Iranian-Danish filmmaker Ali Abassi followed his one-of-a-kind, Oscar-nominated fantasy Border with Holy Spider, which earned lead actress Zar Amir Ebrahimi honors at Cannes and opens October 28 courtesy Utopia. Based on a true story, it follows a female journalist (Zar Amir-Ebrahimi) investigating a serial killer who believes it is his righteous duty to murder sex workers and cleanse society—no gentle topic, one that’s accordingly engendered strong responses.

A trailer has arrived for the film, which our own David Katz didn’t much enjoy out of Cannes. Per him, it bears “a determination to upset and freak people out” while “it seems Abbasi got caught between the social righteousness dictates of the ‘message movie’ and pure amorality of what, disturbingly so, often makes for great genre cinema.”

Find the trailer below:

Female journalist Rahimi (Zar Amir Ebrahimi) travels to the Iranian holy city of Mashhad to investigate a serial killer who believes he is doing the work of God, cleansing the streets of sinners by murdering sex workers. As the body count mounts and Rahimi draws closer to exposing his crimes, the opportunity for justice grows harder to attain as the ‘Spider Killer’ is embraced by many as a hero. Based on the horrific true story of serial killer Saeed Hanaei, acclaimed writer-director Ali Abbasi (Border) unveils a gripping crime thriller and a daring indictment of a society in which rough justice is routinely a fact of life.

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