Netflix’s Ratched: this new trailer for Sarah Paulson’s show is all kinds of disturbing

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In the electrifying final trailer for Netflix’s Ratched, Sarah Paulson gives us a terrifying new kind of horror villain…

Updated on 11 September: the “final trailer” for Netflix’s Ratched has been released, and it’s loaded up with nearly three minutes of footage. The kind of footage that catche you off-guard, makes every hair on the back of your neck stand on end, and sends shivers hurtling down your spine.

The premise of Ryan Murphy and Sarah Paulson’s TV show – a One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest prequel, inspired by the story’s unforgettable villain, Nurse Ratched – is unsettling enough. 

After all, as Murphy told Variety just last month, Ratched has become “almost like a catchphrase for any sort of institutional abuse of power.” 

But there’s far more to it than all of that, as Nurse Ratched herself tells us in this twisted new trailer.

“I remember my mother and father, but I can’t picture them,” Paulson’s character says in a voiceover.

“You see I was taken away from them when I was very young, and yold them that someday I would see them again. But that was a lie.”

She continues: “The doctors and nurses here… they want to give you hope. That one day you can leave here. But you deserve someone to show you mercy.

“How different I would be if someone had.”

Watch it for yourself below:

There’s a lot to unpack here, isn’t there?

First, there’s the fact that doctors have attempted the lobotomy in an attempt to cure “maladies” such as “distraction, lesbianism, [and] mania.”

Then, there’s the fact that Mildred seems to have adopted a sort of… well, a sort of DIY lobotomy to correct the “wrongs” of others.

And then there’s all those disturbing shots of hidden hypodermics, hospital incinerators, sudden bursts of violence, uncontrollable sobbing, and more.

All in all, it feels like a terrifying blend of American Horror Story and One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, and we’re here for it.

As reported on 5 August: the original teaser’s use of Big Spender, as reported by Stylist at the time, left many viewers feeling uncomfortable.

The slow-tempo cover of Shirley Bassey’s 1967 hit song is punctuated by shocking scenes of medical staff restraining patients. Of hypodermic needles being pressed into arms. Of hospital incinerators. Of electric chairs bursting into flames. Of cadavers being poked and prodded with instruments. Of deranged doctors and nurses, inhaling gases, laughing maniacally, catapulting trolley-loads of puppets down corridors.

And, on top of all that, we have Paulson’s chilly portrayal of a dangerously unpredictable Mildred Ratched to contend with, too.

Check it out:

Throughout the trailer, we are offered snippers and glimpses into Ratched’s own psyche.

“You have been subjected to enough pain,” she whispers to one of her patients. “You deserve someone to show you mercy.

“How different I would be if someone had.”

Later, as the song reaches its dizzying, suffocating crescendo, Pulson’s Ratched is heard to utter: “I know how you feel right now. Told that you’re mad, when that’s what’s driving you mad.

It leaves us with one very big question: what happened to Ratched before she arrived at that hospital?

Netflix’s Ratched: Sarah Paulson as Mildred Ratched
Netflix’s Ratched: Mildred Ratched (Sarah Paulson) spends time at the facility.

Speaking to Vanity Fair, Paulson explained that she agreed to take on the iconic character because she “identified very deeply with her loneliness.”

“I think ultimately at the end of the day, that is sort of what drives Mildred. A pursuit of survival and of finding some sense of home,” she said. “Even though the methods that she chooses to achieve that internal security are somewhat questionable, I would argue that she’s doing them with a potentially selfish need, but a survival need nevertheless.”

Murphy added: “What was interesting was trying to create an emotional character from a reputation that’s very cold… trying to figure out every little detail about her childhood, her relationships, her sexuality. Because when people think of Ratched, they think of her as shutoff and cruel and uncaring.”

As any good trailer should, this first-look at Ratched has left us with more questions than answers. 

We can’t wait to find out more when the psychological horror series drops on Netflix on 18 September.

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Images: Netflix

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.

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