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Light and Ryuk Experiment With Murder in New ‘Death Note’ Clip

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Adam Wingard’s adaptation of popular anime series Death Note drew a lot of heat before the public even saw a single frame, as fans of the original were displeased to learn he’d set the film in the U.S. instead of the original Japan and made the Asian lead into a white guy, a move we shall henceforth refer to as “Ghost in the Shelling.” And while the question of whitewashing will most likely persist on through the film’s August 25 release, we still have yet to see whether it will be a competent horror film on non-politicized terms. Today, the public can start to get an impression of whether the film is garden-variety bad in addition to being #problematic.

In a new scene screened for Comic-Con audiences in San Diego and now shared with the denizens of the Internet, we meet Seattle resident Light Turner (Nat Wolff) and his new companion, the death demon Ryuk (voiced, obviously, by real-life death demon Willem Dafoe). Light has found an enchanted notebook with the power to take the life of anyone whose name is written upon its pages of college-ruled evil, and in the recently released clip, Light makes his first foray into playing God. He notices a few street toughs harassing a woman outside his window, and in a moment of absolutist morality, he decides to scribble a name in the notebook. (Then, for pizzazz, he specifies that the man should die by decapitation.) The clip ends before we can see what befalls the man — is his life about to end in a gruesome fashion?

Having seen the show, I can tell you that, spoiler alert, it does. How Adam Wingard will depart from his source has yet to be seen, but one thing’s certain, and it’s that that dude’s head is coming off. The film will surface on Netflix in a little over a month, at which point the body count will begin to rise. Light’s making a list, he’s checking it twice…

Watch the ‘Death Note’ Trailer

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