‘Experimenter’ Trailer: Peter Sarsgaard Wants You to Do What You’re Told
There are not one, but two recent films about renowned psychological experiments: the first is The Stanford Prison Experiment, based on the project of the same name, which hits VOD this Friday and is currently in select theaters. Then there’s Experimenter, starring Peter Sarsgaard as Stanley Milgram, the social psychologist known for his controversial “obedience experiments.” The new trailer for Experimenter gives us a peek inside the mind of the provocative experimenter himself.
Like The Stanford Prison Experiment, Experimenter is an unnerving psychological drama, and one that asks similar questions about how we react to authority, and the extents to which we’ll go in order to remain polite (come to think of it, these films would make an excellent triple feature with Karyn Kusama’s upcoming thriller The Invitation).
Sarsgaard is supported by a seriously excellent cast, including Winona Ryder, Anthony Edwards, Orange Is the New Black star Taryn Manning, comedian Jim Gaffigan, Anton Yelchin, Dennis Haysbert, John Leguizamo and Kellan Lutz.
In 1961, social psychologist Stanley Milgram conducted the “obedience experiments” at Yale University. The experiments observed the responses of ordinary people asked to send harmful electrical shocks to a stranger. Despite pleadings from the person they were shocking, 65 percent of subjects obeyed commands from a lab-coated authority figure to deliver potentially fatal currents. With Adolf Eichmann’s trial airing in living rooms across America, Milgram’s Kafkaesque results hit a nerve, and he was accused of being a deceptive, manipulative monster. EXPERIMENTER invites us inside Milgram’s whirring mind, beginning with his obedience research and wending a path to uncover how inner obsessions and the times in which he lived shaped a parade of human behavior inquiries.
Experimenter hits theaters on October 15.