By Oliver Gettell
3:39 PM PST, December 4, 2013
What kind of sick, twisted mind does it take to dream up a dark psychological thriller like "Prisoners"? Apparently, it doesn't.
At a recent installment of the Envelope Screening Series, "Prisoners" screenwriter Aaron Guzikowski talked about his inspiration for the original screenplay — about a man who will stop at nothing to find his kidnapped daughter — as well as his surprisingly average childhood.
"It was pretty normal," Guzikowski said of his upbringing. "My parents were fairly sweet people. It was not all that traumatic. There were things around me in my childhood that inspired me to darker tendencies, but I always saw those things as almost sort of a comfort in a weird way. My mother used to like reading horror novels, which I never read, but she would keep them stacked up by her bedside, and I would look at the covers of the horror novels and try and concoct in my brain what [they] might have been about."
Guzikowski added that his parents wouldn't let him see R-rated movies as a child, meaning he wouldn't have been allowed to watch his own film. His parents did see "Prisoners," however, and "quite enjoyed it. I think they were surprised," he said.
"Prisoners" star Jake Gyllenhaal also shared his thoughts on Guzikowski's script. "What I think and what I thought was the most brilliant thing about the script was that here you have, as many would say, a sort of commercial story of, some people would say it was about revenge," Gyllenhaal said. "When I read it, what I think was so incredible was this idea that it isn't really about revenge -- it's really about a man having to deal with being out of control."
He added: "It was so courageous as a writer to be able to take the audience that way, to a place where it's not really a movie about a guy saying just that. It's about him having to face himself."
For more from the cast and crew of "Prisoners," watch the video above.
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