WATCH: Netflix Drops Tense New Trailer for Western ‘The Power of the Dog’

by Shelby Scott
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As fall weather endures, Outsiders take refuge from rapidly dropping temperatures across the country. Many have headed inside to stoke fires and catch up on the latest our streaming services have to offer. Now, November already nears the end of its first week and Netflix has dropped its intense new trailer for the debut Western, “The Power of the Dog.”

“The Power of the Dog” sees production by the Academy Award-winning filmmaker Jane Campion. With Benedict Cumberbatch as headlining character Phil Burbank, the Western features a hard-edged, emotionally charged story taking place in the early 20th century.

A man prideful in his masculine sensibilities and brutal in humor, Burbank premieres as a wealthy Montana rancher. He forefronts in “The Power of the Dog” alongside his seemingly gentler brother George Burbank. Leaving the clean, righteous personality of Marvel’s “Dr. Strange” behind, Cumberbatch fully adopts the charisma of a tough 1925 cowboy.

The plot of the new film surrounds the Burbank brothers as they herd their cattle to market. During their travels, the pair stops at a restaurant, the Red Mill. Here, George ultimately falls in love and marries the business’s proprietress, Rose.

Phil Burbank Turns Life Living Hell

After the Burbank brothers return home, Rose and her young son Peter join the duo. Soon enough, Phil puts a personal stake in making their new lives hell. He taunts Rose in haunting ways, always lurking, whistling a tune that promises to permeate the whole of “The Power of the Dog.” The rancher frequently pokes at Peter’s lack of masculinity in ranching. The rancher’s buddies often partake in Phil’s barbs directed at the young man and his unfamiliarity with the rough lifestyle.

However, soon enough, it appears the rancher’s sentiments change and he suddenly takes the young man under his wing. Unfortunately for us Outsiders, we can’t tell what the rancher’s motive is based on the trailer. What’s worse, we can’t tell whether the rancher’s actions are genuine or a facade.

Nevertheless, we look forward to the haunting film’s debut, premiering on Netflix this December 1st.

‘The Power of the Dog’ Paints a ‘Thoroughly Objectionable Man’

Campion’s “The Power of the Dog” no doubt promises a boatload of interesting perspectives surrounding ranchers’ lifestyles during the early 20th century. However, obviously at the forefront of what we already know is intended to be a rather intense film lies the central character Phil Burbank and whatever underlying problems inspire him to act so horrifically throughout.

We know the basis of the film based on the Netflix trailer. However, BBC has painted a clearer picture of what we might expect from “The Power of the Dog.”

Most prominently, the outlet addresses Burbank’s seemingly simple and successful lifestyle compared to his multitude of prominent issues. In essence, Cumberbatch depicts a man brimming with anger although we can’t pin why.

With BBC already deeming the character a “thoroughly objectionable man,” we have to wonder why he’s taken vengeance upon his brother’s new family and what’s inspired him to act out in such overtly macho ways.

Interestingly, for you Outsiders who don’t know, “The Power of the Dog” is actually based on author Thomas Savage’s novel which boasts the same name. If you’re interested in getting closer insight, perhaps take a look at the novel and let us know how the new film compares.

Outsider.com