With reporting by Josh Horowitz
Sometimes, the stories that reality offers are stranger -- and more horrifying -- than any fiction that could come from the mind of a writer. That's exactly the case with "The Stanford Prison Experiment," a film starring Billy Crudup, Michael Angarano and Ezra Miller that recently screened at Sundance Film Festival.
Based on a real 1971 experiment at Stanford, the film follows young men who volunteered for the infamous experiment, which had college students role play prison guards and prisoners. The experiment escalated beyond imagination when some guards began to psychologically torture prisoners.
MTV News caught up with Angarano, Crudup and Miller to talk about the chilling film and the experiment that inspired it.
"It's an academic standard, right?" said Miller of the experiment.
"The script brought home the clarity" of the situation, Crudup, who plays the supervisor of the experiment, said. "These are young guys who were put through some really interesting psychological circumstances."
Miller argued that though the experiments are 40 years in the past, the themes of the film are still relevant now.
"This is a movie about the dangers of hierarchies and power structures and we are living in a society where those dominate every aspect," Miller said.