Boaz Yakin Introduces an Exclusive Clip from his latest, Boarding School!

Boaz Yakin is the rare filmmaker that has many stories to tell. From the inspirational hit REMEMBER THE TITANS to the Jason Statham action feature SAFE, the filmmaker is always looking for a fresh and unique take on a subject. This week, he offers us yet another intriguing tale, one that is fiercely original and hauntingly compelling. BOARDING SCHOOL is about a young boy - EIGHTH GRADE star Luke Prael - who becomes fascinated by his deceased grandmother. When his obsession becomes too difficult for his family to handle, he is sent off to a mysterious boarding school. To tell you much more would reveal far too many secrets.

Arrow in the Head is proud to offer you an exclusive clip from the upcoming feature. In addition, the very talented Boaz Yakin took a moment to discuss this particular scene entitled “Breakfast.” In addition he opened up about finding the right cast for this slow burn thriller, as well as just how much you can reveal. Trust me when I say, there are many surprises in this creepy little thriller.

When it comes to this scene “Breakfast,” the director opened up about the young characters and how important it is to the rest of the story:

Well, it's extremely important to the story once you reach the ending. Without too many spoilers, each one of the kids has something unique that is either a disability or something that makes them different in some way because you have the two kids who are mixed race and don't seem, on the surface, to have any particular disability. So the two mixed race kids don't have any apparent disability. The girl, Christine, seems smart and together. So I wanted it to create a mysterious environment and make you wonder what they have in common, like what do these kids have in common? Why have they been sent to this strange place in the middle of nowhere? Why them?

This is a difficult role for any actor, especially one so young. How did he know Luke was the right choice?

You know, I've made a lot of movies with kids. Somehow it always seems... I always seem to have kids in really important roles in my movies, even if it's not about a kid. And I'm drawn to performances like the one in FRESH or like some of the other ones. I'm drawn to performances from kids that are a little bit mysterious and hold something back. You can tell there's an inner life going on under the surface. But they're not particularly demonstrative performances, they're not the usual kid performances. Luke who plays Jacob, Luke Prael, the minute you meet him, the minute we met him, the minute we talked to him, auditioned, you feel like he's got secrets. You feel like he's there, he's available, he's emotional. You don't really know what he's thinking. And that's what made me gravitate towards him, is this feeling that you don't know what he's thinking exactly. Now that's for some people, that's great, other people like kid performances that are much more open and easy to understand and relate to. Henry Thomas in E.T, right? Beautiful performance, very open, you can read every thought the kid is having. I tend to gravitate towards something a little more mysterious and held back.

When it comes to approaching this particular moment in the film and leading up to revealing the mysteries of BOARDING SCHOOL…

I think when you're doing a movie that sort of peels the layers of an onion so to speak, how you do it and how gradual you do it is really important. I think for me, one of the things that was really cool about this scene was finding a balance between humor and genuine discomfort. I mean, the film is ultimately really compassionate toward people who are different, but it's also not afraid to have fun with it and find the humor in it at the same time. Interestingly enough, in terms of like financiers and even viewers who have had a problem with the movie, it always surprises me that the things that they have problems with are things that every kid does. The use of language, calling other kids retard, things like that. Oh my God, you can't do that, it's politically incorrect, whereas the really horrific and terrifying things that happen, they're like, oh that's okay. So for me, finding a kind of like a balance between empathy and sympathy for characters, but also not being afraid to find the comedy in it, that's what this sequence epitomized to me.

I will say this 'cause we talked about it, right? It's an interesting scene to pick for what is, even though it slides between genres, a horror movie. But this horror movie is somewhat different, especially for an American [feature]. And the crux of this movie is this kids sense of relationships to the people around him, and how he feels about himself, and how he feels about other people. It's not a jump scare movie, you know? It’s a movie that slowly develops these characters, and their situation, and finally needs you to understand what's going on, and what it means to this character. So this scene is actually the crux of the movie in a lot of ways.

When it came to the casting…

With Will Patton, what was so great is he's an actor's actor. And the way the character was written actually was a more straight forward almost like British or north typical school master that you'd expect to see in one of these films. And then when I talked to Will about doing it, and he was interested, we both wanted to do something with the character, given that he's not British and kind of, he has a whole different feeling about him. We wanted to do something with the character that was different. And he expressed that he felt that the character was in some way an extension of the Jacob characters psyche, and Jacob has that Brooklyn accent. And suddenly I was like he's got to have one of those old school… Brooklyn accents. He's evil Henry Miller, and Will was like okay, and he embraced that. And I think what that does is it makes his character both kind of funny and awkward, in a way that you don't expect one of those characters to be, and menacing at the same time. You know? When you're working with someone like Will, I think you can really go to those places. 

And [with] Tammy Blanchard, who plays Mrs. Sherman, what was so… she's such a good actress. When you read the script, I mean hey, I wrote the script, I'm open to talking about it, her character didn't make that much of an impression honestly. I felt it was underwritten to a certain degree. And then Tammy came in and she sort of fleshed it out just by her presence. And now every scene that she's in - we added her into scenes - she really kind of has a big presence in the movie. And that's really 'cause of who she is as an actress. So that was really cool.

boarding school boaz yakin thriller horror will patton samantha mathis tammy blanchard 2018

 BOARDING SCHOOL opens in theaters and On Demand / Digital HD on August 31, 2018.

Source: AITH



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