In recent years, moviegoers have become accustomed to seeing Liam Neeson toting a gun, delivering intimidating dialogue and taking out bad guys. So it should come as no surprise that the Irish actor is up to his usual business once again in the adaptation of Lawrence Block’s crime novel A Walk Among the Tombstones.

However, compared to the Taken franchise or Non-Stop, Neeson seems to be entering an even sicker and more twisted world in this thriller directed by Scott Frank. Take a look for yourself by checking out the film’s debut trailer above.

Centering on a troubled private investigator named Matthew Scudder, the trailer suggests that the film will take some dark twists and turns as Scudder attempts to unravel a series of brutal murders he believes are tied to a group of men he was assigned to track down.

Here’s a more detailed and official synopsis for the upcoming thriller:

“Based on Lawrence Block’s bestselling series of mystery novels, ‘A Walk among the Tombstones’ stars Liam Neeson as Matt Scudder, an ex-NYPD cop who now works as an unlicensed private investigator operating just outside the law. When Scudder reluctantly agrees to help a heroin trafficker (Dan Stevens) hunt down the men who kidnapped and then brutally murdered his wife, the PI learns that this is not the first time these men have committed this sort of twisted crime…nor will it be the last. Blurring the lines between right and wrong, Scudder races to track the deviants through the backstreets of New York City before they kill again.”

Here, we see Neeson trading in his recently earned action star status for perhaps a more well-rounded role as an emotionally damaged ex-cop out for justice. Yes, it’s a character we’ve seen before in the gritty crime genre (we even saw the same exact character in 8 Million Ways to Die played by Jeff Bridges), but as always, Neeson appears to be lending the part the necessary gravitas and presence to make it believable and his own.

As for Frank, A Walk Among the Tombstones marks just his second feature as a director, but the longtime Hollywood scribe (Out of Sight, Minority Report) appears to have created an appropriately ominous aesthetic and some disturbing imagery. The trailer’s music selection – a hauntingly beautiful cover of Soundgarden’s “Black Hole Sun” – adds nicely to the clip’s overall dark tone, too.

Along with Neeson, the film stars Dan Stevens (Downton Abbey), Boyd Holbrook (Milk) and Sebastian Roché (The Originals).

A Walk Among the Tombstones hits theaters on September 19th, 2014.

Source: Universal