The first teaser has arrived for the TIFF drama/mystery Buster’s Mal Heart, led by Mr. Robot‘s Rami Malek. Penned, helmed, and edited by Sarah Adina Smith (who had a segment in the horror anthology Holidays, as well as directed The Midnight Swim) in her sophomore feature, the film concerns an on-the-run mountain man (Malek) who has survived the harsh winter conditions by breaking into empty houses in a remote town. Plagued by visions of drifting at sea and of his past life, he also frequently calls into a radio station to rant about Y2K and other dangers — a station where he has now gained the moniker “Buster.”
The teaser borrows from The Shining‘s playbook, utilizing the ominous repetitions of a ball hitting a wall to guide the edits through haunting portraits of family life paired with loneliness and isolation. It then dips into a fast montage of imagery that lands on a stark image of Malek in a boat, followed by the most captivating shot of the teaser, after the titles.
See the teaser and a poster below.
An eccentric mountain man is on the run from the authorities, surviving the winter by breaking into empty vacation homes in a remote community. Regularly calling into radio talk shows — where he has acquired the nickname “Buster” — to rant about the impending dangers of Y2K, he is haunted by visions of being lost at sea, and memories of his former life as a family man.
Buster’s Mal Heart will premiere at TIFF on September 11th.