Joaquin Phoenix warns against watching the new A24 film Beau is Afraid on magic mushrooms

Beau Is Afraid
(Image credit: A24)

With the new A24 film Beau Is Afraid now being screened in cinemas over in the US, people are coming away from the viewing a little...shaken up. Helmed by none other than Ari Aster, the director behind terrifying modern horrors Hereditary and Midsommar, it's unsurprising that his latest offering to the world would inspire such a strong reaction.

Due to the film's jarring and otherworldly nature however, some individuals are suggesting (possibly with bad intentions) that people go watch it after consuming magic mushrooms, which we can assure you is A Bad Idea, with a high chance of it leading to a bad, emotionally-exhausting trip.

The thread, allegedly run by college students, has actually landed on the radar of leading actor Joaquin Phoenix, who has some stern advice to share to those thinking about using the drug to enhance their experience when watching the movie.

“I was told from someone in college that there was this college thread amongst friends, a challenge they were going to take mushrooms and go see this movie,” Phoenix tells Fandango.

“And I just wanted to make a public service announcement and say, do not take mushrooms and go see this fucking movie.”

Speaking of the first time he viewed it on the big screen himself, he continues: “I was definitely squirming in my seat. First of all, I’m just laughing about the entire fucking movie. There’s a couple of sequences where I’m just squirming – I mean, stuff that [Aster] did with the sound design, it was really great”. 

“It’s such a rich world, and there’s so many details to see in it. It is a hundred percent a movie that you feel,” the actor adds. “There’s so many rich, complex themes in this film, but it’s such a visceral experience to watch it. Then you leave, and when that feeling subsides, you start thinking about it.”

Beau Is Afraid follows the journey of an anxiety-ridden man who must confront his darkest fears while embarking on a surreal odyssey to get home to his mother. Currently out in the US, it's set to hit UK screens on May 19.

Watch the trailer below:

Liz Scarlett

Liz works on keeping the Louder sites up to date with the latest news from the world of rock and metal. Prior to joining Louder as a full time staff writer, she completed a Diploma with the National Council for the Training of Journalists and received a First Class Honours Degree in Popular Music Journalism. She enjoys writing about anything from neo-glam rock to stoner, doom and progressive metal, and loves celebrating women in music.