The latest Netflix original series is The OA, a mysterious eight-part show that comes out, in full, on December 16th. Its tagline is “trust the unknown” and Netflix is apparently taking this advice to heart: The streaming company tweeted a handful of cryptic messages this morning, including the questions, “Have you seen death?” and “Have you seen darkness?” before sharing what appeared to be a cell phone video of a woman jumping off a bridge.
It’s all fictional, of course, but the videos themselves are haunting. A handful of folks responded to the tweets with shock and disappointment. “Please delete this,” wrote one viewer. “Some of us have actually dealt with suicide in real life and don’t need to be reminded of this.” Other viewers defended the videos as a valid marketing strategy.
— Netflix US (@netflix) December 12, 2016
The strangeness didn’t end on Twitter. Netflix set up an Instagram campaign for The OA as well, featuring multi-image posters and videos that ask more questions than they answer.
All of this culminated with the series’ first trailer: The OA focuses on a young woman who was missing for seven years — she was blind when she disappeared, but when she’s found, she’s able to see. She also remembers everything that happened to her, and a lot of it looks super strange.
The teaser images and videos have a supernatural vibe, featuring something called the Empire of Light and a large machine that encases a person’s head while sensors dangle from their limbs and chest. The OA comes from Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij, the filmmakers behind the 2011 psychological thriller Sound of My Voice. According to the trailer’s YouTube description, The OA is a “powerful, mind-bending tale about identity, human connection and the borders between life and death.” Despite its title similarities, it’s safe to say The OA will be nothing like The OC, at least.