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If you caught the trailer that released for Atom Egoyan's Devil's Knot last Fall, a lot of the footage from the new one may seem familiar, however, this is most definitely a new cut and it includes almost half a minute of additional content, some of which focuses on how religion factors into the story, and some that focuses on Alessandro Nivola's character Terry Hobbs, the stepfather to one of the three child victims of the horrible murders in West Memphis Arkansas.
Based on true events and the true crime book written by Mara Leveritt titled Devil's Knot: The True Story of the West Memphis Three, the film is set in 1993 when three eight-year-old boys were brutally murdered and three teens were blamed for the crime. Reese Witherspoon plays Pamela Hobbs, wife to Terry Hobbs and mother of Stevie Branch, one of the three victims. As the trailer indicates, the dramatization of the events that took place two decades ago includes the search for the children, whose bodies were found naked and mutilated in the woods, to the accusations and trials of Damien Echols (James Hamrick), Jason Baldwin (Seth Merriwether) and Jessie Misskelley Jr. (Kristopher Higgins), the three teens who were believed to be devil worshippers and who would go on to be known as the West Memphis Three.
In trying to draw comparisons between the trailer we saw back in November and the latest one to be released, the thing that stands out most to me is the emphasis on religion and the additional footage showing Terry Hobbs. The original trailer, which you can watch below, gives us a few glimpses of Hobbs at the start and then a quick snippet of him angrily slamming a chair against a wall near the end, however this new one shows a couple more glimpses of a conversation between Hobbs and Pamela (Witherspoon), and a snippet where Hobbs is pulling Pamela away from Ron Lax (Colin Firth), a private investigator who's taking a closer look at the case.
It's odd to call "spoiler alert" on a story based on true events, but if you aren't caught up on this story and you don't want to know any additional details of the actual events that inspired the book and this film before seeing the movie, read no further... and consider watching the Paradise Lost documentary trilogy, which tells the unsettling story from the beginning. Viewer discretion is advised.
The additional Hobbs footage doesn't seem to paint him in the best light, and we see a quick glimpse of Witherspoon holding up a small pocket knife, which -- depending on how it all fits into the actual film -- could be a hint that this adaptation of the story could touch on Pamela Hobbs' -- now Pam Hicks -- eventual suspicion that her now ex-husband Terry may have been involved with what happened to her son and his two friends (More info on that here). But Hobbs is just one small piece of this trailer, however, as the rest focuses on the rest of the situation, including how religion factored into the situation, the outrage of the town over the murders and the teens they believed were responsible, the investigation of the crimes, and the question of whether or not the three kids on trial are actually to blame.
Devil's Knot premiered at TIFF last Fall and it's set to arrive in theaters and Video on Demand on May 9. Here's the previously released trailer.