Based on the same true story that has been done twice already, 2015’s Sundance success will be given a thorough examination, and could make or break the relatively young careers of Alvarez and Talbott.
If you’ve seen the 2010 film The Experiment, starring Adrien Brody and Forest Whitaker, it’s very hard to not draw comparisons between the two. Straight away, while the 2010 film was more action, this feels like more of a horror, suspense style film made to send chills down your spine. Also, with this being a festival style film as opposed to the previous mass-market versions, expect this to be closer to the true story than its predecessors. You can already tell that the film has a nostalgic 1970’s feel (the experiment taking place in ’71), and if you’ve seen the 2010 version the difference in environment between the two is quite startling.
If you’re curious, the third film on the same true story is the German ‘Das Experiment (2001)’.
What’s very exciting about this film is the impressive young cast. The Stanford Prison Experiment includes the talents of Ezra Miller (The Perks of Being a Wallflower), Ki Hong Lee (The Maze Runner) and Jack Kilmer (Palo Alto, which is incidentally where this was filmed) among others!
Continuing the early careers theme, director Kyle Patrick Alvarez, with only two other movies to his name, seems to me like some sort of festival junkie! All three of his movies, including this, are indie films and all award winners at various film festivals around the world. However, his previous two directions have been given IMDB ratings of 6.4 and 5.6! This definitely looks like a man that makes pretty but nonconsumable films, and I just hope he can do this quite incredible story justice.
Having Tim Talbott write this story is quite a funny choice. Literally. Talbott’s is probably most famous for his work on South Park, having been on the writing team for nearly 30 episodes! Outside of that, the only film he’s written is comedy The Lather Effect (2006), which makes you wonder whether his writing is really suitable for a story such as this.
Set for release on 17th July in the USA and NOWHERE ELSE, I’m sure this will be a fine movie just because of the quality of the story – however, The slightly questionable director and writer choices make me worry that the remarkable true story won’t be done justice. Hopefully they can prove me wrong though!