dancing in clown makeup superimposed over it, and an ironic use of The Guess Who's "Laughing". When the full reveal hits, it's unsettling to see the smile leave his face as quickly as it came.
  • The first trailer alone is filled with this:
    • Arthur's appearance at the end of the trailer as the Joker. There's no hint of the quiet childlike man from the beginning. All that's left is a vengeful shell that wants to see the world burn.
    • Worse yet, just before the elevator closes, Arthur's empty glare turns into a full on Psychotic Smirk. All as he stares right at the viewer. Dear GOD.
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    • After the part where Arthur is beaten in the alley, there's a shot of him sitting in a locker room, shirtless and hunched over, with a large bruise on his right shoulder blade, fiddling with something. Nothing scary happens, until you realize that the muscles in his back are shifting around and becoming more visible through his skin. Is this the birth of the Joker?
      Arthur: Is it just me, or is it getting crazier out there?
      • On a similar note, there are scenes of Arthur in various states of undress, showing his skeletal-like, borderline anorexic physique. The Joker has almost always been depicted as extremely lanky in the comics, as seen here, however, to see his actor that thin, plus, keeping in mind how the previous live action portrayals for the Joker kept their bodyweight at a normal level, makes Arthur look more unsettling than he is.
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    • Doubling as a Tear Jerker, there's a really disturbing shot of Arthur visiting Arkham State Hospital, sharing an elevator with a cop, a hospital employee, and a patient strapped to a gurney, thrashing around while he has some sort of episode. And what's worse, you can clearly see Arthur has his fists clenched and eyes closed as he stands there, either as an attempt at drowning out the patient, or as an attempt to not react.
      • Later on, Arthur is seen running down the asylum's hallway and looking back at something; who or what is he running from?
    • When a man played by Brian Tyree Henry is caught staring, Arthur pointedly whispers "What?!" with a chilling Death Glare.
    • Arthur walking up to a young Bruce Wayne with flowers and using his thumbs to contort a smile out of the poor kid. The fact that Joker's make-up in this version is heavily inspired by child-killer John Wayne Gacy doesn't help in the slightest.
      • And why is he wearing makeup similar to how a serial killer wore his? Keep in mind, this is before Arthur starts going down his path of darkness.
    • Arthur is seen headbutting glass, almost breaking it; a clear indication he's starting to crack.
    • At one point, someone, possibly Arthur, is pulling out a revolver and cocking the hammer. While watching a speech from Thomas Wayne. You then know what's coming; though if not Arthur himself, could it be that somehow Arthur led Joe Chill (if it is him) to the Waynes?
    • The part in which a depressed Arthur forces himself to smile is already depressing, but also unnerving due to the creepiness of smile Arthur ends up making from stretching his mouth; the Scare Chord that follows after he stops doesn't help.
    • What we see of Gotham City evokes the pervasive urban decay of Taxi Driver or Candyman — a bleak place that feels thoroughly empty and seems to be falling apart, figuratively and literally. At least Burton/Schumacher's Gotham had a flair to it, and Nolan's Gotham was mostly neat and clean outside of the Narrows. Hell, it could easily be worse than the DCEU version of Gotham!
    • Arthur being brutally attacked on the subway by rich-looking young people, simply for laughing too loudly and drawing attention to himself.
      • The last shot of this moment in the trailer; you get the feeling that Arthur is about to snap.

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